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“Nourishing Meals” is much more than just a book of healthy/healthier recipes meant to help you change your diet and your waistline for the better. It has the weight of an encyclopedia, practically all the information you need to get started enjoying whole foods, and 365 recipes to feed you and your family.

Using information they’ve collected as practicing nutritionists, Alissa Segerstein and Tom Malterre, MS, CN, give us helpful tips and practical ways to heal our bodies with food. Even before we reach the Introduction, we’re given 7 steps to sustainable dietary change:

  1. Add more vegetables
  2. Make your own salad dressings
  3. Replace processed grain foods with whole grains
  4. Start making homemade bone broths
  5. Add fermented foods
  6. Go organic
  7. Go gluten-free

The beginnings of the book take you through the “Foundations of Health” – why whole foods are important, why organic is important, all about gluten and problems with gluten, as well as food allergies and sensitivities. They give some advice about raising healthy children and help us with nutrition from pregnancy on.

Then we are rewarded with the recipes!

What’s an easy AND healthy start to your day that doesn’t include skipping breakfast? Smoothies. And kid-friendly at that! Start your morning with a crisp blueberry cucumber smoothie or a mango banana almond smoothie. Hungry for a snack? Try the orange creamsicle smoothie. Need a pick me up? Maybe the ginger berry green smoothie or the super antioxidant smoothie will give you the boost you need.

Want something more filling? There are so many breakfast options. Do you think they’re trying to tell us that we really need to eat breakfast? Since it’s fall, the pumpkin pie granola and apple cinnamon teff pancakes will get you energized on those cold mornings. For something more savory, the bean and rice breakfast bowls, chicken breakfast sausages, and kale and egg scramble will do the trick. Whichever you choose, it will give you the energy you need to start your day with a smile.

Do you envision going gluten-free as no more breads, pastas, and pizzas? Not so. There are 36 recipes for gluten-free breads and muffins. Recipes include burger buns, sandwich bread, fruit and vegetable muffins, and pizza crust. What’s even better is that by making these things at home, you will be avoiding all the preservatives and unnecessary ingredients that are found in store-bought gluten-free products.

Is it a chilly night and you need to warm your family up? Soups and Stews is the section you’re looking for. Hearty three-bean vegetable chili, chipotle black bean and yam stew, and curried lentil and sweet potato soup will warm you up and keep those hungry bellies stuffed. Looking for something lighter? Vegetable mushroom broth, healing ginger miso soup, harvest vegetable soup, and the glorious greens soup will keep you satisfied without feeling heavy.

I think I’ll need to spend a lot of time trying the recipes from the next section as I don’t really like to make (or eat) salads and vegetables. With 50 recipes, there are bound to be at least 5 recipes that everyone will enjoy – Salads: Avocado and sweet potato salad with lime; cilantro cabbage salad; jalapeño-lime kale slaw; kid-friendly salad with apple cider vinaigrette; pear pomegranate salad with orange vinaigrette. Vegetables: roasted brussel sprouts with shallots and cranberries; rutabaga fries; sautéed snow peas and pattypan squash; creamed kale; olive oil garlic mashed potatoes.

Think you are going to crave carbs and not be able to eat them? There are plenty of rice recipes and a couple gluten-free noodle recipes.

Don’t know what to make your family for dinner? Main Meals has 44 options for you to choose from. Apricot glazed chicken, turkey quinoa meatballs, and sloppy joes are family pleasers. Add in a little spice with thai coconut fish sticks, spicy lentils and rice in cabbage leaves, or chipotle-lime roasted chicken.

There is a whole chapter devoted to Dressings, Dips, and Sauces: Dairy-free ranch, Chipotle BBQ Sauce, and easy homemade pizza sauce will be staples in your household. You’ll find some tasty snacks in the Wraps and Rolls and Snacks and Treats sections.

Feel like you’ll never be able to indulge again? Think again. Always my favorite section of any book, this one blows the other ones out of the water with 57 recipes for truffles, puddings, ice cream, cheesecake, crisps, cookies, cakes and cupcakes, and brownies. YUM!!!

Comforting teas and non-dairy milk options abound in the Beverages section. And to end the whole book, we learn about Preserving the Harvest: sauerkrauts, pickled veggies, and vinegars are a few things you’ll find.

Overall, this cookbook definitely delivers on it’s promise to nourish through meals. Whether or not you have an allergy or sensitivity, or you’re looking to improve your health, or maybe you want to teach your children what fresh whole-food meals look like, you’ll find everything you’re looking for here.

Nourishing Meals at Penguin Random House

DISCLAIMER:

I received this book for free from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

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