Book Review: Global Kitchen by Carolyn Scott-Hamilton

Carolyn Scott-Hamilton, aka The Healthy Voyager, has been making me so jealous lately on Facebook. She travels constantly, it seems, and posts tons of photos of where she is and what she's eating. If you know me personally, you're aware of my intensely nomadic nature and deep-seated wanderlust. I can hardly contain myself sometimes after seeing the latest Healthy Voyager update

When her cookbook, The Healthy Voyager's Global Kitchen was announced for upcoming release, I knew I'd be interested. I've never been much of a fan of typical American fare, turning instead to Asian and Mediterranean-inspired meals most of the time. Carolyn's book is a unique tour around the world, highlighting some of her favorite dishes from food cultures on nearly all continents.

Upon receiving the book, I sat down and curled up with it almost immediately. The book is well organized and designed, with interesting photos and graphics on almost every page. Up front, the book offers recipes for vegan versions of kitchen staples such as heavy cream, evaporated milk, and egg replacements. The recipe sections are divided geographically, which make it pretty darn easy to find something you might like.

For me, one down-side to Carolyn's book is that many of the recipes rely pretty heavily on things I don't eat a lot of: meat analogues, vegan butter substitutes, and vegan cheese. It's my personal preference to really limit those processed foods, so I had a difficult time choosing which recipes from the book to try.

That said, this book is a fantastic introduction to vegan cooking for someone who has recently changed their eating habits or is interested in ways to reduce their meat consumption. Because all of her recipes are veganized versions of classics, almost everyone can find their "comfort food" favorite here. Chicken and dumplings, spinach and mushroom enchiladas, croissants, spanikopita, and even vindaloo all make an appearance, and that's just the tip of the veganized ice berg. Almost every recipe is accompanied by an enticing full-color photo as well, which I find tends to reassure the recently-vegan and vegan-curious, and encourage them in their new healthy habits.

So far, I've only had a chance to try two recipes in the book, and I enjoyed them. I don't know if they'll become regular staples in my menu, but I do know I can turn to them when needed to feed a picky omnivore, and that goes a long way in my book.

No Toad in the Hole (p. 98)
My "No Toad in the Hole" doesn't look as attractive as the photo in the book, but it was tasty. A cross between a pancake and a frittata, this oven-baked batter was super easy to make in a blender. I did break down and use 2 Field Roast Smoked Apple Sage Sausages, cut lengthwise, in this dish. It was worth it.

No Toad in the Hole (p. 98) with Mushroom Gravy (p. 35)
Here's the same dish, topped with Carolyn's Mushroom Gravy, which is her serving suggestion. The mushroom gravy was tasty and easy to make, but I didn't find any thing really special about the recipe. It's all gravy, baby.

To buy the book, go here.
To visit Carolyn's website, go here.
To follow her journeys on Facebook, go here.

FTC: I received a copy of this book at no charge in exchange for my unbiased review.

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