I love cook books, but can be very selective when it comes to adding them to my collection. I usually follow a criteria that I have formulated over the years. I also love finding a good bargain, so I’m always on the hunt for sales in a variety of places.
This is the criteria I have developed for myself over the years:
1. Aesthetics: I know this sounds superficial, but I love a nice looking book. This means beautiful photos, great cover and title, easy to read through, etc. If I find these qualities right off the bat, then I will most likely open it up and check out what is inside.
2. Diversity & Versatility: If I take a look at a recipe and think, well what if I didn’t have this particular ingredient, could I substitute it or not add it and still be the same? If it is a special dish I will go out and buy the required ingredients, but other than that my meals will consist of what I have in my pantry/refrigerator. Sometimes I don’t follow recipes exactly how they are written (unless it’s baking, you can’t change much), I love using the recipes as inspiration to create something new or similar.
3. Author’s message: What exactly was the author/recipe developer’s intention when writing these recipes and publishing this book. Is it to inspire a healthier lifestyle? Is it to make your busy life easier? Maybe it’s for large gatherings and don’t know how to go about organizing large scale meals.
Getting older, things change, it’s inevitable. Having a baby will definitely have an impact on your body, but not just physically. The emotional connection I was placing on the food I ate was becoming very unhealthy. I was gaining weight, I felt very bloated, lethargic, and much more cranky. Obviously, having a newborn was a big part of this, but once Emilia reached an age that we had a very manageable routine, I knew I had to change.
One day I popped into Chapters (I swear I’m going to work there one day) and I found Eat with Intention. Ever since being pregnant, I’ve become more aware of what and how I eat. Not that I was eating unhealthy prior to, we always have a table full of good wholesome food, but I was never REALLY paying attention to what I was eating and how I was eating it. Does that make sense?
Ok back to my review on Eat with Intention. It’s not your average cookbook and that’s what I love about it. Each recipe is accompanied by a beautiful mantra and mindfulness exercise. Not something you would normally associate with a cookbook, right? I’ll be honest, I didn’t buy the book for the mindfulness exercises, I bought it for it’s beautiful photos and inspiring recipes on plant based foods. There are also these beautiful quotes on each recipe page that I just love reading. So inspiring!
Cassandra’s intentions are to make you feel at peace when eating your meals. Choosing the right ingredients to help nourish you without feeling unsatisfied or wanting more. Her flavours are spot on and recipes are quite easy to follow!
I decided one day to try out one of her exercises and they are actually fun to do! They don’t take very long and sometimes when I am taking a break from work or even at home I will practice one or two and it helps to calm me down and I feel a little happier throughout my day (better than always being attached my phone during my free time).
Before reading her book, I had never heard of Cassandra Bodzak, but she is quite the busy lady! She is a holistic lifestyle expert, a meditation and wellness teacher, and a self-taught plant-based chef. If that isn’t enough, she is also featured on ABC’s The Taste, has her own episode channel and best selling cookbook author of Eat with Intention.
Another thing I like about this book is how she talks about her own personal experience and her relationship with food. It allows you to connect to her on a more human level, as many of us have gone down that road where food and eating becomes our evil twin.
Her recipes are easy to follow, and easy to adapt if necessary. Just take a look at the veggie burger I made from her book. I was missing mushrooms and I was already committed to making it that I adapted for sautéed veggies instead and it may not have been as dense, but the flavour was so good!
I recommend taking a look at her book, may it inspire you to practise a mindful exercise and eat a vegan dessert all at the same time!