Today, I’m going to give you my thoughts as part of A Modern Way To Cook cookbook review, as well as share my favorite recipe I’ve made from the book so far, simple but super tasty Amazing Crackers. I’ve been cooking from Anna Jones’ a Modern Way To Cook for a while because it has so many recipes. The cover promises 150+ recipes which I think underestimates all the idea potential here. Several recipes list variations to substitute a certain seasonal ingredient for another, such as switching out tomatoes with beets. And there are definitely lots of flavor combinations to make tasty dishes.
This vegetarian cookbook is divided into recipes based on time: 10-15 minutes (a dozen recipes, just approximating from a quick flip), 20 minutes (almost 20 recipes), 30 minutes (16 recipes), 40 minutes (the larger portion of the book at almost 30 recipes), investment cooking (22 recipes or so), super fast breakfasts (10 recipes), and quick desserts and sweet treats (14 more recipes), where the latter 3 sections vary in time from 10-40 minutes.
There are also several pages of just general guidelines to make combinations such as Omelet filings, Goodness bowls (a grain or bean or legume with vegetables and dressing), Stir Fries, 10 favorite things to do with 10 specific vegetables, Baked Potato combos, One pan dinners, Dressings, Smoothies, Oat combos, and quick Fruit desserts, so you are really getting a huge amount of meal ideas in this book.
Intriguing recipes that shows the variety of influences and flavors offered in the book.you can get from this book include
- Kale, Tomato, and Lemon Magic One Pot Spaghetti;
- a gorgeous presentation of Avocado, Cucumber, and Fennel Soup;
- the cover recipe of Zucchini Noodles with Pistachio, Green Herbs, and Ricotta;
- Lentils with Roasted Tomatoes and Horseradish;
- Frying Pan Squash and Kale Pie;
- Rye Pancakes with Crispy Sunchoke;
- Chocolate and Earl Grey Pudding Pots, etc.
I noticed in the investment cooking section, which lists recipes for making your own paneer, tofu, granola, bread, stock, and dips to use for quick sandwiches, there are yellow markings to help make this section stand out when the book is closed so you can easily flip to it; I would have liked to see this for all the chapters of the book.
In the back of the book, besides the usual index, there is also a section that organizes the recipes by which are vegan, vegan with a tweak, gluten free, and gluten free with a tweak. I find it thoughtful, but also wish there could have been a section that labeled which recipes were starters, sides, and main entrees too since she does have a section for breakfast and desserts so I can find recipes that way (you can find a list of salads and soups at least in the index under salad and soup, respectively). The main problem I have is it takes me a while to FIND a recipe since I have to keep browsing through if I’m looking for an appetizer to make for a group.
The recipes are interesting, but definitely read through the whole thing, she often writes in large paragraphs that have multiple steps, and I personally like to do all the prep like chopping all at once rather then when the ingredient is needed like in her way.
So far the recipe I have liked the most that I have made are her Amazing Crackers. It’s really easy, but I loved the flavors and textures. I really appreciated how she provided weights with all the recipes as it helped me purchase the right amount from the bulk section of the grocery store. It makes enough for a weeks worth of snacking she said, but it only lasted half a week for us and it was nice to have a healthier snack – ok, maybe only if you don’t count all the cheese. Seriously though these crackers are so good with great textures and flavors you may find yourself like us just eating these on their own like potato chips.
- 2/3 cup or 100 grams of sunflower seeds
- 1 1/2 cups or 100 grams of pumpkin seeds
- 2/3 cup or 100 grams of sesame seeds
- 6 tablespoons or 50 grams of poppy seeds
- 1/3 cup or 50 grams of chia seeds
- 2 cups or 200 grams of rolled oats
- 1 teaspoon of sea salt
- 1 tablespoon of maple syrup
- 3 tablespoons of melted coconut oil
- 1 1/2 cups or 350 ml of water
- (optional) 1 heaping teaspoon fennel seeds and pinch of dried chili or 1 tablespoon of raisins coarsely chopped and a pinch of cinnamon
- Preheat your oven to 375 F. Combine in a mixing bowl all your dry ingredients (sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, chia seeds, rolled oats), including one of the optional flavorings if you are using them, and stir well.
- In a measuring cup mix in the 1 tablespoon of maple syrup, 3 tablespoons of melted coconut oil and 1 1/2 cups of water until combined. Then pour it into the mixing bowl and mix very well until the mixture becomes thick and everything has been soaked.
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, and divide the seeds and oats mixture between the two lined sheets. Place another sheet of parchment paper on top and even out the mixture by pressing down with your hands or a rolling pin until the mixture is about 1/2 cm thick. At this point you can use the tip of a sharp knife to score the mixture into rectangles, or you can break it up rustically like I did later…
- Bake the crackers for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and flip the sheet over to your third sheet of parchment paper and peel off the paper to expose the underside of the crackers you haven’t cooked yet. Place back on the baking sheet and cook for another 20 minutes or so until they are firm and golden at the edges. Break up along the scored rectangle lines, or just rustically like we did here.
- Allow to cool, and then serve on their own or with accompaniments like cheese.
Have you ever made your own crackers? Do you think you would have made rectangles or random shapes for the crackers, and would you have added the optional flavors? Do any other recipes I mentioned from A Modern Way To Cook sound interesting to you?
Disclosure: This book was provided to me as part of the Blogging for Books program, but I will always provide my honest opinion and assessment of all products and experiences I may be given. The views and opinions expressed in this blog are entirely my own.