Nicassio’s collection of more than 180 recipes that are plant-based and gluten-free offers help to those who suffer from dietary restrictions.
After suffering from negative reactions from some foods, Nicassio, a registered psychologist, sought out alternative methods of healing and ways to use food as medicine. She “became a Certified Integrative Energy Healing Practitioner, a Certified Gourmet Raw Food Chef and Instructor and a Certified Advanced Raw Food Nutrition Educator.” Her YUM philosophy is inclusive—even die-hard junk-food addicts or meat lovers can enjoy her recipes alongside those who need or choose to avoid certain foods. Nicassio emphasizes easing into the world of healthier eating, gradually incorporating more nutritious ingredients into the pantry and trying just a few recipes at a time. She lists “Funky Foods,” many of which are key ingredients in her recipes. Golden berries, lovage, buckwheat groats, kelp noodles, camelina oil, coconut aminos, and chicory root inulin powder may not be familiar to those without access to a well-stocked health food store. But Nicassio clearly and simply explains the nutritional importance of these ingredients. She also lists helpful kitchen tools, but since some items, like high-speed blenders, can be expensive, she suggests experimenting with a regular blender first. The recipes include nearly all food types—beverages, appetizers, salads, snacks, main dishes, etc. Some recipes aren’t as simple as billed: more than 70 require another recipe or two from the book (her Stuffed Bell Peppers recipe requires four), so interested readers will benefit by fully stocking their kitchens before proceeding. Environmentally conscious cooks will appreciate Nicassio’s section on creative, easy ways to reduce waste in the kitchen. Although probably best suited to those already familiar with plant-based, gluten-free eating, the author’s charm might convince many others to give it a go.
A thorough, informative cookbook for healthy meals; ideal for those with food restrictions.