Welcome back to another edition of Shih Tzus & (cook) Book Reviews! Growing up, I was always a huge Laguna Beach fan… and unlike literally every other person I went to high school with, I was #TeamKristin all the way. Flash forward to myself discovering that she had a cookbook that is billed as “A Mindful Kitchen with More Than 100 Recipes Free of Gluten, Dairy, and Refined Sugar,” and I knew I needed it in my life.
Deciding what to cook
As I was deciding what to cook, I only had one requirement: I wanted the entrée to not be chicken because my two previous sessions have been chicken and I’m trying to branch out on my culinary experiences. So, I narrowed it down to salmon or duck breast. Honestly, my first choice was the duck breast because it looked AMAZING, but as it turns out… I have no idea where to buy duck breast near me, so that will be an experiment for another day!
The side dish was much harder for me to find because (after last round’s artichoke disaster), I wasn’t feeling very adventurous, and True Roots had a LOT of side dish recipes that will be hit or miss (cauliflower rice, chickpea fries… you get the idea). So, I played it safe (read: became the chicken that I vowed not to cook this week) and made green bean “fries.”
Finally, I broke my own rule and opted to not make dessert *gasp*… because I wanted to make a bloodhound cocktail with thyme… mostly because the fanciest cocktail I can currently make is a rum and coke!
So… drum roll please… the menu!
Raw Honey Plank Salmon
Green Bean “Fries”
Bloodhound with Thyme
Actually cooking it
I really enjoyed how quick and easy the sauce was to make for the salmon, and how I was able to reduce the number of dirty dishes by mixing directly in my mixing cup! Since it was raining, I was forced to bake it in the oven, but personally I would’ve preferred throwing it on the grill.
I realized as I was cooking that I had forgotten to get fresh green beans when I was at the store, so I decided to use the frozen green beans… which created some added difficulties for the cheese and almond flour breading. Nevertheless, I persisted and was able to pop them in the oven!
While the salmon and green beans cooked, I made the cocktail. You can see the ingredients in the picture below, but the one thing that I wish I had thought of was buying pre-squeezed grapefruit juice. I love fresh squeezed juice, but even though I had 2 HUGE grapefruits, I barely had enough to mix with the vodka and sparkling water and I think I might have enjoyed a little more fruity flavor.
How it tastes
Even though the frozen green beans kind of messed up the breading for the fries, I would honestly say that was my favorite part of the meal. It was cheesy, garlicky, and while I still would prefer fries smothered with cheese and bacon, I really enjoyed finding a fun new recipe that will absolutely be added to my future rotation.
As for the salmon, I didn’t feel that cooking it on the plank enhanced the flavor too terribly much. It cooked perfectly and didn’t dry out the fillet; however, I think it would have been better on the grill rather than the over. *quietly curses the rain*
The funniest part (yes, I meant funniest) was the bloodhound with thyme… because the sprig of thyme used for garnish kept falling apart and RC got a mouthful of just thyme. The taste? Absolutely delicious, super easy to make, and very refreshing, but I would definitely recommend having a cocktail stirrer/small straw to prevent you from having too much of a good “thyme” (okay, I promise, that’s the only bad thyme joke)!
True Roots seems like a fantastic way for people to sneak additional veggies in their recipes or eat healthy, creative meals… if they’re willing to experiment. I feel like the entrees, breakfasts, and salads would be more accommodating toward picky eaters than the desserts or side dishes (mostly because my moderately picky husband was drooling over the former and feeling less than enthused about the latter). I will be trying some more of the recipes (hopefully I can find duck!) and look forward to hopefully making the zucchini almond butter brownies… and figuring out if RC can tell that I’m forcing him to eat healthy treats!
Thank you for reading! Let me know if you have any cookbook recommendations for my next round!