Monday, December 9, 2013

The Eat to Live Cookbook Project: Wild Rodeo Salad

So sorry for the delay on this recipe's review. Real life, hard work, kid care and The Walking Dead are getting the best of me right now. I know you understand!

The great news is that right out of the gate, my daughter Maya picked a winner from the new Happy Herbivore Light & Lean cookbook. I mentioned a few days ago that I need to start making some new things that are more kid friendly (at least to my children) than the recipes in the Eat to Live Cookbook. So I'm here to report  that the Peanut Soba Noodles (p. 158) were quite a success! Here's the evidence to prove it:

I also need to apologize for the sad dinnertime candid food photos. There is just no light in my house past 4:30 pm in the wintertime. Please bear with me! I know these photos don't do the food justice, but I'm so excited to share my enthusiasm about a great recipe that I can't help myself.

But back to the Wild Rodeo Salad from the Eat to Live Cookbook. It seems like any decent Whole Food Plant Based cookbook these days is going to have a version of the Tex-Mex bean and corn salad, so when I saw the Wild Rodeo Salad in the Eat to Live Cookbook, I was already comfortable and familiar with the concept.

Bean and corn salads are ideal make ahead dishes that can be brought to pot luck dinners. Perhaps that's one of the reasons for their appeal. So I decided to prepare this dish and bring it to a pot luck this week. Unfortunately, I cannot say that this recipe was a big hit. What a bummer. This might be the last time that I bring an untested recipe to a pot luck!

Wild Rodeo Salad
from The Eat to Live Cookbook by Dr. Joel Fuhrman, p. 131

Did I like it? It's complicated.

Was it easy to make with readily available ingredients? There is some chopping involved, but if you use frozen corn then this is a reasonably quick recipe. No unusual ingredients are involved.

What specifically did I like about the recipe? It's good party food, and can be served as a dip with chips or a side dish.

What specifically didn't I like about the recipe? I'm all for the use of acid to get past the fact that we are not using any salt in the Eat to Live Cookbook, but this was a recipe where once again, it was acid overkill. I tasted the salad after I made it and wasn't happy. I needed to fix it, but I didn't want to add salt. Something needed to balance that overly sour taste, and I remembered that I had date paste in my refrigerator left over from Thanksgiving. A big spoonful of it did the trick and balanced out the sour taste without making the salad overly sweet or anything.

Did my husband like it? He wasn't raving about it, but he ate it without complaint. I'm serving the leftovers to him tonight for dinner tossed in with romaine lettuce and crumbled up baked tortilla chips. It's a huge salad and he's loving it!

Did my teenage daughter like it? She really liked it. She thought it was great! It's almost as if the more I like a recipe from this cookbook, the less she likes it, and the less I like it, the more she likes it. Go figure!

Did my eight or five year old try it? N/A

Would I make it again? No. But not because it isn't a perfectly acceptable bean and corn salad. It's just that I really like this recipe a whole heck of a lot better. It's got avocado in it, so that in and of itself is an unfair comparison, but in my opinion, it's just a way better bean and corn salad. I published that recipe many years ago and when I make it now, I substitute either date paste or maple syrup for the small amount of agave that's in the recipe.

Is there anything I would do to improve on it if I made it again? See above.

Overall Grade (completely unscientific, I admit): C

Have you made Dr. Fuhrman's Wild Rodeo Salad? What were your impressions? Leave a comment below. How about Lindsay Nixon's Peanut Soba Noodles?

Still don't have the book? What are you waiting for? These recipes are . . . hmmmm.

And in case you are wondering about the other cookbook that I am referencing, this is it:

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