Friday, May 17, 2013

The Green Kitchen by David Frenckiel and Luise Vindahl (2103)

This book is based on a blog, Green Kitchen Stories. This blog won the 2013 Best Special Diet Saveur award, so it is clearly popular. If you like it, you'll probably like this book. However, before borrowing this book I hadn't read their blog and this type of cooking is just Not. For. Me.

For starters, the list of pantry essentials is seven pages long and includes annoying categories like 'superfoods' and 'fermented essentials'. If you're going to have a category for nuts and seeds, put *all* of the nuts and seeds in that category, not eighteen (eighteen!! And that's counting red, white and black quinoa as one item) in the nut section and another four in the superfood section. That's not how grouping works.

Secondly, the tone of this book is incredibly patronising. The first chapter gives some advice to parents. Please note the two authors do not have any qualifications in nutrition and childcare, this is just what they've learned from raising their one child. Based on this advice, their child is going to be obnoxious and, if possible, I would recommend avoiding eating with them and their one child, because item number 8 is don't worry about table manners. Awesome advice.

The breakfast section includes recipes for things like flourless pancakes made from banana and eggs (why?) and flowered granola which features nordic super berries and dried flowers (of course. pantry staples in my household!). These ridiculous recipes are immediately followed by pictures of a hand holding asparagus and a tree framed against a blue sky (both super-relevant to both breakfast and nordic super berries). The light meal section has a recipe for a raw broccoli salad where the yoghurt dressing is, actually, just yoghurt. Like you cut up broccoli, add yoghurt, salt and pepper and there's lunch (followed by a photograph of the sun setting on a closed, curtained window). This section includes a recipe for wild nettle pesto that specifies that the pesto must be freshly picked but not picked in a city. ARGH!!

The smugness of The Green Kitchen bleeds off the page. I had absolutely no idea how much this cookbook irritated me until I began to write this review, but seriously, any recipe book that tries to tell me that wrapping mango, beans and corn in raw cabbage leaves and topping them with a 'raw sour cream' made of apple cider vingegar and raw cashew nuts is a taco must be mocked. I wish these smug, annoying bloggers would just stick to their smug annoying blogs which I can easily ignore and stop clogging up my library's bookshelves with their indulgent, impractical and ridiculously irritating vanity projects.

Two stars.

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