Tess Masters is the first to admit she’s not a trained chef, but she has been experimenting with food for as long as she can remember. As a smoothie-obsessed teen, she started exploring the various virtues of the blender as a food prep tool, and she has never looked back. It was also starting in her teen years — after a diagnosis of Epstein-Barr virus — that Masters began searching for the perfect diet to help her feel healthier. Macrobiotic, vegan, raw food — you name it, she tried it. Ultimately, what she discovered is that her perfect diet (like everyone’s) was a blend. And so, The Blender Girl was born, and this spring, The Blender Girl Cookbook. Read more
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The journey of Josh Kilmer-Purcell and Brent Ridge from New York City executives to country farmers has been well-chronicled — on the reality TV show The Fabulous Beekman Boys and in their best-selling cookbook The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Cookbook (both named after their historic home in upstate New York, Beekman 1802). Combining their business savvy with their love of the land and what it can produce, the duo have become well-known for turning a struggling goat farm into a thriving enterprise, producing goat’s milk soap, artisanal cheese and a cornucopia of vegetables.
Their latest book, The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Vegetable Cookbook: 100 Delicious Heritage Recipes from the Farm and Garden, is year-round celebration of what they grow, and delicious ways in which home cooks can share in the bounty.
What’s a good way to expand your vegetable palate beyond the basics?
When in doubt, roast. Nearly any vegetable can be tossed in olive oil and salt — and red pepper flakes if you like them — and roasted in a 375 to 400 degree oven until browned and softened. It works with everything from the hardest winter squashes to delicate hearts of romaine lettuce. If there’s anything you’re curious about, buy it, roast it, and chances are, you’ll love it.
Cookbook author Toby Amidor is a registered dietitian, a mother of three and a regular contributor to Healthy Eats – which might just be some kind of nutrition intelligence trifecta. She has long been a fan of Greek yogurt, not only for the flavor but also for the numerous dietary benefits it bestows. Her passion for the tangy ingredient inspired a compilation of over 130 delectable recipes, The Greek Yogurt Kitchen, out this week. Here, she talks about why Greek yogurt has a range that exceeds the usual parfaits and smoothies — although those, of course, are always great too.
A longtime filmmaker and environmental activist (she produced the Academy Award–winning documentary An Inconvenient Truth), Laurie David is now on a crusade to change the way America eats. A lofty goal, for sure, but after revamping the way her own family approached food, she’s primed to share her practical yet sly spin on healthier home cooking (sample recipe: Roasted Cauliflower “Popcorn”). A few years back, she coauthored The Family Dinner: Great Ways to Connect with Your Kids One Meal at a Time, cookbook that combined recipes with advice on how to establish a regular and semi-sane dinner routine. She’s now followed that up with her new book, The Family Cooks: 100+ Recipes to Get Your Family Craving Food That’s Simple, Tasty, and Incredibly Good for You, out this week. David also tackles the issue of childhood obesity in her new documentary, Fed Up, co-produced with Katie Couric and slated for release on May 9th.
By now, most people know that increasing their intake of whole grains can help them reap more nutrients, lose weight, lower levels of “bad” cholesterol and support digestive health. But in the kitchen, some cooks find it hard to get excited about what can easily pass as boring piles of drab grains — the likes of brown rice, oats, bulgur and amaranth. In her new book Whole-Grain Mornings, author Megan Gordon helps readers do just that.
We’ve all heard that half of our plates should be filled with colorful fruits and vegetables at every meal. But is eating a rainbow of recipes possible all of the time, even in the dead of winter? (And can you really get picky youngsters to eat a spectrum of produce?) Frances Largeman-Roth, RD, author of Eating in Color: Delicious, Healthy Recipes for You and Your Family, shares some tips from her new cookbook.
Good (and healthy) things do come in small packages. Get a taste for the yummy creations from Cupcake Wars champ Hollis Wilder, author of the new cookbook, Savory Bites: Meals You Can Make in Your Cupcake Pan.
Not Your Typical Cupcake
Meals you can make in a cupcake pan? You might be able to envision a quiche neatly tucked into cupcake tin but how about French toast, risotto and lasagna?
While this book doesn’t outwardly aim to be “healthy” the author is mindful of using fresh ingredients, trimming excess fat and calories when possible, and creating fun kid-friendly recipes. Cupcake-sized servings also help with portion control.
Cupcake Pan and the Family Meal
Can a baking pan help bring your family together in the kitchen? Hollis thinks so. She encourages bringing the little ones into the kitchen and letting them pick and chose the ingredients for their savory cupcake creations. I must say, my kids love anything that comes out of a cupcake pan.
Clean eating has been around since the 1960s but has been gaining popularity recently. Registered dietitian Michelle Dudash author of Clean Eating for Busy Families explains how simple it is to follow.
Q. Could you explain what clean eating is?
Clean eating is the lifestyle of enjoying foods in their most natural and least processed state, including fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, nuts and seeds, lowfat dairy and expeller-pressed oils. For example, instead of eating white bread, seek out sprouted wheat bread, which is a true whole grain. Also, if you can’t pronounce an ingredient on the label, you probably shouldn’t eat it. Instead of components that sound like things from lab experiments, opt for foods with ingredients found in home kitchens. Clean eating to me also means opting for in-season foods—not just produce, but seafood, too—whenever possible.
Q. So many foods marketed to kids are processed — how can you eliminate or minimize processed foods, and how can you tell which packaged foods are clean?
Unfortunately, many foods marketed to kids can be deceiving. You must look past the healthy images on the front of the package and go straight to the ingredient label on the back. If you see sugar in any form (yes, even evaporated cane juice and brown rice syrup) as the first ingredient, put it down. If it’s a grain product like a bar or cereal, whole grains like oats or brown rice should be listed first. If you see more than a few ingredients you can’t pronounce, it’s probably been manipulated and is highly processed. Despite the widespread availability of processed kids’ snacks, remember, kids still love fruits and vegetables or whole-grain crackers paired with dip.
Cookbook Giveaway and Interview With Tina Ruggiero, Author of The Best Homemade Baby Food on the Planetby Katie Cavuto-Boyle in Cookbooks, Giveaway, October 17, 2012
Tina Ruggiero is a dietitian, spokesperson, special correspondent for the Tampa Tribune and author of the cookbook, The Best Homemade Baby Food on the Planet. We chatted with her about her book recently and she offered to give you, our lucky readers, the opportunity to win a copy of her book!
Q: What inspired this cookbook?
A: Prior to writing the book, I had 17 friends and clients who where either expectant or new moms. They each had the same questions about infant and toddler nutrition, and at that point, I realized I needed to write this book.
Q: What does healthy mean to you?
A: To me, healthy means having the ability to enjoy life to its fullest. “Healthy” is a state of mind, a lifestyle and something to be embraced and celebrated. Healthy goes beyond food. When you have your health, you can achieve anything.