Who doesn’t love Ziggy Marley? When I saw that Ziggy Marley had a cookbook coming out, I was so excited to get an insight to a different side of this musician whose music has given me a lot of pleasure over the years. The Ziggy Marley and Family Cookbook is a collection of recipes drawn from his own cooking as well as from his family, his mother, aunt, daughter, sister, wife, her mother, and their friends. This brings several influences into the recipes for a lot of variety.
The recipes are organized by time of day, though you should not think of it as Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. He has a more free-form idea than that. The All Day section is mostly a collection of juice drinks and snacks. The emphasis is on healthy ingredients with lots of vegetables bringing bright colors and visual appeal to the dishes.
Marley’s recipes rely on lots of spice to add flavor. For example, the usual roasted cauliflower recipe usually suggests some olive oil and kosher salt. Marley adds garlic, pepper, cumin, paprika, and curry powder. Yum!
The photos are an integral part of the cookbook. The food looks so delicious, colorful, bright, and bold. I love that the baking pans are old and discolored with countless use. This is not the antiseptic cooking of a catering kitchen, it is family-style with pans that have done their duty for years and show it. Pictures of the family eating and enjoying the food add to entire family-centric feeling the book creates.
This is a great cookbook. The recipes are all pretty easy and realistic for home books. Some are super simple like the fennel salad that simply fennel, salt, olive oil, and lemon juice. Others are slightly more complex, but none will require hours of detailed preparation. There’s an assumption that whoever is cooking these recipes has a life outside the kitchen and is probably multi-tasking while they cook.
My one quibble is the degree of marketing in the recipes. Several of the recipes include coconut oil, hempseed, or flavored coconut oils produced by Ziggy Marley Organics, his food company. They can be substituted, though, with other coconut oils or hempseed. He also lists Bragg Apple Cider rather than just apple cider. I understand using name brands when it’s your own company, but I would still rather see just a mention at the beginning of the book rather than throughout so many recipes. It’s a bit of commercialism that becomes heavy handed when you repeatedly read “Ziggy Marley’s Coco’Mon Coconut Oil or coconut oil of your choosing.”
But aside from that, this is a beautiful cookbook filled with easy, healthy recipes that are not only delicious, they are a feast for the eyes.
Ziggy Marley and Family Cookbook will be published on October 11th. I was provided a e-galley by the publisher, Akashic Books, through Edelweiss.