And we begin with a cookbook.

urlWhen I told my roommate I was about to go write a blog post about Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Every Day, she grabbed it out of my hands, turned to the recipe for Broccoli Gribiche and couldn’t say anything but, “It’s phenomenal. It’s amazing. It. Is. So. Good.” That is a direct quote.

This book is really good at taking things you eat every day and teaching you how to make them even better. There’s literally a recipe for oatmeal in here. Heidi Swanson tells you the best method for cooking the oatmeal and exactly what to put in it to make it delicious. And then—and this is the best part—you remember that she’s not actually in your kitchen, and you can take or leave her advice as you please. You can follow the recipes exactly as they’re written, or you can check out her ideas and then mix and match and substitute to your palate’s content.

My favorite recipe in this book is for a thing Swanson just calls “Kale Salad.” Sounds cq5dam.web.266.354simple, right? Here are the ingredients:
extra virgin olive oil
toasted sesame oil
shoyu, tamari, or soy sauce
kale
unsweetened large-flake coconut
farro or other whole grain

Okay, so the first time I made this I specially bought tamari and searched Trader Joe’s high and low for unsweetened large-flake coconut and went to Whole Foods to get farro out of the bulk food aisle. And it was amazing. And then the second time, I didn’t have tamari… so I just used soy sauce. I didn’t have farro… so I just used quinoa. And it turns out regular unsweetened shredded coconut from Kroger works just fine. And you know what? It was just as good (and, in the case of the quinoa, better).

So play with these recipes and enjoy!

(Fair warning, though: the narrative bits of this book are completely insufferable. It begins, “I live in a modest six-room flat with twelve-foot ceilings on the second floor of a Victorian apartment in the middle of San Francisco.” I mean. Come on.)

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