Wednesday, November 28, 2007

... Super Natural Cooking

A few days before we left on vacation, Rebekah presented me with yet another spectacular birthday gift: Super Natural Cooking: Five Ways to Incorporate Whole and Natural Ingredients into Your Cooking by Heidi Swanson. I could barely wait for the moment when I could slowly and methodically pour through this book full of stunningly beautiful photographs, stylized layouts, and, of course, super natural cooking ideas. I wasn't disappointed.

The book itself is a unique blend of a cookbook, reading book, and food glossary or reference book. Heidi spends a lot of time teaching you about alternative food choices -- the what, wheres, whys, and hows of each and every food. Then she follows the suggestions up with shopping tips, preparation tips, and recipes. This book is one to keep on a nearby shelf because you'll be accessing it often.

This being said, I do have one caveat -- it is true to it's title. It's Natural Cooking. If your idea of healthy eating is Coke Zero, I Can't Believe it's Not Butter, and Dannon Yogurt, then this may not be the next step in your quest for healthy eating. But, if you're ready to toss out such staples as All-Purpose Flour and Granulated White Sugar and adventure out to try more difficult to find ingredients that are well worth the palatable and nutritious effort, then you'll want to grab this book. But wait, don't run out too quickly, at least one of you will be getting this book as a Christmas Gift from me ;-)

Thank you Reb and Paul!


Danielle said...

This sounds fabulous!

wendy said...

I sure miss the ease of Quail Cove Farms...I am sure you can find lots of the ingredients there and they deliver to the area once a month!

Have fun cooking and Happy Birthday!

Rebekah said...

I'm so excited you love it. I think I might have to pick up a copy now. Paul will be glad you mentioned him. When my name is mentioned he always asks, "Why doesn't she blog about me?" Ah, he makes me laugh.

Bethany said...

This does sound good. I am a sucker for cookbooks with good pics too. I have been trying to incorporate more meals like this for us. I got the Truth About Food Book and the Cooking the Real Age Way...which is very similar sounding.

Ashleigh said...

Sounds like a good book Michelle! I may have to check it out. Thanks for the recommendation!

What are you going to try first from it?

Jennifer said...

This book looks like a MUST. One of my favorite books is Healthy Eating: An Irreverent Guide to Feeding your family well. Something like that. It uses whole wheat flour, succanat, and other more natural ingredients. Do you think there are any recipes that are "family friendly" in this book or is this more of a "fine-dining" for Mike and myself?

Great to read a new post from you.


Michelle said...

Hm. I'll have to check out the books you listed Bethany.

Ashleigh - the first thing I'll likely make is the Chocolate Turtle Bean Tostatos. It doesn't sound too healthy though, does it?
It'll probably be the first because I'm guessing it's going to take me some time to locate some of the other ingredients she uses. She lives in San Francisco which is like the healthy eating capital of the world while Norfolk is not. In her defense, she does offer alternatives and mail order locations, but I'm going to look locally.

Jennifer, I'm not sure what your kids will eat or even what these meals will taste like so I can't really answer that. It's not particularly fine dining though. Here are some of the ingredients she uses:

+ Amaranth Flour
+ Barley Flour
+ Teff Flour
+ Agave Nectar
+ Brown Rice Syrup
+ Millet
+ Farro
+ Nori
+ Hikiki
+ Agar

She also teaches you how to make your own Aluminum Free Baking Powder and how to whip up some clarified butter since, as she tells it, many oils are already damaged when you purchase them or are thereafter damaged when you cook with them at high temperatures. She's no joke. But I really enjoy it....

Jennifer - how are the nutritionist classes going?

Jessica Rockey said...

Pretty funny...I was just thinking about the cookbook I gave you way back... Death by Chocolate. Maybe that should go on 'things that make you feel fat part 3'.!!!
Rebekah gives a book full of nutritional value and you've gotta run 20 miles to work my recipes off!!!

Love ya friend. Maybe see ya monday?

Michelle said...

Wendy - THANK YOU! I have just been scanning Quail Cove and it looks wonderful. I hadn't heard of them before now. It's a little difficult to shop for new foods on line, I'd prefer to stroll the aisles and look at each item but I'm not complaining. Seriously excited! Maybe I'll be a host home for deliveries! :)

Jessica - that's funny. I just pulled that cookbook off the shelf and leafed through it this week. Is it about time for another chocolate day?

Judy said...

What do you mean Coke Zero isn't healthy?!?! What IS "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter" anyway?

Sounds like an interesting book. I like cookbooks. I don't always use them, I just like looking through them from time to time.

Ginger said...

I want that.