Minimalist Baker Cookbook Review

So, it’s been a LONG time since I’ve posted! My sister-in-law was in town for about a week in April, and when she was here I managed to pick up a copy of Minimalist Baker’s cookbook: Minimalist Baker’s Everyday Cooking: 101 Entirely Plant-Based, Mostly Gluten-Free, Easy and Delicious Recipes. With all the cookbooks I have, I don’t think I’ve ever stuck with one for so long. By that, I mean I don’t think I’ve used one particular cookbook for that long…and only that one cookbook. I think I’ve made just about all of the recipes in it!

After dealing with my own food allergies, I’ve wanted to learn more about holistic nutrition, or natural nutrition. That was about a year ago. Between then and now I came up with all kinds of excuses not to do it: I’m too old, it’ll cost too much money, I’ve been out of school for too long, I don’t have time to do it, I’m scared, or I’m not smart enough. After my admission to having postpartum depression, I figured I owe it to myself to do something I want to do. I’ve been through worse situations and survived, so I think I can survive school. Albeit I’m 36 years old and have a toddler to deal with this go around. So, I’ve also enrolled in the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition. I’m taking the introductory courses to see how I like it first, and so far I’m liking it!

But back to the cookbook. For those of you who don’t know, I’m TOTALLY obsessed with Minimalist Baker. Her recipes aren’t pretentious, use easy ingredients that anyone can find, usually involve about 10 ingredients, and don’t take more than an hour to do. The best part is that they’re delicious and your toddler will eat them too! Below are some photos of dishes that I remembered to take!

I made the Creamy Tomato + Herb Bisque, which was something I made when the Hubs was out-of-town and it was just the little one and myself. I will tell you one advice: if she calls for light coconut milk, then do what she says. I couldn’t find light coconut milk so I opted for the full fat one. Needless to say, it sat a bit heavy on my stomach afterwards. The little one ate his though. I made it with a grilled cheese sandwich and it made for a delicious, quick, nutritious dinner.

The Creamy Broccoli + “Cheddar” Soup was excellent! The little one loves broccoli (don’t ask me why he does. Obviously he didn’t get that gene from me or the Hubs), so I thought this would be a good compromise for him and the Hubs. The Hubs was scared that I was going to use some vegan cheese (he hates the stuff). I won’t give away her secrets but this soup was excellent and quick to make. The Hubs and little one both loved it.

The Garlic “Cheddar” Herb Biscuits were something that I kept returning to when I flipped through the book. I wanted to make it but I ended up talking myself out of it every time. I have no idea why. When I did make it, they were pretty good. My biscuits were dense but that’s because I used an all-purpose gluten-free flour to make it gluten free. They were still good though and a lot easier than I was expecting them to be.

The Chickpea Fesenjan was more than expected it to be. I had no preconceived notions about it and it ended up being something I want to make again and again. I just couldn’t find some ingredients that she says to use. Mine turned out a bit watery bur it still ended up being good. I’m going to have to return to this recipe again and see how I can correct the mistake that I made. Flavor wise, this is YUH-MEEE!

One night I made her Garlic Pineapple Stir-Fried Quinoa and it was a hit. It’s good when you get to substitute rice for quinoa. Quinoa is healthier than rice and takes the same amount of time to cook and prepare (you’ve got to rinse both). This dish takes about 20 minutes to cook and is so good we’re having it again tonight!

I made the Spicy Tofu Vegetable Stir-Fry not spicy for the sake of the little one and myself. This one takes some prep work as you have to marinade your tofu ahead of time, but when you really think about it that little bit of time doesn’t take a big chunk out of your day. I used whatever mixed frozen veg I had in the freezer for this dish and bish bash bosh, Bob’s your uncle.

All I’m going to say about her Vegan “No Tuna” Salad Sandwich is that you’ve GOT to try it. Anytime I see a vegan version of an egg salad or tuna salad sandwich, I’m all over that like white on rice.

The Thai Quinoa Meatballs were good but mine ended up not holding their shape. I’m pretty sure I skipped something in the process that I shouldn’t have. Sigh. Other than them not holding their shape, they were excellent! This one takes a little bit of time to cook, so pick a night when you’re not rushing off somewhere later that evening or when you know you’re going to get home late from work.

Now, the Hearty Cocoa Black Bean Burgers sounded too good for me to pass up. I was SUPER intrigued by having cocoa as an ingredient. Surprisingly, I followed the recipe exactly as she had it and the burgers ended up being quite strong in flavor. The little one tried his best as did the Hubs but they both just ended up not finishing it. I was a trooper and ate mine because I spent all that time cooking it so I’m going to eat it dern it! Afterwards, I looked back over the recipe to see what I did. I then saw a note about the cocoa. Sigh. So, when you make this recipe make sure to read the notes at the end.

I’ll try any version of mac and cheese that’s vegan out there. So when I saw the Butternut Squash Garlic Mac ‘n’ Cheese, I had to try it. The little one LOVES butternut squash and the nutritional benefits of it were a win-win for me. This dish is SUPER easy to make (you only cook like two ingredients).

The Simple Tomato + Lentil Ragu really is simple. You just let everything simmer for a while to let the flavors mingle. This is the dish where I used coconut sugar for the very first time. Again, this dish was excellent. I think I froze some because there was a lot leftover from me and the little one.

Ah, the Classic Vegan Lasagna I loved. It was the first recipe I made from this book. And me being me, I didn’t follow the directions. Well, at least one direction. The dish was fabulous. It really was. The Hubs was disappointed there wasn’t anymore to eat. The next time I use this dish, I’ll use a smaller dish. I used my usual HUGE  9×13 lasagna dish. It ended up making the lasagna thin with not than many layers. I also think this may have had an effect on the no-boil noodles I used because the sauce was spread too thin the noodles weren’t properly covered.So, I’ll use a smaller dish next time.

So, in summation, I LOVED THIS BOOK! It was the best $30 I’ve ever spent! There are more dishes I need to make but I need to get the ingredients from somewhere in Calgary as my town of Cochrane doesn’t have them…like tamarind paste. I always make recipes from her site as well. I’m SO in love with her recipes!

In closing, I promise to be more loyal to this blog. I will try my hardest to make more time between the little one, family visiting, and studying to tell you about the recipes I’ve cooked. I hope you all have enjoyed your Monday.

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