Eating healthy has been a push in this country, not only by activists but also First Lady Michele Obama. Her influence has been in the limelight while raising consciousness in many communities and cultures. 5 Easy Steps to Healthy Cooking follows in those footsteps by providing healthy recipes.
The introduction says “This book offers simple, delicious recipes that use ingredients with a proven track record in enhancing health or offering protection from diseases. The positive health benefits of the foods used in the recipes have been well established and confirmed in trials across the world over a period of years.” After reading this excerpt, I was ready to start testing.
For the purpose of the review, we are asked to test three recipes. The first recipe I tested was “Broccoli Carrot Slaw with Cranberries and Sunflower Seeds.” The dressing was made with Greek yogurt, lemon juice, agave nectar, Dijon mustard and salt. This was tossed into a combination of shredded broccoli stems, shredded carrots, chopped green onions and dried cranberries. It is suggested to chill in the fridge for up to 2 hours. The sunflower seeds are sprinkled on top just before eating. Served with a crusty roll, this made a great lunch. It’s simple to make and nutritious as well.
The second recipe I tested was “Pineapple Mint Chicken.” The cubed chicken breasts were sprinkled with a combination of ground cardamom, lemon zest, salt and pepper. The next step was to cook the onions in the skillet and when done adding the chicken until white all over. The pineapple, pineapple juice and broth were added and simmered until the chicken was cooked. Before serving, the dish was sprinkled with fresh mint. I served this dish with brown rice. What a delightful dinner dish! The sauce was slightly sweet from the pineapple and the chicken pieces were tender. The cardamom added a distinct flavor that was very pleasant. I’ll be making this dish again.
The third recipe I tested was “Asparagus Penne with Goat Cheese.” I used gluten-free penne as a substitute with great results when I added to it softened red onion, asparagus pieces, hot pepper flakes, lemon zest, lemon juice, crumbled goat cheese and gradated Romano cheese. The dish was pungent from the lemon juice, yet delicate with goat cheese. The dish was wonderful; very tasty and palatable. I added a side green salad making a light dinner on a hot day.
Scatted throughout 5 Easy Steps to Healthy Cooking are blocks with “Healthy Know-How” and “Health Note.” Many of the recipes have text as well as tips and “nutrients per serving” charts. The beginning of the book gives common nutrition terms, explains nutrient analysis, and suggests ingredients for healthy cooking.
I commend Camilla V. Saulsbury in taking the time and making the effort to compile this cookbook. With focus on healthier eating, I recommend it to anyone that wants to make changes in their diet to include natural, chemical-free foods. Wellness is the key to longevity and it comes from pure, clean food; this cookbook, 5 Easy Steps to Healthy Cooking, will give you the direction.
(Reviewed by Irene Watson for Reader Views)