COOKBOOK REVIEWS – from my kitchen to yours

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Hi there,

I have been a fan of Melissa Clark’s recipes for some time now. I really enjoy listening to her podcast on the Splendid Table. She is funny and her recipes and her attitude toward cooking are very approachable. On her recent podcast, she was making what I call “chicken lettuce wraps”. But what piqued my interest was the use of tofu in this recipe. Since I have a goal of preparing more plant-based meals, I looked into the cookbook where this recipe appears. What ultimately sold me on purchasing and reading Melissa’s cookbook was it contains an entire chapter on tofu and another chapter just featuring vegetables and grains.

Here is the recipe that encouraged me to purchase the cookbook:

Shredded Tofu and Chicken

These fluffy pieces of shredded tofu are like soft, tiny dumplings and cook up in no time at all. Here, ground chicken gives them a meaty depth and a caramelized flavor while edamame adds texture and a vegetable to the mix. If you want to make this vegetarian, leave out the meat, and instead sauté 4 ounces of chopped fresh shiitake or cremini mushrooms with the scallions and ginger. Make sure to get the shiitakes nice and golden; you need the extra flavor that caramelization provides. Serve this by itself or with a simple salad of baby spinach dressed with a little sesame oil, salt, and lime juice.!


1/4 cup toasted sesame oil

1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions (white and green parts), plus more for serving

1 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped

1 large garlic clove, minced

4 ounces ground chicken (or use turkey or pork)

1 package (14 to 16 ounces) extra-firm tofu, drained and patted dry

1/2 cup shelled edamame, thawed if frozen

1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce, plus more as needed

1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt, or to taste

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

1 teaspoon Sriracha

1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro and/or mint leaves

  1. Heat the sesame oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the scallions, ginger, and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and golden at the edges, about 5 minutes. Stir in the chicken and cook until it is well browned all over, about 5 minutes.
  2. While the chicken cooks, coarsely shred the tofu on the large holes of a box grater.
  3. Stir the tofu, edamame, soy sauce, and salt into the chicken. Cook until warmed through, about 3 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and season the mixture with the lime juice and Sriracha. Toss in the herbs and extra scallions, and serve immediately.

Reprinted from Dinner: Changing the Game. Copyright © 2017 by Melissa Clark. Photographs copyright © 2017 by Eric Wolfinger. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC.

I really think Melissa Clark’s cookbook deserves to be added to your cookbook collection because of the variety of easy to prepare plant based recipes.

36 responses to “COOKBOOK REVIEWS – from my kitchen to yours”

  1. V.M.Sang – UK – I was born and educated in the north west of England. I trained as a teacher in Manchester and taught in Salford, Lancashire, Hampshire and Croydon. I write fantasy novels currently. I also make cards, knit, crochet, tat, do cross stitch and paint. I enjoy walking on the Downs, cycling and kayaking. I do not enjoy housework, but like cooking.
    V.M.Sang says:

    Sounds like a delicious recipe. I’ve never used tofu. I always thought of it as something vegetarians ate in place of meat.

  2. Darlene – British Columbia, Canada – Writer of children's stories, short stories and travel articles.!/supermegawoman!/pages/Darlene-Foster-Writer/362236842733
    Darlene says:

    So many people don’t know what to do with tofu. A recipe book that devotes some pages to recipes for tofu would be wonderful.

    • It is funny how I could be a child of the 60’s and never explored tofu but I am enjoying it and Melissa’s approach to it is very enjoyable and tasty. Thanks for stopping by Darlene.

  3. Hi, I’m seeing more and more tofu recipes like this out there. I’ve never tried to cook tofu, but my son recently used it in a recipe and said it was good. I think having the chicken in there would make it more appealing to my family. Thanks for sharing this cookbook and recipe!

    • Tofu really doesn’t have any flavor. It is blank slate for whatever sauce you want to create and ends up as a light, fluffy morsel of sauce.

  4. Chef Mimi – As a self-taught home cook, with many years in the culinary profession, I am passionate about all things food-related. Especially eating!
    Chef Mimi says:

    I like the seasoning in this too. Have you ever used soy granules? High protein and fiber, and perfect to use with ground meat.

  5. Bern this recipe sounds delicious and right up my alley. Almost half of the meals I prepare are plant-based. Thanks for sharing the recipe and the cookbooks!

    One of the things I love about your blog is its diversity. You have something for everyone!

    • Thank you so much Elizabeth. I think you are my biggest cheer leader! If I ever decide to publish and I am going to hire you as my agent!

  6. Dorothy's New Vintage Kitchen – I'm a writer, cook, gardener, photographer, poet, quilter, and accomplished daydreamer. I'm also a wife, mother, grandmother, sister. cousin, aunt, and friend, no particular order on any given day. I've been a writer all my life, newspaper reporter and columnist, radio news writer, and magazine contributor, and poet and short-story writer as the spirit moves. Now, I turn my attention to my cookbook, the blog, and a cooking column "Memorable Meals," which runs in our county newspaper. Besides my family, I love dogs, cats, good coffee, chocolate, and my never-dwindling pile of books I intend to read. Our family ran a small Vermont Inn for 18 years, with our focus on local, organic ingredients. I cook from scratch, and try not to use anything that has ingredients I cannot pronounce! After many years of daily serving up local delicacies, cooking classes, and catering, we are now only open for special events, and the odd cooking class. We also host musicians and artists, having helped produce a musical festival and other musical events for nearly 20 years. Many incredible artists have found a place at our table. Wonderful experiences, we will treasure always. My family and friends are my practice subjects. With a family that includes nut, peanut, tree fruit, and vegetable allergies, gluten intolerance, dairy intolerance, vegetarians, vegans, heart conscious, and a couple of picky eaters, there has to be a few quick tricks in the book to keep everyone fed and happy! Personally, I do not eat red meat or most full-fat dairy (usually) for health reasons, making the occasional exception at Thanksgiving and Christmas or our anniversary if the duck is locally raised. I do eat fish and seafood, so I try to come up with alternatives and substitutions when available. I serve local organic eggs and cheeses to my family who can tolerate dairy (My husband recently had a heart attack, and I need to watch my own cholesterol so I am careful, but have been known to let a little piece of really good cheese accidentally fall on my plate!). I believe strongly that eating in a way that is good for our planet is also good for our bodies, and I try to educated myself about our food sources! I cook by the seasons and draw on inspiration from the strong and talented women in my family who came before me, as well as the youth in the family who look at the world with fresh eyes. Food links us all, whether sharing a meal, cooking it together, or writing about it for others to enjoy. I love taking an old recipe and giving it a modern spin, especially if I can make it a littler healthier and use foods that are kinder to the Earth and to our bodies. I believe strongly in sustainable, delicious eating of whole foods, and the wonderful flavors we have at our fingertips! And finally, I love conversing with all the talented cooks and chefs out there who dot the globe! It's a wonderful, world full of culinary pen pals, and I cherish them all! XXXOOO Dorothy
    Dorothy’s New Vintage Kitchen says:

    I often judge a cookbook by its cover! If it makes me want to pick it up and thumb through, it has to be promising!

  7. Karen – New England – I travel the back roads of the world, sharing great food and interesting places and enjoyable pastimes.
    Karen says:

    This recipe, with the chicken included, would definitely help those that say they don’t like tofu.

  8. Hello Bernadette, this looks like a great cookbook and I like the look of this meal.

  9. the Painted Apron – Life is all about creativity for me, as long as I'm creating something I am happy! I hope I will inspire your daily life and give you ideas for your own wonderful creations!
    Jenna says:

    I admire you for trying to eat more plant based foods and must admit I’ve never tried tofu…this sounds like a smart and tasty way to incorporate it in a recipe~

    • Jenna, tofu is an easy way to add protein to any sauce. You have so many fabulous recipes and would have no difficulty at all experimenting with it.

  10. D. Wallace Peach – 30 Miles beyond the edge of civilization, Oregon – I'm an adventurer in writing, peering under rocks in my garden for secret magic. I can't stop writing. My stories want to explode from my head. They demand my attention and surge from my fingertips faster than I can put them to paper. I love what I do.
    D. Wallace Peach says:

    Thanks for sharing the recipe and the cookbook, Bernadette. I’m also trying to eat a lot more plant-based main courses these days. I’m finding that there are lots of options that are pretty yummy. This one looks delish. 🙂 😀

  11. It is my pleasure Diana. I subscribe to the “lean in” process of change and this recipe is one I feel exemplifies that method of change. Take good care and talk soon.

  12. What a great idea doing cookbook reviews Bernadette!

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