Friday, February 21, 2014

Mayim's Vegan Family Table

I have been a fan of Mayim Bialik from her Blossom days.  I fell even more in love with her as Amy Farrah Fowler on The Big Bang Theory and her words on attachment parenting only fuel my ardor.  She is a mother, actress, author, neuroscientist and vegan.  Her new book Mayim's Vegan Table  is the perfect cookbook for the beginning or veteran vegan.

While she's an actress with a PhD in neuroscience, at the end of the day Mayim Bialik is a mom, one who knows what it's like to be a busy parent with little time to spend in the kitchen. She shares the concerns of parents everywhere: when it comes to nutrition and feeding your family, you want healthy meals, but also food that everyone—kids and parents—can enjoy, and a balanced lifestyle that's inexpensive and fuss-free. Not only does Mayim's Vegan Table share more than 100 easy plant-based recipes for dishes that are as good to eat as they are good for you, but Mayim has also teamed up with pediatrician Jay Gordon to offer:

  • Basic nutritional information about a plant-based diet
  • The real deal on raising kids on a plant-based diet (myths and misperceptions, debunked)
  • Vegan family essentials (including a list of what to always keep in the pantry)
  • Tips and strategies for easy meal planning and healthy eating out
And, of course, the food: you'll find recipes for Mayim's favorite breakfasts, snacks, lunches, dinners, and desserts, including kid-approved meals like build-your-own tacos and mac n cheez, Mediterranean and Asian-inspired salads that parents will love, comfort-food classics like kugel and matzoh ball soup, and many more.

The recipes speak to a parent who is trying to get their child to eat a well-balanced, nutritious meal while also keeping it lighthearted and fun.  Mayim provides  basics on environmental issues and ethics behind vegan choices, without being pushy. She gives you the nutritional information as well as telling you how you can stock a vegan kitchen to have the items you need on hand.  If you are new to vegan cooking, this is the book for you. For the veteran vegan, you will find old-favorites with a vegan twist.  

Every recipe we have tried so far has been a winner.   We have made the Green Smoothie (using kale) and three skeptical kids were begging for more.  The homemade granola bars say goodbye to chemicals and preservatives and lend themselves easily to a nice snack or a lunchbox favorite.  My personal favorite so far has been the Udon with Edamame and Peanut Sauce.  

Mayim's Vegan Table is not fussy food.  It is food for the real family who are healthy conscious, and want to enjoy dinner time.  While some may buy this book because it was written by the fabulous Bialik, they will stay for the delicious recipes and stories that make being a vegan easy and accessible.

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