Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Spice Up Your Life! Review and Giveaway!

***This giveaway has ended***
Winner: Eve

My husband and I are 'foodies'. There, I said it. It's good to have that out in the open (if you didn't guess already by my posts!). We love our food - trying new restaurants, cooking at home, baking, preserves, you name it.

We have a reputation among our friends and family that good meals are guaranteed at our house. We are also vegetarian (I am 100%; my husband is vegetarian at home, and eats meat and fish on occasion at restaurants). Far from limiting our options, I have found that having a vegetarian diet has made me a much better cook. Once you get out of the mindset of answering "what's for dinner?" with "meat and two sides", you have a whole world of opportunities to be more creative with your meals. I adopted a vegetarian diet in January of 2001 and have never looked back.

So with my love of food and interest in cooking, I'm always on the hunt for new recipes. In fact, this month alone I got three new cookbooks. Yeah, it's an obsession!

One of the books I received this month was Spice Up Your Life, by Bindu Grandhi. (I was super lucky and won a copy over at Wishing Penny.)

The book is inspired by Indian flavours, so if you love Indian food like we do, you will love the flavours - turmeric, garam masala, cumin, cardamom and coconut make appearances. If you are new to these flavours, get ready to fall in love! We find the flavours to be rich, exotic and interesting, never overpowering.

This cookbook is a proponent of a 'flexitarian' diet - which just means that "it focuses primarily on grains, fruits, and vegetables, with proteins such as seafood and poultry mixed in sparingly." (So it's not just for vegetarians like me; there are lots of recipes inside to satisfy any family's needs.) This way of eating is good for your health - low in saturated fat, high in fiber, which can help you maintain a healthy weight and reduce your risk of hypertension, heart disease, diabetes and prostate and breast cancer. Sounds good, right?

There are loads of vegetarian recipes in here, and I'm also used to adapting recipes to be vegetarian (I've been told my vegetarian tacos and burgers are better than meat versions by die-hard carnivores!), so recipes like Chili Chicken can easily become veggie meals by switching out the chicken for seitan. So for anyone, the entire book would be a great go-to book for dinner, whether it's quick weeknight cooking that you're looking for, or something to impress guests on the weekend.

The very day I got the book in my mailbox, I flipped through and immediately found a recipe to make for dinner that night. I had all the ingredients already, and it looked easy and delicious. I was not disappointed! I made the Rice Pilaf with Red Lentils. Yum! My husband loved it, too. I found the rice and lentils cooked up quickly in my rice cooker (although you don't need one, I love mine) while I prepared the rest of the meal. It was truly a 25-minute meal, filling, delicious and perfect for a weeknight supper.

You can buy Spice Up Your Life on Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, or Barnes and Noble. It's a great price and I'm thinking would make an excellent Christmas gift for the foodie in your life (or for yourself!).

I was so pleased with Spice Up Your Life and the meals we've already enjoyed from it, that I contacted Bindu to let her know. She has graciously agreed to provide a copy of Spice Up Your Life to one of my readers! Here's how to enter:


Mandatory entry:
Check out Bindu's website, The Flex Cook, and share in a comment what recipe(s) you would love to try from the sample recipes section. Please do this first!

Extra entries:
  • 1 entry: follow me (publicly) on blogger
  • 1 entry: add my button to your blog, or if you already have it let me know - leave your blog address, please!
  • 3 entries: blog about this giveaway with a link back to this post
Six possible chances to win! Be sure to leave your email address, at least in your first comment, if it's not visible in your profile - and leave one comment per entry.

This giveaway is open to residents of the US and Canada, and ends at 11:59 pm EST October 27th. Comments left after that time will be deleted. I'll draw the winner using a randomizer, announce both on this post and that day's post, and also email the winner. If I don't hear back within 48 hours, I'll draw another winner. Good luck!

***This giveaway has ended***

31 comments:

  1. I would like to try the Chili Chicken but everything looks delicious
    dftrew(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  2. I just became a follower
    dftrew(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'd love to try the carrot soup and the bananas with coconut and honey.

    maryanne at mamasmiles dot com

    ReplyDelete
  4. My husband would love the pistachio chicken, I think. He's a huge fan of pistachios.

    melacan at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  5. Madwoman-doing-cartwheelsOctober 14, 2009 at 3:39 AM

    I would want to try the Marsala Upma as I would like to learn a foolproof way to make this dish.

    http://www.theflexcook.com/recipe%2011.html

    catmom1010 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  6. Madwoman-doing-cartwheelsOctober 14, 2009 at 3:40 AM

    I'm a public follower (Ally/rubymoonstone@gmail)


    catmom1010 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  7. The Chili Chicken sounds really good!
    jedoggett@embarqmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  8. I am following publicly
    jedoggett@embarqmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  9. Being an Indian, I eat a lot of Indian food and mostly of the vegetarian variety (although I'm not a vegetarian). I'm always looking for new recipes or recipes of old favourites from my childhood (since my grandmother passed away and I never got the originals). One of the recipes which I really want to try is the Poori (childhood favourite) and the Raita looks awesome. BTW, Poori or Chapatis dipped in Raita, is the best, comfort food snack ever! Thank you!

    Aliya D.
    aliyadaya(at)shaw(dot)ca

    ReplyDelete
  10. Bananas with coconut and honey sounded good. We are always looking for new recipes using vegetables. Thanks for the wonderful giveaway.

    dianad8008 AT gmail DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  11. i would love to try the Shrimp Curry

    ReplyDelete
  12. I have your button: http://sweetqt.wordpress.com/

    ReplyDelete
  13. I blogged: http://sweetqt.wordpress.com/2009/10/15/spice-up-your-life-giveaway/

    #1

    ReplyDelete
  14. I blogged: http://sweetqt.wordpress.com/2009/10/15/spice-up-your-life-giveaway/

    #2

    ReplyDelete
  15. I blogged: http://sweetqt.wordpress.com/2009/10/15/spice-up-your-life-giveaway/

    #3

    ReplyDelete
  16. I would like to try Masala Upma

    burcuacar1624(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  17. The Bananas with Coconut and Honey sounds yummy Thanks for this giveaway
    tanyainjville@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  18. I would have to try the red lentils with tofu. But the kale looks yummy too. I love kale. And I love spicy.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Wow! Thanks so much for telling me about this! The chickpeas and spinach sounds good... :-)

    MSwann2003@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  20. I now follow your blog. :-) Looking forward to reading lots more!

    MSwann2003@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  21. the sample recipes look yummy! I want to try the Tomato Slices topped with Sweet Onion and Carrot, as soon as I get groceries again, I'm making them! I love tomatoes

    ReplyDelete
  22. I would love to try the chili chicken

    billiondollarprincesss@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  23. Oh my gosh, this is SO perfect for me! I'm also a vegetarian, and I LOVE LOVE LOVE Indian food. This cookbook would be so wonderful to have! This looked sooo yummy:

    http://www.theflexcook.com/recipe%2011.html

    (though the tomato slices, and the carrot soup also looked out of this world great!)

    theonlinenannyATgmailDOTcom

    ReplyDelete
  24. the pistachio chicken. I love pistachio nuts and use them quite often
    thank you
    kaiminani@ gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  25. I follow
    thank you
    kaiminani@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  26. Bananas with coconut and honey, although my husband might not like it...oh well!

    kwestra810@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  27. I would love to try my hand at making the Pistachio Chicken!

    ReplyDelete

Hey, why not leave a comment? I'd love to hear what you think. If you're entering a giveaway, be sure to leave your email address if it's not set to public in your profile!