Redlands library introduces new cookbooks with recipes for now and later

March 18, 2024

By Diana Lamb | Contributing Columnist

This year, spring officially begins Tuesday, March 19. In honor of the upcoming longer days, warmer temperatures and spring garden veggies, A.K. Smiley Public Library is ready with new cookbooks filled with fresh recipes for now and the months ahead.

Back by popular demand, Jamie Oliver presents a second five-ingredients cookbook. This time, Oliver has gathered a collection of warm and inviting flavors from a much-loved region in “5 Ingredients Mediterranean.” Busy home cooks will appreciate that each recipe uses five simple ingredients, has a short list of instructions and accompanied by a photo of the finished dish, and underneath, a small snapshot of each ingredient. In 20 minutes, sourdough bread, shrimp, garlic cloves, cannellini beans and harissa become a Tunisian bowl of harissa beans topped with garlicky shrimp and croutons. More sunny dishes include Lemon-Tzatziki Chicken, Moroccan-Inspired Pasta, Croatian Muscles, A Really French Salad and Epic Tomato Bread. Puff pastry is put to good use as a flaky holder for fresh lemon curd with raspberries and also as a bottom layer of an apple tart with apricot jam, almonds and vanilla ice cream.

Ravinder Bhogal’s new cookbook “Comfort and Joy” showcases the variety of delicious flavors that can be found in vegetarian dishes. Sink your teeth into crispy nuggets of Korean Fried Cauliflower coated in a spicy chili sauce. Hot Cheese and Corn Dip with Jalapeno Relish can be served with toasted sourdough or tortilla chips. More tempting international recipes to try would be Green Goddess Dhal with Preserved Lemon, Baby Eggplant and New Potatoes cooked in a Sweet and Sour Nut Paste, plus Lasagna of Roasted Squash, Kale and Walnuts. For a refreshing dessert, Vegan Pina Colada Trifle with Tapioca Custard will cool your tongue after a spicy meal.

There is no shortage of delicious Asian umami flavors awaiting your taste buds inside the pages of “Oodles and Oodles of Vegan Noodles” by Cheynese Khachane. Creamy Coconut-Curry Ramen makes for a warm and comforting meal with just the right balance of spices. Other familiar noodle dishes you might enjoy are Pad Thai, Drunken Noodles, and Vietnamese Pho. As the weather continues to heat up, Khachane offers a selection of cold noodle soups and salads that are quick to make and fun to eat like Cold Noodle Soup with Kimchi, Cellophane Noodle Salad garnished with fresh tomato slices and Cold Peanut Butter Noodles.

“Come Hungry” by Melissa Ben-Ishay is packed with easy-to-make meals centered around ingredients bursting with color, freshness and flavor. Ben-Ishay gives us a bountiful selection of 21 different salads to put into rotation now and for the warmer months ahead. Consider sampling Joe’s Honey Chicken Salad with angel hair pasta, red peppers and crispy air fryer chicken, Shaved (think ribbons) Carrot and Zucchini Salad, Green Goddess Salad, plus Supermarket Slaw with a quick dressing containing store-bought pesto and sour cream. To balance out all this fresh veggie goodness, do indulge your sweet tooth with some Cookies and Cream Icebox Cake, S’mores Fudge, or Peanut Butter Banana Bread.

Diana Lamb is a library specialist at , 125 W. Vine St., Redlands.

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