Sheryl Crow’s new cookbook If It Makes You Healthy, co-written with her personal chef Chuck White, is a collection of healthy recipes the uses both at home and on tour. Crow changed her diet during her battle with breast cancer in 2006, and shares her healthier eating plan in this cookbook. The recipes focus on seasonal foods that are grown locally and vitamin rich. If It Makes You Healthy contains 175 recipes, cooking tips, and personal anecdotes from both Crow and White.
Keeping with the season theme, the cookbook is sectioned into two parts, which are each broken down by season. The first section is “On the Road: Spring and Summer” and the second is “In the Studio: Fall and Winter.” Each section focuses on foods that are easily found for that particular season. White offers cooking tips throughout each section, while Crow talks about eating healthy while travelling and preparing meals for her two sons.
Most of the recipes are easy to prepare, but they are not necessarily quick meals. Some of the recipes are more on the gourmet side and might sound intimidating to less experienced cooks. Some of the ingredients might be a bit unfamiliar as well. Recipes call for things like quinoa, goat cheese, truffle oil, vital wheat gluten, and purple potatoes. Even if recipes like “Five Spiced Pork Tenderloin with Sauteed Fig and Plum Sauce” sounds a little overwhelming, the detailed instructions make preparation easy. All of the preparation instructions are clear and easy to follow.
I like how this cookbook offers a wide variety of ingredients and interesting meal ideas. One of my favorites was the “Slow Cooked Salsa Chicken Tacos,” which was very easy to make and reminded me of something I might order in a restaurant. There are recipes for appetizers, soups, salads, main dishes, and desserts. All emphasize fresh and organic ingredients. I also found many of the cooking tips to be quite helpful. I learned to soak my quinoa before cooking and that Marcona almonds are naturally resistant to insects and do not require pesticides during growth.
Overall I found this cookbook to be full of very enjoyable recipes. I learned some new techniques and discovered dishes I would have never thought of having. Some of the recipes are a little complicated and contain specialty ingredients, so I would not recommend this cookbook to anyone looking for quick and easy meals. This cookbook is about exploring different types of food and adding a gourmet touch to healthy eating.