Tag Archives: cookbook

Book Review: Gluten-Free Recipes for the Conscious Cook by Leslie Cerier

28 Mar

by Karen Miles

If you’re adhering to a gluten-free diet because you have celiac disease or other health conditions that benefit from avoiding gluten, this is one cookbook you’ll want on your cookbook shelf. But be sure to take a look at it if you’re interested in exploring a variety of whole grains, too — regardless of what else you eat! Continue reading

A Visit With Nikki and David Goldbeck – and a book giveaway!

28 Feb

The Wall Street Journal called The Supermarket Handbook the “manifesto” for a food revolution “that may be in the wind” back in 1973. And Nikki and David Goldbeck’s 1973 best-seller did help revolutionize America’s diet. The Goldbecks were early proponents for a broader acceptance of healthful foods and better food labeling, now mainstream ideas.

Over 30 years and many books later, David and Nikki still believe experiencing the joys of real food is the best incentive for people to do something about what is happening to our food supply.

It’s a full circle moment when we can stop and compare notes with our fellow organic food pioneers. We’re lucky to have become acquainted with the Goldbecks in their current hometown of Woodstock, New York, where they agreed to chat with us.

Nikki and David Goldbeck. Photo courtesy Hudson Valley Life.

How does it make you feel to see that the mainstream has come around to your way of thinking about food? Did you think that would happen?

Of course, it feels great. At the same time it’s amusing and at times frustrating to hear people telling us about these “new” ideas. But this isn’t the first time we’ve been there ahead of the crowd. David’s book, The Smart Kitchen, pioneered green kitchen design. We wrote Choose to Reuse, a book on reuse in 1995, when reusable shopping bags were still a novelty, and we published Clean & Green, a book on nontoxic cleaning, before the stores were stocked with more benign cleaning products. We are glad to see all of our concepts are finally catching on.

How did you get started with eating a wholefoods cuisine? Can you take us back to the beginning? What led you down this path?

In the late 1960s, we were living in NYC, where David was practicing law in legal services and Nikki was working on Madison Ave. doing food PR and recipe development. Influenced by friends and the times, we became aware of how meat was “manufactured” and decided on New Year’s Eve to go vegetarian for a week. After a week, we never looked back. This “experiment” led us not only to experience the joys of meat-free cooking, but began an awareness about food additives, food processing, chemical farming and the like — that launched us on our way.

We have always advocated a diet focused on wholefoods, a term we coined in American Wholefoods Cuisine, and define as “fresh and unfragmented foods that are as close to nature as possible.” Our “Wholefoods Philosophy,” which expands on this concept and is explained in more depth in that book, has remained essentially unchanged since we began this journey some 40 years ago.

What’s the easiest way for people to change their eating habits, if they feel they should?

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to eating. What is of utmost importance in staying with any diet is enjoyment. Whether you are one person or a family, hate to cook or love it, there are choices you can make that are simple, healthy and fun. One of the ways we think about food is to “dine each day as if you were in a different foreign country.” That way you get both variety and pleasure.

How can people use spices to make simple foods more interesting? Do you have a go-to spice that you find yourself using on lots of dishes?

Spices are the foundation of every good cuisine. Remember our advice to eat each day as if you were dining in a different foreign country? What distinguishes all of these cuisines is the way in which they take basic foodstuffs and flavor them to create the world’s great culinary delights. Oddly, the spice we turn to quite often is cumin – it seems to work with so many different cuisines … Arab, Israeli, South American, Indian, African, and more.

Let’s get back to your books. What was your first book? How did you write it? Did you test the recipes yourself?

The first book was Nikki’s cookbook, Cooking What Comes Naturally, A Month of Vegetarian Menus. Following the “trial” vegetarian week, and constant questions from family and friends about what we were eating, David began writing down what we had for dinner on a calendar. After 30 days, we realized we had eaten more interesting and varied meals than ever before.

As a result, Nikki began to refine the recipes, David served as the #1 food taster, and a book was born. As luck, or timing, would have it, Nikki made friends with a woman on the bus going to work who told her that Doubleday, where she worked, was considering a vegetarian cookbook. And as they say…the rest is history.

Did you go on a book tour then?

We went on a small tour. But what stands out is our appearance on the Donahue show, which was just ending its run in Dayton, Ohio and about to move into the big time in Chicago.

Tell us about your visits on Donahue. (For our younger readers, Phil Donahue’s show was the precursor to Oprah)

Over the next few decades we appeared three more times on Donahue, filling the entire hour talking about each of our subsequent books, starting with The Supermarket Handbook and then American Wholefoods Cuisine. He was a terrific host (even though he did wave around tofu and compare it to wallboard!) And it was quite a challenge, since there was no TV kitchen. We still laugh about the time we were holed up in the Drake Hotel in Chicago cooking on improvised equipment in preparation for the show where we introduced vegetarian wholefoods cooking to America.

Nikki & David cook with Phil Donahue.
Donahue turned over four one-hour shows
(c1974, 1977, 1979, 1983) to the Goldbecks to present their
approach to wholefoods shopping, cooking and nutrition.

You’ve also written a restaurant guide, Healthy Highways, to help people “avoid the fast-food lane” when dining away from home. Do you see this as a new direction in your work?

Healthy Highways is the next logical step in our food writing as we see it. We have written about how to shop for wholefoods, how to cook them, how to choose a healthy diet, and how to set up an environmentally-friendly kitchen.

But the missing piece was how to eat healthfully away from home. In Healthy Highways, we “travel” state-by-state, city-by-city, letting people know where they can find a natural foods store or restaurant that features vegetarian and vegan meals.

Our goal is three-fold: to help people eat well away from home; to bring customers to natural food stores and vegetarian and vegan restaurants; and, to encourage restaurants everywhere to pay more attention to people looking for meatless meals and healthier options. We are happy to say that there are more eateries around the country offering real (and creative) choices – not simply a plate of vegetables or salad.

Thanks so much, David and Nikki! It’s been great to connect with you and to see you’re still stirring things up in the food world.

Now in its second edition,  American Wholefoods Cuisine contains more than 1300 recipes and has been hailed as “the new Joy of Cooking.” Admired by M.F.K Fisher and nominated for the prestigious Tastemaker Award, this book is a culinary triumph of vegetarian cuisine and foreshadowed today’s emphasis on wholesome foods.

And the Goldbecks have given some of the delicious, practical and healthy recipes you’ll find in the book to our website.

Check out the simple goodness of such dishes as White Bean Paté, Potatoes Nicoise, Stuffed Clam Shells Areganata, Hot Open-Face Tempeh Sandwiches and African Bean Soup in our recipe collection.

We think this book belongs on every cook’s shelf. And Nikki and David want to give a copy of American Wholefoods Cuisine to a lucky fan on their Facebook page! Their page is a handy resource for recipes, tips and articles about a natural vegan diet.

Just visit their page, click “Like” and leave a comment telling them why you’d like a copy of the book, between now and March 6. 

 They’ll choose a winner at random after March 6 and send that lucky fan a copy of American Wholefoods Cuisine. 

REMEMBER — don’t leave your comment to win the book here, please leave it on the Goldbeck’s Facebook page – link above.

Spork Foods

12 Jul

Spork Foods is a Los Angeles-based gourmet vegan food company owned and operated by sisters Jenny Engel and Heather Goldberg. They offer live cooking classes in Los Angeles and online vegan cooking classes at www.sporkonline.com, one-on-one in-home healthy pantry makeovers, and recipe development/trainings for chefs, food companies and colleges.

Heather Goldberg, left and Jenny Engel, right, of Spork Foods.

Their cookbook, Spork-Fed, will be released in October 2011, with a foreword by fellow fans and sisters, Emily and Zooey Deschanel. Based on the Spork philosophy that veganism is about all of the wonderful things you can have, instead of what you can’t, Spork-Fed features over 80 original recipes, gorgeous full-color photographs and healthful tips sure to make any mouth water.

Stay tuned to our blog for more info about this book as its publication date approaches.

Heather and Jenny took time out recently to answer some questions for us about their past, present and future plans for Spork Foods.  They also generously shared one of their fantastic recipes.

What started you on the vegan path? What was it about environmental studies that made you decide to go vegan?  

Although 3 years apart, but virtually twins in all other aspects, we became enlightened to the world of veganism in college as Environmental Science majors. With Heather living in San Francisco and Jenny studying at UC Santa Cruz we each took classes called “World Ecological Crisis”, “Environmental Economics”, and “The Future of Rain Forests.”

Needless to say we were both very alarmed!  What we learned about was the connection between the degradation of the planet and the meat and dairy industry! Right then and there, and very separately, we went vegan over 11 years ago.

We worked together at an environmental non-profit organization called TreePeople in Los Angeles for a few years, sharing lunches and dreaming of running our own sister-business, until our hearts inevitably led us into the kitchen to do the work we were meant to do.

In your videos, you talk about the benefits of using herbs. What are some of your favorites to use? Do you have a favorite recipe you could share that takes advantage of herbs?

Lemon thyme is our fave herb! It has a gorgeous scent that is mildly lemony and super fresh!  We fold it into cashew cheeses, make zesty light potato salads with it, and throw it into spiked lemonade!

One of our main goals is to keep you out of the doctor’s office and show you how to take the health of you and your loved ones into your own hands every time you eat! Our food is more than just calories and protein. When you eat well and eat naturally, you have the ability to improve your body and mind. We’ll drink some carrot juice to that!

Here’s a recipe using lemon thyme — you might try it at your next party.

White Wine Cashew Cheese (on black bean sliders)

WHITE WINE CASHEW CHEESE

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups roasted unsalted cashews

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1 tablespoon light miso paste

2 teaspoons brown rice syrup

1 tablespoon neutral tasting oil, organic safflower preferred

3 tablespoons unsweetened almond or soymilk

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup vegan white wine

3 sprigs fresh lemon thyme, stemmed and finely chopped

Directions:

In a large food processor, add cashews, garlic powder, sea salt, miso, brown rice syrup, oil, almond or soymilk, lemon juice and wine.

Scrape the sides of the food processor occasionally and blend until smooth.

Fold in lemon thyme once.

Transfer to a bowl and ENJOY with crudités or crackers!

© Spork Foods, 2009

Tell us about your online classes! Can you tell us what some of the out-of-the-kitchen experiences might be?  

We launched our on-line classes at www.sporkonline.com less than a year ago! It is a membership-based website for anyone who wants to learn how to prepare fun, easy, delicious, vegan recipes – served anytime!

Our classes are shot and edited in HD by professional filmmakers to create an entertaining and engaging experience.

A NEW COOKING CLASS featuring a four-course meal and built around a specific theme is posted online and available to members once a month.  The classes are filmed with an eclectic group of students (including celebrities, authors, activists, farmers, parents, entrepreneurs and more) that spark interesting conversation around the dinner table and offer their own expertise.  As a member, you get to watch their conversation unfold!

Each month the site will also offer EXCLUSIVE BONUS RECIPES and classes that feature specific holiday and seasonal themes – all designed to enhance your cooking repertoire!

You will have access to extended OUT-OF-THE-KITCHEN EXPERIENCES with Jenny and Heather, taking members on mini adventures with us!  In our favorite one, we take our bestie Rory Freedman, Author of Skinny Bitch, to a farm where we eat things we’ve never even seen before! We have an ARCHIVED CLASSES section so you can master your kitch skills like a pro day or night! Don’t forget to ask the sisters your pressing foodie questions on our FOOD 911 page!

Whether you are a lifelong vegan, veg-curious, or just want to expand your cooking repertoire, Sporkonline offers tried and true original recipes that will please all of your friends and family!

Do you find that being based in LA is an advantage? Do find more vegans there, or a more vegan-oriented culture?

As 4th generation Angelinos, we love being in L.A. and in fact, we’re never leaving! Living in L.A., we are lucky because there is an abundance of Farmer’s Markets all over the city with incredible local fruits and veggies everywhere you look.

We actually take a sister trip each year to a place we have never been and can’t speak the language.  We have truly found a vegan culture in every single corner of the earth that we have explored, from Japan, to Greece, The Cayman Islands to Cuba. We vegans are everywhere!

Are other people in your family vegan?

Mom and Dad are vegan, and as my Dad’s doc says, “You’re the healthiest patient we have!” On no meds at age 70 and looking spry as a teenager, Mom and Dad are sticking with it. We’re still working on Grandma…

Tell us a little bit about some of the things your parents and grandparents taught you about cooking — we love stories of families in the kitchen, and traditions that are passed down. 

No need for explanation, we will let YouTube do the talking! In this video, Grandma Jeanette teaches us her strudel recipe, veganized, of course!

In our cookbook Spork-Fed we will feature Grandma’s Birds Nest Cookies that she has been making for us since before we can remember.

The one huge lesson that our mom taught us in the kitchen is to never be afraid.  She adds whatever spices she has, puts all sorts of veggies in a pot – and it always turns out amazing.

We love to teach people about harnessing their “kitchen intuition” so they can go from relying on a recipe to becoming masters of cooking improvisation.

Feel free to tell us what you like about our spices. Do you have any particular favorites?

We adore Frontier spices and we use them in everything!

We’re thrilled that you offer a wide array of organic spices, and we’re pretty much in love with your Ceylon cinnamon!

But the other thing that we really appreciate about your spices is that you have a picture of what the spice looks like on the container.

When we pass around the turmeric in our cooking classes, for example, people notice that it looks a bit like ginger root when they see the bottle and they feel more connected to their food.  It makes us so happy when people make connections with the foods they eat and the plants they come from  – so thanks for that!

Thanks so much, Heather and Jenny. We can’t wait for your book!

bluecashew Kitchen Pharmacy, Rhinebeck NY

31 May

One of our favorite places to browse and shop in the Hudson Valley is bluecashew Kitchen Pharmacy, the creation of Gregory Triana and Sean Nutley. With every visit comes a new surprise, a new arrival, and a fun chat.

On the store’s website, bluecashew is described as “fusing utility & design into a well- merchandised specialty kitchen experience.” This is definitely the case. The store carries a beautiful selection of both unique and classic cutlery, baking and cookware, barware, stemware, and small appliances, at all price levels. A carefully selected and thoughtfully displayed cookbook section complements the merchandise.

On one of our first visits, we also noticed a dedication to offering sustainable and “green” merchandise – and the store design reflected this as well.

In fact, the store won a Retailer Excellence award for its design last August.  One of our favorite features in the store is its wall made from reclaimed wood.

We recently had the chance to check in with Sean Nutley about what’s new in the kitchen these days, especially in the area of sustainable goods.

The words “green” and “sustainable” are being tossed around a lot these days, what do they mean to you? 

Broadly speaking, we like to try to find sustainable ways of meeting of our needs today – this means without compromising the future, and using more of what the earth has to offer. We try to do more creative synchronizing with resources available, reusing and reinventing uses for items we already have.

What are the top products in your store that can help cooks be more sustainable?

We love J.K. Adams Co. wood products, a company from rural Vermont that’s been in business for over 65 years. The company has employed many generations of local people in their area, and does beautiful work. They make a great spice rack, in fact.

Chilewich recycled vinyl products are beautiful and a smart use of recycling.  The company offers its own take-back program, so customers can turn their used products back in to the company for reuse.

We’re also fond of govino recycled plastic beverage glasses, which are made from a food-safe, BPA-free polymer. This material reflects a wine’s color and aromatics like crystal does, but it’s recyclable (#1), and reusable. There are many times when glass stemware just isn’t an option, so this is a great solution. And they’re so great looking.

USA Pan recycled stainless steel produces bakeware for the home, patterned after its commercial products. It’s made from 65% recycled aluminized steel. It’s manufactured in Pittsburgh, so it’s great to know it comes from an area that relies on steel production to fuel its economy.

Tell us about your attempts at being sustainable in your remodel.

This was something we worked very hard to do. We used recycled mushroom wood, and we refitted all the fixtures from our High Falls store when we relocated in Rhinebeck.  The flooring is recycled Formica, and we used plywood for the ceiling tiles. People ask us all the time about our ceiling, since it’s not the usual white ceiling tile.

Green products aside, what’s the one surprising thing you think cooks might add to their kitchens that they might not have thought about?  

Gadgets play a big role for us. Customers always come back and say, “Wow, everything is so much easier now that I have…” Knives are often a big change in customers’ kitchens. They can’t believe how sharp the Messsermeister knives are, and how they make cooking easier.

What are some of your favorite cookbooks?

Balthazar, a Phaidon title, is still in my personal top 10 all-time favorites.

Suvir Saran’s two books; American Masala and Indian Cooking at Home.

Memories of a Cuban Kitchen by Mary Urrotia Randelman is a very beat up book on my shelf.

Way To Cook is a staple, as well as Joy of Cooking.

Great selections with a broad range. Which ones are your bestsellers?

The Frankies Spuntino Kitchen Companion and Cooking Manual has been a huge hit! Again Phaidon cooking titles like Balthazar, Mark Bittman titles, and Deborah Madison titles are all very popular.

So what does this tell you about what people are currently cooking/eating?  

People are definitely trying to find ways to develop healthier eating habits.  It seems people are cooking at home more often too, which we love to see.

We love to see that too, Sean. Thanks so much for this peek into what you and your customers are up to right now in the world of cooking and cooking supplies.

Take a look around bluecashew!

And we invite our readers to let us know if you have a store in your area specializing in green kitchen goods, in a comment below.  We might even ask you to do a guest post for us. Thanks!

Book Review: Truly Mexican by Roberto Santibañez

5 May

Happy Cinco de Mayo! We hope you’re celebrating with some fabulous Mexican cuisine today.

We’re feeling especially festive because we’re introducing our first cookbook review, too! We look forward to sharing reviews and recipes from the latest cookbooks, both here and on our website.

We’ll start off with Truly Mexican, by Roberto Santibañez, chef and owner of NYC’s Park Slope restaurant Fonda, which has become a popular dining destination for authentic Mexican cuisine.

Reviewed by Karen Miles

Remember what Julia Child’s cookbook did for French cuisine? Well, Roberto Santibañez similarly — and successfully — offers us the art of preparing a foreign cuisine in his new book, Truly Mexican. While walking us through the process of composing authentic Mexican sauces and condiments, we learn techniques that are important to Mexican cooking, such as toasting chili peppers and roasting tomatoes. We learn about Mexican staples, including spices, nuts and seeds, and fruits and vegetables.

Because the focus of the book is on sauces and condiments, entire chapters are devoted to salsas, guacamoles, adobos, and moles and pipianes. “I chose those sauces and dishes that contain accessible ingredients, illustrate important culinary concepts, and of course, taste amazing,” explains Santibañez. That’s not to say you can’t craft an entire Mexican meal from these recipes.

In fact, we learn how to use the sauces and condiments to transform a piece of meat or poultry into an irresistible, authentic ethnic dish. (There’s even a chapter on “More Ideas for Using Mexican Sauces.”) A chapter on “Sides for Rounding Out Your Meal” includes such basics as Mexican Fried Rice and such delicacies as Chipotle-Avocado Leaf Black Beans. And there’s no shortage of inspiring photos.

Don’t buy this book if you’re looking for something to whip up in a flash for dinner tonight. But if you love Mexican food and want to expand your repertoire beyond the usual taco Tuesday fare, invest in this cookbook. What you’ll get in return is a thoughtful, inspiring course in authentic Mexican cooking.

For a sampling of the recipes in Truly Mexican, check out these three from the book on our website: Peanut and Arbol Chile Salsa, Lamb in Modern Yellow Mole, and Mexican Red Rice. For more about Mexican cooking — and additional recipes — check out Cooking Great Mexican.

Watch the beautiful preview of the book, and see if you don’t feel like celebrating Cinco de Mayo right now.

Cool Aid! A Farm to Table Family Event, Boiceville NY

3 May

One of the most wonderful things about living in New York’s Hudson Valley is our proximity to so many dedicated local organic farmers and to the creative chefs who use that produce in their restaurants.

One group of these chefs and farmers is planning an interesting benefit that we’d like to share with you; it might just inspire you in your own community.

Cool Aid! is A FARM TO TABLE FAMILY EVENT to be held on Monday, May 23rd in the Onteora Middle School/High School Cafeteria, in Boiceville New York. Cool Aid proceeds will fund the purchase of a walk-in freezer for the central kitchen of the Onteora Schools in Boiceville, NY.

Here’s where it gets interesting. A walk-in freezer will allow the cooks at the school to effectively extend the growing season for locally sourced produce, reduce waste of plentiful fresh foods, and increase nutrition by freezing fruits and vegetables picked at the height of their nutritive value.

The school feels this will aid their ability to deliver healthy foods to their students, without a huge outlay of money. In planning this fundraiser, they looked for a way to do something educational, interactive and fun, linking school-age kids with area chefs and farmers.  Since the school enrolls students kindergarten through 12th grade, the goal was to get all levels involved.

Here’s what they came up with: An event in which eight local chefs will be paired up with a regional farmer of their choice and two students, who will help execute the assembly of a tasty and healthy food that’s easy for kids to make and fits perfectly into a student’s lunchbox.

The line-up of chefs provides a look at the array of culinary talent and the intriguing regional cuisine in this area.  The chefs include Dan Leader, Gianni Scappin, Curt Robair, Bill Warnes, Ric Orlando, Devin Mills, Pika Roels, and Kevin Katz.

In order to make the event accessible to all families in Ulster County, it’s a free event; families can purchase as many tickets as they wish for each hors d’ouevre, for $2 each.

Live music by the school’s band will be performed throughout the event. A silent auction is planned, featuring such items as autographed cookbooks from some of the top chefs in the country, including Tom Collicchio, David Burke, Daniel Orr, and Bill Telepan.

Students have designed the event’s logo and website (to follow shortly).  The event will also feature food crafts for kids, juicer and smoothie bars, healthy snack alternatives presented by Onteora Home and Career students, a presentation by Hudson Valley author Joanne Michaels on gardening, nutritional information with Lysa Ingalsbe, RN and holistic health coach, and a photo booth.

Upon learning about this event, Frontier joined with others as one of the sponsors.

We hope sharing the details of this event might inspire you to find ways to help schools or any other institutions in your area move towards using more fresh ingredients from local sources.

Please let us know if you’re involved in any projects like this one, we love hearing these stories.

Meet author Terry Walters, and enter to win a copy of CLEAN START

21 Apr

Last summer, we had the pleasure of meeting cookbook author Terry Walters at the Rhinebeck, NY Farmers Market. Terry’s first book, CLEAN FOOD, presented recipes that deliciously explained the benefits of eating locally grown, seasonal, and fresh foods. Her new book, CLEAN START, features 100 exciting new recipes designed to inspire you to make that clean start yourself.

Terry was kind enough recently to take some time out from her busy book tour schedule to answer a few questions for our blog.

Terry, tell us about your earliest realization about clean food — how did it come about for you?

I grew up in a home where we sat down as a family to dinner made from scratch every night, where soda was kept in a removed cabinet for company only. Every now and again we would get lucky and mom would let us pick a “sugar cereal.” I knew the difference between junk food and healthy food, but when I was in college, my father had a heart attack and I discovered that I, too, had high cholesterol.

My family already ate almost no meat, never drank milk, and ate what we thought was a healthy diet. My choice was to go on cholesterol-lowering medicine, or figure out a diet that would allow me to maintain a healthy cholesterol level.

My cookbooks are full of the recipes and information I wish someone had given me all those years ago when I was trying to figure out how to make brown rice and kale both satisfying and delicious!

The day we met, your young daughter was helping you with your demo. What is your daughter’s perception of Clean Food? Do you ever have to steer her away from junk food?

That was my youngest daughter you met. She never had baby food. When she was 7 months old she reached across the table, grabbed a roll of brown rice and avocado in nori and gummed it until it was gone! She’s always been a healthy eater, but she’s human too. I served kale and collard greens for dinner for years before my girls gave in and started eating them. Now they are among their favorites.

I’ve never kept foods in the house that I don’t want my girls (or myself, for that matter) to eat. That makes my role more like the cruise director, directing my children to healthy choices, as opposed to the police, always having to say “no.”

We follow the 80/20 rule. At home (80% of the time) we eat clean, so that when we’re out, we can eat whatever we want. My children like the freedom that gives them, but what they don’t realize is that 80% is not only good enough for good health (thankfully), but also enough to influence their tastes and choices the other 20% of the time. We splurge, we treat ourselves and we enjoy a variety of food, but we also talk about how to make healthy choices and empower ourselves with the knowledge to do so. All that said, if you asked my girls what CLEAN FOOD is, they would tell you it’s their mommy’s cookbook!

Terry and her daughter at the Rhinebeck Farmers Market.

Talk to us a little bit about your whole family’s food habits. How do they manage their meals while you’re traveling on book tours and such?

I can tell you that feeding a family-on-the-go is a challenge, and I’m sure many (if not all) of your readers would agree. It’s been clean for my family from the start, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a process and a constant challenge. Even when I’m home, the girls have activities most nights after school, and more often than not I’m picking them up with dinner prepared for them to eat in the car! It’s far from ideal, but I still do my best to make sure it has a rainbow of color and comes from the green kind of plant and not the cement kind of plant!

My traveling for work definitely makes things harder on everyone. Sometimes the choices are not nearly as clean as they would be otherwise, and sometimes they’re even cleaner! In the colder months, I make a lot of soups and stews that I freeze so they can have them easily in my absence. I’m blessed to have a mom that not only helps out when I’m unavailable, but also prepares lots of delicious clean food for my husband and girls.

My oldest daughter likes to create in the kitchen and has a few healthy meals she likes to prepare. My youngest isn’t nearly as comfortable or even interested in cooking, but before I went on my first trip she asked me to teach her how to make her favorite collard greens so she could have them while I was gone. I know they get more take-out and treats in my absence, but I also know that their comfort foods, the meals and recipes they’ll come back to year after year, are healthy and clean.

We watched you at the cooking demo, and you made it look so easy. What’s it like to do cooking demos? Any stories about when things may not have turned out, or you forgot something you needed?

I’ve been teaching for over a decade and I’m a mom, so multi-tasking comes naturally to me. Is there any other way? Talk, chop, talk, stir…it’s what I do! I love connecting with others, benefiting from our shared perspectives and wisdom and, of course, sharing the journey.

There are all sorts of cooking demos – from 2+ hour in-depth classes to 3 ½ minutes on live television to make 3 recipes and get your message across. I love them all. The message that eating clean can be easy, delicious and help you live a great life is what fuels me. If one person leaves my demo with newly gained tools and the confidence that they can improve their health and diet, then I am happy. One demo, one person at a time…that’s how we’ll change the way we nourish ourselves as a nation.

I forget things all the time, but as my mother taught me, “If you put good things in, you’ll get good things out.” Fortunately, that’s been true for me. There have, however, been a couple of tense moments in cooking demos. There was the time when we had 10 minutes left in class to bake the apple crisp. Did you know you can cover a crisp with foil and bake it at 500 degrees? I don’t recommend trying this at home, but it definitely saved me that night!

There was also the time I put the tofu kale lasagna in the oven, the oven switched to self-clean, the door locked, the temperature started to rise and my heart skipped a beat! I kept tugging on the door to no avail. After 15 minutes I discreetly broke the door free and casually said, “Well look at that! The lasagna really got done quickly!”

Finally, my favorite blunder was during a class focused on getting children to eat clean. My daughter thought it would be nice if we co-taught the class, so I asked her to show everyone how to make nori crisps. She laid out all the ingredients, was just about ready to go, and then sneezed all over everything! It was clearly a room full of moms who took instant pity on me, and they said, “Don’t worry about it! It’s fine!” which of course it was absolutely not! Everything was cleared and thrown away, the work surface sanitized and a new batch of ingredients taken out to start all over again. She did a great job, but none of us will ever forget it or let her live it down!

Talk, chop, talk, stir -- the formula for a cooking demo.

Have you noticed any particular “fan favorites” from your demos?

Favorites really depend on the season. When you and I met at the Rhinebeck Farmers Market, the Yellow Plum and Tomatillo Salsa was definitely the hit that day, and many days thereafter! This past winter, people were devouring my Carrot Cashew Miso Spread, the Shallot Fig Spread and the Red Lentil and Turnip Soup with Parsley – all from CLEAN START. More recently, I’ve made dozens of batches of Cocoa Brownies and I guarantee you there have been no complaints!

The Watercress and Fennel Salad with Blood Orange Thyme Vinaigrette is popular, as is are the Stuffed Mochi Dumplings… I could go on and on, and the point just becomes clearer and clearer. We don’t need to sacrifice our good nutrition for convenience. Eating clean is fun, it’s quick, it’s easy and it’s delicious!

The day we met you, you were traveling with our cinnamon. Do you have a favorite recipe for our cinnamon?

Was it Frontier cinnamon or was it cumin? I recall making my Black Bean Salad, which would have used cumin. It could have been any number of Frontier or Simply Organic products. I grind your milk thistle and flax seeds nearly every morning to add to my granola (which is full of Frontier cinnamon and whole nutmeg), I thicken my soups, sauces and even my brown rice pudding with your arrowroot. My favorite always depends on what I’m craving at any particular moment, but I’ve made a lot of friends by gifting my granola recipe! It’s from my first book, CLEAN FOOD, and you can season it with cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cloves…whatever suits you!

MAPLE NUT GRANOLA

The key to making delicious granola is to bake it at a low temperature for a long time. Of course, a little bit of shredded coconut and a lot of cinnamon and maple syrup help, too! My husband devours this granola every morning and at the end of each week leaves the nearly empty Mason jar on the counter to remind me to make more.

4 cups rolled oats

2 cups crispy brown rice cereal

1 cup toasted sunflower seeds

1 1⁄2 cups shredded dried unsweetened coconut

1 cup sliced almonds

1⁄2 cup pecans, cashews, or walnuts

1 cup raisins

2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

3⁄4 cup canola oil

3⁄4 cup maple syrup

1 teaspoon almond extract

Preheat oven to 250°F.

In large bowl, mix together all dry ingredients. In separate bowl, whisk together oil, syrup and almond extract. Pour wet mixture over dry and stir to coat. Transfer granola to 9 x 12-inch glass casserole, spread evenly and push raisins into granola so they are not on the surface.

Place on top rack of oven and bake 60 minutes or until golden. Remove from oven and cool completely to set. When cool, slide spatula along bottom of casserole to release granola. Break into chunks, and store in airtight container.

Makes 10 cups.

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As we’re headed into summer, you may want to try my Black Currant Plum Crisp with hints of nutmeg. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed!

BLACK CURRANT PLUM CRISP

Crisps are so easy to make and so satisfying – whether you’re serving them for breakfast, a snack or dessert. Make sure your plums are ripe, and be sure to select a variety of plum that is more sweet than tart to avoid ending up with an overly tart crisp. A scoop of vanilla rice cream or ice cream is the perfect accompaniment.

FILLING

2 1⁄2 pounds plums (10–12)

1⁄2 cup dried currants

2–3 dashes ground nutmeg

Pinch of sea salt

1⁄4 cup maple syrup

1⁄4 cup ivory teff flour

CRISP

1 cup almond meal

1 cup ivory teff flour

1⁄4 cup sliced almonds

Pinch of ground nutmeg

Pinch of sea salt

1⁄4 cup virgin coconut oil

1⁄4 cup maple syrup

1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350°F.

PREPARING FILLING

Leaving skins on, halve plums, remove and discard pits and slice into thin wedges (about 1⁄4 inch thick). Place in large mixing bowl and set aside.

In small pot over medium heat, place currants with just enough water to cover, bring to boil and simmer 5 minutes to soften and plump. Drain well and add to bowl with plums. Add nutmeg and salt, and stir. Add maple syrup and teff flour and stir until plums are evenly coated and ingredients are combined. Pour mixture into 8 x8-inch casserole and set aside.

PREPARING CRISP

Using same mixing bowl, combine almond meal, teff flour, almonds, nutmeg and salt. Over low heat, melt coconut oil in small skillet. Remove from heat, whisk in maple syrup and vanilla and pour over flour mixture. Stir to combine and crumble over plum mixture.

Bake 45 minutes or until top is golden brown and plums are soft. Remove from oven, and cool slightly before serving.

Serves 6.

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Visit Terry’s website for more inspiration about making a clean start, recipes, her blog and much more.

She’s on Facebook and Twitter too.

Terry and her publisher, Sterling, have given us 4 copies of CLEAN START to give to you! We’ll randomly choose 4 winners from comments here.  Leave yours by May 5, and you’re eligible.

With farmers’ markets on the horizon (finally!) tell us what produce you’re looking forward to finding at your local market, and how you plan to use it in your own healthy cooking.

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