Judith D Collins
The Colorful Kitchen
Simple Plant-Based Recipes for Vibrancy, Inside and Out
Publisher: BenBella Books
Publication Date: 12/12/2017
My Rating: 3 Stars (ARC) Color your kitchen with a rainbow of healthy, delicious plant-based recipes. You don’t need fancy equipment or expensive exotic ingredients to make delicious, healthy, vegan meals at home. Let The Colorful Kitchen take the mystery out of plant-based cooking and make the experience of cooking and eating easy and delicious. Certified health coach and plant-based food blogger Ilene Godofsky’s cooking philosophy is “colorful, not complicated.” When you fill your plate with color, you’re not only adding flavor and visual appeal—you’re filling your plate with health. Her recipes emphasize vivid combinations of wholesome, plant-based ingredients full of essential vitamins and minerals—because counting colors is way more fun than counting calories and carbs.
Ilene guides readers through easy-to-follow preparations that will make every meal as exciting as it is nourishing.
The Colorful Kitchen’s vibrant, sustaining recipes include:
- Pink & Purple Coconut Smoothie
- Pineapple & Peanut Sauce Tofu Wrap
- Coconut Crusted Avocado Fries
- Roasted Rainbow Bowl with Maple Mustard Dressing
- Harvest Butternut Squash & Apple Burgers
- Strawberry Loaf with Cream Cheese Glaze
- Chocolate Hummus
- Miso Tahini Cookies
For too long, vegan food has had a bad reputation: tasteless, boring. Mostly brown. Full of unfamiliar ingredients that take way too long to prepare. Not in The Colorful Kitchen!
A special thank you to BenBella and NetGalley for an advanced reading copy. Review to follow.
“Ilene has us covered with every color in the rainbow! These recipes are loaded with nutrition that haven’t sacrificed any of the yummy flavor. From Coconut-Crusted Avocado Fries and Whole Roasted Tahini Cauliflower to Cheesy Broccoli & Bacon Stuffed Potatoes and Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies, every recipe is easy and delicious.” —Chloe Coscarelli, vegan chef and cookbook author of Chloe Flavor
“The Colorful Kitchen proves that plant-based cooking can be delicious, easy, and totally affordable. Ilene’s beautiful recipes will leave you inspired, no matter how veggie-skeptical you are. A true feast for your belly and eyes!” —Jessica Murnane, author of One Part Plant and host of the One Part Podcast
“If you’ve ever felt like eating more plants is blah or takes way too much time and effort until ‘ta-da,’ then Ilene’s book is about to blow the tops off your carrots! With drool-worthy vegan dishes that truly taste as good as they look (trust me, I’ve been a long-time taste tester), The Colorful Kitchen should be a staple on your bookshelf that’ll easily make plants a staple in your diet.” —Talia Pollock, founder of Party in My Plants and host of the Party in My Plants Podcast
About the Author
Hey there! I’m Ilene and I make, photograph (and eat!) all the recipes you see on the site.
I’m a certified health coach, recipe developer and food photographer. Before all of that, I studied Textile Design at RISD and Photography at OCAC. This blog is my happy place where I combine my love of color, texture and all things rainbow with plant-based cooking.
My Plant-Based Journey
I’m crazy about all things veggie, but I haven’t always felt this way. My journey to a plant-based whole food diet has been eight years in the making and I’m still happily learning new things everyday. My diet is 100% vegan, and mostly gluten-free, but I know that the way I eat isn’t necessarily for everyone. I’m a firm believer in listening to your body and making food choices based on what’s right for you, but I also truly believe that everyone can benefit from incorporating more plant-based dishes into their diet.
People often ask me why and how I eat the way that I do, so I would like to share a little about how my diet got to be where it is now. As a child I was an extremely picky eater and like many kids, my favorite foods were white bread, french fries and chicken nuggets. I found the taste of all fruits beyond bananas to be too intense and there was no way I was getting anywhere near a green vegetable. At age 9, after seeing a live lobster cooked in a pot of boiling water, I fully realized the connection between meat and animals and I immediately decided to become a vegetarian. My parents were supportive but had no idea what to feed me, so I subsisted on a diet of grilled cheese sandwiches and microwavable veggie burgers until my pediatrician told my parents I was malnourished and needed to eat meat.
I experimented with vegetarianism off and on until it finally stuck during my freshman year of college. I was still very much uninterested in most fruits and vegetables and my diet was heavy in dairy and processed foods. Slowly I started to become curious about some of the foods I had avoided my whole life. Believe it or not, at age 19 I tried olives and tomatoes for the first time and oranges and peaches at age 20!
I should mention that I used to have a lot of allergies. In addition to having asthma, I was diagnosed as allergic to grass, trees, dogs, cats, pollen and dust to name a few. I had been on a steady stream of prescription shots and allergy medications since age 7 but somehow I still managed to be constantly coughing, sneezing and suffering from sinus problems. At age 20 I finally decided to be proactive about my health and see if there was something I could do to alleviate my never-ending symptoms. I had heard about the Macrobiotic diet working as a mysterious cure-all for everything from headaches to cancer so I did a little research and decided to give it a try. Macrobiotics center around eating unprocessed whole grains, cooked vegetables, and legumes. I felt completely overwhelmed even looking at macrobiotic recipes but I decided to give it try.
I had never even heard of quinoa or millet before and certainly never cooked with kale or chard. My first few days following the Macrobiotic diet were a little rough but by day 4 I began to experience a sense of clarity and lightness I had never felt before. I noticed another huge difference in the way that I felt, for the first time in my life my stomach didn’t hurt after I ate. I had grown so accustomed to feeling sick after every meal that I never realized that it wasn’t normal to have daily stomach aches. After a month of eating this way my allergies completely disappeared (I soon discovered this was linked to cutting out dairy) and I went off all my medications.
I followed a strict macrobiotic diet for six months and while I felt better than I ever had before, it seemed that something was missing. I began to experiment with raw foodism and was amazed by how energized all the fruits, vegetables, sprouts and nuts made me feel. I spent a summer eating 95% raw foods but when it turned into Fall I began to crave cooked grains and tofu. At this point I decided to listen to my body eat the foods that felt right to me. After a year of eating this way I discovered that gluten doesn’t sit well with me and I feel my best without it.
All in all it took me about 3 years to figure out what foods make me feel my best, and I’m still learning every day. Along the way I found that I really love spending time experimenting in the kitchen (something I never thought I would say!) and I discovered how amazing and important seasonal and organic food produce can be and learned about the benefits of supporting local agriculture. Now my diet consists of plenty of fruit, raw and cooked vegetables, nuts, legumes, whole grains and of course, desserts. I listen to my body and I eat what makes me feel good.
I decided to become a health coach because I’ve seen so many people around me suffer from poor diets and lack of real food, like I once did. Making the decision to radically improve your health is one of the most valuable things you can do for yourself and your family. I’m here to help as many people as I can find their happiest, healthiest selves…and come up with a few new recipes along the way.