The Mindful Glow Cookbook review is part of our ongoing series of (mostly) Canadian cookbook reviews! The week we put Abbey Sharp's first cookbook through its paces.

2018 Canadian Fall CookbooksEditor's Note: This article contains affiliate links — full disclosure is at the end of the article.

The Mindful Glow Cookbook: Radiant Recipes for Being the Healthiest, Happiest You is written by Abbey Sharp, Registered Dietitian and creator of the Abbey’s Kitchen blog. It has over 100 delicious recipes to suit different nutritional requirements. And it teaches you that there are no good or bad food choices and through mindful eating you'll enjoy the food you eat.

Contents

Introduction

The introduction is well worth the read. Abbey is a Registered Dietician and explains how people can get trapped into the diet and clean-eating roller coaster. She also writes about her struggle with orthorexia (unfounded fear of eating something deemed unhealthy) and how she founded her blog, Abbey’s Kitchen, as an intervention to help her cope with her fear.

As I was reading the introduction, I was highlighting text from the section On Mindful Eating and Silencing Your Inner Food Shamer, such as:

“avoiding distractions while eating, taking the time to enjoy a meal, and listening to your body for those subtle cues that it’s time to eat and time to stop”

and

“Foods may not necessarily be nutritionally equal, but we can make them morally equal.”

The latter made me rethink my choices of food and enjoy the food I eat guilt-free.

I recommend you read the introduction in its entirety. I found it very interesting and informative. The second quote above gives you an insight to the contents of the Mindful Glow Cookbook.

Chapters

In the chapters Kitchen Tools Obsession and Kitchen Staples to Kill It in the Kitchen, Abbey lists the equipment she uses and staples she keeps in her kitchen to cook with.

The My Staple Recipes chapter lists make ahead, time saving recipes such as Cauliflower Rice and Cashew Cream.

The recipes are well written and easy to follow. The ingredients are listed first, followed by the numbered instructions. They're preceded by a headnote and include Abbey’s Tips.

The recipes also include nutrition labels such as:

  • Dairy-FreeGluten-Free
  • High Fibre
  • High Protein
  • No Added Sugar
  • Nut-Free
  • Vegan
  • Vegetarian

Beautiful colour photography is featured throughout the cookbook.

Rise and Shine

  • Peach Melba Sweet Potato Toast with Whipped Cottage Cheese
  • Buckwheat Blintzes with Wild Blueberry Sauce
  • Prosciutto, Pear and Goat Cheese Egg Cups
  • Caprese Frittata

Power Meals

  • Zucchini Noodle Carbonara
  • Lemon Cumin Eggplant with Tahini Yogurt Drizzle
  • Ginger Turmeric Shrimp
  • Orange Honey Shrimp with Pistachios, Olive and Herb Relish

Salads, Sidekicks and Soups

  • Crispy Chickpea, Fennel and Cherry Salad with Tarragon Citron Ette
  • Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Grapes and Figs
  • Brown Butter and Orange Cauli-Couscous Salad with Beets and Goat Cheese
  • Chocolate Stout Veggie Chili

3 P.M. Fix

  • Pumpkin Pecan Pie Energy Bites
  • Lemon Poppy Seed Yogurt Cookie Cups
  • Savoury Beet and Avocado Bowl
  • Turmeric Chickpea Apricot Trail Mix

Happy Hour

  • Summer Stone Fruit Sparkling Sangria
  • Riesling-Soaked Frozen Grapes
  • Cheese-Explosion Cauliflower Tots
  • Caponata and Ricotta Sweet Potato Bites

Something Sweet

  • Samoas Doughnuts
  • Meyer Lemon Raspberry Cheesecakes
  • Chocolate Banana Peanut Butter Cups
  • Saffron Rice Pudding with Rose Water Caramelized Apricots

In My Kitchen

When I select recipes to make for a cookbook review, I take into consideration the food allergies and intolerances of my family and whether they'll like the recipe. Although my daughters have left the nest, I try and plan to make the selected recipes when they come to visit. My family and I loved the flavours of the recipes I chose for this cookbook review.

Prosciutto, Pear, and Goat Cheese Egg Cups (Page 42)

The delicious flavour of these egg cups will make you want to eat more than one. We ate them for breakfast and I also served them for lunch with a salad. The recipe is easy to put together, but you must plan some time to caramelize the onions.

Caponata and Ricotta Sweet Potato Bites (Page 219)

The word "caponata" caught my attention and that’s why I chose this recipe. As I was reading through the ingredients, I was hesitant to try it. My Sicilian mother taught me to make caponata and I didn’t want to deviate from her recipe. I justified making this recipe with the fact that it wasn’t my mother’s recipe, it was Abbey’s.

We weren't accustomed to the flavours of the caponata as it contained ingredients such as cinnamon, golden raisins and roasted pepper, but it was delicious. It’s served on roasted sweet potato rounds and topped with ricotta cheese, toasted pine nuts and garnished with fresh basil leaves. It makes an impressive appetizer.

Asparagus, Pea, and Tomato Quinotto from The Mindful Glow Cookbook | Food Bloggers of Canada

Asparagus, Pea, and Tomato Quinotto (Page 65)

The method used to cook the quinoa and cauliflower in this recipe reminded me of making risotto. It may not be risotto, but we loved the combination of the vegetables and quinoa-cauliflower mixture. I'll be making this again not just because of its delicious flavour, but because it can be made ahead and not served when "just cooked" as a risotto. This Nonna does approve.

Asparagus, Pea and Tomato Quinotto
 
When I went to Italy, I had a bucket list of foods that I had to have, and risotto was right at the top. Creamy, comforting, and blessedly cheesy! I’ve had some pretty graphic dreams about the stuff. My version skips the starchy rice and starts instead with a mixture of protein-packed quinoa and fibre-rich cauliflower pulsed into rice-like “grains.” Mixed with sweet, juicy tomatoes, supple peas, tender spring asparagus, and a luscious swirl of ricotta cheese, trust me, even Nonna will approve.
Author:
Serves: Serves 4
Ingredients
  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 6 cups (1.5 L) low-sodium vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) +1 teaspoon (5 mL) extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 pound (450 g) asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) pieces
  • 1½ cups (375 mL) halved cherry tomatoes 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) fresh thyme leaves, more for garnish
  • Sea salt and cracked black pepper
  • 1 cup (250 mL) quinoa (any colour), rinsed and drained
  • ½ cup (125 mL) dry white wine
  • ½ cup (125 mL) frozen peas
  • ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons (90 mL) ricotta cheese
  • ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons (90 mL) finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, more for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon (5 mL) lemon zest, more for garnish
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Instructions
  1. In a food processor, pulse the cauliflower florets until they reach a rice-like consistency. Measure out 2 cups (500 mL) and set aside for another dish (see Tip).
  2. Heat the stock in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Cover and keep warm.
  3. In a medium saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon (15 mL) of the oil over medium-high heat. Add the asparagus and fry until it begins to soften and lightly caramelize, 1½ to 3 minutes, depending on how thick your asparagus spears are. Stir in the cherry tomatoes and fry for 2 minutes. Finally, reduce the heat to medium and add the garlic and thyme. Stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Season with a pinch each of salt and pepper. Scoop all the vegetables into a bowl.
  4. Return the pan to medium heat and add the remaining 1 teaspoon (5 mL) olive oil. Add the quinoa and the reserved cauliflower rice. Stir until the quinoa and cauliflower are coated in the oil, about 2 minutes. Pour in the white wine and scrape up any of the flavourful bits that found their way onto the bottom of the pan. Cook, stirring, until the wine is fully absorbed.
  5. Add about ½ cup (125 mL) of the warm vegetable stock and cook, stirring, until the stock has been almost totally absorbed, 3 to 5 minutes. Continue adding stock ½ cup (125 mL) at a time, continuing to stir, until the quinoa is tender but still a bit wet—neither soupy nor dry—about 20 minutes. You’re not looking for that super-dry, fluffy consistency you normally aim for when you whip up a batch of quinoa. This usually takes 4 to 5 cups (1 to 1.25 L) of stock, but yours could take the full 6 cups (1.5 L).
  6. Stir in the frozen peas, ricotta cheese, Parmigiano-Reggiano, lemon zest, and the reserved cooked vegetables. Stir until the peas have thawed through, then season with sea salt and a generous helping of cracked black pepper.
  7. Divide the quinotto among 4 bowls or plates. Top each serving with additional Parmesan, lemon zest, and thyme leaves, if desired, and serve.
Notes
Gluten-free, healthy fats, high fibre, high protein, no added sugar, nut-free, vegetarian

ABBEY’S TIP: Whereas traditional risotto has a strict “à la minute” serving protocol, quinotto can be made ahead, refrigerated for up to 3 days, and reheated. It will thicken as it sits in the fridge, so if you want to loosen it up again, just swirl in another dollop of ricotta or a splash of vegetable stock. Any leftover cauliflower rice can be used to make my Brown Butter and Orange Cauli-Couscous Salad or Cheese-Explosion Cauliflower Tots.

 

Bookshelf Worthy?

The Mindful Glow Cookbook is the kind of cookbook you'll want to keep on your bookshelf. The introduction alone makes it worth the keep. It’s not a diet or clean-eating cookbook. The recipes are healthy and packed with flavour, and the nutritional labelling ensures that they're suitable for different types of diet restrictions.  It's taught me to take the time and enjoy the food I'm eating without feeling any guilt.

The Mindful Glow Cookbook: Radiant Recipes for Being the Healthiest, Happiest You
Author: Abbey Sharp
Hardcover: 277 Pages
Publisher: Penguin Random House Canada
ISBN: 978-0-7352-3401-7

Acknowledgement
Images and recipe from The Mindful Glow Cookbook by Abbey Sharp reprinted with the permission of Penguin Random House Canada.

A review copy of The Mindful Glow Cookbook was provided by Penguin Random House Canada.

This site is a participant in the Amazon Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for the site to earn fees by linking to Amazon and affiliated sites.


The Mindful Glow Cookbook review was written by Liliana Tommasini, author of the aptly named blog My Cookbook Addiction. Her passion for baking and cooking began at an early age. Liliana grew up in an Italian household where each meal was made from scratch with fresh ingredients and Sunday family lunches were always a celebration. She has a passion for collecting cookbooks and believes that every recipe tells a story that must be shared to nourish your soul and feed your belly. You can connect with Liliana on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

 

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