Super Natural & Writing Books


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I was thrilled to win Helene of Tartlette’s recent give away for a copy of Heidi Swanson’s book, Super Natural Every Day

The book is simply amazing. Both the recipes and the food photography are just stellar.

Well-loved recipes from my natural foods kitchen. Super natural every day by Heidi swanson cover

The recipes focus on real food, natural food, and plant-based ingredients.  Heidi shows us that you can make great meals, without being overly complicated or “fussy”.  She allows plenty of room for substitutions and modifications in her recipes, which is precisely how I cook.  Following a recipe to a T is not my strong suit.

Kale salad recipe page and picture with green leaves, carrotsKale Salad.  I’m a fan of those.  As well as chocolate cococnut kale chips.

Even though there is simplicity in her recipes, by reading the ingredient lists, there is usually a unique ingredient in most dishes that provides a wow factor.

Pomegranate-glazed Eggplant with Tempeh recipe with picture, tempeh, green leavesPomegranate-Glazed Eggplant with Tempeh.  That has some definite wow factor for me.

The recipes use an abundance of fruits and vegetables.  It happens to be a vegetarian cookbook but I don’t think of it as a “vegetarian cookbook”.  I think of it as a cookbook showcasing plant-based ingredients, whole grains, and making due with ingredients you have on hand without a lot of fuss.

Summer squash soup and recipe with picture, soup with vegetable garnish Summer Squash Soup

I can’t wait to try Heidi’s Chickpeas

Roasted chickpeas picture and recipe

I make Carmelized Cinnamon Sugar Roasted Chickpea “Peanuts”

Carmelized Cinnamon Sugar Roasted Chickpea “Peanuts”

And her Oatcakes look great.

Oatcakes picture and recipe

I may need to step away from the microwave with my Microwave Banana Oat Cakes with nut butter on top…

Microwave Banana Oat Cakes with nut butter on top…and fire up the oven one of these days.

She has a recipe for Baked Oatmeal that looks wonderful

baked oatmeal in pan

Again, I may need to put down my own Microwave Blueberry Banana Oat Cakes to try her baked blueberry oatmeal.

Microwave Blueberry Banana Oat Cakes

And here’s Heid’s recipe for Tutti-Frutti Crumble

Tutti-Frutti Crumble

I love crumbles, like Raw Vegan Apple Crumble so I’m sure I’ll love her crumble!

Raw Vegan Apple Crumble in tupperware

Both Helene and Heidi are amazing cooks, photographers, and both are authors.

back cover of book

Helene’s book, From Plate to Pixel, just came out, too. I can’t wait to buy that one!

So many books, so little time.

Need any other cookbook reviews?

Shelf of cookbooksSo many books.  Anyone have a sumo wrestling team that needs to be fed?

I can’t wait to dig into Heidi’s book and start making things.

Super natural every day by Heidi Swanson book cover

From my last post about Nicer Days and What to Make Next, hopefully you all get some nicer weather soon!

Thanks for sharing whether you have things on your radar screen that you’re wanting to make next and I also enjoyed reading whether you’re a creature of habit with your food and meals or whether you’re a try new things person.   As I explained, I am both.   Heidi’s book is perfect for the way I like to eat, as I discussed.

Time for dessert and a  No Bake Vanilla Cake Batter Chocolate Truffle

Vanilla Cake Batter Chocolate Truffle
They don’t use super or natural ingredients.  But there is chocolate invovled which I think is super.


1. Do you have any cookbooks that are on your wish list or any go-to cookbooks you can’t live without?

I have talked cookbooks many times and have a massive post about them with links to reviews on dozens and dozens of cookbooks I own.  Check that out if you’re in the market but in a nutshell my cookbook must haves:

simple recipes that don’t take hours and hours to prepare

ingredient lists that aren’t a mile long or with hard to source/exotic/expensive ingredients

a focus on fresh, real food

beautiful photography (so many cookbooks have either no photos or poor quality.  Not Heidi’s book, though.  Plentiful and gorgeous images!)

2. Do you ever want to write a cookbook or a book?

I know, not firsthand but from what I’ve read and been told, that it is so much work to write a book!

Not just the actual writing of the book, but the proposals, finding an agent, editors, revisions, photographing it all.  Oh you have to actually write the book, too.  And if it’s a cookbook, knowing how to cook and create original recipes is a good thing.

It all sort of scares me off!  Sort of.

Some days I dream and say maybe one day I will…but who knows.

For now, I write my blog posts twice a day and work full time and am a full time parent (often, a single parent while Scott travels).  I don’t know how I’d write a book right now.  But I never say never.

Anyone bitten by the writer’s bug out there? And if you are and want to share how you got started, fill me in!  I’m all ears!

P.S. If you’re just catching up on posts from the weekend, here are mine since Friday:

Hope your Monday is off to a good start!


About the Author

Welcome to AverieCooks! Here you’ll find fast and easy recipes that taste amazing and are geared for real life. Nothing fussy or complicated, just awesome tasting dishes everyone loves!

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  1. I ALSO got this book recently! I bought it though haha I’ve het to try anything but everything just looks so darn awesome

  2. Yum, the book sounds amazing. Thanks for the review. I’ve yet to try roasted chickpeas, don’t know why, but I need to! Wow on the baked oatmeal.

    1. Sure, I want to finish collecting Kristen Suzanne’s books and Ani’s next Asian book. Currently I’ve been using Ani and Jennifer Cornbleet’s books a lot, but I alternate.
    2. Sure, it’d be a blast.

  3. Some of those recipes look/sound divine! I’m a cookbook junkie. I love to read recipes, but hardly ever follow one. HAHA!!

  4. I like your cookbook must-haves. Mine are similar and is why I don’t own any cookbooks. I have never found any that have recipes I will actually eat that don’t take a million years to make and don’t require a million ingredients that I don’t have on hand. I have checked out numerous ones from the library and have copied the one to five recipes that I’ll find, but there never seems to be enough to justify buying it!

  5. I’ve been thoroughly enjoying rice paper wraps. It’s almost time for me to go buy a new pack. Don’t want to run out :)

    Did you find time to try making your own sushi rolls? If so, will you be blogging about it soon? Just call me Curious Beth ;)

  6. Hi Averie, I love your blog, and I’m sorry to be a pedant, but I’m seeing this all over American blogs, and it drives me wild: it’s “make DO” not “make DUE,” from the phrase “make do and mend.” I’m so sorry and I’m probably going to be attacked, but it’s one of those things (along with “alot” instead of “a lot”) that I can’t stop myself typing about.

    To show that I’m not just a random mean person, I’ve recently made your Coconut Oil Chocolate and I *adore* it, as does my mum who I’m trying to persuade to eat more healthily – I’d love to see her ditch the Cadbury’s for my homemade chocolate treats, but I doubt I’ll see the day :( – and I find your blog truly inspirational in my attempts to vegan-ize my diet: your straight-forward attitude and your simple-yet-always-delicious recipes are perfect! Thank you so much :)

    1. It was simply a typo. Sometimes they happen when I am trying to write two posts a day and weed thru the 200+ blog related emails I get, daily.

      And yes, thru is shorthand for through. And I know the difference :)

      Glad you enjoy the blog and the chocolate. Thanks for reading!

      1. Thank you for your reply! I forgot to tell you that I also made your Chocolate Protein Overnight Oats and I thought I was in heaven when I ate it … I must have eaten about fifty different types of overnight oats and it was by far the best, so thank you again :)

      2. thanks for lmk you think my choc prot overnight oats are the best :)

  7. I am definitely bitten by the writer’s bug :) I have a whole website devoted to it!

    I recently finished the first half of my first novel and am pretty proud of that.

    I love books of all sorts – fiction, memoirs, and I love cookbooks, where there are stories behind the recipes :)

  8. Oh, and I would love to write my own cookbook some day. I’ve been interested in cooking since I was 14 or so, so it’s been a passion for a long time (for someone who is 22 it is yes).
    But recently I’m so overwhelmed by everything that is schoolrelated, I don’t have much time to cook or write blogs…

  9. I LOVE cookbooks, I’m kinda addicted to them… My collection is getting bigger and bigger and on top of that my wishlist is too. Super Natural Every Day is on it, Vegeterranean, Vegan Cookies invade your cookie jar, Vegan with a vengeance (I ordered that one yesterday), Eat, drink and be vegan, Everyday vegan, Vive le Vegan, Veganomicon, Appetite for reduction, My sweet vegan, … and many more. Lots of vegan cookbooks, they’re hard to get in Dutch (my mothertongue) so I order the ones I get to know from blogs etcetera.
    I like how there are some papers sticking out of your cookbooks, it’s the same here!

  10. this book sounds marvelous! I think it would be fun to write a cookbook or something of that sort. And very hard. I’m not naturally a great writer, so that would be a weeee bit scary and humbling. But–if God wants me to, then why not. :P

  11. I always have a tonne of cookbooks on my wishlist, although I am like you, and shouldn’t really be adding to my stash!

  12. I just wrote up my post for tomorrow and talked about this book, even though I don’t actually have it. I do want it though. I look at cookbooks as “ideas” books. I rarely (never) follow a recipe, but I like to see flavor combos that work for others and then work from there.

  13. I have been wanting to get a few more vegan and raw food cookbooks but I just haven’t had the time to do much research lately…hopefully once these events are over on Wednesday!

  14. Ah I was just looking through this today at the bookstore! Everything looked so delicious, I’m probably going to end up buying a copy myself :)

  15. I LOVE when others suggest food books, cause I’m always looking for a good one. Would definitely love to write a book one…ideas are a brewin’!

  16. My cookbook shelves look like yours but I’m always looking for and buying more, since I work in a bookstore! I will keep an eye out for this one.

  17. I would love to write a book, but I’m not sure what kind of book. I guess I eould ahve to figure that one out first. :)

  18. Wow, you have quite the cookbook collection! I loooove cookbooks. I’d like to think I’m a collector of them haha. I have a least a shelf-full of cookbooks that I haven’t even opened yet. In time, in time.
    I love that you had something similar to each of Heidi’s recipes! Can’t wait to see what changes you make to hers!

  19. Thanks so much for this review! I’ve been wondering about it, but don’t want to just buy it “blind” per se! It definitely looks like I need to add it to my list though!

    Blogging twice a day (AND developing recipes, photographing them, etc)…I just have to say, you go, girl! I don’t know HOW you do it all (I can’t find the time to read blogs AND blog…it’s one of the other!), but I LOVE being able to check into your blog twice a day and find something fun and interesting to read! So thanks!

  20. I have one of Heidi’s other cookbooks and I love it, it taught me so much about natural eating and cooking!

  21. That book sounds wonderful. Thx for sharing! I just may have to pick it up.

    Blog twice a day and be a mom and work??? You go girl!!!

  22. I’d like a good vegetarian or vegan cookbook. I’m an omni, but I can appreciate a good veggie recipe, and meat’s expensive, and I’m still getting ideas for non-dairy cooking.
    I don’t think I’d ever write a cookbook, but I’ve always wanted to write novels. I’m editing my first novel right now and I hope to start looking for an agent by the end of the summer. I also love to blog, journal, write poetry and creative non-fiction, which falls into several categories. Writing is my passion! That and art. And good food.

  23. I think you’d be a fab candidate for a cook book. I know I’d love your no-fuss, but still delicious approach to cooking recipes even if I didn’t love ya already! :)

  24. i cannot live without thomas keller’s ad hoc at home. not a bad recipe in the whole thing! no desire to reinvent the wheel, i do just fine reading blogs/recipe apps on my phone! girl on the run!

  25. I could stare at beautiful food photography forever! That eggplant and tempeh really does sound amazing. One of my favorite cookbooks is Eat Drink & Be Vegan! Even though I’m not vegan I’m just in love with all the recipes.

  26. i have ALWAYS dreamed of making a cookbook with some exercise tips thrown in there. It would be more sports nutrition based…healthy foods for the active onefitfoodie! hehe

    I love those recipes you pointed out from that book…the pom glazed tempeh sounds amazing!

    OMG averie, the bikini was perfect for my photoshoot! LOOOOVED IT!

    1. glad the bikini was perfect and you looked amazing in your post! Can’t wait to see more pics! And hear if you think you’re going to do more shows, what the short/long term future holds for workouts, etc.

  27. Growing up, I wanted to be an author, so a little part of me still wants to write a book one day…though all the work is definitely daunting!! There are so many challenges surrounding it- writing it, finding a publisher, publicizing it, hoping people enjoy it. If I’m ever at a stage in my life where I feel like I have something book-worthy to say, I might pursue it, but that’s nowhere near happening right now!

    I’ve posted before about how much I love Eat, Drink and Be Vegan- mostly because it’s where I found my favorite Super Charge Me cookies!!

  28. It looks like a great book! I really like when cookbooks have glossy, color photos of EVERY recipe. That way I know for sure what the finished product is supposed to look like.

    I don’t own a lot of cookbooks because I have to really want to make a majority of the recipes from it….otherwise, I just get it out of the library. ;-)

  29. congrats on winning that wonderful book, averie! right up your alley, for sure, with the style and ingredient lists!
    i have a couple bookshelves of cookbooks, but since i don’t like cooking, they don’t get used that much! :) when i do need a recipe, i very often turn to my mom’s tried-n-true.
    if i ever did write a cookbook, it would be a compilation of family favourites from my mom and two grandmothers. i don’t think anyone would want a cookbook of my cooking!!!
    yes, never say never. with your innovative recipe ideas + interest in photography, who knows what you may end up doing in a few years!

  30. I love recipes that are simply but have a small zinger — like that eggplant.

    My favorite vegan cookbook is anything by Ani Phyo. You really sense the love she has for simply-made but great-tasting eats. I also got the chance to interview her for a newspaper article I wrote and I was sooo happy to find she’s just as nice in person as she is in her books. She gave me some suggestions when I was planning a raw cake for my dad’s birthday, teehee.

    I’d love to read the Averie cookbook!

    When I know how to basically cook something, I definitely wing it. It’s only if I don’t know how to cook something that I hang onto a cookbook. Like my adventures in game meats– those needed a roadmap. But usually, cookbooks to me are foreplay. They get me all revved up and inspired for the real act!

    1. Im with you on Ani’s books. Easy, no fuss, vegan, GF, flavorful but again…easy. A few things require dehydrating or more complicated prep but I improvise.

      Thanks for “I’d love to read the Averie cookbook! “– thank you!!!!

  31. Averie, you should totally write a cookbook someday! Your future cookbook is on my wish list :)

  32. I’ve heard great things about her! I love cookbooks, but I find I usually just use recipes for inspiration and then go from there.

  33. i love 101 cookbooks! i want to buy it, i just have a million others :)
    I am looking forward to the Peas and Thank you Cookbook!

  34. I love cookbooks and have so many, yet I never make anything from them… but I just bought my first raw foods cookbook and I’m so excited to try something from it! I would love to be able to create my own recipes, but honestly have no idea where to begin with it…

  35. Some of those recipes look super delicious! And I have to agree with you that the pomegranate eggplant/tempeh dish sounds and looks amazing.

    I have a couple of cookbooks but to be honest I don’t use them much. I’m more of a “throw these ingredients together on a plate” than an actual recipe user — so I find myself using cookbooks for baked goods (which I haven’t been making much of lately). I do like simple recipes, short ingredient lists, easy steps, etc. I don’t like when I need 1 tsp of an ingredient that I don’t normally have at home. It seems like a waste of money to me!

    I have no desire to make a cookbook — I don’t have any recipes of my own, just spin offs of other recipes (from blogs or books). And I think it would take a crazy amount of time!

  36. oh another cookbook I mudt check out! looks great. I’d love to write a GF cookbook for triathletes. Maybe some day….