The thing that attracted me to The Colorful Family Table by Ilene Godofsky Moreno was undoubtedly the image of a little toddler hand reaching for a chip on the table. The colorful images on the cover of this plant-based cookbook give me all the family feels. As some of my followers know, I’m expecting my first child soon. With a baby on the way and college courses to be done, I need easy, but still exciting meals to make. This is one of the things that makes The Colorful Family Table great. Moreno’s is the author of the blog The Colorful Kitchen and this is her second cookbook! I admit, I was unfamiliar with her blog and previous book before now, but it’s better to be late to the party than never.
I love any cookbook that is broken up into to seasons. Down here, in Southeast Texas, seasons are more like suggestions, where fall, winter, and spring are all, sort of, the same thing. Dispite that, the seasonal structure made finding recipes for sweet potatoes really easy when I found a sweet deal on them at the store. Fortunately, there were quite a few recipes that used these up in the Fall section of the book. Here are just a few of the recipes I tried out.
Sweet Potato & Apple Loaf
I made this super easy Sweet Potato & Apple Loaf (pg 27), that is, hands-down, the best quick bread I’ve ever made. I don’t bake a lot, so the fact that this came out so good on my first try was a mild miracle. I also had to substitute the banana for applesauce, as that is what I had on hand, and it still worked! The sweet potato, apple and chocolate chips make this for a decadent snack bread.
Balsamic Cabbage ‘Steaks’
The Balsamic Cabbage ‘Steaks’ (pg 97) are a must try! These easy and flavorful steaks can easily be made oil free! For all my oil-free friends out there, I didn’t find the oil listed in the recipe to be absolutely necessary.
The Cauli-Broc Tots (pg 32) were the only thing I struggled with. I followed the directions exactly, but when I tasted the mixture just prior to shaping them, they were pretty bland. I added more nooch, garlic powder so much salt, I actually thought I overdid it. But once they were baked off, there still wasn’t much flavor. Maybe that’s a testament to where I live, we like BOLD flavors down here in Texas.
The same thing could be said for the ‘Lobster’ Rolls (pg 190). Granted, I’ve never been to Maine, and never had a true lobster roll. But I’ve been to New Orleans, and I live on the Gulf Coast, so I cajunized it. The original recipe was super simple and I only made a few substitutions. I’ve never used Old Bay in any seafood dish, ever, it’s always been Creole seasonings. So I seasoned the lobster salad with that instead, and I also added some kelp granules. That’s a little trick I picked up at the vegan restaurant I work at. Seaweed makes things taste like the ocean. It turned out delicious, I highly recommend giving this one a try!
Layout and Photography 5 sweet potatoes
This is an amazingly beautiful book. Every recipe has an instagram worthy photo, the food is colorful and the title suggests. And the book is broken up into seasons.
Easy to follow recipes 5 sweet potatoes
The instructions were clear and none of the steps were too complicated and the ingredients were accessible.
Delectability and versatility of recipes 4.5 sweet potatoes
Aside from my one fails, everything was pretty tasty and the ingredients were easy to substitute.
Healthiness 4.5 sweet potatoes
All the recipes were made of whole food ingredients. Only a few called for store-bought vegan cheese.
Creativity 5 sweet potatoes
This book was very creative with some flavor combinations I’ve never seen before.
My journey with this book is not over! I’m still excited to keep trying more recipes including the Easy Skillet Hash (pg 78), Crispy Baked Onion Rings (pg 137), Easy Tofu ‘Egg’ Salad (pg 144), and the Homemade Vegan Mayo (pg 224). I also appreciate the family tips included throughout the book (Freezer Favorites, pg 166 and Family Travel Tips pg 220). These are very helpful for a first time mom like me. Be sure to follow me on my Instagram for updates @Kathryn.Lorenzo