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This is my second year having a membership to a CSA. For those of you not in the know, that’s Community Supported Agriculture, in which you pay a lump sum to a local farmer over the winter, and then you’re given piles and piles of produce all spring, summer, and fall. The farm I use is 100% organic, with many interesting vegetables and heirloom varieties I’d never even heard of prior to joining. They even have a pick-your-own portion, which is a huge stress reliever for me. Going from a hectic medical office filled with angry patients to a huge open field in the middle of nowhere is a great feeling.

So, anyway, I get at least twenty pounds of fresh vegetables a week, so I’m always looking for new and tasty ways to enjoy them. One of the reasons I requested this cookbook from Netgalley is the fact that Tara Stiles promotes a healthy, plant-based diet. And she’s holding some kale on the cover, so that had to be a good sign too. I was expecting this book to be chock full of ideas for what to do with my abundance of tomatoes, eggplants, zucchini, and peppers.

But really, that’s not so much what this book is about. A hefty portion is comprised of Stiles’ philosophy on life, cooking, and keeping things natural. She preaches about ridding your home of plastic containers and nonstick pans. She’d come into your home and remove all them herself if she could, she says. Empty your pantry and refrigerator of all unhealthy foods, she advises. Fill it back up with her staples, and you’ll never have to eat out again.

That’s all well and good, but…

Who actually has the time and money to do all of that prior to even starting one of her recipes? I was flipping through this cookbook in hopes of finding some interesting things to do with kale, not to be lectured that I’m going to get cancer and my future children will have health issues due to microwaving plastic or using a nonstick frying pan.

I really took issue with that, because that is not what this cookbook was marketed to be.

But aside from that, the recipes are alright. There are a few I might make, but they’re nothing too special. I wouldn’t buy this cookbook for myself or give it to a friend, because I found it way too preachy. I’ll stick to my other cookbooks for now.

Final rating: ★★☆☆☆

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