--- Virginia Woolf
I am proud to say that Arthur and I are definitely foodies. In fact, our entire family spends way too much time fantasizing about our next meal. Our vacations often center around chefs whom we would like to meet and dishes that we would like to eat. We have toured kitchens and broken bread with some of the top chefs in the United States and Europe, and I look forward to many more conversations with these masters of the kitchen.
When I was pregnant with Beth, she decided to play havoc with my immune system, and I suddenly developed several serious food allergies. Going to restaurants became a challenge that I wasn't always up to, and realizing that I could never eat my beloved Chinese food again (MSG seemed to put a halt to breathing for me) caused me real dismay. Never one to throw in the towel, Arthur decided to take to the kitchen and learn to cook all of my favorite things without using the ingredients that bothered me. Through the years he has offered me dishes that rival the best restaurants around, and even now, when restaurants have become more refined and work around people's allergies, I still prefer a dinner presented by my favorite live-in chef.
Several years ago, we decided to stop cooking meat in our house (except for the very occasional strip of bacon which I have decided to classify as a vegetable) and become pescatarians (fish and vegetables). We have eaten this way for four years (with one or two hamburgers a month...my weakness...eaten in restaurants) and we both feel so much better with this lifestyle. Being able to eat a three course meal without the bloated feeling that meat tends to give me, makes the lack of meat worthwhile. The problem is, most vegetarian cookbooks tend to be preachy and a bit boring.
Thug Kitchen: The Official Cookbook: Eat Like You Give a F*ck by Thug Kitchen is neither preachy nor boring. I will add one of last week's trigger warnings and mention that literally every page seems to flaunt some bit of foul language, with the "F" word seeming to be their favorite. These two California guys joined together to blog about healthy cooking and then write several cookbooks to help us cook beautifully engineered vegetarian meals. This book will give you many recipes to enjoy (i.e. Sweet potato, squash and black been enchilada, White bean and red lentil burgers, and Bbq bean burritos with grilled peach salsa to name a few). There are also lots of food facts scattered throughout, and I must admit I did laugh a bit at their novel way of expressing themselves.
If you are more serious about your food facts, have I got a book for you. History of Food by Maguelonne-Toussaint-Samat is a tome that is loaded with the most interesting food history and descriptions. The author shares facts with us about the origins of various foods and how many of them worked their way into our kitchens. While this is not a book to read cover to cover in a short period of time, it is certainly a book to revisit many times through the years.
Even if you don't want to be the next "MasterChef" these books are both informative and entertaining, and I truly recommend them to enhance your culinary abilities.
As always, complete reviews follow this blog.