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The Passionate Vegetable

2nd ed front cover - Copy (1088x1280)It’s one thing to tell yourself at the first of the year that you’re going to eat healthier, consume more vegetables, and understand the value of what you put in your mouth. The Passionate Vegetable  by Suzanne Landry, who calls herself the The Fresh Food Chef, can be your dictionary, your encyclopedia, and your daily guide for improving your health by controlling the quality of your food.

Suzanne Landry is obviously passionate about nourishing her body with quality and tasty foods. Although this cookbook focuses on vegetables, you don’t have to be a vegetarian to enjoy the contents. She walks the novice veggie connoisseur through chapters that help answer questions regarding basic and advanced nutrition, expound on carbohydrates and proteins, explain characteristics of different fats, and give the real scoop on sugar.

There are many useful lists: richest sources of antioxidants, best choices for protein, food substitution chart, and how to stock your pantry. She defines cooking terms and explains essential equipment for your kitchen.  There is a food glossary near the end of the book that explains what some uncommon foods are and where they can be found.

The book has a prolific number of helpful hints regarding specific recipes, and it contains gorgeous photos of vegetables as well as some of the prepared dishes.  There are sections entitled Healthy Start Breakfasts, Fresh Garden Salads, Salads that Satisfy, For the Love of Soups, Amber Waves of Grain, Bean Cuisine, Vegetables – Nature’s Bounty, To Meat or Not to Meat, and Good for your Desserts.

This book is a grand way to ease your way into a life filled with more vegetables and healthy meals.  It doesn’t force you to eliminate meats, but it empowers you to understand what your body needs to maintain a healthy balance.  Charts are sprinkled throughout the book comparing the nutrient value of various ground meats, non-meat iron rich foods, guides to dried beans, and a whole grain cooking chart.

As co-owner and chef of a guest ranch in Colorado, not only do we create wonderful, healthy meals for our guests, but we also feed our summer staff of 20 young adults. One of our wranglers is avoiding gluten and dairy this summer, and I found the recipe for Cashew Cream to be very helpful and tasty. It’s a delicious non-dairy choice for topping a pie or fresh fruit.

When we have vegetarians come to stay at the ranch, this will be one of my go-to cookbooks for creating healthy, well balanced, tasty, and attractive meals. Perhaps during our off season, this will be the book I use to help maintain my own New Year’s resolutions. — by Lisa George, RFT Contributor,

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Lisa George

Lisa George and her husband, Randy, are co-owners and head chefs at the Latigo Guest Ranch in central Colorado. Their two adult children join them in the kitchen during the busy summers to prepare wonderful meals for their ranch guests and staff. Although Latigo has some winter business for cross country skiing, Lisa uses the non-summer months to try new recipes. She gathers many of the popular ranch recipes into a cookbook each summer, and guests often enjoy replicating their favorites when they get home. Other tried and true recipes find their way onto the ranch website in the recipe of the week section: