I have been trying to put a name on our style of eating for sometime now, nothing ever really worked. I often told people we eat ‘Real Food’, minimal processed, locally sourced, sustainably grown and raised. But that is a lot to tell someone when you try to explain how you eat. I have Paleo Friends, who do it for health reasons but it seems like the wrong way for someone, like me who is healthy and just wants to eat better food for us and better managed and grown.
When I say we have cut processed foods out of our diet I mean at one time Hamburger Helper was on the menu a few nights a week, veggies were always canned and we never bought fresh fruit. (That was a bad time, Travis was in Seminary and I was working full time. I had no patients to cook good food for us even though we knew what was good for us.) It’s my Paleo friends that turned me in the right direction but it’s McGruther’s style of eating that better captures what are goals are now. Something you will notice immediately about this cookbook is it’s size. McGruther includes a variety of recipes; egg, fish, fruit, veggies, bread, pasta, etc. She divides the section by where you would find this food; Garden, Pasture, Range, Waters, Fields, Wild, Orchard and Larder. What I love is when she explains WHY raw and local are good, good for your health, for the land, for the plants, the animals, the community and how industrializing food has led to a decrease in nutrition and how pesticides are not only bad for our food but bad for the farmers who work the land and inhale those toxic fumes. How industrialization of the dairy industry has led to an awful system for creating veal, and that chickens aren’t meant to be kept indoors and eating grain. It helps that I agree with McGruther and believe locally sourced foods should come first, especially when food travels an average of 500 miles before getting to YOUR grocery store. (Source) Recipes include the basics from yogurt, cheese, bread, poached eggs to more elaborate meals like roasted brine chicken, short ribs, prawns and roasted tomatoes served with fresh mint. She takes you through every step of the recipe, for instance if your cooking the ‘Sherried Chicken Liver Pate with Apples and Sage’, she reminds readers to first draw the blood out of the liver with a milk soak. I have never cooked liver, I would have never known to do that. This is a hefty, paperback cookbook, with full color images and my favorite feature is the recipes start and end on the same spread. No page turning! Not sure how many of you have been in the middle of cooking something and then you turn the page for the recipe to say ‘add milk, flour and sugar’, well now you have to turn the page back to see how much milk, flour and sugar. (I hate that) So this is a HUGE + for me. At the end of the book, she includes a glossary, resources for acquiring heirloom seeds, dairy, pasture raised meats, food starters, sweeteners and even sustainably sourced seafood. I really appreciate McGruther’s reasons for eating local, raw and fresh foods and informing the world on how we too can eat like this. Now, we can’t all start doing it tomorrow but it’s an easy way to start eating right, supporting local farmers and showing appreciating for holistically managed farms and ranches near all of us!
I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.