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book review of Cooking Light's "The New Way to Cook Light"
BY BEVERLY MEYER
The spotlight on eating healthfully has never been brighter than it is today, with the focus on local sources, obesity and heart health taking center stage.
Already a major player on the food-preparation scene, Cooking Light magazine this fall offers a new, gorgeous--and comprehensive--hardcover cookbook that promotes merging nutrition and taste. The tome contains more than 400 recipes, half of which are illustrated with spectacular full-color photographs. A table of contents introduces a dozen categories of "fully delicious" dishes, ranging from appetizers to pasta, soups, quick breads and desserts.
The editors state their purpose in providing the home cook ways to "turn out great food for the people you care the most about." Reliable, tested recipes are the baseline for cooking for better health, and this book offers ways to incorporate more vegetables and whole grains into the diet while aiming for smaller portions of deliciously prepared meat and fish and lighter sauces.
Readers might be tempted to skim past the pages of text at the beginning of the book, but they shouldn't. The "Nine Simple Principles of 'The New Way to Cook Light'" are worth a good look.
They include: embracing variety (we have a global pantry now in supermarkets and farmers markets), cooking more often (it's an alternative way to get more "me time" and relieve stress), pruning out some of the processed foods you eat and opting for more whole foods, choosing to incorporate the healthy fats, eating more plants, eating seasonally, gaining confidence with practicing new techniques, buying better-quality ingredients, and cooking and eating responsibly--savoring each bite and being mindful of its source.
If you take even a few of these tips, you're guaranteed a more healthful diet.
Closing in on Page 500 is a section on how to equip your kitchen for better food and more a pleasurable cooking experience. Not gadget-crazy, these guidelines tout the value of excellent tools that do their job well.
A seasonal produce guide is spelled out, along with special tips for the baker and the stovetop cook, controlling portion size and principles of enhancing flavor.
Novices and experienced chefs will surely be inspired to try the recipes in this colorful cookbook.
Beverly Meyer: bmeyer@freelance star.com