I was contacted about reviewing a cookbook called “The Real Food Diet Cookbook” by Dr. Josh Axe.
I said yes immediately because it is something I can get behind: Real Food. You can read his bio here.
Saturday night I created this recipe:
West African Cashew Soup
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 cup cooked, diced chicken breast
2/3 cup onion, diced
1 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
3 cups free-range chicken broth
1 6 ounce can tomato paste
1 can stewed tomatoes
1/2 cup cashew butter
1. Heat sesame oil in large stock pot over medium heat. Saute onion until translucent.
2. Add all seasonings and cook 1 minute more.
3. Add chicken, broth, tomato paste, stewed tomatoes and cashew butter. Stir until well combined.
4. Continue cooking until heated through.
When I was flipping through the cookbook this was the first recipe that jumped out at me. I have no idea why because honestly the Cashew Butter would have deterred me. I don’t cook with peanut butter much (unless in baking). But this recipe spoke to me and I wanted to do it. I am so glad I did, too! It was probably one of the best things I’ve made in a long time.
Michael wasn’t feeling well so he wasn’t going to eat any of the soup (which was a shame because it was amazing). He did try a spoonful to taste it and said it was fantastic. Anyway, back to the kitchen..I set up some mood music for my cooking adventure.
I got out all the ingredients and then realized I didn’t have stewed tomatoes–just diced. I wasn’t sure if that was considered the same, so back to the grocery store I went (for a 79 cent item). The sesame oil was surprisingly expensive, too, which I wasn’t expecting. I lucked out and found curry powder on sale (50% off) because that was also pricey. We had leftover rotisserie chicken from Friday night’s dinner so that’s what I used in the recipe instead of the plain chicken breast.
The recipe didn’t call for zucchini but I wanted to add a vegetable to the soup so I improvised. I also learned from past errors when cooking and made sure everything was chopped, minced, prepped, and measured out BEFORE I started cooking! Progress!
The cashew butter was creamier and more liquidy than peanut butter and was so much easier to measure. I’ve never tried cashew butter but it was a pretty tasty alternative to peanut butter. (I can see me trying the cashew butter with apples in my near future.)
I was a bit worried at this point…the confidence I had for the recipe was faltering. It was too liquidy! I had hoped it would be a creamier soup. I decided to just let it be and not alter the recipe in any way. I added the cashew butter and mixed it all together.
Once the cashew butter started to melt it thickened up the soup very nicely. I added a little more salt and pepper and a dash of more curry powder and continued to taste it to see if it needed anything more.
Finally the soup was ready.
I can’t get over how tasty the soup is! It’s creamy and spicy and the rotisserie chicken went really well as a substitute for the chicken breast. I’m also glad I added the zucchini. Having the vegetable in the soup made it heartier.
A few things I DON’T like about the cookbook:
- The calories aren’t listed
- None of the recipes have servings sizes…I had to guess about the soup…my guess is 8 servings??
- It looks like a few of the recipes call for very strange ingredients that might be difficult to find (and expensive)
The GOOD things about the cookbook:
- Recipes with fewer ingredients
- Beautiful color photos of every recipe
- Brief, to the point directions on how to make the recipe (huge with me!)
- The soup was amazing!!!
I’m looking forward to trying the other recipes. I’ve already picked out 5 that I MUST try as soon as possible.
Dinner was so amazing. I spent the rest of the evening feeling VERY proud of myself for making such a successful dish. I know it’s tecehnically just “following a recipe” and “anyone can do it” but I can’t tell you how many kitchen distasters I’ve experienced. “Just following a recipe” doesn’t mean it will be a success!
QUESTION: Have you ever made anything similar to this? What else can I add to this soup?