By Rebecca Katz with Mat Edelson
Published by Ten Speed Press
243 Pages

BACK COVER: A collection of 125 delicious whole-foods recipes showcasing 16 antioxidant-rich power foods, developed by wellness authority Rebecca Katz to combat and prevent chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, inflammation, arthritis, and other conditions that plague American adults, enabling readers to live longer, healthier lives.

Food is your most powerful tool. You want to make better nutritional choices, but the science of eating has become more complicated than ever. If you’ve been diagnosed with prediabetes, are at risk for heart disease, have a family history of high blood pressure, or simply want to eat a healthful diet to promote long life, how do you know which foods will really deliver the greatest benefits?

In this collection of more than 100 recipes that combine smart nutrition and superb flavor, culinary nutrition pioneer Rebecca Katz highlights the top sixteen foods proven to fight the most common chronic conditions. Katz draws on the latest scientific research to explain how super foods such as asparagus, basil, coffee, dark chocolate, kale, olive oil, sweet potatoes, and wild salmon can build immunity, lower cholesterol, enhance memory, strengthen the heart, and reduce your chances of developing diabetes and other diseases.

This practical, flavor-packed guide presents the most effective—and delicious—ways to use food to improve the performance of every system in the body. Katz explains the health advantages of each main ingredient, and includes menu plans to address specific symptoms and detailed nutritional information for each recipe.

REVIEW: In the forward a Dr. talks about quality of life and how many American’s are overwhelmed about where to begin eating healthy. Many don’t even know how to cook. I liked reading about how life has changed from what our parents and grandparents grew up doing. They ran their own kitchens, had their own workshops and were generally more self-reliant. “Medicine:,  says Dr. Andrew Weil, “…was originally rooted in nature drawing in the healing powers of herbs, spices, and food…We are at a critical moment in terms of societal health. I’ll be blunt: We’ve reached the top of the rollercoaster ride, and if we don’t relearn how to really take care of ourselves.. we are plunging towards chronic illness…I’ve devoted much of my professional life to educating people about how they can use great foods, deliciously prepared, to create a sense of well-being that they can enjoy every day and nurture them across a lifetime. These authors fused together a blend of taste and science that is irresistible to the palate and the mind.”

Author Rebecca Katz says, “I’ve spent more than a decade motivating people to eat well…My primary tool has been flavor, as I showed people how great taste and great nutrition can joyfully coexist at the dinner table.” She continues, “…Issue in a nutshell: Every day I meet smart motivated folks – who want to dive into eating well…but they don’t know where to start…I can provide a culinary clue: instead of looking for some magic app or whiz-bang futuristic solution, like a meal-in-a-pill or a push button Star Trek-type food replicator.”

This writing team helps readers re-think how they view food. She says, “…view food as something that connects their families to the earth and to wellness – perspective that probably comes more naturally to those whose gardens and farms are their primary source of substance. That ability to nature, which can be learned and shared is incredibly empowering….what you chose to put on your plate can both improve your quality of life and extend your years.”

Chapter one gives the reader a brief and simple overview of the body and nutrition. Rebecca talks about the gut, liver and Kidney’s their functions and what they need to work properly. She discusses the immune system – why whole foods are great team players to make your body strong and function well. She includes a helpful culinary pharmacy that is 14 pages long. Filled with ingredients listed in alpha order starting from Allspice and ending with Yogurt. She writes a paragraph on each ingredient. What it is, where you can find it and its healing power. I found this a great resource and will be referring to it often. She then talks about eating to enhance and enjoy life – from Science to the plate. I like how this author helps readers begin this journey, “Be patient with yourself. Cooking is a process of trial and error. Learning what you like and how to create it can work wonders in overcoming any resistance you may feel toward cooking and eating well. I found the questions listed under the heading,” Discovering your culinary GPS” helpful. Great way to plunge into this new beginning.

The author starts out each recipe with a paragraph talking about the dish and its benefits. The recipe lists the ingredients on the left hand side of the page. Many of the recipes have lots of spices and ingredients that can be found in most regular grocery stores. She uses a combination of fresh and dried herbs for her dishes. Some recipes have 26 or more ingredients (mostly spices) and some have as little as 5. Many used a ¼, ½ or a full teaspoon of each spice. This author is out for full flavor with the most health benefits. Dry ingredients last a long time and will be worth the investment. I know I’m going to be on the lookout for sales!

The author includes the prep time, cooking time, how to store the dish and the nutritional break down for each recipe. There are helpful cooking notes, and a Who Knew? Section that points out health information.

The first chapter is titled Life-Enhancing Soups and Broths: Can’t wait to try Chicken Magic Mineral Broth 2.0 and Velvety Mediterranean Gazpacho with Avocado Cream. Another soup that looked great was Costa Rican Black Bean Soup with Sweet Potatoes and Chicken Tortilla soup. The Southeast Asian Seafood stew looked yummy along with Peppino’s Cowboy minestrone with her mini meatballs.

Under Vital Vegetables section the recipes I want to try are Avocado Lover’s Salad, Roasted Asparagus Salad with Arugula and Hazelnuts, Strawberry, Fennel and Arugula Salad, Walnut, Date and Herb Salad, Tuscan Beans and Greens, Sweet Potato and Zucchini Pancakes.

In the GRAINS Chapter I want to try Not Your Typical Tabouli, Faro with Kale-Basil Pesto, Brown Rice Pilaf with Saffron and Ginger, Triple-Mushroom Brown Rice Risotto.

Protein Building Foods – I’d like to try Layered Frittata with Leeks, Swiss Chard and Tomatoes, Black bean Skillet Cakes with Poached Eggs, Roasted Wild Salmon with Olive and Mint Vinaigrette, Flat out Good Chicken, Pan-Seared Scallops with Citrus Drizzle, and Herby Turkey Sliders.

Nibbles and Noshes – Sweet Potato Bars looked good along with Wendy’s Wunderbars, Gluten-Free Blueberry Mini-Muffins, Thyme Onion Muffins, and Minted Guacamole with Pomegranate Seeds.

Dollops of Yum  – The author says this is a great place to begin cooking. “I feel this section is a necessary accessory finishing to any dish. She says, “…because they are concentrated, their health benefits rival those of many of the recipes in other chapters.”

A chart of the dollops you can make with the page number to the recipe are listed alongside it is a list of what recipes they go best with; page numbers included. She also listed the health benefits, how to store dollops, how you can make them ahead and freeze them. The ones that jumped out to me were Greener than Green Goddess Dressing, Sesame Miso Dressing, Lemony Balsamic Vinaigrette, Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette, Papaya and Avocado Salsa, Pomegranate Molasses, Yogurt Tahini Sauce, Yogurt Sauce with Citrus and Mind.

There is a section for drinks called Invigorating Tonics and Elixirs and the last is Sweet Bites. The desserts I want to try are Coffee-Infused Chocolate Sorbet, Apple-Raspberry Nut Insanely Good Chocolate Brownies. She also includes a recipe on making your own Almond flour.

There is a helpful resource list in the back where she tells you where you can find everything from a big 16 quart stockpot to heirloom rice. There are websites listed to help you find local farmers markets. She has resources for specialty ingredients and National grocery chains and on-line markets.

This book is packed with nutritional information I could easily assimilate and put into practice in my everyday life. Can’t wait to get started!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Blogging for Books site. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”

Nora St. Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins!
The Book Club Network blog

Book Fun Magazine


Post a Comment