Golden Cauliflower and Plum Tomatoes and a Review and Giveaway of Starters and Sides Made Easy

Golden Cauliflower on OvertimeCook

As you all know, I love cookbooks. Basically all cookbooks. But it’s not every day that my good friends and colleagues publish a book, so this one has me extra excited!

The dynamic author-duo of Leah Schapira and Victoria Dwek have done it again. You may remember my review of their last joint effort, Passover Made Easy, and how much I loved it. Well, they have absolutely outdone themselves in their latest effort, Starters & Sides Made Easy. Ready to read what I thought? (Scroll down past my review for your chance to win your own copy!)

At first glance:

As with their previous book, Starters & Sides Made Easy is chock full of creative and inventive ideas, beautifully photographed dishes, and eye catching design, not to mention, helpful tips and engaging and entertaining writing. Seriously, this book has a way of drawing you in…and making you drool!

Some Features I Liked:

One of the first things I noticed about this book was the excellent organization. Some people might think of starters and sides as it’s own category, but when you have an entire book devoted to them, categorizing can get tricky. This book is cleverly arranged into a category for vegetables, one for grains, another for meat and chicken, yet another for fish, one for dairy, and lastly, a sweet sides category. As you can see, the book really covers the whole range!

Next, as in their previous book, Starters and Sides has a wealth of kitchen knowledge (those authors know their stuff – as editors for both the world’s best weekly kosher magazine, Whisk, and CookKosher.Com, the world’s largest kosher recipe sharing site, they really have a ton of info to share!). Before they start on the actual recipes, the authors share a “building blocks” section, where they teach you things like how to roast vegetables, how to add flavor to your mashed potatoes and how to make perfect rice. They also include a comprehensive spice guide, and plating suggestions before every chapter!

Another thing I love about this book is the variety and innovation of ideas. Always thought coleslaw was a mayonnaise loaded salad made with cabbage? Think again. In this book, coleslaw gets fried into mouthwateringly delicious looking balls!

You probably noticed by now that I mention the photography in all of my cookbook reviews. Well, this book has breathtakingly beautiful pictures of wonderfully and smartly styled food.

Lastly, a number of the chicken and meat recipes can easily be turned into mains, which is a nice bonus for the book!

Some Recipes I Can’t Wait to Try:

I don’t even know where to start here! I want to make basically everything in this book…from Shwarma Egg rolls to coleslaw balls and sticky red potatoes!

The recipe I am most excited to try is their Crispy Beef. That dish is a favorite of mine at Asian restaurants, so I am really excited to try it at home!

Another recipe I am dying to make is the Barbecue Noodles. Partly because they look so absolutely delicious, and partly because I was actually there helping out one day at the photo shoot, and I got to taste these straight from the source. And I can absolutely vouch for their awesomeness.

Another recipe on my “I’ll make it as soon as I have a good excuse” list is the Falafel Cigars. Think hybrid between an egg roll, a falafel sandwich and a meat filled cigar, and you have a pretty good idea of why I am so enthralled by this recipe!

I could go on all day, but I’ll leave you to buy the book and pick your favorites yourself!

Who This Cookbook is For:

If you love to cook, and are constantly looking for delicious and creative new things to cook, you’re going to love this book.

Specifically, the book contains a ton of ideas for holidays, parties, and other special occasions, so if you find yourself cooking for one of the above, and you’re stuck on the menu, this book will be a complete lifesaver!

Who This Cookbook Isn’t For:

The only people that I can think of who wouldn’t enjoy this book are those on special diets (for example, if you don’t eat gluten, lots of these recipes will be off limits to you.)

Also, if you are looking for a book full of simple and every day recipes…this book has them, but a lot of the recipes are for special occasions.

What I Didn’t Like About This Cookbook:

As I just mentioned, the book is chock full of ideas for special occasions, but has fewer ideas for everyday suppers. Not to say that it doesn’t have recipes that are bound to make it onto your every day supper rotation, like sesame orzo, zucchini and scallion fries, or barbecue noodles, among others, but there are fewer of that type of recipe.

My only other issue with the book is that many of the recipes require frying, making them both less healthy and not as quick to prepare.


Overall, this cookbook is an excellent addition to your collection! It has delicious recipes, innovative ideas, inspired flavors, beautiful pictures and is guaranteed to make you drool! I really can’t say enough about this book…now go out and buy yourself a copy! 

And now, for a sample recipe…this cauliflower dish is healthy and delicious and takes just a couple of minutes to throw together…how’s that for a winning recipe!

Golden Cauliflower 2 LR

Golden Cauliflower with Plum Tomatoes

Adapted from  Starters and Sides Made Easy by Leah Schapira and Victoria Dwek for OvertimeCook.Com


1 (24 ounce) bag frozen cauliflower florets (if you prefer to use fresh, go for it!)

2 plum tomatoes, seeds removed and diced

1 1/2 Tablespoons olive oil

1 garlic clove, crushed or finely minced

1 1/2 teaspoons cumin

1/4 teapoon tumeric

pinch crushed red pepper flakes (I used cayenne pepper)

1 teaspoon salt

pinch of black pepper

juice of 1/2 lemon (about 1 – 1/2 Tablespoons)


Preheat oven to 450. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Combine all ingredients except for lemon juice and toss to coat evenly. Spread in a single layer on prepared baking sheet and bake at 450 for 25 minutes. Sprinkle with the lemon juice and serve warm.


Giveaway Details!

For your chance to win a copy of Starters and Sides Made Easy:

Please note: Each entry requires its own comment! Multiple entries in one comment will only be counted once! You can do any or all of the following:

Entry #1 – Leave a comment on this post telling me what is your go to starter or side dish recipe.

Entry #2 – Follow @OvertimeCook on twitter and leave a comment on this post telling me that you did.

Entry # 3- Like Tales of an Overtime Cook on Facebook and leave a comment on this post telling me that you did.

Entry # 4 – Follow @OvertimeCook on Pinterest and leave a comment on this post telling me that you did.

Entry # 5 – Subscribe to OvertimeCook via email (link is on the right sidebar of the blog). and leave a comment on this post telling me that you did.

Entry #6 – Follow Overtime Cook on Instagram and leave a comment on this post telling me that you did.

Note: if you already like/follow etc, that’s fine. Just leave a comment letting me know that!

Giveaway Details:

Giveaway ends at 11:59 PM on Thursday, October 1oth. A valid email address or twitter profile must be provided.

Prize can be shipped within the US and Canada.

Giveaway is sponsored by the publisher.

Disclaimer: I was sent a review copy of this book, and I know the authors well – and have the greatest respect for their food prowess. All opinions are my own. There are affiliate links within this post, which means that if you click the links here to buy the book you will help sponsor your favorite food blog!

Golden Cauliflower 3 LR

Thanks everyone for stopping by! Come back soon, I have a delicious treat to share with you! -Miriam 


  1. dkny says

    My go to side dish is lo mein. One box of pasta goes a long way and you can add whatever veggies you have on hand – mushrooms, baby corn, water chestnuts, snow peas, scallions. You can easily make it a main dish by adding some stir fried chicken strips. Everyone loves it.

  2. says

    Go-to side dish recipe: Put about 1/4 inch of water in pot, place over medium flame. Reach in freezer, pull out something in a green bag. Empty bag into pot. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover. Bring to boil and lower flame. Steam until done. tada! Not my most exciting recipe, but you asked for “go-to”

  3. says

    Email updates too? Good grief woman, why would I want to get the same recipe on the same day from five different directions?! Goodness, social media promotions should be their own psychiatric disorder. Just between you and me 😉

  4. Elisheva says

    My go to starter is gefilte fish and my I to side is potato kugel :/ does that mean I really need this book? 😉

  5. raizy says

    My go-to easy side are turkey n pastrami wraps. I shmear layer of Russian dressing on a wrap, layer some Romaine lettuce, and some slices of deli meat. I cut it diagonally in half and put some extra dressing on side to dip into!

  6. Devora Strauss says

    My go to starter is a selection of salatim – chumous, eggplant, matboucha, israeli salad, peppers salad, corn salad…

  7. Rachel rosin says

    Meat/chicken bourekas with a vegetable sauce atop,I receive your emails,liked you on Facebook……I love this blog!

  8. Bonnie Cowan says

    Hi. We’ve never met…but having read the review, I think we will see more of each other. My go to is roasted veggies. They are so versatile and they pump up the flavor whether I turn them into a soup, throw them in some pasta, bake them in a cake or eat them before anyone else has a chance. Can’t wait to see the cookbook.

  9. Allison says

    I follow you via email and Facebook. My go to side is roasted canned potatoes with olive oil and spices or olive oil and dry ranch dressing mix.

  10. Shani says

    My go to recipe for a great entree for special occasions is my enticing pepper steak served over a scoop of rice. Looks amazing, smells succulent and gets rave reviews every time!

  11. Sora says

    Happen to love starting off a meal with a good salad. If you serve salads individually on a plate to start off everyone at the meal it becomes a whole dish instead of something extra lying around the table

  12. mhiba says

    Hey miriam! I love your blog! I live by grove st in monsey so I believe we are somewhat neighbors! Would love to meet you one day! My go to starters is israeli dips…babaganoush, fried eggplant, chumus, matboucha….that’s like the main part of our friday night meal( if I dont have time to make we buy from “yanay dips” on horton drive. They are amazing! As israeli and authentic as it gets!

  13. Caroline Musin Berkowitz says

    My favorite go-to side dish is roasted potatoes. The problem is sometimes half the pan is eaten before the meal… hmmm…

  14. Danielle l says

    I follow you on Instagram! I don’t have fb or twitter. My go to starter is always a morrocan tilapia recipe or meat brokea with home made tehina!

  15. Malkie says

    My go to side dish is either grilled zucchini or sweet potato sticks.
    Slice, spray with oil, sprinkle with spices and broil!

  16. Rena says

    Roasted cherry tomatoes with garlic and oregano (from Kosher by Design). You can have it in the oven in minutes and it can be made while holding a baby :)

  17. Miriam F says

    Looks like my kind of cookbook. I make cauliflower very often and this looks like a great way to prepare it (my usual is using cauliflower like potatoes in potato salad).

  18. chaya fuss says

    i like u on fb and follow you on pinterest. my To go to starter is your roasted red pepper soup and side is roasted mini peppers

  19. Miriam says

    My go to starter is Moroccan fish a sefardi salmon recipe from my father inlaw it’s different colorful and yum. Also I liked you on Facebook:)

  20. Shannon C says

    A lot of the time, I make potato salad as a starter. I need to be less boring. We’d love to win the cookbook.


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