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review 2018-01-08 23:05
Intriguing Ideas
Niki Jabbour's Veggie Garden Remix: 224 New Plants to Shake Up Your Garden and Add Variety, Flavor, and Fun - Niki Jabbour

Tired of planting the same old thing in your garden? You know, tomatoes, cucumbers, beans, etc. It can get boring, year after year. The author identifies 238 new things to plant to "spice up" your garden. For example, instead of tomatoes, try cape gooseberries, or ground cherries. Instead of the same old spuds, try Jerusalem artichokes. She goes on to identify alternatives for tomatoes, cucumbers, summer squash, snap beans, arugula, lettuce, spinach, cabbage, broccoli, potatoes, radishes, onions, and peppers.
The book has beautiful photographs. The writing is clear, and the descriptions can be mouth watering.
I, personally, have been gardening for 50 years, and am looking forward to attempting a good many of these this year, and in years to come.

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review 2017-10-27 03:37
Review: The Vegan Cookbook by Adele McConnell
The Vegan Cookbook: 100 Sensational Recipes to Inspire and Invigorate - Adele McConnell

Published by:  Nourish Books (21st September 2017)


ISBN:  978-1848993389


Source: NetGalley


Rating: 4*



Adele McConnell brings a fresh, inspired look to plant-based food, showing just how satisfying, dynamic and undeniably delicious contemporary vegan cooking can be. The beautifully photographed recipes make the most of a wide variety of fresh ingredients, drawing inspiration from cuisines around the world to help you create healthy, balanced meals effortlessly. McConnell proves once and for all that there’s no need to sacrifice flavor to eat animal-free. She creates her stylish, mouth-watering dishes with innovative techniques and nutrient-packed ingredients, including whole grains and protein sources such as pulses, nuts, tempeh and tofu. From Mushroom & Roasted Beetroot Polenta Nests to Chinese Spring Onion Pancakes with Ginger Dipping Sauce, you’ll find dishes that will tempt both part-time and fully-committed vegans alike. Complete with 100 inspiring, easy-to-follow recipes, The Vegan Cookbook isn’t merely about creating great meat-free food, it’s about 



There's a lot to love about this handy little cookbook. At the beginning, Adele lists lots of the main ingredients that are essential for a healthy vegan diet and details just what is so important about them and what the health benefits are. There are instructions on preparing your own basics, such as nut milks and butters, how to prepare and also how to cook tempeh and tofu and a whole host of other ingredients, as well as lots of other really handy tips. What I REALLY love is that there is not a single piece of pretend meat mentioned anywhere. No mention of that Q word either!

What I'm not so keen on is the amount oil used in some of the recipes, although I am on a weight loss programme at the moment, so that is influencing my thoughts! There aren't photos for every recipe, which doesn't really bother me. I tend to find food photos in cookbooks rather unrealistic as a rule, so not having something to aspire to is fine by me! The recipes I've tried, I really enjoyed and I'll be using again. I've got many more yet to try, including some rather delicious sounding pumpkin ones for Halloween!

Special thanks to Nourish for providing the ARC in return for my unbiased review.

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review 2016-12-12 13:30
A Very Veggie Murder
Very Veggie Murder: Book 3 in Papa Pacelli's Pizzeria Series - Patti Benning

This is a cute little novella length series. I enjoy the characters, the pizza descriptions and the plots are always interesting and novel. The only reason why I don't rate these books higher is because they read almost like a rough draft. There's a lot of detail about the mundanity of Ellie's life, but very little detail in the plot itself, and the endings are usually very abrupt. Granted, the books aren't very long, but I've read books that achieve the balance between a full plot and novella length so I know it can be done.

Overall, this is a cute series and an enjoyable, quick read but would be so much better with a little work.

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review 2016-05-26 06:54
Review: PETA's Vegan College Cookbook by PETA
PETA'S Vegan College Cookbook: 275 Easy, Cheap, and Delicious Recipes to Keep You Vegan at School - Peta Tait

Published by: Sourcebooks (5th April 2016)


ISBN: 9781492635543


Source: Netgalley


Rating: 3*



You can have the simplest, tastiest vegan recipes on a budget — and the best part is, the most complicated kitchenware you'll ever need is a microwave. Including more than 250 recipes, we've got all the best insider info:

- Vegan alternatives to meat, eggs, and milk
- How to stock your kitchen/mini-fridge
- How to make meat-free sandwiches, salads, soups, and sauces
- Fun meal recipes, such as Fettuccine Alessandro, Walking Tacos, and Pancake in a Mug
- The best drinks, dips, and dressings
- Unbelievable vegan dessert recipes
- Spotlight sections on the staples we love: peanut butter, potatoes and Ramen
- And much, much more!

With new tips and treats to suit even the pickiest palate, this is the essential college cookbook for every vegetarian or vegan on a budget.



This cookbook has a really uncomplicated layout and is easy on the eye. It covers everything from buying produce and stocking your kitchen cupboards and fridge, to recipes for main meals, such as vegan chilli, quick and simple snacks like sandwiches and also easy treats and desserts. The recipes are easy to follow, with easy to source ingredients and simple step-by-step instructions. 


This book would be ideal for someone starting college, who doesn't have much in the way of cooking skills, as all the recipes can be cooked in the microwave. There are a great many 'fake' meat products such as vegan sausage, vegan bacon bits, vegan chicken patties, which could be construed as rather lazy ingredients, but they are convenient, packed full of protein and reasonably pried. This is a book aimed at the student market, after all, and convenience is the name of the game.


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review 2016-05-26 04:57
Review: The Gut Health Diet Plan by Christine Bailey
The Gut Health Diet Plan: Recipes to Restore Digestive Health and Boost Wellbeing - Christine Bailey

Published by: Nourish (24th May 2016)


ISBN: 9781848997332


Source: Netgalley


Rating: 4*



It is now widely recognised that gut health is critical to our overall health and that many major health concerns can be linked to an irritated or unhealthy gut. In fact, an unhealthy gut contributes to a wide range of chronic health disorders such as autoimmune conditions, allergies, arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome, depression and mood swings. What's worse, gut health issues affect a huge proportion of people and are often on-going and difficult to resolve.

But it does not have to be this way. In this revolutionary 30-day programme, Christine Bailey shows you how, instead of treating the symptoms as they arise, you can tackle the root causes with five simple steps: Remove, Replace, Repopulate, Repair and Rebalance. This programme will help you to remove the underlying factors wreaking damage to your gut, restore digestive health, quench inflammation, heal the gut for good – and achieve true, long-lasting health.  



I was really interested in reading this book and finding out more about how the health of your gut relates to your overall health and wellbeing, and how choosing to follow the Gut Health Diet Plan for 30 days could result in an improvement of symptoms of many different chronic health conditions such as depression and chronic fatigue syndrome. As I have irritable bowel syndrome, plus both the aforementioned conditions and regularly experience symptoms in varying amounts despite taking prescribed medication, I was keen to try the programme for myself, to see if it brought about any changes for me personally.


I was especially interested in the first stage of the programme, the removal of certain groups from the diet, such as pulses and sugar, and the second stage, where probiotics are introduced. As I follow a vegan, gluten-free diet, I eat a reasonable amount of pulses and beans and I would be concerned about getting enough protein if I stopped eating them. I have taken probiotics previously but can't say I noticed any difference.

I then noticed that during the repair stage, it is suggested that a cup of bone broth is taken daily and that this ingredient forms the basis of many of the recipes. So, I'm unfortunately unable to follow this diet as indicated, but I'll definitely be trying some of the recipes that suit my preferred way of eating.


I do think that this plan would be a great choice for anyone who has any of the autoimmune diseases that Christine mentions, or any digestive issues that don't seem to respond to other changes. The method makes sense to me, and Christine successfully reduced her own symptoms by following this plan, so it obviously works for some. 

The book is laid out in a straightforward way, in easy to understand language and is full of useful information, together with delicious sounding recipes that look easy to follow. I'm looking forward to making the raw herb cashew cheese and vegan nut cream.



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