Published on May 8th, 2023 | by Chris O'Connor
HealthyGirl Kitchen Book Review
Summary: If you are considering stepping away from an omnivorous diet but you're not sure where to start... this might be a good beginning for you.
We all need to eat to survive, but what we eat can have a big impact on how long we live… and whether we will still have a planet we can live on. That sounds a bit excessive but certainly there is evidence that farming practices can have a big impact on climate change and one of the ways to reduce the strain on the planet is to reduce our consumption of meat. With that in mind, whether you are a meat eater who wants to eat less or you are already a vegetarian (or even specifically vegan)… HealthyGirl Kitchen has over 100 recipes to either add to your repertoire or to get you started on a meat free diet.
The book starts with a bit of a “get to know me” section in which Danielle explains where she is coming from and how to use the book (indications are provided on each recipe to note extra details such as whether it’s gluten free or nut free etc). Danielle then goes in to why a vegetarian diet is good for us and… provides links to the evidence! I was thrilled with that (because I’m a giant nerd and hate misinformation and anecdotes being passed off as “fact”). So we are certainly off to a good start. It’s clear I didn’t put too much time into investigating the health benefits because when it came time to choose some recipes to try… I went straight to the desserts :D
But the true test of a cook book (for me) is how easy is it to follow the recipes? This is where a bit of personal preference will come in to play, for example… recipes are provided with measurements in cups and spoon quantities which is fine… but I have a strong preference for weight being used as it allows me to use my scales to ensure accuracy and in some cases to make less mess. This is me being nitpicky though as cups and spoons as measurements are fine (and most people cooking will have them)… but it might have been nice to have perhaps both.
The only other issue I had was that sometimes there wasn’t a lot of information in the recipe… this is also arguably me being picky and having been spoiled via a previous cook book that had a little note about what the stages should look/feel like and what might be causing issues should you encounter them. Here I think a degree of prior knowledge is assumed that might just miss a few tricks that would improve the results… or… you know, I suck at cooking.
Ultimately the proof is in the pudding… or perhaps that should be testament is in the tasting? In the case of HealthyGirl Kitchen… the result was thumbs up! I should also say that I have tried recipes in the past in which things such as Beetroot were used with the claim “you can’t even taste it” (specifically it was used in a chocolate cake recipe)… I could taste it! In HealthyGirl Kitchen the brownies that use chickpeas… I could not taste the chickpeas… so bravo! (I did change that recipe a little because we wanted to try peanutbutter cup choc chips… so mine were far more peanutbuttery… but we all enjoyed them.
So would I recommend it? Yep. Certainly for anyone, like me, who wants to start moving away from meat but still have plenty of great flavours… this is a good go to. I found it a little cringey in parts with it’s “influencer” “babes” speech… but I’m an old fart… so that’s arguably on me. Even if you just grab this to add to your collection of “slightly” healthier desserts… it’s certainly worth grabbing!