Zest! Food that's fun to make & good for you is an ode to life, energy, vibrancy. It is written in a personal, conversational style as if the reader is sitting in Laurie's kitchen. More than a cookbook, Zest! offers guidance and tips about creating healthy, full-flavored, delicious meals while enjoying the process of meal preparation .
The book is organized in 7 sections. The first section provides the reader with guidelines for becoming a more creative cook, how to turn leftovers into "love agains," how to stock the pantry, fridge, and freezer with ingredients to make mouth-watering, healthy meals quickly. The sections that follow contain tips and specific recipes for soups, fish dishes, salads/sauces/dressings, chicken dishes, veggies, and egg dishes. There are no recipes here for red meat as Laurie chose to eliminate that from her diet decades ago.
Laurie draws upon her experiences gathered in travels, her work as a market researcher and consultant in the foods and other industries and feedback from her Zesty Cooking workshops with cooks of all levels and interests. The recipes are designed to bring out the "inner creative cook" with lots of ingredient options for cooks to feel confident experimenting and improvising their own recipes. The Salad Inspiration piece contains more than a million ideas for different salad combinations from the traditional to the more adventurous. The Parade of Pesto offers the reader/cook a variety of 5-minute magic sauces to dress up meals.
Zest! was written during the age of COVID and grounded in research when so many people Laurie spoke with bemoaned how difficult it was to put a tasty, different meal on the table every night since they had limited options for dining out or take out.
Making delicious meals that are good for body and soul has been a lifelong quest of Laurie's. COVID was the catalyst to bring this new cookbook to the public.