As I was putting together my Gorgeous Wellth website last year, I knew I had to include a book club. I live for books. I thrive with books. I’m a writer (and reader) for life.
Then a thought struck me; why not have a cookbook club? Because the purpose of Gorgeous Wellth isn’t to design recipes and cookbooks. It’s to help people better understand bringing plant-based living into their lives.
When I first started out navigating vegetarianism in the 90s when my daughter was little, I knew very little about being vegetarian. I bought a vegetarian cookbook, tried a few recipes, and threw it on the back of my shelf. I didn’t understand the ingredients. The recipes were difficult to make. And quite frankly, they weren’t all that good.
Oh, times have changed! And that’s a very good thing!
I LOVE cookbooks and have started collecting them. But I’ll let you in on my little secret.
Whenever I hear of a new plant-based cookbook, I see if my local library has it. I bring it home and try out a few recipes. If I love it, I buy it! And that’s how my cookbook collection is growing.
I purchase a lot of my cookbooks on Kindle. That way, I have them with me, ready to cook no matter where in the world I am.
Years ago, we started slow traveling the world. It was sidetracked a bit because of the pandemic, but we’re moving back towards the slow traveling lifestyle. What that means for us is we book month-long stays in Airbnb’s specifically so we can cook. It reduces the cost because we can enjoy more meals at “home.” And I’ve fallen in love with visiting local grocery stores. You can really learn about a culture by visiting their markets.
With some cookbooks, they’re simply gorgeous. I need the print copy to touch and feel it, to use it to browse through when trying to select what to cook for dinner.
Okay, back to the Cookbook Club. I thought it would be fun to select a cookbook for the month and use it as inspiration for dinner at least once a week. Each month I’ll choose a favorite I’m working with, and share a thing or two I learn.
Wanna play along? I’m keeping this pretty informal – I just want to inspire you to pick up a great cookbook and start cooking too. Hopefully, you can get a lot of these from your local library. If not, you might be able to pick them up gently used through Amazon. Or if you choose to use them for your inspiration as much as I do, maybe it’s time to invest in these and have them ready and waiting on your shelf.
I won’t be sharing the recipes, but I will share some of the results. Let me know if you try any of these, and let me know what you think. Be sure to tag me on IG @loriosterberg or use #GorgeousWellth Follow along as I’ll be adding new cookbooks each month!
Happy plant-based cooking!
The First Mess by Laura Wright
I came across a recommendation for Laura Wright’s book The First Mess last fall. I’m not sure how I’ve missed her blog all these years, but it’s quickly become one of my favorites. I brought her book home from the library, flipped through it, tried one of the best recipes in her book – Chipotle Pumpkin Chili with Tempeh and Beer – and sat down and ordered it from Amazon.
If you come into my kitchen most nights of the week, you’ll find her cookbook open, inspiring me for the latest meal.
The Chipotle Pumpkin Chili with Tempeh and Beer is GREAT with pumpkin, though it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find. I’ve tried it with butternut squash, and it’s a close second. The key here is to pay attention to the beer. I’ve found stouts work really well and add a ton of flavor.
Mmm… I’ve started making a double batch to have plenty of leftovers throughout the week. It’s that good!
What’s your favorite recipe from The First Mess?