I admit it – I read cookbooks when I get tired of novels. The best are the ones stuffed with food-porn photos. I just discovered Joy Bauer, author of Slim & Scrumptious: Over 75 Recipes Your Family Will Love.
I borrowed the book from the library, but I’m going to by a copy because she’s put together a great selection of nutritious and interesting food. Aside from being full of recipes for meals that I want to eat, Joy actually uses ‘real’ (i.e., packed with flavour) spices like cumin and cilantro in her recipes. She also includes nutritional information and serving sizes. You’d be surprised how many cookbooks touting themselves as “healthy” don’t tell you how many calories, fats, carbs, etc. are contained. Makes it difficult if, like me, you like to substitute ingredients.
Here’s a website filled with tantalizing recipes that will get your taste buds jumping. One of my favourites is Creamy Broccoli soup – it includes frozen or fresh broccoli, a couple of chopped leeks, celery, lots of garlic, chicken broth and, to make it creamy, white beans.
Wouldn’t you know it, but I didn’t have a can of cannellini beans in the pantry, so I had to fire up the pressure cooker and blast some navy beans (made with an extra stalk of leek and lots of garlic). Pureed everything in my amazing VitaMix, added some toasted cumin and coriander seeds (coriandrum sativum) because I didn’t have any fresh cilantro (couldn’t resurrect the limp bunch of deceased stalks in the veggie bin) and it was lovely and green and very fresh tasting. The recipe called for a can of reduced-fat evaporated milk but honestly, the finished product didn’t need it. Besides, I wasn’t sure how long ago the best-before date on the can was, so I tossed it into the recycling bin, just in case. Yum, yum, yum.
The recipe makes a huge potful. Serve it with garlic bread or some homemade baking powder biscuits that I can make in my sleep, I’ve made them so often in the last 45 years. Healthy, happy tummy.
Spring is coming and we have so much to be grateful for. Give thanks every day!