My Cookbook Challenge proved to be a valuable tool for accountability this week when I really wanted to cruise on my usual protein + salad + roasted veg standbys and not crack one of the anointed cookbooks. But crack the books I did, and I was glad. I really do enjoy cooking, and the recipes I was testing weren't difficult or time consuming, but they were fresh and fabulous.
I'm focusing on Martha Rose Shulman's The Very Best Of Recipes for Health this week. I bought this book when it came out in 2010, and I'm embarrassed to say that in spite of wanting to make almost every recipe in it, I had not made more than one or two until this month. Sad, very sad.
I've got a million sticky-tags poking out of it, but so far I've had the chance to make the Oatmeal Buttermilk Pancakes, the Grated Carrot Salad, and last night we came home and made the Mediterranean Chickpea Salad while sipping San Pellegrino and catching up on our days. We served it over greens with some leftover grilled chicken that I'd rubbed with harissa powder. Easy and delicious.
There are several more recipes I want to be sure to sample this month, including the Warm Chickpea and Broccoli Salad, the Warm Lentil Salad with Goat Cheese, the Main Dish Tuna and Vegetable Salad and the Red Lentil Soup and the Lentil Soup With Lots of Cilantro. There are others that I'll wait to make until summer, because they rely heavily on multiple fresh herbs, such as the Mushroom and Fresh Herb Salad and Bulgur Pilaf with Chickpeas and Herbs.
In case you're curious, while most of the recipes are vegetarian, there is a slim chapter with some delicious looking fish and poultry recipes. I'm so glad I finally plucked this book off my shelves and finally started putting it through it's paces. It's truly a keeper.
I highly recommend buying Shulman's book, but you can also find a wealth of her recipes in "Martha Rose Shulman's Recipe Box" on NYTimes.com.