Beautifully Real Food by Sam Murphy

I discovered this book a wee while ago and it was a beautiful looking book. The images of all that healthy food really stuck with me. I didn’t buy it the first time I saw it but after a bad day at work I wanted a treat and that book was it. I wanted to see how easy it would be to make these beautiful meals and if they could really taste as good as they looked.

The book created by Sam Murphy came about after she shared many recipes on her Instagram. These posts showed how easy it is to cut out both meat and dairy products but still eat all your favourite dishes. I choose a selection of main meals and desserts to try and get a true feel of the book. See what I chose below.

Tumeric baked beans, potato hash and sautéed greens.

This is a very filling and yummy meal. When I went over the recipe I was worried it would taste like a mild curry but the spices give the tomato sauce another dimension and a more warming taste instead. Perfect dish for a cosy weekend brunch. Being both tasty and filling this dish could be adapted to create a quick beans on toast if you were short on time but needed something to keep you going. This also lasts well if you have extras the next day.

Cheesy macaroni

This would be a good alternative for those who don’t have dairy but if you are a cheese lover this just doesn’t cut it. It tasted rather musky and just wasn’t enjoyable. Instead of wasting it I had to add cheese. The soy milk is important to give it that thicker texture of sauce. I tried it with almond milk and it was very runny however using the almond milk would create a good vegan ‘cheese’ sauce for nachos.

Lemon ‘honey’ tofu

The only times I have had tofu is in a miso soup, which I enjoy but still felt like I had never really had tofu.  A lemon ‘honey’ tofu dish seemed like a good way to go. I didn’t have any vegan honey so substituted maple syrup and it still worked well. The tofu was deep fried until it had a light crispy outside and a soft ‘meaty’ inside. This crispiness added the required texture for such a sweet sauce. You can tell your not eating chicken but the tofu was surprising firm. This would be a great replacement for anyone wanting to eat less meat as its very flavoursome. This is also a good option for those wanting a healthier version of a takeout dish. I know I’ll be having this again.

Spiced banana bread with chocolate chunks

This is such a good banana bread. If you like banana bread you need to try this. It is so moist and chocolatey but with a delicate banana flavour all the way through. After the sweet banana flavour the spices appear and then mixes with the chocolate for even more deliciousness. This book is worth it for the banana bread alone. Just try it. One warning though, wait until the bread is completely cool before cutting or it will fall apart.

Chocolate cake

I really wanted to like this as I was craving chocolate cake but I’m afraid I couldn’t get behind this cake. Even though the mix seemed to be all incorporated and then baked for longer than it needed, the cake still appeared uncooked and the taste wasn’t what I wanted. It was quite bitter and not indulgent. I made my own frosting but I still didn’t like it.

Overall I think this is good book and there are more dishes I would like to try in the future. The images really stand out and every recipe looks delicious. It doesn’t make me want to go vegan but I love to experience all food and it will be a book I refer to when I want something healthier.

If your interested in the book check it out on amazon here.