The Food Matters Cookbook

The Food Matter Cookbook, by Mark Bittman, Simon & Schuster 2010, $35.00, hardcover, 645 pages

For a minimalist, Mark Bittman takes a maximalist approach to cookbook writing. HIs books are often compendiums on a theme–The Best Recipes in the World or How to Cook Everything.

But 30 years of food writing, cooking everything, and determining the world’s best recipes, were taking a toll on his health so Bittman looked around some more and developed a reasonable approach to healthy eating. It’s Pollan-esque, that is eat more plants, less meat, and even less industrially processed food.

Beans, whole grains, fruit, and vegetables all sounds awfully virtuous, but with recipes like Pasta with Red Peppers and Shrimp Sauce, CHopped Salad with Thai Flavors, or Stuffed Pizza with Broccoli, White Beans, and Sausage, you’re hardly going to suffer. And after a while, all that stuff in the boxes in the center of the supermarket won’t even register as food; it’s more like product.

And that product that we mistake for food–one third of our calories come from snack foods, and seven percent of our daily calories come from soda. Transfat may have been engineered out of that food product, but plenty of other chemicals remain.

Bittman helps you get started by setting up a pantry that includes staples like pastas, grains, beans, tuna, anchovies, canned tomatoes, eggs, bacon, cream, and butter. This hardly sounds like denial and Bittman points out that the bacon is used as a condiment, as the others create flavorful bases for the dishes.

And following through, their are no chapters on meat, poultry, or fish, which are instead distributed throughout the book, just as they should be in your cooking.

So whether you’re thinking about your wallet or your waistline, Bittman’s latest book will make you a better, more intuitive cook and will give you a new appreciation for actual food.

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About Appetite for Books

read, cook, eat, repeat
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One Response to The Food Matters Cookbook

  1. Pingback: Bittman in DC « NotionsCapital

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