The China Study Quick & Easy Cookbook provides a large collection of recipes that are plant-based (no meat) and utilize a variety of whole foods. Although the word “China” is in the title, it’s not an Asian food cookbook. Rather, it references a series of books by co author Leanne Campbell and features a wide range of dishes (typically, variations of unhealthier food such as Mac N Cheese). The book is bright and friendly, well photographed, well designed, and with nice breadth and depth in the recipes (which are very easy to make). The focus of the book is healthy food that is very quick and easy to prepare.
The book includes meal plans, pantry lists, and then ends with measurements guide, dietary symbols, nutritional value, and an index. Recipes are single page, have bold orange titles, use italics and bold for the ingredients list, and steps are in numbered paragraph form (the easiest way to follow a recipe!). Storage time, substitutions, and tips are included as needed.
The recipes break down as follows: Breakfast dishes, Sauces, Salad Dressings & Seasonings, Snacks & Spreads, Salads, Sandwiches, Pasta & Baked Dishes, Soups, Entrees, and Deserts. Recipes vary: Stovetop fruit crisp, tostads, pita pizza alfredo, poblano-corn quinoa cakes, mushroom tacos, island red bean stew, asian noodle soup, fuss-free pho, Southwest burgers, summer penne pasta saute, late summer potato salad, falafel, alfredo sauce, jerk spice rub, herbed orange vinaigrette, fresh apple muffins, apple pie granola, muesli, and many, many, more.
Common substitutions for unhealthier ingredients are medjool dates for sweetness, non dairy milk (coconut, hemp, etc.) for milk, cauliflower for cheese, mushrooms for beef, and whole grains for flour, etc. There are several bases that you’ll make in advance and use them through the week to make the various recipes.
The list of recipes is long and they are well photographed. The substitution tips help keep the recipes fresh and interesting. But most importantly, very few recipes have more than 3-4 ingredients or 3 steps. Indeed, many recipes have 1-2 steps (not counting the staples made in advance, which are also easy). I found it very quick to plan a bit in advance and then quickly whip up meals in the morning and during the day. All really are that time efficient.
In all, I really liked this cookbook a lot. It’s friendly, easy to use, and has great recipes for eating healthier. The breadth of the recipes means there is a lot for everyone, regardless of likes/dislikes. Reviewed from an advance reader copy provided by the publisher.