Recently, I’ve begun exploring the culinary world outside of wheat, chicken breasts and romaine lettuce. My tastes buds have ventured into plates of turnips and cardoon, and they plan future endeavors in celeriac, kohlrabi, and even liver.
In pursuit of foods my mother never cooked, I bought millet and quinoa at a natural food store. Having only tasted these grains a few times, I had no idea how long to cook them. Internet searches revealed contradictory times. Does millet need to boil 40 minutes or 20 before it’s eatable?
Fortunately, The Cleaner Plate Club by Beth Bader and Alil Benjamin solved my millet quandary. (It should be simmered for 20 minutes uncovered and then removed from the heat and covered for 10 minutes.)
I read this cookbook in less than a week and loved it. It’s pages are bright, full on interesting illustrations, provoking facts, and simple recipes.
The book’s philosophy on food and cooking immediately won me over. The authors believe that food that’s good for you should taste good, and they designed over 100 recipes designed to prove that to the pickiest of eaters. My husband and I have enjoyed several of these recipes — especially the meatloaf Florentine.
However, this book is more than a cookbook, most of its pages are devoted to describing what is good food (farm fresh veggies, pastured meats and eggs), where to find that food, and how to avoid loading your shopping cart with microwaveable meals and Lucky Charms cereal.
The book also provides a detailed introduction to unique vegetables and recipes to use that produce. This will help me on my quest for new flavors and food!
The book provides other very helpful guides. I plan to use its chart on sugar substitutes as I experiment with healthier sweetners like rapadura and stevia. The “faster than drive through” meal suggestions have given me some tasty lunch ideas.
I was impressed with the section on fats and oils. The cookbook explains that fats and oils cannot be heated to the point of smoking or they will decompose. Oils may also become rancid if stored properly. This cookbook provided a detailed list of common and uncommon oils. The list included information about their individual smoke point, correct storage, typical uses and health benefits (such as the presence of omega 3 fatty acids). I only wish the list included coconut oil, one of my new favorite fats.
I am thrilled to have this book as part of my collection and would quickly recommend this book to people learning how to eat healthier.
While I am grateful to Storey Publishing for the chance to read this book, the thoughts and opinions are my own.