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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Super Natural Cooking

the cover of Heidi's book

If you still have the idea that grains other than wheat are "weird," that healthful food has to be boring, and that only out-of-fashion old hippies eat wild rice and millet, then you need to change your mind.

Luckily, Heidi Swanson will change your mind.

You may already know Heidi from 101 Cookbooks, or Mighty Foods, two of my favorite food websites. I've beeen an enormous fan of Heidi's gorgeous photographs for years. In fact, she was one of my inspirations for pointing my camera toward my meals in the first place.

Heidi's second book, Super Natural Cooking, has hit the stores. I feel lucky; I already have my own copy. Heidi sent it to me in the mail, as a thank you for testing the recipes. You see, I had to keep this quiet when the book was in production, and I certainly couldn't take photographs, but I had the honor of testing a few recipes for Heidi, and giving her feedback. (You can even find my name in the page of acknowledgments!)

I can say, therefore, with no qualifications, that you should own this book. The photographs are stunning, the header notes are filled with interesting stories, and the recipes yield bright, alive food. This food is good for you, true. But you will want to eat it, and then eat some more.

And for those of us who are gluten-free? This book is a godsend. Heidi has an entire chapter on grains beyond wheat, with fascinating capsule descriptions of grains such as amaranth and teff, and even mesquite flour, available to us. Even the few recipes that involve whole wheat can fairly easily be adapted to be gluten-free.

Don't believe me yet? Listen to these recipes:

Millet Fried Rice
Red Indian Carrot Soup
Winter Rainbow Gratin
Quinoa and Corn Flour Crepes

Those are just some of the ones I tested. Oh, yum.

Add to that Heidi's sexy, attentive photographs, filled with color and a sense of play, and you will quickly be drawn in to reading, more and more.

In the mornings, the Chef likes to read the entire newspaper. Me? After a few minutes, I usually switch to a cookbook, perusing recipes and figuring out what to cook for him that night, my mind enticed by all the ideas inside the pages. I can promise you this — for the next few days, I'll have Super Natural Cooking by my bed. Grilled teff wedges, here I come.

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2 Comments:

Blogger Pille said...

I agree - it's a great book. Alanna (of the A Veggie Venture blog) gave it to me as a present when I was visiting her in St Louis, MO in June 2008. And I've loved reading Heidi's book a lot! Highly recommended indeed!

June 26, 2008 at 11:21 PM  
Blogger Jen said...

I'm catching up with your new blog and just put this book on hold at the local library. Can't wait!

March 27, 2009 at 3:39 PM  

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