Orchids + Sweet Tea

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A book review of Orchids + Sweet Tea: Plant Forward Recipes with Jamaican Flavor & Southern Charm by Shanika Graham-White

A book review of Orchids + Sweet Tea: Plant Forward Recipes with Jamaican Flavor & Southern Charm by Shanika Graham-White

Stars: ****

Victory Belt Publishing (2021)
380 pages

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This post contains affiliate links.

Summary: Adopting a plant-forward diet doesn’t mean that you’ll be eating a lifetime of meals that are primarily steamed broccoli and plain rice because eating healthy doesn’t mean that food has to lack flavor. In Orchids + Sweet Tea, recipe developer and food stylist Shanika Graham-White shows you that plant-forward meals can be delicious, bold, and flavorful. You just have to be willing to be creative and treat food as art.

Whether you’re a home cook or a skilled chef, the more than 120 recipes in this book will help you make everyday comfort food recipes to nourish your family as well as unique, artful dishes for special occasions that call for more flair. This beautiful book celebrates the idea of turning old and new favorites into healthier options that everyone can enjoy while honoring a plant-forward approach to eating.

Orchids + Sweet Tea

This cookbook is plant-forward which means the recipes aren’t all Vegan but they promote eating more vegetables and less meat.

“Plant-forward just means that plant foods are the starts of your meals. They’re not all you eat, however. In addition to unprocessed or minimally processed foods such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, healthy fats from plants, herbs and spices, you can consume moderate amounts of organic meat and dairy products that are produced responsibly and on a small scale.”

Orchids + Sweet Tea Introduction

We are not a Vegan family but we sometimes have to cook or bake vegan just to make things without milk for my daughter with a milk allergy. So I appreciate this book because it has recipes that don’t necessarily take the meat away but isn’t heavily a milk recipe. It either doesn’t feature milk or just features a little and I can replace with non-dairy milks and cheeses.

I’m not familiar with Jamaican cuisine but some of the Jamaican dishes looks yummy. There are southern recipes too but there are lots of average American dishes as well. The book starts off with some introductions and ideas for going plant-forward. Recipes are divided into essential, morning eats, brunch goodness, breads/muffins/scones, bits/pieces, soups/salads, delicious dinners, sweets & decadent drinks and healthy juices/mocktails/teas.

Example Recipes

You will find such yummy recipes as:

  • Easy Pizzaa Dough
  • Apple Cinnamon Granola
  • Sunrise smoothie
  • Meatless Breakfast Tacos
  • Dairy-Free Strawberry-Peach Crips Yogurt Bowl
  • Brown Butter Blueberry Waffles
  • Dairy- Free Strawberry Pecan French Toast Casserole
  • Rum Raisin Bread
  • Jamaican Rice & Peas
  • Creamy Cajun Pumpkin Mac & “Cheese”
  • Jamaican Spiced Corn Soup
  • Buffalo Chickpea Kale Salad
  • Dairy-Free Garlic Alfredo Spinach Pasta
  • Spicy Sesame Plant-Based Meatballs with Cauliflower Rice
  • Southern Banana Pudding
  • Apple Ginger Peach Mocktail

All the recipes have a full colour photograph of the finished product, (which is personally the feature I find most important in a cookbook.)

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About Kathleen

I've been a nonfiction lover for as long as I can remember. I love children's nonfiction as well and love to share my knowledge and the books I gained them from, with the world. I wish more people would give nonfiction a chance.