Food to Live By: The Earthbound Farm Organic Cookbook Paperback – Nov 9 2006
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Organic food is synonymous with premium quality, the deepest, richest taste, conscientious farming, and optimum health. It’s what we need to feed our kids, what we deserve to feed ourselves. And no one is doing more to popularize organic food that Myra Goodman, a mother, a creative cook, and most significantly, co-owner of Earthbound Farm, the world’s largest grower and purveyor of organic produce.
In Food to Live By, a dazzling full-color cookbook, Myra Goodman offers an utterly appealing, new casual style of cooking based on using the best ingredients, organic or otherwise. The dishes are irresistible: Sweet Corn Chowder. Spinach, Feta and Mushroom Quiche. Foggy Day Chili. Merlot-Braised Short Ribs with Cipollini Onions. Spicy Chicken Lettuce Wraps. Ginger Lime Salmon. Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Spiced Orange Sauce. Blue Cheese Smashed Potatoes. Coconut Lemongrass Sorbet. Cherry Panna Cotta. Farm Stand Carrot Cake. Plus, throughout are Farm-Fresh Ingredient boxes—on sorrel, corn, asparagus, artichokes— cooking and shopping tips, and health notes.
Before Myra and her husband, Drew, founded Earthbound Farm, they tended a small organic raspberry patch in Carmel, California—and Myra baked (and sold) amazing Raspberry Corn Muffins, plus jams, and more. Then Earthbound grew to offer organic lettuce mixes to local restaurants, and eventually the rest of the country. When The Organic Kitchen at Earthbound Farm opened, it was yet another venue for Myra, and the café’s chefs, to share delicious recipes and ideas. Now Food to Live By brings this organic revolution to everyone who cares about what they eat. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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.
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.
I like that there is an introduction from author Myra Goodman, co-founder of Earthbound, that describes their humble beginnings as a roadside stand, and how their determination to avoid chemicals and pesticides led to them bringing organics into the mainstream (THANK YOU EARTHBOUND!!!). In 2003 they openned the esteemed Organic Kitchen in Carmel Valley, California (one of only three certified organic food establishments). This book brings recipies from the Organic Kitchen and others.
To be sure, Food To Live By is definitely more of a cookbook than a diet or "health book", although it does use ingredients and provide some little tid bits that encourage us to eat organic, whole foods. While the recipes are wholesome, they don't compromise on taste. There are also cooking tips and ideas as sidebars throughout.
Food To Live By is broken up into chapters starting with the Introduction, followed by a chapter on Raspberry recipes (honoring raspberries, the crop that got Earthbound Started). Then there is a chapter on Soups, Leafy Green Salads, Meat and Poultry Main Dishes, Fish and Shellfish, Pasta and Vegetarian Main Dishes, Side Dishes, Breakfast and Brunch, Desserts, and Basics, such as homemade stocks and sauces.
Some of my favorite recipes so far are the Roasted Balsamic Artichokes, Creamy Macaroni and Three Cheeses, Kathy's Rosemary Roasted Chicken, the Cherry Panna Cotta, and Earthbound's Famous Maple Almond Granola.
Overall the book focuses on good food - that is, food which yummy and appealing on a sensual and aesthetic level, while also being sound on basic health principles. Enjoy!