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Favorite foods of political candidates

 Goat cheese stuffed jalapenos

If you live in the US, you can't escape from constant news about the US Presidential race. The first real contest of the primary season took place last night in Iowa, so the race is only going to get more heated. While many of the news stories may raise your blood pressure, this one should be less divisive: a report on the favorite foods of many top candidates.

Bernie Sanders, the junior Senator from Vermont, is pretty traditional. He likes eggs for breakfast and has expressed a fondness for pork chops. His self-professed secret kitchen skill: "I'm pretty good on the grill," he says. On the other side of the aisle, Donald Trump is more of a snacker. On the campaign trail, Trump apparently enjoys cherry-vanilla ice cream and See's candy, according to Us magazine. He said he's been losing weight on the campaign trail, saying that after he is finished speaking at an event he often has no appetite. 

Ben Carson is the only vegetarian in the crowded field of candidates. He's eschewed meat since at least 1990. Ted Cruz and Jeb Bush may belong to the same political party, but they don't agree on at least one food: avocados. Cruz passionately despises them, but Bush says that his secret cooking talent is making a "mean guacamole."

Hillary Clinton is a fan of spicy food. Former White House chef Walter Scheib told Slate that during her time in the White House, "Clinton went wild for sweet potatoes spiked with fiery red curry paste. After that, Scheib always kept the White House kitchen stashed with assorted hot sauces." More recently, she told People magazine  that her favorite thing to eat on the campaign trail is jalapenos. "I started during the '92 campaign, and I believe they keep me going!" she said.

Photo of Goat cheese-stuffed jalapeños with ranchero sauce from Cooking Light Magazine

A high steaks venture

 Grilled beef and mushroom burger

We all know that beef come from cows (heifers and steers, to be more precise). But as The Wall Street Journal reports, several companies are vying to be the first to make meat in the lab and bring it to the market. (If you have trouble with the link, Google "Wall Street Journal lab grown meat" and you should be able to access a free version of the story.)

The goal of these startups "is to remake modern animal agriculture, which the United Nations estimates consumes one-third of the world's grains, with about a quarter of all land used for grazing. The companies say that growing meat with cells and bioreactors-similar to fermentors used to brew beer-consumes a fraction of the nutrients, creates far less waste and avoids the need for antibiotics and additives commonly used in meat production."

Of course environmental concerns are only one reason for the companies to attempt to make commercially produced, lab-cultured meat. Their is potentially a huge market to tap, since US consumers spent close to $200 billion on meat and poultry last year. While the potential is enormous, skeptics say that people who are clamoring for naturally-raised, organic, or hormone-free beef will not rush to embrace "test-tube" meat. Then there is the matter of taste - so far the samples haven't earned high praise among testers.

Would you be willing to try cultured meat products if they tasted like the real thing?

Photo of Grilled beef and mushroom burger from indexed blog Simply Recipes

Featured Cookbooks & Recipes

Did you know adding online recipes to your EYB Bookshelf is a really great way to build your personal recipe collection? You can now do this even if you have a free membership!

Try it out now and see how easy it is. Browse the recipes below, choose one that appeals, click on the link, and add it to your Bookshelf. (Make sure that you are signed in first.)

All the recipes we feature in these weekly round-ups have online links so you can add any of them to your Bookshelf. Happy cooking & baking everyone!

From magazines:

Berry and Coconut Cake with Lemon Curd Cream by Claire Aldous from the
Feb/Mar issue of indexed Dish Magazine

From AUS/NZ books:

5 recipes from Meat: How to Choose, Cook and Eat It by Adrian Richardson
(Also published as Meat: Delicious Dinners for Every Night of the Week)

From US books:

5 recipes from The Mediterranean Family Table: 125 Simple, Everyday Recipes Made with the Most Delicious and Healthiest Food on Earth by Angelo Acquista & Laurie Anne Vandermolen
Enter our giveaway (US/CAN only -- Ends Feb 17th)

Get ready for the Lunar New Year

Lucky Rice cookbook

The term 'fusion' when applied to the mashup of different cuisines has taken a bad rap in some circles. But Danielle Chang, author of the new cookbook Lucky Rice and the mastermind behind the LUCKYRICE festival, a multi-city celebration of Asian culture and cuisine, thinks that fusion shouldn't be a dirty word

While "fusion" has negative connotations to some cooks, Chang defends it: "I think Asian food is nothing if not fusion, because if you look at the landscape of Asian cuisine in America it reflects the various populations that have come together to create these new dishes." She uses one of the book's recipes, Kimchi tacos, to illustrate her point. Says Chang, "It's the product of Koreans and Hispanics living side-by-side in L.A.'s Koreatown after the L.A. riots, reclaiming that community, and in a way creating a brave new cuisine that is fused out of just living together over all these decades."

Eating foods with auspicious meanings isalso "a huge part of Asian culture," says Chang, and something she highlights in her book. Communal eating and lucky foods are particularly important during the Lunar New Year, which takes place in early February. Chang notes that it is common to have a dumpling making party that culminates in a midnight dumpling feast. Dumplings  are considered lucky foods because their shape resembles an early form of Chinese currency. Some people hide gold coins inside for extra luck.

Big Night turns 20


For fans of films that revolve around food, the movie Big Night is often a favorite. The iconic movie turned 20 this week, and to celebrate the anniversary, indexed magazine Bon Appétit interviewed cast members to discuss the movie, their favorite foods, and more.

It's fair to say that Big Night had a big influence on the cast members. Stanley Tucci said that it "made me much more interested in food than I'd ever been. Sometimes you do a movie about a subject and immerse yourself in it, and think "Oh god, I never want to do that again." This made me want to explore food more, and it's become a huge part of my life. I think about it as much, if not more, than I do acting."

Other cast members are also avid cooks. Minnie Driver was especially animated when expressing her passion for cooking, saying "You know what, I love to cook. I love seeing people's faces. I love comforting my boyfriend when he's had a really long day by cooking for him. It's such an expression of love." Learn more about the favorite foods of other cast members including Isabella Rossellini and Tony Shalhoub, and find out which foods they absolutely can't stand (Driver has a few choice words about foam), on the Bon Appétit website

Photo of Timpano from indexed blog Food52

What to expect at Noma Australia

Boiled stone crab and seaweeds

René Redzepi is moving Noma to Australia for a few months. If you are lucky enough to have scored a reservation for this temporary location, don't expect to see any items like carrots, beets and cabbage that are ubiquitous on the Danish restaurant's menu, says the award-winning chef  

Redzepi says he and his staff will forage, just as they do for the Danish Noma, but for ingredients indigenous to Australia. Those ingredients will be flavoured with local spices. "That's where we found the most unique flavours and also the most fun," explains the chef. "I mean you don't want to travel to Australia to work with a carrot or a beet or a cabbage leaf, because we do that every day at home." What you can expect are unique uses for Australian favourites, like Redzepi's take on Vegemite.

The Australian popup location follows a well-received Tokyo version last year. Seating is limited, with room in the restaurant for only 56 diners plus a few extras outside, and all available bookings have already been taken. You can, however, sign up to be on the waiting list. If you can't get in, content yourself with cooking from one of Redzepi's cookbooks, available at a discount for EYB Members from publisher Phaidon.

Photo of Boiled stone crab and seaweeds from A Work in Progress by René Redzepi

January 2016 cookbook roundup

Every month Jane and Fiona wade through hundreds of cookbooks, selecting and reviewing all the best new releases of U.S., Canada, U.K., Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand cookbooks. The only thing left for you to do is to add them to your Bookshelf.

This is a quiet month following the holiday push by publishers. This month's notable tomes include several "best of" books by big name chefs plus several vegan books. There's also a load of diet books, clean eating, Paleo, and bone broth books too tedious to list, but there was one other thing that caught our attention: coloring books for cooks! Check out Sweet Treats Volume 20 and Vegan and Vegetarian Coloring Book (Volume 3).


collageYou Have It Made by Ellie Krieger: New York Times best-selling and multi-award-winning Krieger has written a cookbook devoted to make-ahead meals. Aimed at those who are always short on time when it comes to cooking, the cookbook features recipes, ranging from breakfast bakes to soups, salads, and casseroles, that can all be prepared ahead of time. Each recipe includes instructions for refrigerating and/or freezing as well as storing and reheating directions.

Gizzi's Healthy Appetite by Gizzi Erskine - This is the US release of book published in the UK last August. In it, Chef Gizzi Erskine explores her philosophy that healthy eating shouldn't be boring. You can read an excerpt from the book's introduction on the EYB blog, and don't forget to enter our contest for your chance to win a copy (USA & Canada only).

Lucky Rice by Danielle Chang: In Lucky Rice, Danielle Chang, founder of the festival of the same name-which brings night markets, grand feasts, and dumpling-making sessions to America's biggest cities-provides over 100 recipes for innovative Asian cuisine inspired by a range of cultures. The book celebrates both classic and inspired dishes, marrying ancient traditions with simple techniques and fresh flavors.

Vegan Under Pressure by Jill Nussinow: No, this isn't a book about peer pressure to eat a vegan diet. Rather, author Nussinow shows readers to use the pressure cooker safely and effectively, drastically shortening the cooking times of healthful vegan staples such as dried beans and ancient grains.

collageThis month we see the three latest in the series of small books from top chefs presenting their 10 best recipes. From Ducasse's famous vegetable "cookpot" and Hermé's ispahan to Ripert's bluefin tuna and Boulud's sea bass, each volume in My 10 Best offers a master's career-defining 10 recipes. The books featured in this release include My Best: Pierre Hermé, My Best: Joël Robuchon, and My Best: Paul Bocuse.

Oysters by Cynthia Nims: For oyster lovers everywhere, this luscious cookbook features recipes, shucking instructions, and the local farming success story of the many delicious oysters from the Pacific Coast. In addition to many recipes, the book include deas for what to drink with oysters, and tips for buying, storing, and shucking. Stay tuned for a promotion for this book in the near future.

Cook. Nourish. Glow by Amelia Freer: Following the phenomenal success of her first cookbook, Amelia Freer returns with a new book promoting a gluten, refined sugar and dairy-free lifestyle featuring step-by-step visuals designed for the novice chef. She shows you how to use and prepare staple pantry ingredients and includes a 'naughty' chapter, because living healthily is about consistency, not perfection. This is the US edition of book published last month in the UK.

Craft Distilling: Making Liquor Legally at Homeby Victoria Redhead Miller: Following the trend of making beer or wine at home, some hobbyists have become interested in making distilled spirits. However, alcohol distillation is difficult and without a license is illegal in most countries, including the United States and Canada. That caveat provided, this book covers the spirit-making process from mashing and fermenting to building a small column still, becoming a complete guide to creating high-quality  whiskey, rum and more at home. The book also includes an overview of the licensing process in the United States and Canada so you don't run afoul of the law.


collageThe New Vegan by Aine Carlin: Going vegan can be a daunting prospect. Many familiar foods and products are out of bounds, and it can be hard to know how to enjoy a healthy, tasty diet. But help is at hand from top vegan author Áine Carlin, recipient of the 2015 Gourmand Award for best UK Blogger, with an in-depth handbook for everything you need to know about going vegan. Learn how to make your own plant milk, nut cream and even vegan-friendly beauty products. 

More Home Comforts by James Martin: The popular television host returns with a cookbook chock full of comfort foods from the show. The book is divided into categories like Instant Comforts for quick cooking, Sharing Comforts for when you have a tableful, Posh Comforts for when you're entertaining,and Sweet Comforts featuring classic cakes and bakes.

Foolproof Cooking by Mary Berry: A brand-new collection of recipes and tips to accompany Mary's new BBC TV series, Mary Berry's Foolproof Food, featuring all the recipes from the show, including weeknight dinners, dinner party suggestions, and of course, plenty of tempting traybakes and biscuits for those with a sweet tooth.

River Cottage Gluten Free by Naomi Devlin: Whether you need to cut gluten out of your own diet or you're cooking for friends and family with gluten intolerance, this cookbooks aims to give you the tools necessary to deliciously navigate mealtimes Deliciously Ella Every Daywithout incorporating gluten. Nutritionist Naomi Devlin gives clear advice for gluten-free eating, including detailed guidance on alternative flours, methods of fermentation, and baking ideas.

Deliciously Ella Every Day by Ella Woodward: This much-anticipated follow up to the popular blogger's first book, Deliciously Ella, is packed with more of Ella's trademark simple yet tempting plant-based, dairy-free and gluten-free recipes. The 'Deliciously Ella' way of eating isn't about following a diet, it's about enjoying delicious, natural food to help you look and feel your best.


Australia & New Zealand

Happy Life cookbookThe Happy Life by Lola Berry: Nutritionist Lola Berry believes, as we do, that happiness starts with what we put on our plates. The book includes over 60 wholefood recipes as well as practical advice on how to maintain optimum health across all areas of your life - whether that's eating well and maintaining exercise regimens while travelling, navigating love and relationships, or actively incorporating more mindfulness into your day.


Spiralise!  by Pete Evans: If you want to cut carbs - Pete shows you how to make maximum use of a spiraliser, creating ribbons, spaghetti and noodles out a of vegetables and fruit. There are recipes for breakfasts, soups, vegetables and meat-based dishes - all free from dairy, legumes, grains and refined sugar.


Dolce: 80 Authentic Italian Recipes for Sweet Treats, Cakes and Desserts by Laura Zavan: It's refreshing to see a dessert book amongst the many New Year health books. In Dolce, Laura shows you how easy it is to make the traditional Italian 'dolci' of her childhood, including tiramisu, panettone, and icy lemon granita.

Best selling cookbooks of 2015

Last month our friends at cookbook stores around the world gave us their picks for their favorite books of 2015.  Now we asked them for their top sellers.  We thought it would be interesting to compare the lists from specialist stores in the USA to that for all US sales from the publishing industry data company, Nielsen.  They are very different lists (with only 2 books -The Food Lab and Thug Kitchen - appearing on both). Five of the 2015 bestsellers were also Top 10 books in 2014.


Bestselling USA Cookbooks as supplied by Nielsen BookScan - Source:  Publishers WeeklyPioneer Woman Cooks Dinnertime

1. The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Dinnertime by Ree Drummond
2. Thug Kitchen: The Official Cookbook
3. Make It Ahead by Ina Garten
4. The Skinnytaste Cookbook by Gina Homolka
5. The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Food From My Frontier by Ree Drummond
6. Inspiralized by Ali Maffucci
7. Blue Jean Chef: Delicious Under Pressure by Meredith Laurence
8. The Food Lab by J. Kenji López-Alt
9. The Pioneer Woman Cooks: A Year of Holidays by Ree Drummond
10. Franklin Barbecue by Aaron Franklin and Jordan Mackay


Omnivore Books (San Francisco) - owner Celia SackSimply Nigella

1. Simply Nigella by Nigella Lawson
2. This is Camino by Russell Moore, Allison Hopelain and Chris Colin
3. Lidia's Mastering the Art of Italian Cuisine by Lidia Matticchio Bastianich and Tania Bastianich Manuali
4. Near & Far by Heidi Swanson
5. Nopi by Yotam Ottolenghi and Ramael Scully
6. Heart & Soul in the Kitchen by Jacques Pépin
7. My Paris Kitchen by David Lebovitz
8. Zahav by Michael Solomonov and Stephen Cook
9. My Kitchen Year by Ruth Reichl
10. Vegetarian India  by Madhur Jaffrey


Kitchen Arts & Letters (New York) - owners Nach Waxman &  Matt Sartwell Heart & Soul in the Kitchen

1. Heart & Soul in the Kitchen by Jacques Pépin
2. Nopi by Yotam Ottolenghi and Ramael Scully
3. A Girl and Her Greens by April Bloomfield
4. Zahav by Michael Solomonov and Stephen Cook
5. Food52 Genius Recipes by Kristen Miglore
6. Simply Nigella by Nigella Lawson
7. Mastering Pasta by Marc Vetri
8. Bar Tartine by Nicolaus Balla and Cortney Burns
9. Benu by Corey Lee
10. Mexico from the Inside Out by Enrique Olvera


The Book Larder (Seattle) - owner Lara Hamilton A Boat A Whale and A Walrus

1. A Boat, A Whale, and A Walrus by Renee Erickson
2. Heart & Soul in the Kitchen by Jacques Pépin
3. My Kitchen Year by Ruth Reichl
4. Date Night In by Ashley Rodriguez
5. Sea & Smoke by Blaine Wetzel & Joe Ray
6. Near & Far by Heidi Swanson
7. Mastering Sauces by Susan Volland
8. Fika by Anna Brones & Johanna Kindvall
9. Bar Tartine by Nicolaus Balla and Cortney Burns
10. A Modern Way to Eat by Anna Jones


Powell's City of Books (Portland) - cookbook buyer Tracey T.

Thug Kitchen1. Thug Kitchen: The Official Cookbook
2. Plenty More by Yotam Ottolenghi
3. Pok Pok by Andy Ricker
4. Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi & Sami Tamimi
5. Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi
6. Proof: The Science of Booze by Adam Rogers
7. The Oh She Glows Cookbook by Angela Liddon
8. Good Food, Good Life by Curtis Stone
9. The Whole 30 by Melissa and Dallas Hartwig
10. Death & Co by David Kaplan, Nick Fauchald and Alex Day


The Cookbook Stall (Philadelphia) - owner Jill Ross


1. Zahav by Michael Solomonov and Stephen Cook
2. Thug Kitchen: The Official Cookbook
3. Near & Far by Heidi Swanson
4. Vedge by Rich Landua and Kate Jocoby
5. My Kitchen Year by Ruth Reichl
6. Food52 Genius Recipes by Kristen Miglore
7. The Reading Terminal Market Cookbook, 2nd Edition by Anna Hazan and Irina Smith
8. New German Cooking by Jeremy & Jessica Nolen
9. Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi & Sami Tamimi
10. Philadelphia Cooks Italian by Celeste A. Morello


Read It and Eat (Chicago) - owner Esther Dairiam

Cookie Love

1. Cookie Love by Mindy Segal
2. Thug Kitchen: The Official Cookbook
3. Rose Water & Orange Blossoms by Maureen Abood
4. Mark Bittman's Kitchen Matrix by Mark Bittman
5. My Kitchen Year by Ruth Reichl
6. Blood, Bones & Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton
7. Tacopedia by Deborah Holtz and Juan Carlos Mena
8. Nopi by Yotam Ottolenghi and Ramael Scully
9. The Food Lab by J. Kenji López-Alt
10. Mallmann on Fire by Francis Mallmann


Farm & Fable (Boston) - owner Abby Flanagan

My Pantry

1. My Pantry by Alice Waters
2. A Boat, A Whale, and A Walrus by Renee Erickson
3. Heart & Soul in the Kitchen by Jacques Pépin
4. Zahav by Michael Solomonov and Stephen Cook
5. Gjelina by Travis Lett
6. Oyster: A Gastronomic History by Drew Smith
7. Near & Far by Heidi Swanson
8. At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen by Amy Chaplin
9. A Modern Way to Eat by Anna Jones
10. My Kitchen Year by Ruth Reichl


Kitchen Witch Cookbooks (New Orleans) - owners Debbie Lindsey and Philipe LaMancusa

Gumbo Tales

1. Gumbo Tales by Sara Roahen
2. Austin Leslie's Creole-Soul by Austin Leslie
3. Chef Paul Prudhomme's Louisiana Kitchen
4. Cooking up a Storm 10th Anniversary by Judy Walker and Marcel Bienvenu
5. The Encyclopedia of Cajun and Creole by John D. Folse
6. The Art of Eating by M.F.K. Fisher
7. How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman
8. Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi & Sami Tamimi
9. Good Time Eatin' in Cajun Country by Donna Simon
10. New Orleans Classic Desserts by Kit Wohl



Barbara-Jo's Books to Cooks (Vancouver) - owner Barbara-Jo McIntosh

Essence of French Cooking

1. Simply Nigella by Nigella Lawson
2. The Essence of French Cooking by Michel Roux
3. Nopi by Yotam Ottolenghi and Ramael Scully
4. My New Roots by Sarah Britton
5. Tin Fish Gourmet by Barbara-Jo McIntosh
6. True North by Derek Dammann and Chris Johns
7. A Taste of Haida Gwaii by Susan Musgrave
8. Gjelina by Travis Lett
9. Cooking for Me and Sometimes You by Barbara-Jo McIntosh
10. The Butcher, The Baker, The Wine and Cheese Maker by Jennifer Schell


Good Egg (Toronto) - owner Mika Bareket

My New Roots

1. My New Roots by Sarah Britton
2. 101 Easy Asian Recipes by Lucky Peach and Peter Meehan
3. A Modern Way to Cook by Anna Jones
4. A Modern Way to Eat by Anna Jones
5. Nopi by Yotam Ottolenghi and Ramael Scully
6. The Food Lab by J. Kenji López-Alt
7. The Violet Bakery Cookbook by Claire Ptak
8. True North by Derek Dammann and Chris Johns
9. Vegetarian India  by Madhur Jaffrey
10. The Mission Chinese Food Cookbook by Danny Bowien and Chris Ying


Appetite for Books (Montreal) - owner Jonathan Cheung

Montreal Cooks

1. Montreal Cooks by Jonathan Cheung and Tays Spencer
2. Made in Quebec by Julian Armstrong 
3. Plenty More by Yotam Ottolenghi
4. Brown Eggs and Jam Jars by Aimée Wimbush-Bourque
5. My Kitchen Year by Ruth Reichl
6. True North by Derek Dammann and Chris Johns
7. Food52 Genius Recipes by Kristen Miglore
8. Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi & Sami Tamimi
9. Preservation Society Home Preserves by Camilla Wynne
10. Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi


The Cookbook Co. Cooks (Alberta) - owner Gail Norton

A Spicy Touch

1. A Spicy Touch by Noorbanu Nimji and Karen Anderson
2. Nopi by Yotam Ottolenghi and Ramael Scully
3. True North by Derek Dammann and Chris Johns
4. My Kitchen Year by Ruth Reichl
5. Food52 Genius Recipes by Kristen Miglore
6. Persiana by Sabrina Ghayour 
7. Gjelina by Travis Lett
8. Buvette by Jody Williams
9. Essential Turkish Cuisine by Engin Akin
10. Tacopedia by Deborah Holtz and Juan Carlos Mena


All the Best Fine Foods (Toronto) - cookbook manager Alison Fryer

My Kitchen Year

1. My Kitchen Year by Ruth Reichl
2. Tacopedia by Deborah Holtz and Juan Carlos Mena
3. Near & Far by Heidi Swanson
4. Happy Hens & Fresh Eggs by Signe Langford
5. A Taste of Haida Gwaii by Susan Musgrave
6. Food52 Genius Recipes by Kristen Miglore
7. Vegetarian India  by Madhur Jaffrey
8. Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi & Sami Tamimi
9. Zahav by Michael Solomonov and Stephen Cook
10 A Field Guide to Canadian Cocktails by Victoria Walsh and Scott McCallum



Scrumptious Reads (Brisbane) - owner Julie Tjiandra


1. Nopi by Yotam Ottolenghi and Ramael Scully
2. Franklin Barbecue by Aaron Franklin and Jordan Mackay
3. Tacopedia by Deborah Holtz and Juan Carlos Mena
4. The Nordic Cookbook by Magnus Nilsson
5. Spice Temple by Neil Perry
6. A Modern Way to Eat by Anna Jones
7. Tokyo Cult Recipes by Maori Murota
8. Biota by James Viles
9. Maggie Beer's Spring Harvest Recipes by Maggie Beer
10. Bien Cuit by Zachary Golper and Peter Kaminsky



De Kookboekhandel (Amsterdam, Netherlands) - owner Jonah Freud


1. Vegarabia [New Feast] by Greg and Lucy Malouf
2. Veggie! by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
3. Over Rook by Meneer Wateetons
4. Verrot Lekker by Christian Weij
5. Salmagundi by Sally Butcher
6. Nopi by Yotam Ottolenghi and Ramael Scully
7. Groot Indonesisch Kookboek by Beb Vuyk
 Morito by Samuel & Samantha Clark
9. Gartine by Kirsten Eckhart and Willem-Jan Hendriks
10. Bistronomy by Jane Sigal


Cook + Book (Arnhem, Netherlands) - owner Riejanne Schimmel


1. Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi
2. Powerfood by Rens Kroes
3. Verrot Lekker by Christian Weij
4. Plenty More by Yotam Ottolenghi
5. Persiana by Sabrina Ghayour
6. Green Smoothies by Fern Green
7. Nopi by Yotam Ottolenghi and Ramael Scully
8. Veg! (River Cottage Veg Every Day) by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
9. Everyday Super Food by Jamie Oliver
10. Spuntino by Russell Norman

Healthy food should be delicious

Lamb shawarma with burnt pittas

Gizzi Erskine is probably best known for being a presenter on the British television show Cook Yourself Thin and for writing the show's companion cookbook. Gizzi trained at the prestigious Leith's School of Food and Wine before going on to work at BBC Good Food magazine. She is the food columnist for Company magazine, wrrites for The Sunday Times, and has contributed to Marie Claire, Instyle, Elle USA, and Arena, among others. She has just released her cookbook, Gizzi's Healthy Appetite, in the US market (the book was published in the UK last August.) The cookbook aims to reinvigorate healthy eating by utilizing bold textures and flavors to perk up healthful ingredients. ( Enter our contest for your chance to win a copy of the book.) To help explain her healthy eating philosophy, Gizzi provided us with an excerpt from the introduction to the book:

There's no denying that I have a healthy appetite. I love food, I love eating, and I love cooking. There's nothing I don't like to eat, except perhaps snow peas (pointless and flabby) and durian (poo fruit). I am a chef for two reasons: partly because I have a huge ego and I love feeding people and receiving their praise, but mainly because food makes people happy and has a way of soothing us from the inside out. Food doesn't just feed my body; it also feeds my soul.

I've written about healthy eating over the years, but recently I've seen an influx of books encouraging us to "eat clean," make better choices, become vegan for our health, or undertake extreme diets-and no one knows what the best advice actually is.

The more I see of people's food concerns on Twitter and Instagram, the more I see the love pouring out of food. It's as though people are so concerned about what they are putting into their bodies that food has lost its soul. Food should first and foremost be delicious. If we stick to some simple rules like eating a variety of different-colored fruits and vegetables daily, eating smaller portions of better carbs, high-quality proteins, and some good fats, then we will be getting all the nutrition we need for optimum health.

Back when I made Cook Yourself Thin, we were using vegetables in place of carbohydrates, choosing non-starchy carbs for mashing, and putting vegetables in cakes to reduce the sugar and fat content. Now, there are some brilliant new techniques to make things like vegan, gluten-free, and sugar-free cakes; cauliflower rice; and spiralized vegetable noodles, all of which can be a revelation when used in the right way with the right ingredients.

Cooking for a healthy appetite often seems to be geared more towards the healthy and less towards an appetite for food. However, I want to show you how to use those "healthy" ingredients in a more delicious way. I also want to instill the message that being healthy is as much about moderation as it is about nutrition. I've always lived by the 80/20 rule: if you eat healthily 80 percent of the time then you're allowed a little bit of something that may be considered "naughty" the rest of the time.

The chapters of this book are divided into textures and flavors. For me, those textures and flavors often reflect my mood. For example, if I crave something braised or oozy it may mean that I'm after something rib-sticking and comforting, but if I want crunch or crispness then I probably feel the need for something clean and fresh. Sometimes I want fiery food, so we have a chapter for spice, and other times I just need something sweet, and there's a chapter for that too.

So, here I am. I want to start a new food revolution: one where people have a better understanding of nutrition but don't forget that eating should be enjoyable. 

Photo of Lamb 'shawarma' with burnt pittas, hummus & pomegranate tabbouleh from Gizzi's Healthy Appetite by Gizzi Erskine

Cookbook giveaway - Gizzi's Healthy Appetite

Gizzi's Healthy Appetite book cover

Chef Gizzi Erskine doesn't believe that healthy eating should be boring. That philosophy is reflected in her latest cookbook, Gizzi's Healthy Appetite: Food to Nourish the Body and Feed the Soul, which pumps up healthy ingredients with bold flavours and palate-pleasing textures. You can read an excerpt from the book's introduction on the EYB blog.

We're delighted to offer 5 copies of Gizzi's Healthy Appetite to EYB Members. The contest is limited to Members in the USA and Canada. One of the entry options is to answer the following question in the comments section to this blog post:

What's your go-to method for perking up a healthy but bland ingredient?

Please note that you must be signed into the Rafflecopter contest before posting the comment or your entry won't be counted. If you are not already a Member, you can join at no cost. The contest ends February 24, 2016.

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