Jessica Murnane, One Part Plant: A Simple Guide to Eating Real, One Meal at a Time (2017)
I’m not a fan of the term “vegan,” which sounds like its adherents come from another planet, nor of defining an eating style based solely on what it doesn’t include. So Jessica Murnane’s positive, joyous approach to “plant-based” eating appealed to me from the start. Eating should be fun and delicious as well as healthy, she maintains, and her recipes provide a very doable path to achieving that. The basics for cooking novices are provided, with simple but well-thought-out recipes for dishes like Red Lentil Soup and Spicy Broccoli Rice, and introductions to some less familiar ingredients like miso, sumac, and tahini.
For those with more experience, there are also some more complex and interesting recipes to try, like Roasted Carrots with Sprouted Lentil Tabbouleh, Creamy Mushroom Lasagna, and a non-dairy version of Saag Paneer. The dessert section looks particularly scrumptious, with some creative combos like Almond Butter and Blueberry Cookies and Honey Peppermint Cups. All the recipes are gluten-free, but nuts are used plentifully.
Along the way, Jessica shares her own journey from subsisting primarily on candy and diet soda (and having some serious health problems) to being a “wellness ambassador” who wants to encourage everyone just to try eating at least one plant-based meal per day. She provides information on the health benefits that may be experienced from taking such a step, and also on such topics as eating plant-based in social situations or in restaurants. You can easily skip these portions, if you just want to cook, or you can sample them at will according to your areas of interest.
Her engaging and nonjudgmental style makes her easy to relate to, and her enthusiasm is infectious. Beautifully produced and photographed, this is a book that goes all out to tempt you to sample the joys of plant-based eating, and I expect it will succeed with many readers.Jessica Murnane
Published by Harper in March, 2017
Format: Hardcover from Publisher
A copy was received for review purposes from the publisher. No other compensation was received, and all opinions expressed are my own.