A little while ago, I almost posted a tweet along the lines of “writing a cookbook is like being lowered slowly into a pit full of spiders”. I stopped short of sending it out, not wanting my mom worry too much about what the NYC subway system is like these days.
What exactly that means I couldn’t tell you: only except that I’m in deep. Writing my 8th book in 10 years of cookbook-mongering, I still sometimes feel like I’m exploring a damp, vast cavern guided only by the flicker of a cheap lighter and a vague memory of a map I glimpsed for a few minutes before stumbling around that old cookbook writing labyrinth.
And what is this dark writing landscape? It’s a crazy pile of recipe research, writing, grocery shopping (never ending it seems), testing, and writing it all again. With rapidly advancing deadline in August. So little time and so many recipes to visualize, write out, test, re-write, test again (if necessary). And then there’s all the other stuff I need to write, such as readable and entertaining headnotes or ingredient descriptions. Don’t even get me started about the mad dash to the finish line that is food photography.
I’m not in it totally alone. I have an amazing recipe-ninja assistant and a small special-opts task force I emotionally lean on daily. While I’m sure there are some cookbook authors happily typing and cooking away on desert (or please yes dessert) islands, I cannot create without the loving support of some precious humans/cats/dogs/goat.
The name of my new book is Protein Ninja: after all these years, my publisher at last has allowed me to have “ninja” in the title of a book. It only took writing a best-selling book about salad with “samurai” in the title name first. My inner 12-year old is raising a katana high for victory.
What is Protein Ninja? A (hopefully) impossible to live without recipe collection of things I eat every day: muffins, scones, cookies, pancakes, soups, stews, salads, collard wraps, spreads and dips for toast or vegetables or fruits, granola, and smoothie bowls that I’d easily just as eat for dinner as for breakfast.
The uniting thread for these recipes is a boosted protein content from either the addition of vegan, unflavored protein powders or a fusion of whole foods: beans, nuts, tofu, seitan…the usual suspects. There will likely be a touch of nutritional analysis, but not too much. Remember kids, I’m a not a doctor, just a lady who loves to create piles of dirty dishes in the kitchen.
These recipes are written in between the breathing moments of a full time job, hitting the gym, going to hardcore punk shows, meditation, and connecting with some humans and animals I’m rather fond of. And if I’m lucky, sleep. But there are some really cool things I’m discovering too! I’m having fun baking again after over a year of salad making. I’m refining my cookbook writing work-flow, something that is always evolving anyway every time I hit the manuscript treadmill. And I’ve truly enjoyed exploring some of these “new” vegan basic protein powders–hemp, brown rice, pea–which I believe most any vegan can learn to love when properly prepared.
Alight, my morning caffeine slap is hitting my nervous system and it’s time to hit the pavement for a morning run. Hope you’ve savored this little update, stay tuned for more.