Update on The Casual Veggie Cookbook - Submissions closed

Hey everyone!! I wanted to give you all an update on what’s happening with The Casual Veggie cookbook.

If you’re new to Parsley and Pumpkins, Welcome! I’m Mollie. I’m not a nutritionist, a chef, an RD, or any kind of health professional. I’m a normal person who believes in eating real food!

Last year I started getting BORED with the food I was cooking. It seemed like every time I sat down to plan the week’s meals it was chicken, chicken, fish, chicken, pork. Or some random combination of the usual meats.

I decided to spend a year focusing on vegetables. I didn’t officially become vegetarian, but I shifted all of my meal planning and cooking to veggies first.

It was absolutely a lesson in variety, creativity, flavor, texture, and resourcefulness. I learned more about cooking and flavor in that one year than I had in the five years before it.

I learned two big lessons in my year of veggies.

First, a standard refrigerator is not well suited for a diet filled with celery, cauliflower, broccoli, fennel, asparagus, beet greens, kale, cabbage, carrots, and all of the awkward, non standardized, beautifully irregular fruits and veggies. I wasted a lot of money and a lot of good food by storing things wrong.

Second, beyond the requisite veggie side dish, I didn’t have a wide enough repertoire of recipes to make veggies the main focus of my cooking. I had a hard time coming up with a single dinner recipe I had made before that didn’t rely on meat.

Dealing with my inability to properly choose and store fruits and veggies, plus not knowing what to do with them in general, is what prompted me to create The Casual Veggie cookbook.

Remember the last time you were standing in front of your fridge looking at the contents of your crisper bin, wondering what the heck to do with those veggies.

This cookbook is for that moment. It’s a resource that will live on your computer and be available while you’re meal planning on a Sunday afternoon and 20 minutes before it’s time to eat on a busy Thursday night.

Last Monday was the official last day bloggers could submit recipes for the cookbook. To celebrate the fact that this cookbook is finally coming to life I wanted to give you a behind the scenes look at some of the choices we’ve made and why.


Collaborative

Most cookbooks are developed and written by one person. It’s all their voice, their recipes. When I was considering starting this project I knew I didn’t want this to be the Mollie show. I absolutely love following food bloggers to see their unique approaches to cooking.

It occurred to me that, while there's so much free information, it's almost impossible to sort through it all and find what you're looking for. Especially if you're looking for a different point of view than the mainstream. Any time I do a google search for a recipe the first three pages are full of old recipes from martha stewart, food & wine, food network, eating well, cooking light and so many other white washed magazines. You have to go to page 7 on google (who even does that?) to find modern recipes from independent voices.

I’ve been so blown away by all of the different people who have contributed. You get to hear the ideas and perspectives from vegetarians, vegans, paleo folks, stay at home moms, trained chefs, registered dietitians, nutritionists, and everyone in between. Each veggie really shines because it’s represented in so many different kinds of recipes with unique perspectives. Over 40 bloggers have submitted over 150 recipes for the cookbook. This is truly an incredible resource to love eating your veggies and make healthy eating feel like second nature!



Digital

Why digital? Because it’s accessible. There is no way this project could have come to life so quickly in a print version. Going digital gave me much more control over design, layout, features, and pricing. The money from the cookbook goes directly to the people who gave their creativity and passion to this project, not a publishing house. It’s these kinds of projects that allow bloggers and small businesses to make a living doing what they love and continue to put out amazing free content each week.

Plus, digital has a few extra advantages.

With over 150 recipes in the finished book we’ll be able to create internal linking so you can skip right to the recipe or section you’re looking for. No more scrolling for days! We’re also able to link directly to each blogger’s website from their recipe. You’ll be able to easily connect with your favorite stand-out bloggers from the cookbook.

Plus, recipes are printable!!


Printable

I still love all of the physical cookbooks on my shelf. There is definitely an advantage to having a physical copy you can bring in the kitchen or curl up with on the couch to plan meals.

When I was thinking about how to lay out the cookbook I started paying more attention to how I do my meal planning for the week. I realized that I use both my physical cookbook collection and recipes from food bloggers online each week. I rarely use one and not the other. But, when I use recipes from online I almost always print a copy and bring it in the kitchen.

I wanted to make sure the cookbook was printer friendly but still showed off the recipe with a big beautiful picture.

Each recipe gets a two page spread, one side has a big recipe photo and the blogger’s bio. The other side has the recipe in plain black and white text for easy printing.

The two page layout makes the cookbook super adjustable for vertical scrolling on an tablet or phone and it transitions to a more traditional layout on a desktop.


Resources

Of course, the cookbook wouldn’t be complete without adding everything I’ve learned about buying and storing fresh produce in the last year!

Each veggie section opens with:

  • A picture of the veggie actually growing in the field
  • How the veggie is grown
  • It’s seasonality
  • What to look for before you buy
  • How to keep it fresh until you’re ready to use it
  • Prep tips before cooking
  • Nutrition info

When I thought about my favorite cookbooks, they all had a little something extra. They didn't just include amazing recipes, they gave me tips, advice, and a new perspective I hadn't thought of before.

The resource pages is one of my favorite parts of the cookbook. It's these little tips that helped me transition from "I eat pretty healthy but could be doing a lot better" to having the systems and tools in place to eat healthy, home cooked meals daily.


I truly hope that this cookbook becomes a resource for you to take control of your food with confidence!

The Casual Veggie cookbook will be available October 19th. Visit www.TheCasualVeggieCookbook.com and sign up to be notified.


I teach people how to cook and eat real food with confidence so that you can have less stress, better health, and WAY more fun in the kitchen and in life.

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