I stumbled across this book accidentally when I was shopping for groceries at Sprouts a few years ago.
Casually glancing through the bookshelf, I came across this book & was pleasantly surprised to see a cookbook so unique & well written that I had trouble putting it down so that I could check out. Usually, I find most cookbooks dull or repetitive, but Ms. Rodgers not only gives delicious recipes, but health information, shortcuts, tips like what seasonings are her family's favorites or which brands to avoid because of chemicals, etc.
This book should be a staple in your kitchen. If you want to learn how to eat more healthily while making sure everything still tastes superb, this is the cookbook you want. Even if you are not a vegetarian, these recipes will help teach you how to cook & incorporate more vegetables & whole grains into your diet, something which I think most people sorely need.
* "Buy sesame, whole-wheat pasta, or artichoke pasta whenever possible. The flavor is richly different from the common enriched-wheat pasta. The colors liven up the appearance of the meal, & the nutritional value is far superior."
* "Once tofu is frozen, the texture changes dramatically. It becomes porous & resembles a soft honey comb; thawed, it becomes marvelously chewy, which often comforts meat-eaters because of its textural similarity to ground meat. It's especially great in tomato-based dishes...Because it's extremely absorbent, it soaks up marinades beautifully."
* "Basic stock: Make it a habit to save the parts of raw vegetables that are usually discarded: carrot ends; celery root ends; & the outer leaves of lettuce, kale, cabbage, etc. Wash them well & keep them in a container in the freezer. They're a gold mine of valuable minerals & flavors. When you're ready to make your broth, take the vegetable parts from the freezer & place them in a 6- to 8-quart pot, covering them with four times as much water as there are scraps. Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 40 minutes until the broth is a rich golden color. Strain & save broth. Discard vegetables."
[I usually keep my homemade broth in the fridge & store leftovers in the freezer. I like to put the broth in small containers so that I can easily use a small amount without having to defrost a large quantity. This broth is great to substitute for water when making rice, quinoa, or bulgar wheat! I love to use it in soups, gravies, stews, or sauces!]
* "Pots & Pans: No Aluminum Ever! I find that good old-fashioned cast iron is the best kind of skillet & soup kettle to use, & most enamelware or stainless steel makes for the most efficient pots & pans....Those made of stainless steel may cost a little more, but they're not harmful to your health & last forever."
* "Cooking in the kitchen is an opportunity for the food preparer to share more than just a sumptuous casserole, salad, or dessert. The quality of energy the cook puts into the food is as vital as the clean hands & quality of ingredients. You might look at it as nutrition on a higher level. The attitude of the cook automatically spills into the preparation of the meal. Cooking is an opportunity to bless those whom you love- not only with the food you prepare, but also with the heartfelt energy you put into it. Every chop, dice, stir, or mix creates a subtle ingredient."