Deeply Nourished

One of my goals for 2016 is to read more. It was a goal in 2015, as well. 

The last book I read in 2015 was a little different than the others I've recorded. It's a cookbook! I came across it an event at The New School of Monmouth County. Deeply Nourished is by Rebeckah Allocco and Judith Alfano

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Deeply Nourished is a cookbook with 21 simple and healthy recipes many of which are vegetarian or vegan. It also contains short essays from each author on how food and health relate to their religious and spiritual beliefs. The subtitle of this cookbook is "Stories of Food, Faith, and Life at the Table". These essays discuss subjects ranging from the connection between food and faith, sustainability and localness, seasonal eating and beliefs, favorite meals or techniques, and more. Each essay somehow relates to the authors spiritual journey and connection to cooking and food. Each essay has a quote at the beginning from the bible, the Buddha, religions, cooks, or philosophers. The recipes that follow are either directly connected to the writings, or are connected more loosely though season, memory, or emotion.  

Now, I'm not religious at all and although I am interested in all religion, I wouldn't necessarily pick up a non-reference book that had religious overtones. I do hold a belief system rooted in community, family, sustainability, simplicity, nourishment, pleasure and kindness. Since the profits went to The New School of Monmouth County and the recipes and essays looks interesting, I was intrigued to read this book even though it was not in my usual wheelhouse.
I thoroughly enjoyed Deeply Nourished
The essays were not overwhelmingly religious, but more spiritual in nature. The themes discussed could fall under many religions or belief systems including my own, having to do with family, community, nourishment of the body and soul, as well as Faith. What I enjoyed most were the glimpses of the daily life that the authors provided. It was interesting to read the connections to food these women have and how they felt that connection to be deeply spiritual.  
I really liked that authors chose recipes that are dear to their hearts, simple to execute, and largely vegetarian. Having a mostly land-meat-free diet (I eat fish and so would not call myself a vegetarian), I have found it surprisingly difficult to find recipes that I am inspired by. There are many recipes in this book that I'm eager to try! The one recipe that I have tried, Oven Roasted Salmon with Tomatoes and Capers, I've already made multiple times. Since these meals are seasonal some will have to wait until the ingredients are available. While others, like a kale and Brussels sprouts salad, I can't wait to test out. 

I would recommend this book to people looking for some new meals to try, especially if they eat vegetarian, or for those who enjoy reading about the spiritual journey. Anyone who regularly reads cook books will enjoy this one, i'm sure!     

The New School of Monmouth County is an alternative-education school that I attended for about 5 years growing up. It's also where one of the authors, Rebeckah Allocco went to school and now teaches. Judith Alfano is a writer and food educator. Visit their website, and buy the book on Amazon or itunes