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Cooking The Whole Foods Way [Paperback]

Christina Pirello
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)

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Book Description

March 1 1997
In this collection of 500 recipes, Pirello takes the mystery out of preparing whole foods and adds a liberal sprinkling of fun. Along with great recipes, Cooking the Whole Foods Way offers menus, meal-planning tips, wit and wisdom, and a simple philosophy which discusses why we choose the foods we eat. Online promo.

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From Amazon

Christina Pirello turned to a whole-foods diet after being diagnosed with terminal leukemia at age 26. To the shock of her doctors, and without any medical treatment, she went into complete remission. She was surprised herself, as she'd been a vegetarian for more than 10 years and wasn't convinced that cutting prepackaged foods, sugar, and dairy from her diet would make that much of a difference to her health.

Pirello says, "Macrobiotics is an understanding that that food is energy, that everything we eat becomes part of us and helps create who we become." With this philosophy in mind, she advises how to plan menus, shop for quality ingredients, and combine foods for optimum energy. She then jumps right into her collection of more than 500 recipes, among them Fresh Corn Chowder, Béchamel Sauce, and Chocolate Hazelnut Torte. They should appeal to entire families; beans, tofu, and sea vegetables do figure prominently in many dishes, but rarely have these much-maligned ingredients sounded so tantalizing. Pirello's sassiness, adventuring spirit, and lust for life are readily apparent in these recipes, and her book should certainly help make the transition to a whole-foods lifestyle a smooth one. --Erica Jorgensen

From Library Journal

Fifteen years ago, Pirello was diagnosed with terminal leukemia and given fewer than six months to live; with no other real options, she reluctantly listened to a friend who introduced her to macrobiotic cooking. She eventually adopted that diet and within months was in total remission?so it's understandable that she has become a champion of macrobiotics. She and her husband run a cooking school in Philadelphia, and this cookbook is a companion to her new PBS series. Pirello's recipes demonstrate that there's more to a macrobiotic diet than brown rice, and her exuberance and sense of fun show that macrobiotics doesn't have to be dreary. It's too bad that the headnotes often refer to various healing and other properties of certain foods without explaining the basis of such beliefs. Nevertheless, subject and other large cookbook collections will want Pirello's natural foods guide.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Macrobiotics or whole foods cuisine carries with it a lot of baggage; a lot of misconceptions and myths surround its practice. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Get started & do wholistic magical cooking!!! Nov. 24 2002
Format:Paperback
This is such an informative book. Recipes galore. Having read so many books on whole foods cooking, I rate this one the absolute best. Simple & concise. I just felt like doing more cooking and felt truly inspired on a creative level. To make my own brew. Which is hard to find in any cookbook w/out pics. But what I really liked most was that the author credited her sources. Just about unheard of in most cookbooks. I like knowing where some of these recipes come from so that I can check the sources myself & see whatever modifications may have been made for american taste buds. Many recipes in American cookbooks are modified presicely because authors are afraid of revealing the ethnic origins of some of their recipes. Thinking that the American public is not hep enough. I stay clear of those books. Give me diversity in my plate. I like sauce & spices, I can modify it myself thank you very much. Additionally, so many cookbooks are written w/out crediting their sources. Also I liked that most of the recipes are not only good tasting but healing as well. I started using more obscure herbs & roots because of the info in this book ie. burdock root for blood strengthening. I especially enjoyed the kimpira and the vitality stew. Cook those bones for calcium & get healthy w/out the pills & supplements from these vitamin shops. Pop a vitamin, na, I'd rather eat my way to health.
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4.0 out of 5 stars This book has some wonderful recipes..... June 7 2002
Format:Paperback
I'm transitioning into a macrobiotic lifestyle and this book looked interesting to me, so I bought it. I really like each recipe I've tried.
However, even though the author opens her book with a chapter entitled, "What is macrobiotics?" this book is not pure macrobiotics. Many recipes call for ingredients which should probably be avoided by newcomers to the practice. On the flip side, this book does seem like a good transitionary book for those desiring to try a more macrobiotic diet while still eating many foods which are familiar.
To the author's credit, the word "macrobiotic" doesn't appear on either the front or back cover, so obviously she isn't making a claim to be die-hard macrobiotic. While some recipes are 100% macrobiotic, some others which are not may be altered to make them so, if desired.
The beginning of the book describes many of the unusual and unfamiliar ingredients needed, items like kuzu, agar-agar, arame, hiziki, mochi, and shoyu, among others. Menu and shopping suggestions are given as well.
I'm not vegetarian but I imagine this book being a valuable addition to a vegetarian's cookbook library. Just skip the chapter on fish.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good whole foods cookbook July 20 2001
Format:Paperback
This cookbook is the solution for those "health-seekers" who want to eat by the rules (more fiber, more whole grains, less refined sugar, more vegetables). Many of the recipes are delicious, and it's nice to make something that tastes good but that won't give you pangs of food-guilt later.
A few caveats: 1. This is not a pure vegetarian cookbook. She has a whole section on fish. The author does not eat fish herself, but wanted to more fully represent the macrobiotic philosophy. 2. This doesn't give a good look at the full spectrum of macrobiotics. I'm not an expert by any stretch, but from what I've read of some of the other macrobiotics founders, this seemed very incomplete. She seems to concentrate primarily on the yin-yang principle (in her next book she talks about the elements), but doesn't give a comprehensive overview of how those can affect certain conditions. Also, as another reviewer pointed out, she includes a lot of ingredients most macrobiotics shun (chocolate, garlic, etc.) She seems to bend the rules a lot when it comes to desserts. 3. Having said that, when the author thinks a rule is important, she runs with it. Don't even think of eating raw vegetables or fruits, any white flour, or certain vegetables, like tomatoes.
All in all, I thought this cookbook was a valuable addition to my collection, but I didn't think it was a very good lifestyle guideline.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Just delicious & easy to follow recipes Feb. 10 2001
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I love this cookbook, which I have been using for about 3 weeks now, nearly everyday! The recipes are very easy for me to follow. I have been vegetarian or vegan for many years with some breaks, so many of these ingredients are familiar to me, but some are new, too. The main thing that I love about Christina's style is her sense of flavor & fun...my husband is Italian-American, & loves to cook, too, I'm Irish-American, & learned alot of Italian cooking from his family, in addition to my own vegetarian foods. This is really the first time my husband has 'fallen in love' with so many whole foods dishes. We have enjoyed nearly every recipe I've made from this book. This book is jam-packed with recipes & ideas-- it could be overwhelming, but as we love to cook, it is an adventure in pleasurable good health. I've been losing weight, which I needed to, also, without even trying. I have nearly no cravings for things I previously was tempted by which were unhealthy, because I love the food we eat at mealtimes so much. Thank you Christina!
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3.0 out of 5 stars This was informative, but some of the recipes.... Aug. 23 1998
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I like this book because it gave me a good introduction to macrobiotics. Along with an extremely helpful glossary, there is a list of vendors who have catalogs for uncommon items.
So, why did I give it three stars? Two reasons:
1. Some of the recipes made me wonder if they had tried them before they put them in the book. I figured that every cookbook is bound to have a couple of bad recipes, but I would say less than half of the recipes had a good taste and maybe a handful were recipes I would cook again.
2. The consistency was off on a lot of the recipes that were supposed to be like dough. Actually, all of the dough-like recipes I have tried have been too runny. That goes for cookies, bread, and pancakes.
I would not recommend the sourdough or South of the Border Salad. Those were the two you could not pay me to eat again. Good items included the Oriental Noodle Salad with Cashews, Penne With Black Beans & Mango, Baked Beans With Miso & Apple Butter. I am very new to this macrobiotic thing and I could be wrong, but aren't tropical fruits a no-no (penne referred to above)? And again with those Baked Beans, add more beans or you will have soup - and a very runny soup at that.
I would recommend this book if you are patient, adventurous & just starting in on macrobiotics. If you are looking to improve your cookbook collection, however, I would think twice.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Not a lot of macrobiotic detail, but delicious nevertheless
This is a very, very good book if you're trying to add vegetables, reduce meat/dairy, or just eat healthier. Read more
Published on June 6 2004
1.0 out of 5 stars gone to garbage
The title of the book is misleading, because the book is comprised 90% of recipes, NOT techniques, wit& wisdom etc. It is not a guide, it is a recipe book. Read more
Published on Feb. 5 2004 by O. Alkan
2.0 out of 5 stars Whole Foods does not = Macrobiotics
Whole Foods does not = Macrobiotics as this author has decided. Whole Foods includes meat, very heartily, as it is a "whole food". Read more
Published on Sept. 8 2003
1.0 out of 5 stars Well, OK for macrobiotics, I guess...
Somewhere in this long title should appear the word "macrobiotic" so that people who are not interested could avoid buying the book! Read more
Published on May 7 2003
4.0 out of 5 stars A lovely book for learning more ways to cook veggies
I came to this book before I knew anything about macrobiotics, simply because I was looking for a broader spectrum of ways to cook vegetables. Read more
Published on March 9 2003 by Carol C. Buchalter
3.0 out of 5 stars Just...okay
I bought this book a few years ago, just because I was trying to adapt a more healthy lifestyle, and for the immense amount of recipes in the book (a lot!). Read more
Published on Nov. 7 2002 by Lauren Zalewski
5.0 out of 5 stars LIKE IT :-)
I have been using this book for over a year. The recipes have a wide range of dishes. From simple to more involved. Read more
Published on March 27 2002 by Lorraine Y. Ea
5.0 out of 5 stars Great food that is easy to prepare
I have been using this book for several months after coming off a strict macrobiotic diet. This is now my main cookbook. Read more
Published on July 4 2001
2.0 out of 5 stars Not Macrobiotic enough
If your a vegetarian this book is good, But as far as macrobiotic?..........no way!!! Recipes contain GARLIC, are full of nightshades & other ingredients such as coconut milk,... Read more
Published on July 4 2001 by Michelle
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