I was a strange child — in so many, many ways — but in part because vegetables were one of my favorite things to eat. I distinctly remember my friends shooting glaring looks my way as I helped myself to seconds on steamed broccoli, or ravenously chowed down on huge bowls of salad. One of my very fondest childhood memories is of my mother picking me up from baseball practice each week and taking me out for spanakopita (or spinach pie, as I called it then). My interest in baseball faded, but my love of spinach never did.
I owe my love of veggies to the fact that my parents, for the most part, knew how to cook them. They weren’t great chefs by any means, but the vegetables in my house were always prepared simply, and were cooked fresh, rather than dumped from a can. The thing is, as I got older and started cooking for myself, my veggie knowledge didn’t budge. For the longest time, my crisper drawer would see the same few vegetables over and over, and over and over again I’d prepare them the same way I always had — steamed, sauteed, or, more often than not, noshed on au natural.
It took me a long time to break out of that routine and start using vegetables in more creative ways… but making that change played a key roll in my culinary journey. Before, I never would have known that beets could taste like candy, or pureed peas could be anything but babyfood (spoiler alert, they can, and they are so, so good).
Those, “I didn’t know this could taste so good” moments are part of what made me fall in love with cooking in the first place. The only thing better than seeing someone enjoy your food, is changing their minds about an ingredient they didn’t even think they liked.
It’s moments like those that make me excited to share new ideas and recipes. Which brings me to some recipe related news that I am SO excited to share!
I’m going to be featured in a new, soon-to-be-released e-cookbook, called The Casual Veggie! Whew, I’ve been wanting to say those words for a while now.
The Casual Veggie is a collaboration of more than 45 bloggers, coming together to share some of our favorite veggie based recipes and “I didn’t know that could taste so good” moments. It has been so hard to keep this project under wraps — I was reading over a proof the other day, and you guys, I couldn’t be more thrilled. I wish I’d had a book like this when I was learning to cook!
The book features over 150 recipes, each one highlighting a particular vegetable. The veggies are grouped into chapters, and each chapter starts with some basic info on that veggie, including nutritional information, as well as tips for what to look for when buying, and how to best store it until you’re ready to get cooking. (Seriously, where was this book when I needed it?)
The digital format is super sleek and easy to navigate, too, and is perfect for viewing on your tablet, smartphone, or any other device. But fear not, the recipes are also printer-friendly, so if you prefer to take your recipe into the kitchen with you and don’t want to spill all over your laptop (guilty), it’s got you covered.
The release date is October 19th (only a couple short weeks from now, and just in time to save your waistband from the holidays), and when the book goes live, a bunch of us contributors are going to be hosting a launch party on our sites… and you’re invited! Many of us will be sharing fall-themed food and drink recipes to celebrate, and of course, the book will be available for download, which means lots and lots of recipes at your fingertips.
All you have to do is stop back here on October 19th, and I’ll get you hooked up with where you can get the book, and links to all the recipes going on in the launch party. Pretty sweet, right? Plus, every copy of the book bought through this site helps support my blog — it doesn’t cost any extra, and a small percentage goes to making recipes happen! (When the book is available, I’ll update here with a link to where you can purchase.)
UPDATE: you can now download a copy of The Casual Veggie by clicking here — a percentage of all proceeds sold through this page go towards supporting this site. So basically, if you buy a copy of the book, you’ll be putting food on my table and on the blog. THANK YOU!
In the meantime, let me leave you by introducing some of the other bloggers featured in the book. Many of these ladies have a focus on healthy living, and some of them are even dietitians, nutritionists, or trainers… regardless of all that, they all know how to make some seriously awesome eats, and I recommend getting to know them via the links below!
- Grace, of A Southern Grace | Healthy eating, meets southern comfort.
- Lizzy, at A Tasty Mess | In Lizzy’s about page, she has three of my favorite Julia Child quotes. (If you know me at all, you know that basically makes us best friends.)
- Kari, of Cooking Up Clean | She has some super creative clean eating recipes, which I’ve already added to my to-make list.
- Kathryn, of Family Food on the Table | Kathryn is a nutrition editor making healthy and simple family friendly recipes. If you’re wanting to introduce your kids to healthier eating, she’s got you covered.
- Elaine, at Family For Health | Elaine’s slogan is “eat, move, be… together.” Her site is all about getting healthy as a family, which so refreshing to see.
- Nicole, from Fitful Focus | As the name of her blog suggests, Nicole is big on fitness and clean eating. It’s hard not to be inspired reading her site!
- Elysia, of Haute and Healthy Living | Want some fashion with your flavor? Elysia’s your girl!
- Kate, of Hola Jalapeno | Simple, fresh, and drop-dead-gorgeous Latin inspired cooking. Need I say more?
- Leigh, from Jeanie and Lulu’s Kitchen | Leigh’s blog is an ode to her two grandmothers, and all the joy and knowledge passed down in their cooking. I didn’t have a chance to know my own grandparents, but I feel like reading Leigh’s site almond makes up for that.
- Allie, at the blog Key Ingredients | Allie blogs about more than just food, writing about the key ingredients in her own life: food, exercise, and her (growing!) family.
- Mollie, of Parsley and Pumpkins | Mollie is the mastermind behind this cookbook, and has pulled the brunt of the weight in making it happen. Without Mollie, there would be no Casual Veggie! Besides creating this amazing book, she also runs a fantastic site chock full of veggie cooking tips and inspiration.
- Jean, at Primal Health with Jean | Jean’s motto is, “the food you love should love you back.” I couldn’t agree more!
- Liz, of Pumpkin and Peanut Butter | Liz’s style is all about balance, combining healthy plant-based recipes with her love of sweet treats (and of course, peanut butter!) — basically, she’s my kind of people!
- Justin and Erica, at Real Simple Good | Justin and Erica have a passion for paleo, and their recipes make it easy to see why.
- Rachel, of Stupid Good | the name of her blog says it all: So. Stupid. Good.
- Rachel, at The Delicious Balance | Life is all about balance. But also, food. Tasty, tasty food.
- Deana, from The Weekly Menu | Gluten-free meal planning, made easy.
- Brie, at Toaster Oven Love | Brie makes small batch recipes that are perfect for two — also, her name is Brie, which in my book, gives her instant foodie cred.
- Tara, at Treble in the Kitchen | I’ve only been following Tara’s blog for a little while, but I’m already feeling pumped up by her energy and enthusiasm for healthy eats and fitness goals!
- Christine, of Vermilion Roots | If you’re wanting to fall in love with vegetables, I highly recommend heading to Christine’s site and reading her story of volunteering at a family run farm in California — it will make even the blackest of thumbs long for a vegetable garden.
- Adina, from Where is my Spoon? | If I ever visit Germany, I hope to have the chance to share a meal with Adina. Her recipes never fail to make my mouth water!
This page contains affiliate links, which means when you purchase a copy of the book, a portion of the proceeds goes directly to supporting this site. Your support literally puts food on my table and on the blog, so THANK YOU!