Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Real Food.

Over the past few weeks three friends have told me they would like to eat better (it is a new year, after all) and wanted some recipes from me. 

(Insert self-deprecating comment about not being an expert here__________________.)

As far as cooking for my entire family, I always fall back on Cooks Illustrated recipes and techniques, which I waxed lovingly about here.  But, I do have a few other cookbooks that are full of eye-candy gorgeous photographs and inspiration for lots of very fresh, basic cooking.  I'd recommend any of these for anyone who wants to get familiar with a more simplified, plant-based diet.

Good to the Grain, by Kim Boyce.
I explain here.

This is a very poorly executed book of recipes.  There is nearly no technique, the recipes are badly organized and inconvenient to read, and it is an overall disappointment.  That said, the combinations of plant-based foods and flavors is inspiring, and though I have not made one recipe in this book that didn't need tweaking, with improved logic and technique the recipes turn out just fine. 

Super Natural Every Day, by Heidi Swanson.
This isn't as much a "cook"book as a tossing ingredients together book.  With that in mind, it is extremely beautiful to look at, and operates more as an inspirational starting point for combining fresh simple foods in easy and delicious ways for everyday eating.  It's more visionary than practical for anyone who is looking for a book of true recipes, but is a breath of fresh air to open and enjoy.

Plenty, by Yotam Ottolenghi.
This book, by contrast, is full of beautiful, elevated, well-constructed recipes that combine fresh, whole ingredients in wonderful and interesting ways.  Plenty is GORGEOUS to devour with the eyes as well. 

I'd recommend getting Master Your Metabolism from your local library- it's a really useful book for anyone who needs an introduction into how their hormones work, and why knowing matters. This cookbook is full of real food recipes that are basic and simple to prepare, using nutrient-dense foods.

That said, in the next few weeks I am going to try to blog some of my stand-by everyday recipes and foods for those who have asked.  I've been a random blogger the last few months anyway, so this will give me a project to work on, to get going again.  This space might look like more of a food blog for a while.

These will be the things I eat at home during the day, the things we snack on.  Sometimes I'll include family meal ideas as well.  You can get lots of dinnertime inspiration from books like those above though, so I will focus on the simple things we eat for lunch, etc. as well as foods you may want to consider adding in to your diet to boost your own health. 

I can't promise that these will be revolutionary ideas, but they will be simple, as I don't do complicated.


Jennifer said...

I will be watching this! Thanks for sharing! We are whole food vegetarians (yes, we are strange...and I grind our grains), but I think I make the same things over and over again. Thankfully, my kids' favorite meal is just beans and rice :)!

Danielle said...

I love the Swanson book!

Rachel said...

Do you have any vegan dinner ideas? We've been eating vegan the past few weeks, and I feel like it's mostly handfuls of vegetables on a plate. In other words, completely boring and never feels like a real meal.

Megan said...

Rachel, definitely check out these books! Also, I think just about anything I post will be a candidate for eating for dinner as a family- I'm posting recipes with quantities for one, but they can easily be multiplied.

I also have a Pinterest board called Hot Vegan-ish Nights with lots of ideas.