From the award-winning champion of conscious eating and author of the bestselling Food Matters comes The Food Matters Cookbook, offering the most comprehensive and straightforward ideas yet for cooking easy, delicious foods that are as good for you as they are for the planet.Read more...
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From the award-winning champion of conscious eating and author of the bestselling Food Matters comes The Food Matters Cookbook, offering the most comprehensive and straightforward ideas yet for cooking easy, delicious foods that are as good for you as they are for the planet. The Food Matters Cookbook is the essential encyclopedia and guidebook to responsible eating, with more than 500 recipes that capture Bittmans typically relaxed approach to everything in the kitchen. There is no finger-wagging here, just a no-nonsense and highly flexible case for eating more plants while cutting back on animal products, processed food, and of course junk. But for Bittman, flipping the ratio of your diet to something more virtuous and better for your body doesnt involve avoiding any foodsindeed, there is no sacrifice here. Since his own health prompted him to change his diet, Bittman has perfected cooking tasty, creative, and forward-thinking dishes based on vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Meat and other animal products are often includedbut no longer as the centerpiece. In fact the majority of these recipes include fish, poultry, meat, eggs, or dairy, using them for their flavor, texture, and satisfying nature without depending on them for bulk. Roasted Pork Shoulder with Potatoes, Apples, and Onions and Linguine with Cherry Tomatoes and Clams are perfect examples. Many sound downright decadent: Pasta with Asparagus, Bacon, and Egg; Stuffed Pizza with Broccoli, White Beans, and Sausage; or Roasted Butternut Chowder with Apples and Bacon, for example.
There are vegetarian recipes, too, and they have flair without being complicatedrecipes like Beet Tartare, Lentil "Caviar" with All the Trimmings, Radish-Walnut Tea Sandwiches, and Succotash Salad. Bittman is a firm believer in snacking, but in the right way. Instead of packaged cookies or greasy chips, Bittman suggests Seasoned Popcorn with Grated Parmesan or Fruit and Cereal Bites. Nor does he skimp on desserts; rather, he focuses on fruit, good-quality chocolate, nuts, and whole-grain flours, using minimal amounts of eggs, butter, and other fats. That allows for a whole chapter devoted to sweets, including Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Cookies, Apricot Polenta Cake, Brownie Cake, and Coconut Tart with Chocolate Smear.
True to the fuss-free style that has made him famous, Bittman offers plenty of variations and substitutions that let you take advantage of foods that are in seasonor those that just happen to be in the fridge. A quick-but-complete rundown on ingredients tells you how to find sustainable and flavorful meat and shop for dairy products, grains, and vegetables without wasting money on fancy organic labels. He indicates which recipes you can make ahead, those that are sure to become pantry staples, and which ones can be put together in a flash. And because Bittman is always comprehensive, he makes sure to include the building-block recipes for the basics of home cooking: from fast stocks, roasted garlic, pizza dough, and granola to pots of cooked rice and beans and whole-grain quick breads.
With a tone that is easygoing and non-doctrinaire, Bittman demonstrates the satisfaction and pleasure in mindful eating. The result is not just better health for you, but for the world we all share.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2010-08-02
- Reviewer: Staff
Bittman, New York Times columnist and bestselling author (How to Cook Everything) provides a rational approach to eating that not only improves health but also helps the environment. Extolling the benefits of a plant-heavy diet, Bittman offers more than 500 healthful recipes that feature unprocessed fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and whole grains and reduce all types of meat to backup players. In addition, he shares five basic principles for sane eating that are easy to implement and understand as well as an unusually helpful pantry section and handy charts for substituting produce and seafood by season. Recipes focus on flavor, such as lemony zucchini risotto, which uses brown rice, and curried chickpeas and cauliflower with chicken. His chapter on beans offers a particularly varied selection, like a lentil stir-fry with mushrooms and caramelized onions, white beans and shrimp burgers, and beer-glazed black beans with chorizo and orange. Bittman also provides a resourceful index of dishes that can be made quickly as well as meals that can be made ahead of time. Practical and balanced, this collection will shape the way we cook at home for years to come. (Sept.)
Showdown on 'Throwdown'
Bobby Flay invites the best cooks across America to a TV cook-off. Local cooking heroes renowned for a special dish may think that the Food Network is there to shoot a profile of their particular prowess—until Bobby “the Bold” shows up and challenges them to a “Throwdown,” wherein the peripatetic chef, restaurateur and Food Network star offers his take on the local master’s signature dish. Both variations are judged and a winner named.Bobby Flay’s Throwdown! is billed as “the ultimate companion cookbook,” but even if you just want the fun of considering one dish from two different angles, this is a trove of winning recipes. Flay isn’t looking for the exotic or the ultra-raffiné; what you’ll find, from Cheesesteak to Chocolate Bread Pudding, Meatloaf to Matzoh Ball Soup, are the beloved basics of our wonderfully multicultural American cuisine. Regional favorites vie with ethnic-accented mainstays—Chicken Cacciatore, Red Chili, Cuban Roast Pork, Seafood Gumbo, Steak Fajitas, Pumpkin Pie and more—every one the best of the best!
CHANGING THE EQUATION
Mark Bittman, renowned food writer and author of many award-winning cookbooks, has changed the way he eats, cooks and thinks about food and encourages his readers to do the same in The Food Matters Cookbook. Bittman has a very flexible, relaxed, Pollan-esque approach to a plant-heavy, processed food-light diet (spelled out in more detail in his 2009 book Food Matters), that may well inspire you to alter your own eating habits. I can’t guarantee you’ll “lose weight and heal the planet,” as his subtitle proclaims, but you will definitely find a super source of 500 “less-meatarian” recipes that invite you to consider grains, veggies and legumes as the core of your daily meals, with animal products as treasured enhancements and treats. The appetizers alone, from raw Beet Tartare to Hummus Pancakes, will keep you quite happy. Add the sensational soups and salads, but save room for the full-flavored mains, like Cassoulet with Lots of Vegetables and Pork Stew with Green Beans and Oregano, and sweets such as Mango Crisp and Coconut Flan.
COOKBOOK OF THE MONTH
Fans and followers of Dorie Greenspan, food writer and cookbook author extraordinaire, usually think of her as the doyenne of desserts and high priestess of pastry. But her latest oeuvre, Around My French Table, offers proof positive—with over 300 recipes—that her culinary talents are limitless. There are a lot of big, impressive cookbooks coming out this fall, but Dorie’s invitation to sit at her French table is one of the most appealing of all. It’s not just that the recipes, from nibbles and hors d’oeuvres to mains and grains, salads, soups, starters and sweets, are unfussily fabulous and charmingly introduced; it’s that Dorie has infused them all with her unqualified love of France and its food, new and traditional, simple and complex. Gathered over her years of living and traveling in France, every recipe, from feather-light Gougères, smooth, sophisticated Chestnut-Pear Soup, timeless Veal Marengo and classic Moules Marinière to Honey-Spiced Madeleines and Top-Secret Chocolate Mousse, has serving and storing tips and the kind of thorough instructions that support and inspire. C’est magnifique!