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Healthy food that isn't yucky

March 1, 2012

Tags: health food, nutrition, food allergies, vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, organic

Years ago I tested health food cookbooks for a series for the Washington Post food section, and my family found most of the dishes pretty dreadful. More recently I've found some health-oriented cookbooks that contain really tasty and attractive recipes. I've also found some good sources of information on healthy eating. Start with: The New American Plate Cookbook, a good-for-you cookbook filled with delicious recipes from the American Institute for Cancer Research. I also love a harder-to-find single-issue magazine: Vegetarian Times Presents Healing Foods Cookbook, edited by Elizabeth Turner (Vegetarian Times)

Newer on my shelf and less tested, but worth a look: The Food You Crave: Luscious Recipes for a Healthy Life by Ellie Krieger (tasty and healthy versions of popular "crave" dishes) and her So Easy: Luscious, Healthy Recipes for Every Meal of the Week

For sure, read this, which is not a cookbook but an eye-opener (and a quick read) about fast food. Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal, by Eric Schlosser (read this and then start cooking from The New American Plate)

The message here is also important: The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals, by Michael Pollan (and check out his practical Food Rules: An Eater's Manual (illus. by Maira Kalman). Bottom line: Shop the periphery of the supermarket. All the natural foods are there. The center of the market is full of the processed foods that are stripped of some nutrients and loaded with garbage that increases profits for stores and manufacturers while burdening you with extra calories and weight.

Also worth a look (and scroll down for section on cooking for food allergies)
Curb Those Cravings (blog)
For Three Years, Every Bite Organic (Tara Parker-Pope, NYT, reports what Dr. Alan Greene learned from his three-year experiment)
The 11 Best Foods You Aren't Eating (Tara Parker-Pope, NY Times 6-30-08)
Hypertension: Tips for Eating Out in Various Cuisines (Southwestern Medical Center)
The Intolerant Gourmet: Glorious Food without Gluten and Lactose by Barbara Kafka
Is there a link between chocolate and depression? Joanne Silberner, NPR, 4-26-10, on the connection between depression and chocolate. Chocolate-lovers, check out Joanne's favorite website, Cnocolate and Zucchini (especially the forums).
Meatless Monday (recipes and information to help prevent heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and cancer)
Michael Pollan Offers 64 Ways to Eat Food (Tara Parker-Pope, NYTimes, 1-8-2010)
Please, don't pass the salt! (blog)
Recipes for Health (Martha Rose Shulman's articles, recipes, NY Times)
Reduce Your Cancer Risk (recipes from the AICR Test Kitchen, which also produced a fabulous cookbook: The New American Plate Cookbook
Snake Oil? Scientific evidence for popular health supplements (great graph showing how much scientific evidence there is to support various supplements)
Stay Young at Heart (Cooking the Heart-Healthy way, good recipes from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute))
Vegan Before Dinnertime (Mark Bittman on carnivores eating more fruits and vegetables and fewer processed foods)
A Year of Produce (Jane Pellicciotto)

COOKING FOR FAMILY MEMBERS WITH ALLERGIES:
The Gluten-Free Craze, transcript for Diane Rehm's radio broadcast on the topic (WAMU-FM, 88.5 NPR 2-16-12). One point made by panelist Katherine Tallmadge: a gluten-free diet may not provide many essential nutrients, so you must be careful. Try using whole grains from another culture..."that we're not used to... They're emerging in the marketplace and people are using them in recipes instead of the refined grains that create nutritional deficiencies, fiber deficiencies, B-vitamin deficiencies."
The Food Allergy Mama's Baking Book: Great Dairy-, Egg-, and Nut-Free Treats for the Whole Family by Kelly Rudnick
Allergen-Free Baker's Handbook by Cybele Pascal
The Gluten-Free Asian Kitchen: Recipes for Noodles, Dumplings, Sauces, and More by Laura Russell
by Annalise G. Roberts
Gluten-Free Living, a magazine aimed at people with the auto-immune disorder celiac disease
Gluten-Free on a Shoestring: 125 Easy Recipes for Eating Well on the Cheap by Nicole Hunn
The Gluten-Free Vegan: 150 Delicious Gluten-Free, Animal-Free Recipes by Susan O'Brien
The Gluten-Free Vegetarian Kitchen: Delicious and Nutritious Wheat-Free, Gluten-Free Dishes by Donna Klein
The 100 Best Gluten-Free Recipes for Your Vegan Kitchen: Delicious Smoothies, Soups, Salads, Entrees, and Desserts by Kelley E. Keough
Flying Apron's Gluten-Free and Vegan Baking Book by Jennifer Katzinger
and do read
Don't Kill the Birthday Girl: Tales from an Allergic Life by Sandra Beasley


For Three Years, Every Bite Organic (an excerpt)

"Dr. Greene said he was inspired to go all-organic after talking to a dairy farmer who noted that livestock got sick less after a switch to organic practices. He wondered if becoming 100 percent organic might improve his own health.

"Three years later, he says he has more energy and wakes up earlier. As a pediatrician regularly exposed to sick children, he was accustomed to several illnesses a year. Now, he says, he is rarely ill. His urine is a brighter yellow, a sign that he is ingesting more vitamins and nutrients....

"In corporate cafeterias and convenience stores, he looked for stickers that began with the number 9 to signify organic; stickers on conventionally grown produce begin with 4."
~ Tara Parker-Pope, For Three Years, Every Bite Organic , Well column, The New York Times 12-1-08


Please comment if you have found good resources and recipes