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Recommended Reading
and Organic Links
 
Since the Chinook Bookstore closed its doors, Colorado Springs doesn't have a truly local bookstore anymore, so we have provided links to some of our favorite books on sustainable agriculture, organic growing and slow food and cooking on Amazon's website. 
 
We have also listed links to sources for Colorado organic produce and food as well as sustainable living.
If you would like to add your website to our list, please contact us.
 
Organic Agriculture - Books & Links
Slow Food - Books & Links
Colorado Organic and Local Food Links
Our Favorite Cookbooks
Sustainable Living Links
Organic Growers' Resources

 

Sustainable Agriculture

Sustainable is a popular word these days, and it can mean many different things. Sustainable agriculture, to us, means using the least amount of land, water and commercial fertilizer to grow the most amount of food. We have selected a few books that will help you gain a better understanding of sustainable agriculture and why it is important.

 

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life

 

Be sure to get your hands on Barbara Kingsolver's latest page-turner, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life. Kingsolver, perhaps best known for her novels set in the desert southwest, takes a different turn with this memoir recounting her family's move to rural Virginia, where they endeavor to eat nothing but the food they or their neighbors can produce. Kingsolver writes eloquently of her love for food, the land, and the natural environment of her Appalachian home, and starkly contrasts her family's choice to eat local foods and become more self sufficient with the industrialized agriculture, processed-food model that makes up most Americans' diets. Part cookbook and instruction manual (learn to make your own cheese and then whip up a delicious pizza with it!), part autobiography, part ode to simple pleasures like family, neighbors, and making do with what you have, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle is certain to lure you away from the drive-thru line and into the kitchen.

Buy It Now

 

 

Organic, Inc. by Samuel Fromartz

In recent decades, organic food—the idealistic, natural alternative to industrial agribusiness and processed packaged foods—has grown into a multibillion-dollar business. Fromartz's portrait of the adolescent industry reveals that that success has prompted an epic identity crisis. Big corporations like Kraft and General Mills own the bulk of the market, and half of all organic sales come from the largest 2% of farms, alienating those most committed to producing chemical-free fruits and vegetables on small family farms, and selling them locally. Business journalist Fromartz uncovers the trailblazers' tactics: how Whole Foods Market developed a religion of "moral hedonism," how Earthbound Farm launched a revolution with bagged salad mix and how Silk soy milk became "the number one brand in the dairy case, among all milk and soy milk brands." But if big business is now the muscle of the organic industry, Fromartz demonstrates that small growers remain at its heart. Fromartz's profiles—of pioneers who sell their produce at farmers' markets and foster cooperatively-owned, local distribution networks—deftly navigate the complexities of pesticide issues, organic production methods and the legal controversies surrounding organic certification. This is a pragmatic, wise assessment of the compromises the organic movement has struck to gain access to the mainstream. Buy It Now

 

This Organic Life: Confessions of a Suburban Homesteader by Joan Dye Gussow

Two decades ago, when nutritionist Gussow was giving fiery speeches about the importance of eating locally and seasonally, she realized that it was time to put her convictions into practice. In this combination memoir, polemic, and gardening manual, she discusses the joys and challenges of growing organic produce in her own New York garden. Initially, Gussow had planned to write about her misadventures in buying a 150-year-old house on a Hudson River floodplain. That story was incorporated into this book, but many of the boring remodeling details should have been omitted. Interesting points include a description of establishing her new garden, tips on making compost and on growing fruits and vegetables successfully in a northern climate, and various recipes using the garden bounty. Throughout, Gussow stresses the need to live responsibly "in a society where thoughtless consumption is the norm." Her constant reminders that industrial agriculture produces tasteless, environmentally destructive food well intentioned though they may be start sounding like a litany after a while. Yet, despite its flaws and self-righteous tone, this work offers encouragement to urban and suburban gardeners who want to grow at least some of their own produce. Buy It Now

 

Women and Sustainable Agriculture by Anna Anderson

This book looks deeply into the American food system and closely examines the need for change in the way food is grown and distributed in the United States. It is composed of twelve interviews with dynamic women who work on issues surrounding modern agriculture. These women are producers, academicians, advocates and activists. Some work in agricultural law and policy. All are devoted to changing the current system. Buy It Now

 

Truckpatch: A Farmer's Odyssey by Ward Sinclair

This is a compendium of the award winning columns Ward wrote for the Washington Post. He wrote about the joys and sorrows of producing organic food for body--and soul--at Flickerville Mountain Farm & Groundhog Ranch. "A little bit of all of us, and a lot of some of us, dream of doing something close to what Ward Sinclair and Cass Peterson did--pack it up, quit the big city, and fool around with the earth. These columns are fantastic..." Ben Bradlee, The Washington Post. If you are a farmer read this book and realize you are not alone, then give this to all your friends who think you are crazy. If you are a wannabe farmer and you read this and it makes your heart pound with anticipation you are bound to be a great success. Buy It Now

 

Fatal Harvest: The Tragedy of Industrial Agriculture by Andrew Kimbrell

How and why has agriculture, an endeavor that for millennia involved intimate knowledge of and profound respect for nature and place, become so industrialized that it's wreaking havoc all around the world? And what can people do about it? Editor Kimbrell, author of The Human Body Shop (1993), has assembled an eloquent group of contributors to answer these urgent questions in a book distinctive for its wealth of clarifying information and illuminating interpretations as well as for its generous design and striking use of photographs. Seminal thinkers such as Wendell Berry, Wes Jackson, and Ron Kroese make the distinction between agrarian and industrial agriculture, assess the treacherous divide between them, and chronicle the catastrophic unintended consequences of monoculture farming, genetically engineered seeds, and the massive use of toxic pesticides and fertilizers. Kimbrell and company not only testify to the myriad ill effects of agriculture based solely on profit rather than the well-being of people and the planet, they also discuss alternative farming practices and the prospect for a new agrarianism and a brighter future. Buy It Now

 

The Organic Cook's Bible by Jeff Cox

Cox, a veteran organic gardener, provides an encyclopedic guide to organic ingredients from fruits and vegetables to meats and dairy products, plus "kitchen staples" like coffee, bouillon and flour. Unlike most reference books, his is filled with personal touches: sidebars like "My Favorite Cherries" and "Keep an Eye Out for Black Walnuts" tell about Cox's encounters with foods, and even within the technical portions of the entries—which give information on nutrition, seasonality, storage, preparation and so on, as well as brief, fascinating histories of a food's cultivation—Cox often takes a personal approach. There are recipes using nearly every ingredient, most prepared simply to highlight a particular flavor, as in potent Rosemary Pesto, but others incorporate a food into heartier fare, like Caraway-Infused Pork. Though Cox's frequent pauses to extol organic food's virtues are of the preaching-to-the-choir variety, his abundant, knowledgeable advice on how to find and use the best products, and his presentation of special varieties of the ingredients make this a helpful resource for shoppers who are both bewildered and excited by the offerings in an ever-expanding field. Buy It Now

 

 Eat Here: Homegrown Pleasures in a Global Supermarket

Some people may ask, "what’s wrong with getting my food from some distant land, if the food is cheap and the system works?" The point Halweil, a senior researcher at the Worldwatch Institute, makes throughout this book is that those prices are artificially low, and the system is actually broken. Halweil’s writing is journalistic in its reliance on interviews with farmers and activists, but the book’s abundant statistics, graphs and suggestions for action lend it the tone of a policy paper—one that is, nonetheless, impassioned and accessible. Halweil gives readers reasons for pessimism (the thousands of gallons of fossil fuel used to ship fresh greens around the world; unprecedented risks of contaminated food) and optimism (the spread of "farm shops" across Europe; the Vermont diner that’s thriving by using almost entirely local food); fortunately, his optimism usually prevails. Following each chapter is a short success story, such as that of David Cole, who jumpstarted Hawaii’s cattle-raising and crop-raising business. Halweil makes a strong argument that a system dominated by "globe-trotting food" sold in impersonal megastores is bad for the health of economies and people alike, while "eating local" and encouraging regional self-sufficiency is good for both the environment and the human race. Besides highlighting projects already underway, which will inspire and encourage farmers and activists everywhere, Halweil offers ideas for the individual consumer (such as hosting a "harvest party" at your home or in your community). Even when describing the decline of local agriculture, his tone remains upbeat. An essential read for those interested in the sustainable agriculture movement, this book may also appeal to general foodies and those who are concerned about the land and the environment. Buy It Now
 

 Plenty: One Man, One Woman, and a Raucous Year of Eating Locally

Over a meal of fish, potatoes, and wild mushrooms foraged outside their cabin in British Columbia, the authors of this charmingly eccentric memoir decide to embark on a year of eating food grown within 100 miles of their Vancouver apartment. Thus begins an exploration of the foodways of the Pacific northwest, along which the authors, both professional writers, learn to can their own vegetables, grow their own herbs, search out local wheat silos and brew jars of blueberry jam. They also lose weight, bicker and down hefty quantities of white wine from local vineyards. Their engaging narrative is sprinkled with thought-provoking reportage, such as a UK study that shows the time people spend shopping the supermarket-driving, parking and wandering the aisles-is "nearly equal to that spent preparing food from scratch twenty years ago." Though their tone can wax preachy, the wisdom of their advice is obvious, and the deliciousness of their bounty is tantalizing-if local eating means a sandwich full of peppers, fried mushrooms, and "delectably oozing goat cheese," their efforts appear justified. Buy It Now.
 

 

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Links to Organic and Sustainable Agriculture Resources

The Meatrix-The award-winning flash animation movie about the meat you eat.

The Meatrix 2-Moopheus, Leo and Chickity are back in The Meatrix II: Revolting, the sequel to the Webby-award winning Meatrix. This time, they battle corporate agents as they try to save small family-farms.

Store Wars- The Store Wars movie is the latest outreach effort of Organic Trade Association (OTA) to educate consumers about the many benefits of organic products. By spoofing a pop culture phenomenon like Star Wars, OTA hopes to attract a new generation of organic consumers, especially “Gen Xers” who grew up loving Luke, Leia and Han, and are now increasingly concerned about making healthy food choices for their families.

The Beyond Organic radio show is an unique environmental radio and multimedia program, addressing issues of organic food and farming, social and environmental sustainability. The show offers news, interviews and research that fills a void left by public and private broadcasters.

Sustainable News Center- The Sustainable News Center offers journalists a one-stop shop of credible, independent information on a wide range of issues related to the organic industry, sustainable agriculture, fair trade, food safety, social justice, and the environment.

Organic Consumers Association- The Organic Consumers Association is an online and grassroots non-profit public interest organization campaigning for health, justice, and sustainability.

 

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Slow Food

Slow Food by Carlo Petrini
Slow Food by the Slow Food Movement
The Pleasures of Slow Food by Corby Kummer
Slow Food Revolution: A New Culture for Dining and Living by Carlo Petrini, Gigi Padovani
The Slow Down Diet by Marc David
Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser

 

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Slow Food Resources

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Slow Food- Founded in 1986, is an international organization whose aim is to protect the pleasures of the table from the homogenization of modern fast food and life. Through a variety of initiatives, it promotes gastronomic culture, develops taste education, conserves agricultural biodiversity and protects traditional foods at risk of extinction. You can also visit Slow Food USA, and join Slow Food Denver.

The mission of the Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity is to organize and fund projects that defend our world’s heritage of agricultural biodiversity and gastronomic traditions. They envision a new agricultural system that respects local cultural identities, the earth’s resources, sustainable animal husbandry, and the health of individual consumers.

Chefs Collaborative is a national network of more than 1,000 members of the food community who promote sustainable cuisine by celebrating the joys of local, seasonal, and artisanal cooking.

The Edible Schoolyard provides urban public school students with a one-acre organic garden and a kitchen classroom. Using food systems as a unifying concept, students learn how to grow, harvest, and prepare nutritious seasonal produce. Experiences in the kitchen and garden foster a better understanding of how the natural world sustains us, and promote the environmental and social well being of our school-community.

Environmental Defense seafood selector

Farmed and Dangerous
Information on salmon aquaculture.

Seafood Choices Alliance

Take a Pass on Chilean Sea Bass
 

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Colorado Organic and Local Food Links

Top Ten reasons to Think Local - Buy Local - Be Local...

Colorado Farm Fresh Directory is your complete guide to farmers' markets and roadside stands in the state. It is our pleasure to help you locate fresh, locally-grown fruits and vegetables, along with other farm products.

Isle Farms Located in Ellicot, offers cow shares in raw milk cows, and hormone and antibiotic free Beef (both grain and grass fed) and Pork. Areas served are Colorado Springs, Castle Rock, Parker and Woodland Park.

Desert Weyr is a small family farm that produces animal products in a humane and environmentally friendly way. They are located in Paonia, Colorado.

Ela Family Farms Located on the western slope of the Rocky Mountains outside of Hotchkiss, Colorado, our ninety-nine acre organic fruit farm is dedicated to growing the best-tasting peaches, apples, pears and cherries around.

High Wire Ranch is located 53 miles southeast of Grand Junction and 9 miles northwest of Hotchkiss, Colorado, on Redlands Mesa. We have been raising Bison since 1981 and Elk since 1987. Visitors welcome from 1 pm to 5 pm daily.

Ranch Foods Direct is a retail store and meat packing facility created by rancher Mike Callicrate to bring healthful, high quality, naturally tender meats directly to consumers straight from the ranch. The goal of this one-of-a-kind program is to create a business that benefits both ranchers and consumers. RFD’s cattle raising, processing, and distribution system assures incomparable quality, wholesomeness, eating satisfaction, and a mutually rewarding relationship of trust and responsibility between the rancher and you the customer. When you buy from Ranch Foods Direct, you are supporting rural communities and farm and ranch families who care for the land and animals by utilizing environmentally sound, humane, and sustainable production practices.

Salazar Natural Beef in Manassa, Colorado provides the health conscious consumer an alternative to the feedlot fattened beef that is found in most grocery stores. Our cattle are raised holistically in environmentally friendly conditions. Place an order.

 

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Our Favorite Cookbooks

At Lettuce Patch Gardens, we not only like to grow great food, we like to eat great food! We are constantly testing different varieties of our produce to bring you the best tasting vegetables. The best way to test new foods is to rely on trusted sources for great recipes.

We have compiled a list of our favorite cookbooks. The following cookbooks either celebrate seasonal cooking and have wonderful recipes for using fresh produce.

Shopping > Books: Cookbooks | Sustainable Agriculture | Books for Market Gardeners and Small Farmers | Kitchen Tools

 Cook's Illustrated (Magazine Subscription)

Cook's Illustrated provides readers with recipes, cooking techniques, and product and food recommendations exhaustively developed in our extensive Test Kitchen facility - the same kitchen featured on their PBS cooking show, America's Test Kitchen. Included are best ways to prepare favorite American dishes -- from pot roast and chocolate chip cookies to grilled salmon and fruit cobbler. Best (and worst) cooking equipment -- from chef's knives to cookie sheets. Best brands -- from canned tomatoes to baking chocolate. Best cooking techniques - from brining shrimp to baking ham. And all of this is provided without a single page of advertising - just 100% cooking information.

Cooks Illustrated is like no other cooking magazine we have ever read. It's a sort of Consumers Reports for cooking, aimed at the beginning gourmand. The magazine includes recipes, tips sent in by readers, standard methods for important cooking procedures, reviews of gadgets or food items, and reviews of cookbooks. All of these are accompanied by beautiful black-and-white illustrations and photos of the foods and techniques used (which explains the "Illustrated" part of the magazine title).

Our favorite articles are those that delve into the development of the recipe featured. These articles all provide a standard format of describing the "perfect" representation of the items and then the authors explain their process for creating their final recipes and the method by which to read and make the recipes. While this sounds scientific (and indeed, it is), the writing is delightful and down-to-earth, not dry or esoteric as other gourmet magazines. In addition, sidebar articles explore choosing particular ingredients or comparisons of different brands or gadgets relating to the recipe shown and give clear direction where the more elusive ingredients and gadgets can be purchased. Buy It Now
 

The Complete Book of Pasta and Noodles by the Editor's of Cook's Illustrated Magazine

The Cook's Illustrated Complete Book of Pasta and Noodles offers a comprehensive introduction to the world's pasta, from spaghetti, couscous, and spaetzle to ramen, udon, rice sticks, and more. Compiled from the pages of Cook's Illustrated, the magazine of culinary investigation, the book is a trove of illustrated step-by-step instructions (on rolling pasta dough, for example), hundreds of pasta and related recipes, tips on buying and storage, and other useful data. In chapters such as "Dried Semolina Pasta and Chinese Wheat Noodles," the book explores a particular pasta type and then provides useful supplementary information. Included, for example, are pasta-tasting results, a "gallery" of pasta shapes, and material on matching pasta shapes to sauces. Offered also are comprehensive saucing chapters that cover such pasta accompaniments as olive oil, butter, cheese, bread crumbs, canned and fresh tomatoes, and seafood, among many others. The recipes themselves are exhaustive and, as one might expect, models of accuracy and good taste. Included are the likes of Macaroni with Spinach and Gorgonzola, Lasagna with Shrimps and Scallops, Potato Gnocchi with Butter, Sage, and Parmesan Cheese, and Cellophane Noodle Salad with Charred Beef and Snow Peas. With master recipes for many of the basic pasta types and more than 300 illustrations, the book should enlighten pasta lovers while whetting their appetite for its many satisfactions. Buy It Now

Taste Pure and Simple: Irresistible Recipes for Good Food and Good Health by Michel Nischan
(2004 James Beard Award Winner for Healthy Focus & Vegetarian)
 
Acclaimed chef Michel Nischan knows that eating well is all about balance, and his beautiful cookbook proves that robust meals can be both healthy and flavorful. Avoiding the high-fat dairy products prevalent in so many cookbooks, he uses vegetable juices and olive oil to achieve the same luscious flavors. Who knew that sweet potatoes make a rich sauce that's fabulous drizzled over coriander-seasoned duck? Or that creamy white bean dip spread on crusty bread could make you forget about butter? And after eating a healthful dinner, it's okay to indulge in a dessert like Flourless Hazelnut Cake. A chapter on basics provides a solid foundation of stocks and sauces, while the glossary describes how to find and use unusual ingredients. For the good home cook who craves something new and delicious and particularly those who want to eat well while maintaining a heart-healthy diet, it's simply a matter of Taste Pure and Simple. Buy It Now
The San Francisco Ferry Plaza Farmer's Market Cookbook by Peggy Knickerbocker

Internationally known as one of the most magnificent farmers' markets in the world, the San Francisco Ferry Plaza Farmers' Market has inspired this gorgeous illustrated market companion. The perfect guide and cookbook -- no matter where you live -- each page celebrates the abundant seasonal produce grown by local organic and specialty-crop farmers along with more than 100 fresh, remarkably easy-to-assemble recipes. Organized by season, the book details the availability of products at the market and offers advice on choosing, storing, preparing, and freezing items. A foreword by Alice Waters, the history of the market, and vivid color photos throughout bring this farm fresh market guide to life. Buy It Now

 Learning to Cook with Marion Cunningham  by Marion Cunningham

In Learning to Cook, 150 recipes and 100 color photos are woven through 11 chapters with tempting titles like "Soup for Supper," "Easy Fish," "Meals Without Meat," and "Thank Goodness for Chicken." Cunningham's recipes are clearly written--free from hard-to-decipher cooking terms and elaborate preparations. Directions for preparing items such as vegetables are included in the recipes, so readers can prepare them as they cook, without perpetually referring to the ingredients list. Many of the recipes are meal-in-one suppers. Buy It Now

Seasonal Southwest Cooking by Barbara Pool Fenzl

Celebrity Chef and author Barbara Pool Fenzl reveals secrets and insights gained from her impressive culinary career and 36 years of Southwest living. In this beautiful compilation, she presents more than 150 original recipes that burst with the colors, textures, and flavors of the region—truly a masterpiece that pays homage to her Southwest Home. As a bonus, Fenzl offers complete seasonal menus to give entertainers ideas for serving sensational meals to groups of two to twenty. Share these elegantly simple meals with friends and family and enjoy all of the Southwest’s seasons. Buy It Now
 

Recipes From An Ecological Kitchen by Lorna J. Sass

The author's "ecological kitchen" serves low-fat, high-fiber vegetarian food, made without dairy products or eggs, with an emphasis on organic seasonal produce, fuel-efficient cooking, and minimal waste. Her approach to such a diet is more accessible than most, and her recipes are more appealing than the standard collections of vegan dishes. A useful glossary of ingredients is appended. This should appeal to fans of the Moosewood cookbooks as well as to the growing numbers of newer converts to a plant-based diet. Buy It Now
 

The Sustainable Kitchen by Stu Stein

Stein and Hinds's Peerless Restaurant in Oregon's Rogue Valley is becoming one of the compulsory stops for foodies making West Coast pilgrimages to places like Chez Panisse and French Laundry. Now the restaurant's executive chefs present the philosophy and recipes that inform their cooking from seasonal Northwest ingredients. Eating is political for the authors, and they make a strong case for home cooks as well as restaurant chefs to support local farmers and purveyors to "encourage a regional food supply and a strong local economy, maintain a sense of community, encourage earth stewardship, and protect the future of small to medium-size family farms." Sprinkled between elegant recipes for Sweet Corn and Shiitake Mushroom Custard and Pan-Seared Alaskan Sablefish with Green Garlic, Fiddlehead Ferns and Soft Polenta are profiles of farmers and fishermen, as well as concise, non-preachy explanations of the environmental consequences of different production methods, in order to help readers make responsible and sustainable choices. The emphasis is firmly on Pacific Northwest products, especially fish and seafood, but each recipe offers substitutions to encourage cooks to use sources from close to home. The first step to a good meal is quality ingredients, and for Stein and Hinds that starts with knowing where your food comes from. Buy It Now
Perfect Vegetables by Editors of Cook's Illustrated Magazine

For vegetarians and food enthusiasts weary of soggy carrots, smelly cabbage or lumpy mashed potatoes, the editors of Cook's Illustrated present a tome devoted to vegetable perfection from artichokes to zucchini. Carefully researched and thoroughly tested, each section (organized alphabetically by vegetable) includes an informative history and interesting food facts; tips on how to select the freshest vegetable at the market; and detailed approaches to cooking and serving. The volume answers oft-asked questions about preparing and storing foods, and includes both basic recipes ("master recipes") and tastier dishes (Green Beans with Sautéed Shallots and Vermouth, Mashed Potatoes with Brie and Tarragon and Glazed Carrots with Currants and Almonds) for each veggie. Step-by-step illustrations on preparation help the home cook master technique: detailed lessons, for example, are provided for preparing artichokes for braising and corn for grilling, dicing an avocado and segmenting an orange. There's a section on why chopping onions can make you cry, as well as suggestions to stop the flow of tears. (Light a candle or wear swimming goggles.) "Best of" segments are peppered throughout the book, offering the reader results of taste and equipment tests from the Cook's Illustrated staff.  Buy It Now
 

The Best Recipe: Grilling and Barbecue by Editors of Cook's Illustrated Magazine

Grilling and barbecuing have become a distinctly American passion as more and more grills and smokers appear in our backyards. Too often however, that juicy ribeye or succulent tenderloin roast becomes something more fit to use as footgear than to appear on the dinner table. Once again, the authors at Cook's Illustrated have scored a huge success with their latest book on the subject of grilling and barbecuing. You will learn what to look for in equipment, the basic principles of both grilling and barbecuing and a thorough examination of preparing burgers, steaks, poultry, kebabs, fish and shellfish, veggies, pork and of course, ribs. Rubs, sauces and salsa recipes are also provided. But the main reason to purchase this book is for the techniques and recipes. Each and every technique and recipe is the culmination of exhaustive testing by the authors. You will be hailed as a grilling guru or pitmaster every time your family or guests experience the pleasure of tasting your fare. You will use this book often and one word of caution: Don't let anyone borrow it or it will be the last time you see it! Buy It Now
 

The Roasted Vegetable by Andrea Chesman

"This is a cookbook for vegetable lovers--and vegetable haters," says Andrea Chesman in The Roasted Vegetable. Her argument is that roasting veggies brings out their "hidden sweet, nutty flavors," making them irresistible to carrot-hating kids and vegan adults alike. She supports this theory with 150 tantalizing recipes, starting with a sizeable serving of side dishes, then broadening to include salsas, soups, salads, sandwiches, pasta, pizza, tofu, granola, and more. Beyond obvious inclusions like roasted peppers, French fries, and chestnuts, there's Garlic Puree ("like a basic black dress, it goes with almost anything") and Roasted Kohlrabi, which "looks like a spaceship that has sprouted leaves." Another standout is the Roasted Tomato Sauce, for which tomatoes are roasted up to one and a half hours until they've broken down to form a thick sauce; the recipe also has variations for pasta, enchiladas, and Middle Eastern dishes. In addition, the book covers basic techniques and equipment and has a handy roasting chart--all aimed to help your roasted vegetables come out perfectly "tender-crisp." Buy It Now

Greens Glorious Greens! by Johnna Albi

We know that there is life beyond broccoli and iceberg lettuce, but what is one to do with the odd-looking green things with exotic names that increasingly line the produce shelves? Albi (who recently died) and Walthers (formerly food editor for Natural Health) take a careful look at greens from arugula and dandelion to kale and mesclun and other salad greens. The authors explain their subjects' virtues and shortcomings (steamed broccoli rabe served solo can be unpleasant); how to choose them; how and how long to keep them; how to clean them; and, in more than 140 recipes, how to cook them. Greens need a little help, they say, and many of the recipes lean on a smattering of olive oil, garlic or raisins to bring out the flavor: Kale with Raisins and Toasted Pine Nuts; Chinese Bok Choy, Shitake and Tofu; Garlic Escarole Soup with Rice. Carrots or red peppers can add color as well as flavor Broccoli Rabe Vegetable Pasta with yellow summer squash and freshly grated Parmesan or Romano is an exceptionally pretty and tasty dish. Interspersed are informational chapters on nutrition (most greens are high in vitamins, minerals and beta-carotene), the best cooking methods, and home gardening tips. Buy It Now

Chez Panisse Vegetables by Alice L. Waters

By now just about everybody whose interest in eating runs deeper than fast food knows about Alice Waters. The creator of Chez Panisse, the legendary restaurant in Berkeley, California, that helped create a modern American cuisine based on fresh ingredients, she is also equally well-known as a teacher and cookbook author. Chez Panisse Vegetables is one of the best new cookbooks of the season; it's as useful for its information about vegetables and how to use and handle them as it is for its irresistible recipes, which lead to complex and interesting dishes built from simple ingredients and simple techniques. But It Now

A Celebration of Herbs: Recipes from the Huntington Herb Garden by Shirley Kerins

A Celebration of Herbs is a cookbook that pairs herbs with the right foods in the most tantalizing ways. Compiled by long-time herb enthusiast Shirley Kerins from recipes submitted by the staff of the world-famous Huntington Gardens, this high-quality book enriches our souls as well as our palates by offering us interesting and pertinent information on the herbs we are cooking with. Especially helpful for beginning herb users is the chapter on "Learning to Use Herbs in Cooking." In this chapter, Ms. Kerins has outlined her "Eight-Step Program for Learning to Cook With Herbs" that is sure to make cooking with herbs a snap! Buy It Now
 

The Vegetarian Grill: 200 Recipes for Inspired Flame-Kissed Meals by by Andrea Chesman

Forget about the word vegetarian in the title, and don't think inspired is just hype. The Vegetarian Grill features a host of unexpected dishes that should interest almost everyone. Have you ever thought, for example, of grilling quesadillas or falafel; of making lasagna laced with grilled, chopped vegetables; or of using grilled vegetables to infuse a meatless split-pea soup with deep flavor? Although she lives in Vermont, she grills even in the dead of winter, and she offers lots of recipes for Fire-Up Flatbreads and Pizzas, Kabobs and other compelling combinations, Grilled Desserts, and more. Chesman has an engaging style, and she offers lots of handy tips with her appealing recipes. Buy It Now
 

Vegetables from Amaranth to Zucchini by Elizabeth Schneider

Elizabeth Schneider creates a compelling guide to 350 common and exotic vegetables. This seed-to-table exploration does more, however. In addition to its usefulness as a reference work (vegetables are, for example, listed by their market, botanical, and common names), the book offers 500 up-to-the-minute recipes--such as Shredded Yellow Squash with Garlic Chives and Baked Sweet Potato-Apple Puree with Horseradish--valuable advice on seasonality and selection, multiple-method cooking instructions, and color photos of all the entries that make market identification a breeze. Buy It Now

My Italian Garden: More than 125 Seasonal Recipes from a Garden Inspired by Italy  by Viana La Place

All the recipes in this book reflect the themes of seasonality, simplicity, and freshness. This is garden-style cooking, and it makes being in the kitchen a joy rather than a chore. Time spent preparing dishes is minimal and the rewards are great. Even home cooks who are unable to keep the hardiest of plants alive or who live in tiny, dark apartments will be enchanted by La Place's description of her bountiful garden. La Place's insistence on relying on her garden's bounty alone to supply dishes for each course and every season spurs her to great creativity, as exemplified by the "Caprese" salad that morphs through the year from the summer classic to a winter version with radicchio, orange zest and hazelnuts. Though cooks without a garden will not have quite the experience that La Place describes, just the idea of concentrating on a few fresh ingredients will remind them of just how extraordinary vegetables can be. Buy It Now

 

Local Flavors: Cooking and Eating from America's Farmers' Markets by Deborah Madison

The book offers chapters deftly arranged by fruit and vegetable families as they appear in the markets, such as "The Vegetable Fruits of Summer: Eggplants, Tomatoes, and Peppers" and "A Cool Weather Miscellany," which includes recipes such as Sautéed Artichokes with Potatoes and Garlic Chives and a marvelous "essence-of" soup, Elixir of Fresh Peas. Madison also treats unfamiliar fruits and vegetables, presenting the likes of lamb quarters in a soup made with Sonoma Teleme cheese, and sugar loaf chicory simply grilled and dressed with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Recipes for delightful salads like Melon Salad with Thai Basil also appear, as do a selection of pastas and risotto, such as Winter Squash Risotto with Seared Radicchio, and sweets like White Peaches in Lemon Verbena Syrup and Date, Dried Cherry, and Chocolate Nut Torte. With sidebars like Atlanta's All-Organic Market: Late October and color photos throughout of vendors, produce, and many of the dishes, the book offers the perfect match of Madison and the markets. Buy It Now
 

Gourmet Magazine

Gourmet editors review the best restaurants from around the world and provide expert travel advice for those in search of the ultimate epicurean experience. Each issue features refreshing, easy-to-prepare and delicious recipes that come complete with top recommended wines. You'll get low fat alternatives, Quick Kitchen recipes, 5 ingredient feasts, drink tips and great seasonal dishes. Buy It Now

From the Cook's Garden by Ellen Ecker Odgen

Spring's approach brings the promise of planting and another season of garden produce. Ellen Ecker Ogden has written From the Cook's Garden as a guide for those seeking some new ways to use up their garden bounty. Ogden's own immense Vermont garden provides the basis for these recipes, and they reflect thoughtful and tasty ways to produce appealing dishes from the freshest ingredients. Although most recipes offer ease of preparation, Ogden's cold creamy red beet soup with pistachio mousse calls for a base of cider, wine, and cinnamon and tops each bowlful with dollops of whipped ricotta, pistachios, and green herbs. Many of the book's recipes are vegetarian, but a few have fish or meat as prominent flavors. Because gardens often produce more than can be consumed during the harvest months, Ogden closes her book with a section on preserving, both in cans and in the freezer. Buy It Now

Simply In Season by Mary Beth Lind and Cathleen Hockman-Wert

Not so long ago most fresh food on North American tables came from home gardens and local farmers markets. Today, the average item of food travels more than a thousand miles before it lands on our tables. It’s a remarkable technological accomplishment, but has not proven to be healthy for our communities, our land or us. Through stories and simple "whole foods" recipes, Mary Beth Lind and Cathleen Hockman-Wert explore how the food we put on our tables impacts our local and global neighbors. They show the importance of eating local, seasonal food—and fairly traded food—and invite readers to make choices that offer security and health for our communities, for the land, for body and spirit. Buy It Now
 

On Top of Spaghetti-Macaroni, Linguine, Penne, and Pasta of Every Kind by Johanne Killeen and George Germon

The noodle reigns supreme in this fun but singularly focused collection of recipes. Drawing from decades of experience, the James Beard Award–winning owners of Al Forno in Providence, R.I., and coauthors of Cucina Simpatica explore their favorite recipes at home and in the restaurant, including their favorite after-work treat, Midnight Spaghetti. The chapter Pasta Tips offers useful tidbits of information such as how to heat serving bowls and when and how to add grated cheese. The remainder of the book consists of the recipes, which are split up into sections by type, such as with vegetables, tomato sauce or seafood; there are also sections on fresh and various baked pasta dishes. The majority are quick and simple and feature the usual saucy suspects like capers, red pepper flakes and Parmigiano-Reggiano. Yet the authors cover a wide expanse of Italian culinary traditions, and there are some intriguing surprises, like George's Spaghetti with Raw Cucumber and Basil, and Pappardelle and Saffron-Scented Milk-Braised Chicken. Throughout, the directions are straightforward and consistent. Each dish is followed by suggestions for rounding out the meal and using leftovers—though most of these creations are unlikely to leave any behind. Buy It Now

Organic Cookbook by Eric Treuille

Natural, nutritious, and flavorsome food for all the seasons of the year. Reawaken your tastebuds with the flavors and textures of the natural and nutritious ingredients used in the Organic Cookbook's delicious, satisfying recipes. Delicious, nutrient-packed meals result from the use of natural ingredients at their absolute seasonal best. To guide you through seasonal shopping, Organic Cookbook's comprehensive, at-a-glance fruit and vegetable calendar shows you the best time of the year to buy food at its freshest and most nutritious. In addition to this advice on what to look for in fresh produce and how to buy what is best on the day, Renee Elliot and Eric Treuille offer invaluable advice on effective storing methods to seal in the natural goodness inherent in organic produce. With simple meals that require minimal effort and are easy to prepare, the recipes in this collection ensure that every ingredient counts -- the aim is always to enhance, not disguise. Each recipe combines fresh ingredients to bring out the essential aromas, flavors, and nutrients to produce fresh-tasting, delicious meals every time. Buy It Now

Conscious Cusine by Cary Neff

"Conscious cuisine" is what Neff calls the food he cooks at Miraval Spa near Tucson, AZ, among the top spa resorts in the country. Here he presents dozens of recipes for the sophisticated but healthful food he serves-one of the major reasons for the spa's popularity. Those who love good foods can keep "Conscious Cuisine" on the shelf for a long-time to come. There is lots of variety, and most of the savoring dishes and sauce recipes are low in sodium, carbohydrates, and sugar. Worth noting, is that this is not for the quick throw-together at-home food enthusiasts. It's a step up into a little more planning and stocking. But the results will give you 5-star dishes such as Saffron-chive sauce, Carrot Mousse, Layered Spinach, Wild Mushroom, are a few of the many high-end cuisine you can create in your own kitchen. Buy It Now

 

The Best International Recipe by the Editor's of Cook's Illustrated Magazine

In The Best International Recipe, the test kitchen travels father afield to bring you the best and most exciting cooking from around the world. The more than 300 recipes have been tested dozens of times to ensure success in the kitchen.

Throughout The Best International Recipe, you'll find features that make this collection especially home cook friendly: Pantry spotlights offer clear explanations of ingredients and what to look for, and in some cases, what you can substitute without compromising flavor. Specialty equipment (and substitutions) are highlighted as well, so you won't waste money on equipment you don't really need (hint: You don't need a paella pan to make paella). Core techniques highlighted throughout the book explain essential methods that you can apply to all of your cooking, such as getting the most from spices and a method for making buttery tart dough that won't leave you feeling frustrated.

Whether you want to make spicy pork tacos to rival those found on the tables of Mexico or learn how to make chicken as juicy as the French, The Best International Recipe is your essential guide to the best cooking from around the world. Buy It Now

 

 

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