Build, break, build.
Now we’ve had a chance to work through some of the recipes in the Whole 30 book, I have some revisions to make to my original assessment.
On the positive side, the ones we’ve tried are well tasty. I particularly liked the orange and beet salad. The instructions are easy to follow, and none of them have ingredients hidden in the method (like water).
A few critiques. The first, and main, one is that the oven temperatures and cooking times seem…off. As in far too hot for far too long. Exhibit A is the method for roasting spaghetti squash. At 425F for an hour, I would have ended up with mush; even the 30 minutes I had it in for was more than enough. Similar with the fritata. The instructions call for 5 minutes at 500F, after 3-4 minutes on the stovetop. Admittedly, my fritata was thinner than pictured, but I could only have it at 375F and it only took 4 minutes.
Also, as much as I liked the orange and beet salad, I did feel it was missing a balancing flavour – something in the onion family, perhaps finely chopped shallot. Could be a nitpick, personal taste and all, but still a potential shortfall for a field-tested cookbook.
All that said, one of the best things I’ve gotten out of the book comes from the suggested meal plan. We were feeling a bit hollow after breakfasts and I couldn’t figure out why. While browsing the meal plan, I saw that many of the breakfasts (and lunches) had a serving of fruit. We don’t often have fruit, but figured we’d give it a go.
Enter the glorious Ida Red! Of all the apples, it is surely the best, especially this far out of apple season. I bought some to give them a try, and was overwhelmed by their firm texture and balanced flavour – not too sweet, not too tart. Turns out, they’re intended for storage, so they hold up well out of season, unlike so many varieties. Once you’re into the new year, you’ve got two choices: go non-local, or suffer with hit-and-miss Galas or Honeycrisps. And local, seasonal produce is important to me. So until autumn, it’s Canadian Ida Reds all the way.