by Anna Borisovskaya, MD
As a psychiatrist taking care of patients with severe and treatment-resistant depression, I was delighted to find The Sad Bastard Cookbook, as I felt I could easily recommend it to the patients struggling with lack of motivation, those who skip meals and lose weight because cooking feels so overwhelming.
This cookbook, while mostly catering to vegetarians and vegans, would probably get quite a few people feeling more confident in their ability to open their fridges and cupboards and find something to put together, no matter how long ago their last shopping trip had been. The recipes aren’t complex at first glance, but they’re also endlessly customizable, with something so simple as an egg or Sriracha sauce capable of transforming a package of Ramen noodles into an easy and nutritious meal. I also appreciated the absence of measurements – when was the last time a depressed person had the energy to measure cups and tablespoons? My favorite recipe, I’ll admit, is peanut butter on a spoon – which I indulge in every time I’m doing thirty procedures in a day. I don’t have a lot of time or options for an afternoon snack, but the hospital does provide peanut butter in little plastic packages. It also provides spoons. It’s a nutritious, filling meal that the authors are correct in proudly including here – as I’m sure it could keep people alive in a pinch.
The authors also display an impressive sense of humor and empathy—it’s a book that understands the struggle of having to eat—and make—several meals a day. But one doesn’t have to be depressed to appreciate the craft on display here—many of these recipes, especially those in the God tier, are delicious and would be an excellent addition to any family’s weeknight meal. And I’m looking forward to being able to buy it as gifts for my friends and colleagues.
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