I LOVE this cookbook. The recipes are straightforward with lots of detail. It's full colour with lots of pictures of the meals so it feels like every recipe is special and worth your time to try it out. I buy so many cookbooks without pictures and never end up making anything from them because it's hard to feel inspired by a page of words (i.e. just the recipe). A picture is worth a thousand words and gets your salivary glands working. There's lots of little sidebars about organic produce, information about different kinds of veggies you've never heard of, and lots of inspiration to move from a pre-packaged diet to real, whole foods. The recipes don't require that you're ingredients are organic... they just tend to be whole, fresh foods. You can use organic ingredients if you wish, and the book gives a lot of info about the benefits of eating organic.
I'd definately recommend this cookbook, I don't think it's the best if you're looking for super-quick meals but for good quality meals that don't need a ridiculously-impossible pile of ingredients it's great.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
69 of 70 people found the following review helpful
My new favorite cookbook!Jan. 27 2007
- Published on Amazon.com
The beautiful cover of this cookbook caught my eye but the personal story of Earthbound Farms beginnings and the fantastic recipes have held me captive and peaked my enthusiasm for organics and healthy cooking. Since buying this delightful cookbook I feel a bit obsessed with trying recipe after recipe. I was especially happy to see the meat recipes as I have wanted to incorporate more organic meat dishes into my family's diet, especially with 2 teenagers, but felt I lacked experience in buying and preparing meat. What a hit they have been with my family and unexpected surprise in this cookbook. The Sizzling Steak with Olive Sauce had everyone applauding mom's new found culinary skills and the Merlot Braised Shortribs elevated my status to "chef Mom".
In addition to expanding my repertoire of meals this cookbook has given me healthier versions of some family favorites. The Maple Walnut Muffins thrilled me with the small amount of sugar and no butter! Using a 1/4 cup of heart healthy canola oil instead of the 2 sticks of butter I was using in The Barefoot Contessa's Banana Crunch Muffins showed me how easy to eliminate fat and not sacrifice taste. My kids adored them as well as all 30 of the recipes I have tried to date.
This is a cookbook I highly recommend and bought for many family and friends. Its interesting tips and facts as well as beautiful, inspiring photos have made cooking 24/7 for my family a delight and pleasure.
64 of 66 people found the following review helpful
Healthy Tasty FoodMarch 13 2007
Jennifer A. Wickes
- Published on Amazon.com
Myra Goodman and her husband, over 20 years ago, began their farm by offering passers-by a taste of their organic raspberries. Today, they own and operate the world's largest grower of organic produce. Food to Live By encourages readers to embark on a healthier way of life. Through organic food, people can live a cleaner life. This is not confined to only vegetarianism, but to meat, produce, wine and more. Packed with color photos of Earthbound Farm, as well as the recipes, this book teases the reader into trying easy-to-prepare, healthy recipes that packed with originality. If you are pressed for time, Goodman offers shortcuts by using organic packaged products, so you can have the flavor and health without the guilt. Included in this book are guides to greens, squash and more. Similar to The Organic Cook's Bible (by Jeff Cox, Wiley, April 2006, ISBN: 0471445789), but with more recipes. Delicious encounters within this book are: Chicken Piccata, Pumpkin Pecan Muffins, Portuguese Kale Soup, and Apricot and Almond Tart.
75 of 84 people found the following review helpful
Excellent General Cookbook. NOT just organic.Jan. 17 2007
- Published on Amazon.com
`Food to Live By' by Earthbound Farm co-founder, Myra Goodman and culinary `accomplices' Linda Holland and Pamela McKinstry announces itself as a cookbook for organic ingredients, and yet except for an emphasis on cooking with fruit, this is largely a brightly illustrated and joyfully assembled general purpose cookbook, I'm certain that the publisher, Workman, has a lot to do with the sidebar intensive style and better than average illustrations and snaps, but I also suspect much is owed to the great pleasure the author had in realizing this book.
The fact that the book does not quite fill its billing as a `healthy foods' book tempted me to give it only four stars. Two facts changed my mind. First, the hefty (402 pages) book lists for a scant $21.95 US. Second, the last Chapter 10 on `Basics' has excellent advice on making stocks. It may not be on the great reflective level of Deborah Madison or as finicky as the Culinary Institute of America textbook, but for a budget priced book, it is very good indeed.
I would still have demoted it to four stars if the general level of recipes was weak, but they are not. All of the traditional stuff is entirely up to snuff. For example, the pastry crust recipe hits all the right notes. The only caveat is that this and other recipes call for whole-wheat pastry flour, which I have not seen in my local megamart (Wegmans). On the other hand, I have seen lots and lots of `Earthbound Farm Organic' products in my very same Wegmans and the story of how Drew and Myra Goodman established their little business that could almost sounds too good to be true.
This story takes up the first 24 pages (the Roman numeraled ones in the introduction) of the book (which means that 402 pages are all recipes, no fluff). This is primarily a tale of being at the right place at the right time with the right idea. The couple leased a 2½-acre farm in Carmel Valley, California and started by raising and selling raspberries while they accumulated moneys to continue their educations. One thing lead to another, falling into great good luck when they hit upon the notion of bagged salad greens just at the time that the country was becoming a lot more interested in more diverse vegetables and in organic produce, all with the same convenience of other supermarket fare. The result is that our heroes now own and run the largest producer of organic vegetables in the country, and probably in the world.
While the book starts with raspberry recipes and continues with soup and salad recipes, great destinations for their organic produce, the chapters are really almost exactly what you would find in a conventional cookbook. As the author points out, eating organic is certainly NOT the same as being a vegetarian (however, I suspect it is much easier to find organic fruits and vegetables than it is to find organic milk, eggs, meats, and poultry, let alone `organic' fish). This brings me to one of the very few complaints about this book. There is no appendix of sources for some the things not sold by Earthbound Farm. This includes the whole-wheat pastry flour and Grade A dark maple syrup. Fortunately, there are very few such `hard to find' ingredients.
The very first thing that told me this was a book with which to be reckoned was the recipe for carrot soup. While I'm sure I have a recipe for this somewhere among my dozen soup cookbooks, this is the first time this has caught my attention, and I plan to make it at the first opportunity. Talk about liquid gold!
One thing this book brings to mind is a latter day `Whole Earth Catalogue' lifestyle; however, there is very little hint of the hippie ethos and lifestyle here. We are, after all, talking about the owners of a multi-million dollar business. Thus, there are not many bread baking recipes or detailed canning or pickling recipes, but there is a bit of all these things, including ice cream making and homemade granola.
While Workman publishing sometimes strikes me as something of a `cookbook factory' publisher like Chronicle Books, both publishers seem to maintain a high standard, and this book fits a higher standard than most. Every so many pages, we run across little presents such as `A Field Guide to Great-Tasting Tomatoes'. These are informative and great eye candy. My only caveat is that you don't consider them `complete' guides. They do, however, spice up this amazingly low-priced book.
The value of this cookbook to you is directly in proportional to you inclination to collect cookbooks, divided by how many cookbooks you have now. If you already have 500 cookbooks, this one won't add a whole lot beyond the uplifting story of how the family Goodman got rich raising lettuce. It does not have a strong `health food' emphasis (just look at the mac and cheese recipe') and aside from the very good stock making section, there are not a lot of cooking insights, but that doesn't mean it isn't a danged good cookbook. So, if you like vegetables and soups and a really nice collection of good recipes, this book will brighten your day.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Use "real food" to make scrumptious, healthful recipesMay 7 2007
B WHO U R
- Published on Amazon.com
I have made a study of healthful foods and learned so many new things in this recipe book (besides some of the best recipes I've ever tried). I love that Myra uses not only organic veggies & fruits (which I try to do whenever I can), she incorporates using wholegrains in baked goods (often), olive oil & other healthful oils, and nothing processed. I had stopped using butter years ago and now recognize that substituting margarine was not only unhealthful, it's absolutely inferior in cooking!I just made the peach cobbler (with frozen peaches due to the season)this past weekend, best I or my company had ever tasted!The chocolate cake recipe is the only one that disappointed me. Excellent side dish recipes also--we loved the 3-cheese macaroni! It brings back good tasting food by using real food!! Weird sounding, but true!
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Would you REALLY like a cookbook that's indispensable?June 1 2011
- Published on Amazon.com
OK, so I admit that I own something like 100 cookbooks, and most of them I swear are the best of the best, out of thousands of published cookbooks.
I just ordered two more of the hardbound version of this cookbook, at Amazon's truly amazing low price, because this IS one of a handful of cookbooks that I would never want to be without!
Beautiful design, gorgeous pictures (did I say "beautiful design" already?), unexcelled recipes and amazing writing AND editing!
I second the comment by another reviewer, who said that this cookbook stands alone as a great cookbook, even WITHOUT the organic ambience, but even the organic food comments & preferences (and explanations) are spot-on and accurately written. This is simply a one of a kind, exquisite cookbook....