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National Winner for Gourmand World Cookbook Awards 2017 - Blogger category Shortlisted for the 2018 Taste Canada Awards - Health and Special Diet Cookbooks The creator of the popular Saveur award-winning blog The First Mess shares over 125 seasonal, plant-based, and beautifully prepared healthy recipes in her eagerly anticipated debut cookbook Home cooks head to The First Me National Winner for Gourmand World Cookbook Awards 2017 - Blogger category Shortlisted for the 2018 Taste Canada Awards - Health and Special Diet Cookbooks The creator of the popular Saveur award-winning blog The First Mess shares over 125 seasonal, plant-based, and beautifully prepared healthy recipes in her eagerly anticipated debut cookbook Home cooks head to The First Mess blog for Laura Wright's simple-to-prepare, seasonal vegan recipes, but stay for her beautiful photographs and enchanting storytelling. In her debut cookbook, Laura presents a visually stunning collection of heirloom-quality recipes highlighting the beauty of the seasons. Her 125-plus produce-forward recipes showcase the best each season has to offer, and as a whole, demonstrate that plant-based wellness is both accessible and delicious. Wright grew up working at her family's local food market and vegetable patch in the Niagara region of southern Ontario, where fully stocked root cellars in the winter and armfuls of fresh produce in the spring and summer were the norm. After attending culinary school and working in one of Canada's original farm-to-table restaurants, she launched The First Mess blog at the urging of her friends in order to share the delicious, no-fuss, healthy, seasonal meals she grew up eating, and quickly attracted a large international following. The First Mess Cookbook is filled with more of the exquisitely prepared plant-based recipes and lush photography that fans of the blog have come to expect. With recipes for every meal of the day, like Fluffiest Multigrain Pancakes, Meyer Lemon Romanesco Glow Salad, and Eggplant "Bolognese" Pasta, and desserts like Earl Grey Tiramisu, The First Mess Cookbook is a must-have for any home cook looking to prepare nourishing plant-based meals with the best the seasons have to offer.


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National Winner for Gourmand World Cookbook Awards 2017 - Blogger category Shortlisted for the 2018 Taste Canada Awards - Health and Special Diet Cookbooks The creator of the popular Saveur award-winning blog The First Mess shares over 125 seasonal, plant-based, and beautifully prepared healthy recipes in her eagerly anticipated debut cookbook Home cooks head to The First Me National Winner for Gourmand World Cookbook Awards 2017 - Blogger category Shortlisted for the 2018 Taste Canada Awards - Health and Special Diet Cookbooks The creator of the popular Saveur award-winning blog The First Mess shares over 125 seasonal, plant-based, and beautifully prepared healthy recipes in her eagerly anticipated debut cookbook Home cooks head to The First Mess blog for Laura Wright's simple-to-prepare, seasonal vegan recipes, but stay for her beautiful photographs and enchanting storytelling. In her debut cookbook, Laura presents a visually stunning collection of heirloom-quality recipes highlighting the beauty of the seasons. Her 125-plus produce-forward recipes showcase the best each season has to offer, and as a whole, demonstrate that plant-based wellness is both accessible and delicious. Wright grew up working at her family's local food market and vegetable patch in the Niagara region of southern Ontario, where fully stocked root cellars in the winter and armfuls of fresh produce in the spring and summer were the norm. After attending culinary school and working in one of Canada's original farm-to-table restaurants, she launched The First Mess blog at the urging of her friends in order to share the delicious, no-fuss, healthy, seasonal meals she grew up eating, and quickly attracted a large international following. The First Mess Cookbook is filled with more of the exquisitely prepared plant-based recipes and lush photography that fans of the blog have come to expect. With recipes for every meal of the day, like Fluffiest Multigrain Pancakes, Meyer Lemon Romanesco Glow Salad, and Eggplant "Bolognese" Pasta, and desserts like Earl Grey Tiramisu, The First Mess Cookbook is a must-have for any home cook looking to prepare nourishing plant-based meals with the best the seasons have to offer.

30 review for The First Mess Cookbook: Vibrant Plant-Based Recipes to Eat Well Through the Seasons

  1. 5 out of 5

    PorshaJo

    I had no idea how this book ended up at my library for me. I order so many cookbooks and probably don't remember ordering it. I get a couple a month from the library to peruse. When I started it, I was immediately hooked. The author first had a food blog which in turn this book was born. I don't know the blog but plan on visiting soon. The breakdown: Mornings and Breakfasts Soups and Stews Salads and Dressings Hearty Mains and Big Plates Vegetables and a Couple of Grains Energizing Drinks and Small Bit I had no idea how this book ended up at my library for me. I order so many cookbooks and probably don't remember ordering it. I get a couple a month from the library to peruse. When I started it, I was immediately hooked. The author first had a food blog which in turn this book was born. I don't know the blog but plan on visiting soon. The breakdown: Mornings and Breakfasts Soups and Stews Salads and Dressings Hearty Mains and Big Plates Vegetables and a Couple of Grains Energizing Drinks and Small Bites Desserts and Small Treats What amazed me most is that I went to soup section first to try recipes instead of the dessert section. I tried a couple soups and loved them. The one that stands out for me is a detox soup (Deep Immune Cup of Soup). So easy and tasty and enough for multiple meals plus some in the freezer for later. Easy to make recipes are what entice me. Something that I can make quickly on a weeknight that is tasty and filling. Recipes are vegan, or as it says plant-based, but no crazy hard to find ingredients. Bonus...gorgeous photos with each recipe. Love it. Overall, I really liked this cookbook and see myself checking it out over and over again from my library. I have so many recipes lined up to make already. Why only a four? Not a book I would buy (I have no shelf space left) as I would not cook from it everyday. I have my tried and true book. And a big section on breakfasts which I rarely make. What can I say...I'm lazy first thing in the morning, I'm lucky I can make toast at that hour of the day.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Liana Kreamer

    I've made several recipes from this cookbook and they were all delicious (and healthy - bonus!). I've made several recipes from this cookbook and they were all delicious (and healthy - bonus!).

  3. 5 out of 5

    Bridget

    When I look for new recipes, I have 3 criteria: 1.) Is it healthy? 2.) Is it FAST? (I don't actually like cooking. I do it because it's healthier. In a perfect world, I could eat fast food and I would look and feel great and I would be healthy and thriving. Also, when I'm ready to eat, I'm READY TO EAT. NOW. RIGHT NOW. So the less time I spend in the kitchen and the more time I'm eating and/or doing other things I'd rather be doing (like reading), the happier I am. My max allowance on any meal pr When I look for new recipes, I have 3 criteria: 1.) Is it healthy? 2.) Is it FAST? (I don't actually like cooking. I do it because it's healthier. In a perfect world, I could eat fast food and I would look and feel great and I would be healthy and thriving. Also, when I'm ready to eat, I'm READY TO EAT. NOW. RIGHT NOW. So the less time I spend in the kitchen and the more time I'm eating and/or doing other things I'd rather be doing (like reading), the happier I am. My max allowance on any meal prep is 35 minutes. And that's pushing it. 3.) HOW DOES IT TASTE? I found a few recipes here that fit that criteria, and that makes me happy.

  4. 4 out of 5

    mairead

    Started jotting down recipes I wanted to make first on the back of receipt... ran out of room by desserts! Cannot wait to start cooking from this inspiring book. Especially: maple-baked beans, beet hash, chipotle pumpkin chili, caramelized onion potato salad, BBQ mushroom toast, spaghetti squash noodle bowl with lime peanut sauce, glowing vegetable tangle, sunshine everything crackers. Can you even with the recipe names? MAGIC.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Ambur Taft

    Delicious pictures and easy delicious recipes full of fairly easy to find ingredients...great to own just for the soups, salads & smoothies for daily consumption.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Janet

    Laura Beam, this one's for you and yours! Great healthy veggie recipes that sound easy and delish. I've marked so many pages of my library copy, I think I need to buy one for myself. Laura Beam, this one's for you and yours! Great healthy veggie recipes that sound easy and delish. I've marked so many pages of my library copy, I think I need to buy one for myself.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jane

    The recipes here are a bit too involved for my skill level. They sound very tasty but I probably wouldn’t try any.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Lynne

    Just made Broccoli Caesar with Smokey Tempeh Bits. It is so delicious!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Minette

    I do this thing were I sign out cook books from the library as a preview to see if they're order worthy...this one definitely purchase worthy. Gorgeous pics and very unique options from my other vegan cook books. I do this thing were I sign out cook books from the library as a preview to see if they're order worthy...this one definitely purchase worthy. Gorgeous pics and very unique options from my other vegan cook books.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Shipshapeeatworthy

    What The First Mess Cookbook strives for is to really inspire people to get into the kitchen to cook and enjoy seasonal produce. Having grown up in an agri-culture (she speaks about her beginnings at her family farm in the intro to her book), Laura offers recipes that look to seasonally engage people at mealtimes with wholesome, truly delicious meals that are worth making. She has wonderful sections regarding stocking your plant based pantry and what kitchen equipment/tools you might need. I did What The First Mess Cookbook strives for is to really inspire people to get into the kitchen to cook and enjoy seasonal produce. Having grown up in an agri-culture (she speaks about her beginnings at her family farm in the intro to her book), Laura offers recipes that look to seasonally engage people at mealtimes with wholesome, truly delicious meals that are worth making. She has wonderful sections regarding stocking your plant based pantry and what kitchen equipment/tools you might need. I didn't need to make any special trips to the grocery store but if you're new to vegan cooking you may need to add pantry items here or there. Even costlier ingredients (PINE NUTS!) are used purposefully and sparingly. If you ever look at an ingredient she uses and wonder "Is it worth it?" I wholeheartedly say "Yes!" There are times when she offers alternative/substitution ingredients in the header of her recipes. Laura is the last person who would want anyone to waste time or money. All of her recipes are simple to make and as you can see have the most beautiful results. I have already made over 25 recipes from this cookbook and have really found success with all of them. While not a vegan, as a vegetarian I really appreciated how flavourful and satisfying each dish was -- especially when I was serving them to some non-Veg family members. Although I received a free review copy of this cookbook, I did not receive monetary compensation and the thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. This review is a small excerpt of my review on www.shipshapeeatworthy.wordpress.com.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Riki

    I normally wouldn’t rate a cookbook because there isn’t always that much reading involved, but I kept this one from the library for longer than expected. It is an absolutely gorgeous book full of delicious recipes that are accessible and healthy and easily modifiable. I really appreciate that the author is actually a trained culinary chef. Nothing against the bloggers-turned-recipe creators, but if I know someone has actually gone through the rigors of testing how to cook everything, I’m going t I normally wouldn’t rate a cookbook because there isn’t always that much reading involved, but I kept this one from the library for longer than expected. It is an absolutely gorgeous book full of delicious recipes that are accessible and healthy and easily modifiable. I really appreciate that the author is actually a trained culinary chef. Nothing against the bloggers-turned-recipe creators, but if I know someone has actually gone through the rigors of testing how to cook everything, I’m going to have a lot more faith in their recipes. The recipe I was really excited to start with was the mega clump granola. Her method is, bar none, the best I’ve found for creating delicious sheet pan granola that clumps into whatever size you wish. I just reaffirmed this by testing a very popular recipe blog’s clumpy granola and it was nowhere near as tasty or clumpy as Wright’s. The weeknight curry recipe is great. I would be careful about modifying any pancake or waffle recipes as the flour balance is delicate (all gluten free ones) and I found that the what I thought was small and inconsequential modification I made to the Spelt Pancakes ended up making them nearly inedible. I know it was my fault rather than hers! I’m excited to try the lemongrass noodle soup next.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Joanie

    It was lovely to look at, but many of the dishes reminded me of things I have seen before.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    Why can't all cookbooks contain content like this? This was so great! The first few pages in, I was grabbing pieces of paper to bookmark recipes I wanted to make. I started off in the breakfast section where I'm usually unimpressed by the non-unique recipes. But the next morning I made the vanilla coconut coffee creamer. Later that day I made the fresh instant almond milk. Both were so yummy! Adaptations to the recipes. For the vanilla coconut coffee creamer, I added 3 dates instead of 6. And Why can't all cookbooks contain content like this? This was so great! The first few pages in, I was grabbing pieces of paper to bookmark recipes I wanted to make. I started off in the breakfast section where I'm usually unimpressed by the non-unique recipes. But the next morning I made the vanilla coconut coffee creamer. Later that day I made the fresh instant almond milk. Both were so yummy! Adaptations to the recipes. For the vanilla coconut coffee creamer, I added 3 dates instead of 6. And I added a bit of water to thin it out. Overall, I probably used 1/3 cup water until I was happy with the consistency. But it was so yummy I also add it to my cereal and oatmeal. For the fresh instant almond milk I love this idea of using almond butter instead of soaking almonds which takes forever and never tastes as good, in my opinion. I ended up adding a bit of cows milk to thicken it up and my kids devoured it. Totally going to make again with other variations like hazelnut butter for a chocolate consistency. I've flagged a few more recipes to make. All of them use healthy, fresh ingredients which I love. And most of them are vegan or plant based which I love. The soup section looks amazing. Lots of unique flavor combinations that I can't wait to try in the winter. Totally recommend. Photos are beautiful, of course. So that's always a plus.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Kimmy

    I wish there were more stars to give this cookbook. I feel like I have met my food soulmate. Thank you so much to Laura Wright for sharing this with us! You have made restaurant-level, 5 star delicious food possible for my home on a nightly basis. If anyone is reading this who has a CSA (farm share) or is thinking of getting one or knows someone who has one, buy this book for yourself now!! Your life in produce will be on another level. I'm just going to gush a bit more, because I say at least t I wish there were more stars to give this cookbook. I feel like I have met my food soulmate. Thank you so much to Laura Wright for sharing this with us! You have made restaurant-level, 5 star delicious food possible for my home on a nightly basis. If anyone is reading this who has a CSA (farm share) or is thinking of getting one or knows someone who has one, buy this book for yourself now!! Your life in produce will be on another level. I'm just going to gush a bit more, because I say at least twice a week, "I am so glad Barb sent this to us." I have eaten vegetarian for almost 20 years, and have cooked every version of stuff-in-a-bowl imaginable. Until getting this book, my go-to was the Moosewood cookbook, which is great- but The First Mess is EXCELLENT. I literally have had home runs on every single recipe I've tried. We eat the bean and rice veggie burgers at least twice a week. I'm in love with the simplicity of the ingredient lists as well as the straightforward prep. As long as you know what to soak beforehand, every recipe is possible in an hour or (typically) less. A huge huge thanks to Laura. You have a fan for life. Thank you so much.

  15. 5 out of 5

    zeknir

    This book is beautiful. The recipes are simple, delicious, and beautiful. It’s real food, not a single “weird” ingredient. I’ve made many of the recipes and they all turn out oh-my-goodness-dog-ear-the-page delicious. The book, physically, is bound wonderfully in a sturdy, matte hardcover, with pages you can easily write in. The photographs are gorgeous. Another perk: Laura Wright is a wonderful person. I heard her speak on a podcast and she is one of the most normal, down to earth, and non-judg This book is beautiful. The recipes are simple, delicious, and beautiful. It’s real food, not a single “weird” ingredient. I’ve made many of the recipes and they all turn out oh-my-goodness-dog-ear-the-page delicious. The book, physically, is bound wonderfully in a sturdy, matte hardcover, with pages you can easily write in. The photographs are gorgeous. Another perk: Laura Wright is a wonderful person. I heard her speak on a podcast and she is one of the most normal, down to earth, and non-judgmental vegan book writers i’ve ever found. i’ve read a bunch of vegan books that include a bunch of meat-and-dairy-shaming propaganda in their writing, and Laura does none of that. She’s even totally cool with non-vegans utilizing her dishes as accompaniments to meats, or on their “meatless monday” stints, or whatever pleases you. I think she genuinely just wants people to eat more plants hahahaha i love it.

  16. 5 out of 5

    James

    I was attracted by the title but read it for the contents. This is a vegan cookbook that has a fair amount of novel recipes, at least I haven't seen them before. Most use fairly common ingredients but you may have to mail order some spices and other ingredients. I'm especially interested in the use of chia seeds and other ingredients as a substitute for dairy, I have friends who are lactose intolerant. I plan on trying at least a few of the recipes, I can't give a full rating until after a taste I was attracted by the title but read it for the contents. This is a vegan cookbook that has a fair amount of novel recipes, at least I haven't seen them before. Most use fairly common ingredients but you may have to mail order some spices and other ingredients. I'm especially interested in the use of chia seeds and other ingredients as a substitute for dairy, I have friends who are lactose intolerant. I plan on trying at least a few of the recipes, I can't give a full rating until after a taste test, but it looks promising. I did make the pepperoncini salad dressing, milder than I was expecting, it was tasty and a nice change of pace.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Bernadette

    Excellent collection of delicious vegan recipes! Very helpful, useful introductory section on stocking one's kitchen. Equipment suggestions include basics needed, nice-to-haves, to splurge items (high speed blenders, which she uses regularly, as do I). Good basic ingredients to keep on hand lists, & suggestions to store things where they are visible so you'll know what is on hand and be more likely to use it. Detailed index is a plus. Tasty, accessible recipes that use easy to find ingredients, Excellent collection of delicious vegan recipes! Very helpful, useful introductory section on stocking one's kitchen. Equipment suggestions include basics needed, nice-to-haves, to splurge items (high speed blenders, which she uses regularly, as do I). Good basic ingredients to keep on hand lists, & suggestions to store things where they are visible so you'll know what is on hand and be more likely to use it. Detailed index is a plus. Tasty, accessible recipes that use easy to find ingredients, categorized by meals, occasions, desserts. Highly recommend.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jasmine

    This book was such a refreshing perspective on food and seasonal eating, I follow a predominately plant based diet so this was a great book for recipe ideas and more healthy takes on your average meals. I loved the different and interesting flavor combinations that seem unexpected, yet perfect. I can't wait to actually try some of the recipes. It's also worth mentioning that Wright takes such beautiful pictures of her food, you could tell she truly loves what she does! This book was such a refreshing perspective on food and seasonal eating, I follow a predominately plant based diet so this was a great book for recipe ideas and more healthy takes on your average meals. I loved the different and interesting flavor combinations that seem unexpected, yet perfect. I can't wait to actually try some of the recipes. It's also worth mentioning that Wright takes such beautiful pictures of her food, you could tell she truly loves what she does!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Deodand

    This recipe book seems to use a lot of ingredients I don't care for, so it's a pass for me. The beginning is sort of a memoir that outlines the links between the recipes. This author was completely new to me, so I wasn't looking to read her memior - I was just interested in plant-based recipe ideas. This recipe book seems to use a lot of ingredients I don't care for, so it's a pass for me. The beginning is sort of a memoir that outlines the links between the recipes. This author was completely new to me, so I wasn't looking to read her memior - I was just interested in plant-based recipe ideas.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Millicent

    After completing just three recipes (Moroccan Stew, Deep Immune Cup of Soup, Wedge Salad with Avocado Citrus Dressing), this book is already a favorite. If you are looking for new ways to incorporate vegetables in your life, these recipes do it with a ton of flavor. I can hardly wait to work my way through many more recipes.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Aja Marsh

    I didn't know anything about this book going it, and really enjoyed it. Her approach to food is similar to mine-- no processed anything, simple and healthful ingredients, and flavorful recipes. Found something in there I hope to make for dinner tonight! Uncertain if it's one I'd want to have on my bookshelf permanently, but I'll play around with it a bit more and see. I didn't know anything about this book going it, and really enjoyed it. Her approach to food is similar to mine-- no processed anything, simple and healthful ingredients, and flavorful recipes. Found something in there I hope to make for dinner tonight! Uncertain if it's one I'd want to have on my bookshelf permanently, but I'll play around with it a bit more and see.

  22. 4 out of 5

    S

    Yum. This cookbook was everything I look for - good food, good pics, good summaries. Just enough personality and asides to make it interesting, but not so much to distract from the main point: the food. It had more than the usual number of starred recipes by the time I was through with it. A few definitely going into my permanent rotation.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Hissong

    Literally the best cookbook I have ever used in my life!!! It’s one that actually is messy from being on my counter, has folded pages, and every single recipe is amazing. Many staple recipes are in this book that we use weekly! I recommend it to everyone looking to go vegan. Best recipe book eva. ❤️

  24. 4 out of 5

    Megan

    Beautiful photographs and a wide variety of dishes. I am so excited about the baked goods without eggs! I saw the gluten-free waffle recipe and decided then and there I needed this book for my own collection.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kym

    Definitely a vegetarian/vegan's best friend. I am neither one of those, but I do love eating plants. I'll be making a lot of these recipes. The pictures are beautiful and lovely. A nice addition to the collection. Definitely a vegetarian/vegan's best friend. I am neither one of those, but I do love eating plants. I'll be making a lot of these recipes. The pictures are beautiful and lovely. A nice addition to the collection.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Brianna Sowinski

    As a person who loves cheese, for a vegan cookbook a lot of these recipes-more than most vegan cookbooks-look pretty good, and like most people wouldn't recognize they were necessarily vegan. I look forward to trying some of them out. As a person who loves cheese, for a vegan cookbook a lot of these recipes-more than most vegan cookbooks-look pretty good, and like most people wouldn't recognize they were necessarily vegan. I look forward to trying some of them out.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Sydna

    Fantastic recipes in here! I love her notes on why and where she made changes to remake something she craved pre-vegan days, such as cheddar goldfish. Her cookbook stands out with solid recipes and has me excited to get in the kitchen and retool some of my cooking.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Leeber

    Yummy stuff I'm loving this cookbook. I'm loving the recipes, the photos, the layout, and the way it's been organized. A great addition to my collection. Looking forward to trying many of these great recipes. Yummy stuff I'm loving this cookbook. I'm loving the recipes, the photos, the layout, and the way it's been organized. A great addition to my collection. Looking forward to trying many of these great recipes.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Eniko Rozsa

    Very flavourful and colourful vegan recipes. While I am not vegan, the recipes in the book are inspiring and healthy. Great addition to my cookbook collection.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Michele

    Beautiful inspiring images, creative interpretations of simple nutritious foods.

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