Emma Galloway is back with her second cookbook A Year In My Real Food Kitchen, but what I’d really like to ask is when will she be opening a restaurant or café? ‘Real food’ is basically synonymous with cooking from scratch – not something for the time or cash poor. However, much like The Unbakery, if I could pull up a seat and order from her real food menu, I’d be there in a heartbeat.
Real Food Kitchen has about as many vegan or vegan-option recipes as her first cookbook (this time just shy of 60). Once again, they showcase the rich variety of foods that can be enjoyed on a gluten-free diet and they celebrate seasonal produce. Unlike the last cookbook, this one is now sorted by seasons, and each recipe includes a dietary key.
The seasonal format is fantastic; however, it makes the book a little tricky to review. In the spirit of things, I tried to cook from the right season. We tried the Chickpea and Tomato Curry (a vegan staple), the Mustardy Mushroom and Toasted Quinoa Tagliatelle (I’ll confess I cheated and made this with store-bought fettucine) and (from the winter chapter) Lentil Patties With Horseradish Mash and Sauerkraut (in my case made with wasabi instead of horseradish, canned lentils and store-bought sauerkraut).
As you can see, if you lean towards the lazier side in the kitchen, or find yourself short on time or ingredients, you can tweak things to work with your lifestyle; however, I’m sure that’s far from Galloway’s aspirations for this cookbook.
First-class produce is key to pulling off these recipes; out-of-season, imported fruits and vegetables that have languished too long on supermarket shelves just will not do them justice – which may put some of them out of reach. But the recipes are also inspirational; you earmark them for those days when you know it’s just you, your local farmers’ market and a Sunday afternoon.
When that time comes, you can be sure to find me simmering up the Plum, Cinnamon and Quinoa Bake, the Creamy Parsnip Soup With Smoked Paprika and Almond Quinoa, Chickpea and Carrot Burgers with Guacamole, the Tempeh Curry with Chilli Kang Kong and the Sweetcorn Soup With Roasted Cherry Tomatoes and Crispy Tortillas.