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The blogger behind the Saveur award-winning blog The First Mess shares her eagerly anticipated debut cookbook, featuring more than 125 beautifully prepared seasonal whole-food recipes.
Home cooks head to The First Mess for Laura Wright’s simple-to-prepare seasonal vegan recipes but stay for her beautiful photographs and enchanting storytelling. In her debut cookbook, Wright presents a visually stunning collection of heirloom-quality recipes highlighting the beauty of the seasons. Her 125 produce-forward recipes showcase the best each season has to offer and, as a whole, demonstrate that plant-based wellness is both accessible and delicious.
Wright grew up working at her family’s local food market and vegetable patch in southern Ontario, where fully stocked root cellars in the winter and armfuls of fresh produce in the spring and summer were the norm. After attending culinary school and working for one of Canada’s original local food chefs, she launched The First Mess at the urging of her friends in order to share the delicious, no-fuss, healthy, seasonal meals she grew up eating, and she quickly attracted a large, international following.
The First Mess Cookbook is filled with more of the exquisitely prepared whole-food recipes and Wright’s signature transporting, magical photography. With recipes for every meal of the day, such as Fluffy Whole Grain Pancakes, Romanesco Confetti Salad with Meyer Lemon Dressing, Roasted Eggplant and Olive Bolognese, and desserts such as Earl Grey and Vanilla Bean Tiramisu, The First Mess Cookbook is a must-have for any home cook looking to prepare nourishing plant-based meals with the best the seasons have to offer.
Canada-based blogger Wright (the title of both book and blog derives from an M.F.K. Fisher quote) captures the spontaneity of online writing in this vegan cookbook. Her encouraging tone pervades recipes such as broccoli Caesar with smoky tempeh bits. Eschewing vegan pastry and topping individual vegetable and bean pot pies with potato crusts is quick thinking. But, as on the Internet, the downside to spontaneity is an occasional lack of factual foundation. The fall/winter stalwarts featured in Wright's root vegetable dal are seasonally mismatched with cherry tomatoes. If quinoa needs bean puree to impersonate risotto, why not just make risotto? Health claims are hinted at in recipes such as a kale salad with "Master Cleanse" dressing, and Wright dabbles in raw foods, including an unbaked beet velvet slice with a citrus frosting for dessert. A range of dietary concerns (cane-sugar-free, oil-free, etc.) are indicated with symbols, and more time-consuming projects are marked as well. Some recipes would be better off as quick sidebars: Wright provides not one, but two recipes for tea.