Undoubtedly you’ve heard about The Blender Girl cookbook, it’s been getting plenty of attention through the blogging circuit not to mention traditional media. If you haven’t, then grab a hot tea (or kombucha!) and settle in for a read!
I’ve been wanting to share a review of this cookbook for months – you’ve probably noticed the book widget on the sidebar of my blog. I was eager to help spread the word about this book, I’m quite fond of Tess Master’s work and knew her cookbook would be a masterpiece. Unfortunately, I’m a wee tardy with my review due to my recent blogging break. This is a case of “better late than never”. If you don’t yet have The Blender Girl, it’s time you nab a copy. This is a book to learn from and grow with in your dietary journey. It’s also a joy to flip through this cookbook to gather ideas and simply soak up plant food beauty!
I first met Tess at VVC 2013. We had originally connected online when Tess included my Nutty Veggie Burgers recipe in her gluten-free Breville recipe event. After that blogging event, we kept in touch and finally met at Vida Vegan Con. Tess is an enchanting soul. Engaging and charming, she has a contagious, enthusiastic energy and it’s invigorating to just chat with her over a green juice. What I quickly learned about Tess is that her large and lively online presence is deserved – she is not “all fluff and no stuff”. Nope, Tess knows her stuff. To our delight, she shares much of her incredible food knowledge and healthy eating experiences with us all in The Blender Girl.
This book is delicious in more than one way. Yes, the recipes are brilliant… creative, simple, quick, and healthy. But the entire book is absolutely visually engaging (like Tess herself). Her writing draws you into her spunky, life-loving personality, and then the photos throughout the book are almost intoxicating. You feel brought into the process with Tess, preparing lush fresh-from-the-market plant foods. It’s truly a masterpiece of healthy cooking and food preparation that every home cook can enjoy.
There are 100 whole-food gluten-free, vegan recipes – with color photographs in the book. In addition to the recipes, Tess also discusses probiotic-rich foods, alkalinity, food combining, and superfoods in this book, and details the benefits of soaking, sprouting, and dehydrating. The book is broken down as follows:
- introduction: birth of the blender girl
- the lowdown
- love your blender
- healthy ideas to blend in
- the recipes
- smoothies & shakes
- appetizers, snacks, dips & spreads
- the main event
- drinks,juices & tonics
- condiments,sauces & creams
- great reading
Hmmm, we thought a blender cookbook would be all about smoothies, right?! But this book is so much more! I use my blender for far more than smoothies, and once you see the versatility of using a blender to assist with healthy food preparation, it really opens up a whole new whirrrrld.
Tess has selected some recipes to share from her book, and I chose the Incredibly Edible Edamame Dip. It’s odd that I picked an edamame dip recipe to share, because all my vegan life I haven’t quite understood the appeal of edamame. But, about a month ago, I gave edamame a try again… and shabam!.. I liked it! I’ve been using it in pasta sauces, eating straight up, and will be sharing some edamame recipes down the road.
But right now we are digging into The Blender Girl’s edamame dip. You will love it! I’ve made it a couple of times already, and made a few adaptations so it wouldn’t be too spicy for the girls. (I’ve added my modifications in a note below the recipe).
This dip can be enjoyed many ways. Most obviously, with breads, crudite, or tortilla chips. I first munched on it with tortilla chips (above), but next served it slathered over hot baked spuds and sweet spuds (below). It was utterly divine that way, especially on the sweet spuds with the contrast of the sweet/salty. I’ve also used the dip to spread in sandwiches and wraps for hubby and the girls’ school lunches, and can imagine it dolloped on soups, spread on a thin pizza crust, worked into quinoa or even thinned out slightly to toss through a big lunch salad.
Now, for the recipe and accompanying cookbook photo…
Incredibly Edible Edamame Dip (The Blender Girl Cookbook)
One of the enduring favorites on my website, this recipe is addictive. Not only because it tastes so darn good, but also because it only takes minutes to blend up and devour. However, the recipe only works in a high-speed blender or food processor. Use it as a dip with raw vegetables and crackers, or spread it on sandwiches or wraps. Totally guilt-free, super-healthy, alkalizing, and nutrient-dense, this one’s a winner on all fronts. Makes 2 1/2 cups.
Photo Credit: Photo taken by Anson Smart © 2014
3 tablespoons cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil*
2 cups (320g) shelled raw edamame beans
2 cups (54g) loosely packed baby spinach
1/4 cup (60ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice, plus more to taste
3 tablespoons tahini
1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped onion (yellow, white, or Vidalia is good, but not red)*
2 cloves garlic, minced, plus more to taste*
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, plus more to taste*
1 teaspoon natural salt (see box, page 38), plus more to taste
2 tablespoons sesame seeds (optional)
1/4 cup (12g) finely chopped flat-leaf parsley (optional)*
Throw the oil, edamame, spinach, lemon juice, tahini, onion, garlic, cumin, pepper flakes, and salt into your high-speed blender or food processor and blend on high or process for about 2 minutes, until smooth and creamy. Stop the machine periodically and scrape down the sides of the container to fully incorporate the ingredients. A food processor will give the mixture a coarse consistency, which some people prefer. Tweak flavors to taste. (You may like more lemon juice, garlic, pepper flakes, or salt.) Serve topped with the sesame seeds and parsley.
Recipe reprinted with permission from The Blender Girl: Super-Easy, Super-Healthy Meals, Snacks, Desserts, and Drinks–100 Gluten-Free, Vegan Recipes! by Tess Masters, copyright © 2014. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc.
*Dreena’s Family-Friendly Notes:
- I used just one clove of garlic, substituted a small amount (about 3 tbsp) sliced green onions for the white onion, and omitted the red pepper flakes.
- I also tried the dip without oil so I could offer my experience for those wanting an oil-free option – entirely delicious without the oil, so don’t let that hold you back! Just add a touch of water to get the dip pureeing, I didn’t need more than 1/2 – 1 tbsp in my blender.
- I didn’t use the optional sesame seeds, and pureed the parsley through the dip, rather than using as a topping. (I have mad parsley love, and will get it into the kids whenever I have the opportunity)!
Thank you Tess for the recipe, and congratulations on the success of your scrumptious book!
Do you have The Blender Girl Cookbook? Have you tried any recipes? Any favorites?