cover image The Wicked Healthy Cookbook: Free. From. Animals.

The Wicked Healthy Cookbook: Free. From. Animals.

Chad Sarno, Derek Sarno, and David Joachim. Grand Central Life & Style, $30 (320p) ISBN 978-1-4555-7028-7

The Sarno brothers, cofounders of the Wicked Healthy website (which advocates an “80% healthy, 20% wicked” diet), along with veteran cookbook author Joachim, emphatically tell readers to eat their vegetables. The book jacket features a chef’s apron and cleaver stained not with blood, but with beet juice. A good portion of the collection are hearty dishes in which vegetables play the part of animal proteins, and only five of the 129 recipes are salads. Examples include sloppy barbecue jackfruit sliders; New England lobster rolls made with “dense and meaty” lobster mushrooms; and seven different types of plant bacon created by marinating tofu, eggplant, or even rice paper in a questionable mix of soy sauce, maple syrup, sriracha and liquid smoke. Among the desserts detailed is a lemon cheesecake made with cashew cream and coconut butter. Happily, ingredient substitutions do not extend to the pasta in pasta dishes, which, for dishes such as porcini ravioli with garlic butter and sorrel, use actual durum wheat pasta and plant-based butter. The liveliest chapter, “Straight-Up Vegetables,” boasts a rainbow of colors, captured by photographer Eva Kosmas Flores, in a spectrum of vibrant dishes like grilled purple cabbage, and painted Dijon potatoes, which employs a paint brush to top red potatoes with strokes of mustard. This varied assortment will appeal mostly to herbivores wishing to comfort their inner carnivore. (May)