I have an addiction to cookbooks! I tell myself I am not going to purchase any new cookbooks but then I see a new one and I can’t help myself. Usually it turns out to be a good decision and I rarely have regrets. I read cookbooks like novels cover to cover, soaking up all of the authors hints, tips and thoughts about cooking. I feel like I get to know them and their families through their cookbooks. What is even more amazing is that the internet allows me to have contact with some of the cookbook authors. Many authors are active on Instagram and facebook. You can let them know how much you love their recipes, ask questions, post photos of your interpretation of their recipes and get their feedback. This type of interaction makes cooking from cookbooks more exciting and fun! Sometimes they ask if they can re-post your photos on their IG and facebook pages. I love it!
One of my latest cookbook purchases was The Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Cookbook from Jane Esselstyn and Ann Crile Esselstyn. You can find it at your local book store or on Amazon. No I don’t have heart disease and I don’t anticipate having any in the future either. Following a whole foods plant based diet is all about eating healthy and preventing heart disease, diabetes and reducing the risk of developing cancer. My thinking is that it’s easier to prevent against these diseases to begin with rather than waiting to get sick and then changing your lifestyle. I’m not paranoid about getting ill nor do I obsess about it, I just think it makes sense to adopt a healthy lifestyle and manage my health as best I can through diet and exercise.
The Esselstyn family follow a heart healthy diet and they travel the country sharing their knowledge and helping to educate people on how to change to a plant based lifestyle. Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr. MD published his Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease in 2007 to share his research which showed that patients with significant coronary artery heart disease could stop and even reverse their illness by changing their diets. If they avoided oil, meat and dairy and instead choose a whole food plant based diet they could become healthy again. Plant based nutrition can prevent chronic disease!
The recipes in this book have been amazing. Super easy to make but big on flavor. I have been serving up these delicious new recipes to the family. Banana Steel Cut Oats which I served with my own Chia Jam for breakfast – fast easy and filling. The Eat Loaf which is jam packed with oats, beans and veggies. The recipe makes two loaves to feed a crowd or perfect for cooking ahead for the week. It bakes with a layer of BBQ sauce in the bottom of the pan as well as on top. Sooooo yummy. The Magnificent Mushroom Ragout has a deep earthy flavor and it can be used in so many ways. I served some over the Eat Loaf, daughter Katy used some to top off some soup, perfect over a baked potato and just as a side dish. I also think it would be fabulous over a bed of polenta.
The Mango Lime Salsa was a big hit here – so fresh and flavorful. A perfect side dish to the most amazing Mexican Style Beans I have ever made. You start with dried black beans which I made in my slow cooker then you add onions, peppers and seasonings which gives these humble beans so much depth and flavor. They were a huge hit with my family – yes even the omnivores devoured them.
Jalapeno and Salsa Corn Muffins taste a lot like a tamale but with tons more nutrition. They stand on their own but will surely be enjoyed along side big bowls of plant based chili this winter. I had no idea about chocolate balsamic vinegar until I saw it listed as an ingredient in some recipes in this cookbook. I found a bottle of it at my local Nugget Market – a kind of specialty grocery store. Wow is it ever tasty. You can drizzle it over some fresh berries or on top of fruit based desserts. Yum!
I highly recommend this cookbook for anyone who loves healthy delicious food. There is a nice section in the front of the cookbook all about how to stock your pantry with hearth healthy foods. There is a Q & A with Dr Caldwell Esselstyn JR., MD which will answer many questions you may have about a whole foods plant based diet. I love the photos of the recipes – it helps me decided what to make first and makes the recipes even more enticing. When I started to bookmark recipes to try I soon realized that I actually wanted to make just about everything so I stopped marking the pages!
Eating a plant based diet isn’t about deprivation – quite the opposite. There are so many incredible food choices that I really don’t miss animal products in my diet. It is a big change initially from the mainstream SAD – Standard American Diet but it’s so easy once you make the change.
You can get a few sample recipes for free as the Esselstyn’s have shared them on their web site.
I will be sharing more photos of my culinary creations from this cookbook. It would be awesome if you have the cookbook and would like to cook along with me. We can compare notes on the recipes and encourage each other as we explore more about eating healthy. You can find the cookbook at your local book store or on Amazon. If you follow me on facebook or Instagram you can also see what’s cooking in the Nutmeg Notebook kitchen.
I haven’t had as much time in the kitchen lately as I would like. We have been spending a lot of time at our daughter Katy and son in law Esau’s house. If you read my last post you know they bought a two year old house nearby that needed some TLC. They ended up firing the painter – to make a long story short – he was so sloppy – we have been cleaning up the disaster he made and repainting everything! Just about everything that could go wrong has gone wrong. Did you ever see that movie called The Money Pit? We feel like we are living that movie!
The good news is we are good painters – just very slow. What we have painted looks amazing. The house is being completely transformed. New carpet and other flooring will be installed the end of next week so we are working against a deadline. I feel the pressure – but we can only do what we can do.
In addition to painting I have been helping Katy grade papers – an English teacher has a ton of papers to grade. A teachers work is never done – they are so underpaid!
That’s a wrap for today. I am headed over to the house to paint!
Add your thoughts.
Does anyone want to get this cookbook and cook along with me?