Cookbook Review of Power Plates by Gena Hamshaw

Power Plates
Goodreads Rating: 4.18
Published: 1/23/2018
Page Count: 247
Book URL:
Focused on the art of crafting complete, balanced meals that deliver sustained energy and nourishment, this book features 100 compelling and delicious recipes that just happen to be vegan. These 100 recipes for wholesome and nourishing vegan food from blogger, nutritionist, and Food52 author Gena Hamshaw help you make delicious vegan meals that deliver balanced and sustained energy. Every recipe contains the key macronutrients of healthy fats, complex carbohydrates, and proteins, which together make for…
2.5Overall Score
  • Covered Subject
  • Cover Art
  • Impact
  • Organization
  • Pacing
  • Writing

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Quick Review

  • Gena discusses macro-nutrient balance of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, but does not actually lay out any guidelines. She just states that ideally all three should be present in each meal.
  • Promotes a spirit of experimentation and customization with the cooking, ingredients, and recipes, which I did appreciate.
  • Focuses on pre/advanced preparation to make preparing meals easier and faster the day of and explains how to do this with all of the meal staples such as grains, beans, and legumes.
  • The meals do appear to be easy to prepare and most of the ingredients would be easy to acquire, save for a few.
  • Uses many traditional and pantry style ingredients that you may already have on hand.
  • This cookbook does not have very many pages of actual text (maybe 30) but is instead filled with beautiful photographs and the recipes themselves.

If I had to describe this book in two words: nutritious and vegan.

NOTE: I found that after reviewing the recipes, these are not my preferred ingredients or flavors, and many of the recipes were not gluten free as well. In the end I did find a handful of recipes that I want to try (with variations, I’m a picky eater to be fair).

NOTE: Not in any way a gluten free cookbook, in fact most of the grains mentioned are not gluten-free or celiac friendly.

In Depth Review

This is a vegan cookbook that focuses on including healthy carbohydrates, fats, and proteins in each of the 100 recipes. The book is sectioned into six chapters: breakfast, salads, soups, bowls, skillets and stovetop, and bakes. The recipes in this book rely heavily on grains such as quinoa, rice, barley, and millet and also beans, tofu, tempeh, and a variety of vegetables.

I would not consider most of these recipes “traditional” by any means but instead they explore many different cultures including the Middle Eastern, Indian, Asian, African, and more. I liked the high flavor level and amount of spices and sauces used in each recipes. While I appreciated all of this, the recipes feature flavors, ingredients, textures or combinations thereof that I know I am not fond of, or have found others that I prefer. I also have an issue with claiming the recipes are macro-balanced but then offering no nutritional values for each. I would have liked to know how each meal was intended to be balanced and what the nutrients were without having to figure it out myself.

Cookbook Look

  • What I would consider a standard sized cookbook, a bit shorter and fatter than a piece of standard sized paper.
  • The cover is a very sturdy and thick cardboard covered in paper with clean and crisp photography on both the back and front cover.
  • The pages are a very nice and sturdy semi-gloss stock that would withstand splashes and spills well.
  • The font is a rather small san-serif font that despite it’s size is still fairly easy to read.
  • The chapters are titled with a full-page photograph followed by a single page of text that describes the intention of the recipes.
  • Each recipe contains a descriptive paragraph, serving size, ingredients, and directions.
  • Unlike some other cookbooks, every recipe in this book is accompanied by a full page photograph that beautifully illustrates the end results. There are no process photos.

NOTE: I read a hardcover copy of the book that I checked out at my local library.

Favorite Quote

“These recipes are created with health, pleasure, and convenience in mind. My intent is for this book to help bring some simplicity and ease to healthful eating – something that should be intuitive but can often feel overwhelming.”
Skye Alexander

Musical Suggestions

I enjoyed this book while listening to the playlist “gardens in winter / instrumentals” on Spotify by Ling Meiying.

Learn More About Power Plates


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