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The Food Matters Cookbook: 500 Revolutionary Recipes for Better Living by Mark Bittman

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Notes about this book

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Notes about Recipes in this book

  • Mushroom stew with beef chunks

    • Delys77 on June 11, 2013

      Pg. 130 Pretty good but not amazing. I would suggest frying the mushroom chunks prior to the addition of the other vegetables and then adding a bit less liquid. Overall the results are good, but I could likely just add more mushrooms to a typical boeuf bourguignon and cut back the bacon a bit and get a better result.

  • Pasta with rich leek "pesto"

    • LaPomme on November 30, 2011

      Not as much like carbonara as the description states. But the parsley makes the pesto peppery and unique. Very good.

    • Delys77 on October 31, 2011

      Interesting and tasty but a bit thick eventhough you added the suggested amount of water. Next time add a bit of stock and I think it would be better. The actual sauce though is quite different and tasty.

  • Chipotle quinoa with corn and black beans

    • Lindalib on July 12, 2013

      This took longer to cook than the recipe indicated. (I used TJ organic quinoa) The was good, but the final dish could have used a garnish (cilantro maybe?) as it wasn't visually appealing. I used two chipotle peppers plus some of the sauce, but would increase the quantity for a little more heat next time.

    • kdalavur on February 24, 2013

      p.310

  • Baked pumpkin-orange custard

    • LaPomme on January 30, 2012

      Great idea and texture...but a little on the bland side as written. I hate to add more sugar, since that would defeat the purpose of a 'healthy' desert. Doubling the spices might help.

  • Spicy fried rice with bean sprouts, chicken, and peanuts

    • LaPomme on February 01, 2012

      I had everything on hand except the Thai chili. So I used a green bell pepper and spiced things up with Sriracha sauce. It turned out excellent.

  • Noodles with spicy cabbage and pork

    • Laurendmck on October 22, 2013

      p. 259

    • Kfaber on March 26, 2014

      Totally delicious and light dish that was fairly simple to make. Substituted red pepper flakes for the chili oil to make it spicy and might try sriracha next time.

    • kath on October 28, 2011

      I have made this several times. We really enjoy it!

    • LaPomme on December 05, 2011

      Substituted ordinary green cabbage for the Napa cabbage, and it turned out wonderful. I didn't find it very spicy, though. So my husband and I topped it off with some Sriracha.

  • Green gumbo with potatoes and zucchini

    • cilantrolime on July 07, 2014

      I love dandelions and I love gumbo, but this is disappointing. Nothing special. It was easy though. Maybe some okra and white beans would improve it.

  • White chili with chicken and white root vegetables

  • Farro with grapes and sausage

    • Emily Hope on December 06, 2010

      This was a very tasty weeknight supper--I roasted the grapes (rather than just tossing them in the pan). However, I should have poured off the fat from the sausages before adding in the farro--the end result was a bit heavy/greasy. Served with brussels sprouts roasted w/maple syrup.

  • Blueberry bread

    • LaPomme on January 05, 2012

      I went with the variation without the cornmeal, but with a tablespoon of sugar. The bread has a wonderful texture, and a slice is pretty filling. Even with the blueberries (which, granted, were frozen) and the sugar, the bread was not at all sweet. I was hoping for something a little bit sweeter, and may add honey next time. As I made it, it tasted great toasted, buttered and drizzled with a small spoonful of maple syrup.

  • Crisp and spicy roasted chickpeas with lamb

    • sideshoes on January 08, 2011

      Very good! Mine needed more time to get crispy and browned.

    • Delys77 on November 17, 2011

      Mine also took another minute or so to crisp up but when it did it made for a very nice texture. I used the beef version which also worked out well. I think overall this is a pretty good dish with interesting texture ad flavour, but it isn't stupendous. I might add a little Greek yogurt and possibly some tomato and cucumber in the pita pocket, maybe even a little lettuce. Go the full wrap route if you ever repeat this.

  • Black bean chili mac

    • Delys77 on February 27, 2014

      Pg 247 At first this seemed a bit odd to me but when it was all done it was quite tasty. The shoulder is very tender and the balance of seasonings is very good. My proportions were slightly different as I used canned beans and tomatoes. 1 small can of beans was 120z instead of 16 so I upped the pork by 4 oz. I also, went with a 28oz can of whole plum tomatoes which I chopped. Overall a very quick and easy, yet tasty 1 pot meal.

  • Spicy carrot cake

    • LaPomme on January 17, 2012

      To minimize the number of spice jars to hunt down, I substituted equal amounts of pumpkin pie spice for the cinnamon, clove and allspice. If I had an apple pie spice mix, I would give that a try. If this made it less "spicey", I don't consider that a loss. (Strong clove and allspice flavors don't appeal to me.) Since the carrots were going to be sauteed and pureed anyway, I didn't bother grating them. I just chopped the carrots, and they pureed just as well as the chopped apples. Oh, and I also baked this as a loaf, instead of a square or round cake. All that to say...the extra steps are kind of a nuissance, but the taste and texture of this cake are fabulous.

  • TLB: tomato, lettuce, and bacon sandwiches

    • Delys77 on February 21, 2012

      Pg. 498 This is a great little sandwich. I've always loved a good BLT but inverting the relationship between the veggies and the bacon makes this sandwich much healthier and still delivers great flavour. I skipped the step where he warms the tomato slices in the bacon fat as I was packing this for a lunch and I wanted to avoid the extra fat, still a very tasty sandwich. As with any tomato you need a generous hand with the salt and pepper.

  • Rice, peas, and carrots (Risi, bisi, e carote)

    • LaPomme on June 01, 2011

      Nice idea, and flavor of this dish is great. But Bittman severly underestimates the time it takes to fully cook the rice, especially uncovered. After 40 minutes, my rice was still unpleasantly raw in the middle. I'll budget 50 minutes if I try this recipe again.

  • Grilled vegetable and fresh tomato lasagna

    • LaPomme on June 10, 2011

      Page 225.

  • Chipotle quinoa with corn, black beans, and shrimp

    • LaPomme on June 30, 2011

      Bittman is a little cautious with the chipotle. I went ahead and added two of the chiles, as well as a couple teaspoons of the sauce from the can. I found the result to be on the mild side. Next time, I would either add more sauce or even an additional chile.

    • Delys77 on October 21, 2011

      First off there are a few small issues with this dish. Firstly it serves closer to two or three definitely not 4, and the quinoa took closer to 25 minutes. Flavour wiase it was quite tasty, especially with the shrimp variation. Nutritious and very flavourful with the smokiness of the chipotle.

    • kdalavur on February 24, 2013

      p.311

  • Spicy-sweet green beans

    • Emily Hope on August 18, 2011

      These green beans were addictive--sweet, salty, and crunchy. C said "best green beans ever". They were a touch too sweet and I'd cut back a bit on the honey the next time--I also reduced the soy sauce to a shy 2 tablespoons because the stuff I get is pretty strong.

  • Chipotle-glazed squash skewers

    • Delys77 on October 31, 2011

      Love the smoky flavour of chipotle which goes very well with the mild squash. Cook for the full duration but check often.

  • Vegetable-lentil soup with fragrant broth

    • Delys77 on October 31, 2011

      This was super fragrant, the amount of garlic seems extreme but it yields a great soup. I used yellow split peas and they were a bit hard after the suggested cooking time. Maybe go with red lentils or brown as the split pea takes way too long.

  • Corn and sweet potato chowder with chipotle

    • Delys77 on October 31, 2011

      This is good but might need a bit of tweaking. The roux with the corn meal and oil works partially but it does a passable job. You can up the chipotle and decrease the corn a bit as the soup is a bit sweet. So if you up the heat and drop the sweetness a bit you'll end up with a better result.

  • Plum chicken salad

    • Delys77 on October 31, 2011

      It would seem that there isn't enough dressing but it turns out to be a very nice light level of dressing. The almonds definitely add a nice richness. Went with apples and it was very nice

  • Pasta with tender greens

    • Delys77 on October 31, 2011

      Ok but nothing special. It seems like a lot of greens but you need them as there isn't much else going on. You could do with more salt, more Parma, more pepper, and perhaps some pine nuts and or chili flakes

  • Pasta with caramelized fennel and onion

    • Delys77 on October 31, 2011

      Pretty good flavour from this recipe, which you made with the cream variation. For a vegetarian pasta and has a different but good flavour. The technique of dry frying the base was odd bur worked. You added a bit of basil as garnish.

  • Noodles with spicy vegetable stir-fry

    • Delys77 on October 31, 2011

      As is the recipe is a little bland. You added a little more soy, some chopped peanuts, some lime juice, and a tiny bit of satay sauce. Not a bad base but you will have to play with this one a bit.

  • Teriyaki noodles with asparagus and edamame

    • Delys77 on October 31, 2011

      This seemed a little odd but it is actually quite good. I did add some sliced mushrooms with he asparagus and a bit of cornstarch to thicken the sauce. The sauce is likely the best part. Serves two not four. I inverted the cooking and did the aromatics before the asparagus.

  • Mushroom and pasta frittata

    • Delys77 on October 31, 2011

      Definitely an interesting use of left over pasta but I actually used less mushrooms and had to go with 6 eggs. I think you might be able to do it with 4 if you were very careful. That being said the caramelized onions and mushrooms are the definite stars here. You used thyme as you had no sage. The score is relatively low despite the interesting flavours because the recipe was flawed. I think if you keep the eggs at 4 and extra caramelize the onions and the mushrooms you should be good to score it higher.

  • One-pot pasta with zucchini and chicken

    • Delys77 on October 31, 2011

      I was very sceptical since the actual pasta is cooked in the pot with all the other ingredients which seemed exceedingly odd. It did work very well however, the starch from the pasta made a very nice sauce, although I did add a bit of broth I put a bit more than necessary. You should add more than he says but not a tonne. I also put in a bit chili flakes and it was nice

  • Vegetable and shrimp fried rice

    • Delys77 on October 31, 2011

      The idea of essentially making a rice stir fry is great, You end up with lots of nice crisp vegetables and the shrimp is a nice accompaniment, but you should maybe go with a more classic fried rice sauce as this was a bit tame. Perhaps combine this approach with one of the fried rice's from Eileen Yin Fei Lo's book.

  • Arroz con pollo--and then some

    • Delys77 on October 31, 2011

      A great chicken and rice dish made rich from the stock and the chicken. The addition of beans and saffron makes this luxurious and hearty. This probably makes enough for 5 or 4 hungry people. You may need to salt a bit at the end.

  • Chili con poco carne

    • Delys77 on October 31, 2011

      This was a lot more chopping than your usual recipe and a bit more work and it yielded a very similar result to your own chili if a bit blander. Using the chuck might add a little something and the mushrooms and the zucchini are pretty good, what you might do is modify your own recipe based on this one.

  • More-vegetable less-egg frittata

    • Delys77 on October 31, 2011

      Pretty good but nothing to right home about

  • Pan-cooked vegetables with crunchy fish

    • Delys77 on October 31, 2011

      This was a surprise. The curry gives the veg a really nice tang (I used sweet potato, parsnip, carrot, and Daikon) and the crust on the fish is very nice. Overall a great little dish. Spencer liked it but you should go easier on the curry for him next time.

  • Provençal vegetables and chicken in packages

    • Delys77 on October 31, 2011

      I was surprised by how simple this was to put together. Vegetables turned out fabulous but the chicken was the tiniest bit dry, make sure to cook for around 35 minutes or so. Very mediterranean.

  • Roasted mushroom quesadillas

    • Delys77 on October 31, 2011

      I did a recipe and a half and it was well received. The mushrooms were nice and meaty and the portion was almost good as indicated, but a portion and a half is probably better. I served with Salsa but it was too tangy, might do better with something a bit richer and more savoury to acompany, maybe pesto. Also, I did it in the foreman instead of as suggested.

  • Sweet potato muffins

    • Delys77 on October 31, 2011

      Really nice. They were relatively fluffy for all whole wheat muffins. Nice level of sweetness. I tried with the cinnamon in addition to the ginger

  • Crunchy no-work mostly whole wheat pizza dough

    • Delys77 on October 31, 2011

      The flavour and texture of this dough is nice, the challenge is that it is so sticky, and as a result it is very hard to spread and roll the dough out. You ended up with a relatively thick pizza, which was good but a bit doughy. If you were to do it again you would have to go a bit heavier on the dusting of the dough and hands to get spread thinner.

  • Roast potatoes and chicken with romesco

    • Delys77 on October 31, 2011

      For me this dish isn't a winner. The potatoes are not bad as they benefit from a longer roast and the flavoring from the chicken and rosemary. The romesco sauce is nice and tangy with pretty good texture. Why might you ask is this dish not so good, well it is primarily due to 2 reasons. Firstly the chicken is boring, the sauce isn't adequate to raise this bland relatively pasty piece of chicken to anything interesting. Secondly, the dish doesn't really come together, it has no cohesion.

  • Creamy cauliflower mac

    • Delys77 on November 09, 2011

      Pg 222 This recipe is quite the revelation. The idea of fulfilling a guilty pleasure like Mac and cheese as well as getting your veggies in is just fabulous. The question was if it would be any good, and I am pleased to report it was excellent. Make sure you taste for seasoningas it needs a good amount, and I would suggest going with 3/4 cup of cheese and maybe a touch more Dijon.

    • Brittania on November 13, 2011

      I agree - very nice but needs a lot more cheese, some more mustard and sloppier sauce (as Bittman suggests). I also think I might have got a creamier sauce if I'd overcooked the cauli more. I usually make my macaroni cheese the British way with tinned tomatoes and sometimes an egg or two mixed in. I like to make new recipes exactly as stated but next time I think I'll do a hybrid of my version and this cauliflower version. I sneak some bacon in sometimes. Shocking.

    • mattlebaron on January 12, 2013

      The kids didn't like this, but I'm not too surprised. They were unhappy that it didn't look and taste like KD - as they noted, real mac and cheese. Pretty sad that processed food has become the 'real' food. In any event, it's one reason why we've been trying to be more food concious. Personally, I enjoyed it. As with the other comments, I'll make it with a bit more oomph next time. It was a bit bland and needed a bit of a kick. Otherwise, we'll be making it again. We rated it four stars - the kids don't count since they consider KD to be real food - eesh.

  • Stir-fried fennel and pink grapefruit with shrimp

  • White bean and shrimp burgers

  • Baked rigatoni with Brussels sprouts, figs, and blue cheese

    • Delys77 on December 12, 2011

      Pg 221 This is a pretty good dish for the fall with sharp flavour of the blue cheese being offset by the sweetness of the figs and the savouriness of the brussels sprouts. I ended up broiling for a little bit to crisp up the top a bit and the results were pretty good. The dish would be improved by a touch more blue cheese, maybe an oz or two, ad possibly a breadcrumb and parmesan topping.

  • Black bean and corn salad

    • Delys77 on April 08, 2013

      Pg. 171 As is often the case with the minimalist, I found this dish was good but needed some more flavour. I added a bit of green tabasco, but some minced chiles would be great, and I also squeezed a bit more lime over it.

  • Quinoa tabbouleh

    • Jane on July 12, 2012

      As Bittman says, this is a vegetable salad with some grain for texture. It's great for using up odds and ends of vegetables you want to clear out. I used tomatoes, radishes, asparagus, scallions and mixed black and green olives. I also used a mix of red and yellow quinoa. This was a very pretty salad but more importantly tasted great. The dressing is a simple lemon juice and olive oil, which allowed the vegetables to shine

  • Pasta with broccoli rabe and bread crumbs

    • Delys77 on October 18, 2012

      Pg. 196 This dish is a little different from a few other broccoli based pastas I have tried in that it uses a large amount of toasted breadcrumbs which are mixed directly into the pasta. I would say overall it is a pretty good recipe. I used brocolette as I couldn't find any broccoli rabe, but thinly sliced the brocolette did the job well. It seems like a large amount of broccoli at first but I think it was just right. The toasted breadcrumbs make this a very filling pasta dish but I might suggest a few tweaks. I caramelized the onions a little by cooking them for closer to 15 minutes rather than the recommended 5, and then I added the garlic just at the end. I also put in some nice chile flakes and the heat was much appreciated. I think I might also recommend adding a little garlic and herbs to the breadcrumbs to the end of their toasting, then mix in only half, reserving the rest as a topping for the pasta.

  • Clean-out-the-fridge vegetable soup

    • Delys77 on February 13, 2013

      Pg. 101 Very simple and quite similar to the soupe paysanne from the Joy of Cooking. The result is a very nice soup with tonnes of veggies and a pretty thick texture. I didn't add parm, instead I put a rind in with the veggies while the soup simmered. Overall a good recipe.

  • Vegetables au vin with coq

    • Delys77 on July 31, 2012

      Pg 466 This achieves the flavour of coq au vin with lots of extra vegetables, which is nice. I do think there is too much liquid for a braise, I would trim it back to about two cups as the amount suggested essentially stews the chicken. The eggplant cooks down and really adds complexity to the sauce. My only other suggestion woud be to brown the mushrooms separately and add towards the end so they retain texture and crispness.

  • CSS: cucumber, sprouts, and smoked fish

    • kdalavur on February 18, 2013

      p. 498-499

  • Root vegetable and quinoa salad

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Reviews about this book

Reviews about Recipes in this Book

  • ISBN 10 1439120234
  • ISBN 13 9781439120231
  • Linked ISBNs
  • Published Sep 21 2010
  • Format Hardcover
  • Page Count 608
  • Language English
  • Countries United States
  • Publisher Simon & Schuster

Publishers Text

From the award-winning champion of conscious eating and author of the bestselling Food Matters comes The Food Matters Cookbook, offering the most comprehensive and straightforward ideas yet for cooking easy, delicious foods that are as good for you as they are for the planet.

The Food Matters Cookbook is the essential encyclopedia and guidebook to responsible eating, with more than 500 recipes that capture Bittman’s typically relaxed approach to everything in the kitchen. There is no finger-wagging here, just a no-nonsense and highly flexible case for eating more plants while cutting back on animal products, processed food, and of course junk. But for Bittman, flipping the ratio of your diet to something more virtuous and better for your body doesn’t involve avoiding any foods—indeed, there is no sacrifice here.

Since his own health prompted him to change his diet, Bittman has perfected cooking tasty, creative, and forward-thinking dishes based on vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Meat and other animal products are often included—but no longer as the centerpiece. In fact the majority of these recipes include fish, poultry, meat, eggs, or dairy, using them for their flavor, texture, and satisfying nature without depending on them for bulk. Roasted Pork Shoulder with Potatoes, Apples, and Onions and Linguine with Cherry Tomatoes and Clams are perfect examples. Many sound downright decadent: Pasta with Asparagus, Bacon, and Egg; Stuffed Pizza with Broccoli, White Beans, and Sausage; or Roasted Butternut Chowder with Apples and Bacon, for example.

There are vegetarian recipes, too, and they have flair without being complicated—recipes like Beet Tartare, Lentil "Caviar" with All the Trimmings, Radish-Walnut Tea Sandwiches, and Succotash Salad. Bittman is a firm believer in snacking, but in the right way. Instead of packaged cookies or greasy chips, Bittman suggests Seasoned Popcorn with Grated Parmesan or Fruit and Cereal Bites. Nor does he skimp on desserts; rather, he focuses on fruit, good-quality chocolate, nuts, and whole-grain flours, using minimal amounts of eggs, butter, and other fats. That allows for a whole chapter devoted to sweets, including Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Cookies, Apricot Polenta Cake, Brownie Cake, and Coconut Tart with Chocolate Smear.

True to the fuss-free style that has made him famous, Bittman offers plenty of variations and substitutions that let you take advantage of foods that are in season—or those that just happen to be in the fridge. A quick-but-complete rundown on ingredients tells you how to find sustainable and flavorful meat and shop for dairy products, grains, and vegetables without wasting money on fancy organic labels. He indicates which recipes you can make ahead, those that are sure to become pantry staples, and which ones can be put together in a flash. And because Bittman is always comprehensive, he makes sure to include the building-block recipes for the basics of home cooking: from fast stocks, roasted garlic, pizza dough, and granola to pots of cooked rice and beans and whole-grain quick breads.

With a tone that is easygoing and non-doctrinaire, Bittman demonstrates the satisfaction and pleasure in mindful eating. The result is not just better health for you, but for the world we all share.

Other cookbooks by this author

The Food Matters Cookbook: 500 Revolutionary Recipes for Better Living

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