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Super Natural Every Day: Well-Loved Recipes from My Natural Foods Kitchen Paperback – Apr 5 2011
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New York Times Best Seller
"Every Day Maybe, But Hardly Everyday...an unexpected winner in the weeknight-warrior category."
"Lovers of whole grains, local produce and farm fresh eggs, listen up. (Here's looking at you, Northern California.) San Franciscan Heidi Swanson - of the acclaimed blog 101 Cookbooks and 2007 James Beard Award-nominated "Super Natural Cooking" - has brought us "Super Natural Every Day: Well-Loved Recipes From My Natural Foods Kitchen," a paean to natural foods."
—San Francisco Chronicle, 5/22/11
"It's an inspiring book, and one that I'm cooking out of quite a bit. If you love grains, noodles, and fresh vegetables, as well as Heidi's famous and lovely blog, do check this out. You won't regret it."
“When it comes to our modern approach to eating right, there's no better way to discover how delicious "dieting" can be.”
—BA Daily, Bonappetit.com, 5/11/11
"Whether you’re a vegetarian, a “Meatless Monday” convert or just trying to eat more healthy, wholesome foods, Heidi’s recipes will be valuable additions to your every day meals."
—Devour The Blog, Cooking Channel, 4/5/11
"The author of Super Natural Cooking and the blog 101 Cookbooks, Swanson offers a glimpse into her favorite everyday recipes. A huge and often preachy proponent of the buy organic/local/seasonal movement, she focuses on whole, natural foods including whole grains, whole grain flours, and fresh produce--ingredients that are seasonal and minimally processed. Recipes run the gamut from breakfast through desserts and include healthier variations of familiar favorites including crepes made with rye flour and ginger cookies with dried apricots and shaved chocolate. Lunch offerings include unique and palatable dishes such as kale salad with toasted coconut and sesame oil, and chanterelle tacos. Dinner recipes such as chickpea stew made with saffron, black pepper tempeh and weeknight curry made with tofu are big on flavor. Swanson spends several pages detailing her pantry staples including oils and fats, grains, and flours to guide those unfamiliar with key ingredients. For those looking to incorporate more healthful ingredients into their diet, Swanson offers a welcome variety of appetizing recipes that are easy enough to prepare on busy weeknights and sure to appeal. (Apr.)"
—Publishers Weekly, 4/4/11
“It is easy on the eyes, a good read and full of recipes that had me itching to cook. It is rare that a book can do all three things, but when it does- you know it is a keeper.”
—Lottie + Doof, 4/1/11
“Swanson is the Deborah Madison for the digital age. Her cooking is earthy but approachable - she made grains fashionable again - and she swaths it all in stylish photos shot in the natural, grey light of her hometown San Francisco.”
—Say100, Food with Amanda Hesser, 2/23/11
“Expect plenty of interest in Super Natural Every Day, Heidi Swanson's follow-up to Super Natural Cooking. The book features more thoughtful, interesting meatless recipes along the lines of the ones that have made Swanson's blog, 101cookbooks.com, so popular.”
—Publishers Weekly, Spring 2011 Announcements: Top 10 Cookbooks, 1/24/11
“This looks like fabulous companion to Swanson’s earlier Super Natural Cooking with new riffs on old faves, and plenty of fresh ideas, too.”
—Publishers Weekly, 10 Cookbooks to Watch in 2011, 1/10/11
“It's like this love child of Martha Stewart and Plenty. Brilliant, really!”
“Heidi Swanson is one of the most original voices in cookery today. No other writer combines luscious, fresh, wholesome, and completely enticing food so well. Honeyed manouri, quinoa patties, membrillo cake—I want to cook everything!”
—Yotam Ottolenghi, author of Plenty
“To open Super Natural Every Day is to want to read it through and then cook like mad. Heidi’s food is simple, warm, and nourishing, the kind of food you want every day.”
—Dorie Greenspan, author of Around My French Table
“Heidi’s food is nourishing and soulful. What makes her food so appealing is her ability to create flavorful, healthy, and satisfying recipes. Heidi makes food that I want to eat.”
—Kim Boyce, author of Good to the Grain
“Heidi Swanson’s newest book is bewitching, clever, and outstanding in every way. It is far more than a gathering of tasty, health-oriented recipes. Every page is bursting with fresh ideas, new kitchen concepts, and inspired ingredient pairings. I know I’ll be turning to it again and again.”
—Melissa Clark, New York Times food columnist and author of In the Kitchen with a Good Appetite
About the Author
Writer, photographer, and designer HEIDI SWANSON is the creator of 101 Cookbooks, the award-winning culinary blog and recipe journal. She is also the author of Cook 1.0 and Super Natural Cooking. Her work has appeared in Food & Wine, Saveur, Glamour, the Washington Post, Time, Fast Company, Utne Reader, and the Vegetarian Times, as well as on Salon.com and NPR.com. Heidi lives, cooks, and writes in San Francisco. Visit www.101cookbooks.com and www.heidiswanson.com.See all Product Description
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I don't know who she is trying to reach here. You would expect that most people who follow food blogs and know of her would know some basics about cooking, yet she has some pages devoted to things that quite frankly I find condescending. Recipes for fruit salad, pita chips and egg salad seem a waste of space, not to mention pages devoted to making rice, whipped cream, tea (tea! as in boil water - add tea - steep) and compound butter. The two pages devoted to how to poach an egg are kind of insulting. To me. Not to everyone.
That's my problem with the book. I cook a lot. I follow the food blogs too get inspiration and to get some recipes without having to buy the newest cookbooks. I know basic techniques. I figure other people who follow her blog (the people I imagine she hopes will buy this book) would, too. Or at least they have demonstrated their ability to look things up on the internet - google how to poach an egg if you must.
These basic techniques seem more silly when you consider her fancy-pants ingredients lists. "I shop alongside some of the best chefs in the city ..." If you can't poach an egg or cook rice, are you really using harissa and membrillo?
I bought this book thinking it would be a nice inspiration for summer veggies. But this is a pantry-heavy cookbook. Yes, its vegetarian, but it is what my husband calls "roly-poly vegetarian." Lots of beans and pasta and potatoes. There are at least ten recipes that basically dress up a pound of store-bought pasta or a 15oz can of beans.
There are pretty pictures (though many are of flowers and trees and Heidi - not all the recipes have pictures and no pictures accompany her how-tos). I mean, it's a nice book. But I would recommend Kim Boyce's "Good to the Grain" Good to the Grain: Baking with Whole-Grain Flours if you want to bake with whole grains over the breakfast and sweets portions of this book. And like I said, the rest is pasta and beans and tea and egg salad.
My recommendation - if you aren't looking for link love from Heidi for your own blog, skip this and just visit her web site, where you can get similar recipes and pictures and chit chat - for free.
Most of us wear about 10% of what is in our closet...same with cooking--we make a handful of our favorites over and over again. For this book, Swanson recorded her everyday meals for a couple of years and voila--simple and delicious dishes to enjoy daily.
The book surprises with unexpected pairings like potato salad with tofu. I tried and loved the fennel salad, which features paper-sliced thin ingredients....A simple recipe like the chickpea wrap in whole wheat Lavash flatbread was yummy (I happened to have the bread and other ingredients on hand and made it impulsively...Yum!)
To Swanson, natural food cooking means an abundance of fruits and veggies--local (and organic) whenever possible. Living in San Francisco, she is able to take advantage of the abundance of fresh produce and food from farmer's markets. However, as the popularity of local food grows, many of us can do the same.
Swanson loves to cook with whole grains--I discovered you can actually buy frozen wild or brown rice--but don't bother...whole grains take up to an hour to cook, but need no attention once they have boiled. And, if you are not familiar with wild or brown rice, farro, wheat berries and other whole grains, you are in for a treat!
You don't have to be a vegetarian to love this book--it is literally filled with healthy and interesting recipes that anyone would love! Plus, if you do eat meat and are looking for ways to cut down, this book is a terrific starting point.
Norma Lehmeier Hartie, author of Harmonious Environment: Beautify, Detoxify & Energize Your Life, Your Home & Your Planet
But by making several of them I've learned Heidi LOVES her salt, garlic, onions, Parmesan cheese and olive oil. Many recipes call for generous amounts of one or more of these. Sometimes a little too generous, in my opinion.
One that especially comes to mind is the Broccoli Gribiche recipe. It calls for TWO whole shallots(flavor is like a combo of garlic and onion), and a half a cup olive oil in the dressing! And mind you that's after baking the broccoli and potatoes in several tbsp's of it. I found out the hard way that is MUCH too much of both ingredients. Our dinner that night was hot bowls of greasy heartburn.
Never one to give up on the first try, I scaled back the shallots to HALF of a small one, and the oil to a 1/3. The result was delish and is now a family favorite. It just needed some tweaking, like many of them.
This is not a book you can go to expecting every recipe to turn out perfectly by just following the recipes to the letter. You'll probably have to cut way back on or add more of ingredients in every one. Sometimes you'll have to cook things for longer or for a shorter span of time. If you don't mind doing that and you like somewhat plainer dishes (you won't find many unusual or exotic flavors here) you might still like this.
Some other weak points I should mention are some downright silly filler recipes - 'How to boil/poach eggs', 'How to make tea', 'how to make egg salad sandwiches' and 'how to roast strawberries'. Really? -.-
The 'dessert' section is joke, and you won't find much more than hippie-dippie stuff like granola, oatmeal bars and fruit salads.
All that being said however, if you want this book and don't mind a little extra effort go for it, there are some real gems in here.
1 - Nearly every recipe has loads of vegetables and plenty of protein.
2 - Most recipes leave room for improvisation and many have suggestions for alternatives and substitutions.
3 - Each recipe contains at least one knock-you-socks-off component.
Brown butter, creme fraiche, harissa, toasted seeds and nuts... I feel like this is the style of many of her 101 Cookbooks recipes and I love it. I doubt there is a single boring recipe in this cookbook.
For example: I made my first recipe from it tonight, Black Bean Salad, which called for beans, feta, lemon juice, pepitas, and caramelized oven-roasted cherry tomatoes. Fantastic.
For those who are unfamiliar with "healthy" foods and ingredients, this is a great place to start. Heidi's previous book, Super Natural Cooking, gives a more in-depth description of how to add healthier foods to your diet, but Super Natural Every Day is a bit more accessible and uses more easily attainable ingredients.