I received a copy of “Unprocessed” last week from Chef AJ. It was like getting a Christmas present in the mail! I could not put it down. Her first few chapters detail her poignant and heart-wrenching journey from illness to health through consuming whole foods. She explains the how’s and the why’s of eating a plant based diet in a compelling, easygoing but no-nonsense approach. It’s hard not to feel converted to her ideals after reading what she has to say. I am definitely a believer that foods should be eaten closer to nature, but she solidified my opinion and explained why some foods that I “thought” were whole foods are processed foods as well.
I have purchased multiple vegan cookbooks since changing my diet and have been pretty disappointed, some aren’t healthy and use plenty of packaged processed foods and tons of white flour, sugar and oils. I didn’t understand that vegans can eat as junkily as carnivores! Others have had recipes that are too time consuming or trendy to be approachable or are more appropriate for people with big wallets and a personal chef. Not in this book! I can identify and have nearly every ingredient to make these recipes all ready in my fridge or pantry and don’t have to order things from specialty food stores in L.A. or New York in order to prepare a decent meal. The meals are also very family friendly which is an added bonus!
I have made at least a dozen recipes in the last week out of her book and every one was more delicious then the next. Proof that eating a whole food plant based diet can be super tasty and satisfying. There are tons of dessert options, my favorite one so far is the Orange Chocolate Mousse Torte. Her salads are delicious and unique and I have definitely broadened my Green Smoothie horizon! Her Disappearing Lasagna is aptly named, we had no leftovers and my 3 year old said “Mmmm, Nummy Mom!” This is the same child who who used to be a sugar and processed foods freak- he is now drinking green drinks with reckless abandon and loving tofu! The two recipes I can’t get enough of are her House Dressing and her Faux Parmesan. I seriously could drink the dressing from the jar (and do when no-one is looking!) I even put the House Dressing and the Faux Parmesan on our veggie burritos. Needless to say, they were a bigger hit then the last time I made them without these delicious additions.
As Chef AJ would say “Love and Kale” to this book! It is my new platform and go to book for preparing healthy and tasty meals for my family. Thank You! For more information about her or her book, please visit her site here.