Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Go Fresh {a Blogging for Books review}

I love cookbooks.  And I love cookbooks that help me make better use of the fresh produce that comes into my house by way of Bountiful Baskets and other places.

I also love to make delicious, healthy food for my family.

So Go Fresh: A Heart-Healthy Cookbook with Shopping and Storage Tips seemed like a no-brainer.   A cookbook put out by the American Heart Association, with yummy produce on the cover has to be a winner.

The publisher's description says this:

The more you cook at home, with a focus on fresh ingredients, the easier it is to achieve a heart-healthy lifestyle.

Making meals with fresh ingredients is not only healthy and flavorful but also fast and easy with Go Fresh. The American Heart Association offers more than 250 recipes in this cookbook, inspiring you to bring nutritious and wholesome ingredients into your kitchen. Enjoy full-flavored favorites—all made from scratch, made healthy, and made fresh—including:
· Cauliflower-Carrot Soup
· Blueberry-Walnut Chicken Salad
· Blackened Fish with Crisp Kale and Creamy Lemon Sauce
· Rosemary-Peach Chicken Kebabs with Orange Glaze
· Tomato-Basil Pork Tenderloin
· Butternut Squash Pasta
· Dark Cherry and Apple Crumble

In the book, you’ll also find Healthy Swaps for substituting seasonal fruits and vegetables in delicious new ways, Shop & Store tips for making the most of your trips to the market and what you buy, and Tips, Tricks & Timesavers for reducing prep time and getting meals on the table faster.
My take?  I love that there are more than 250 recipes in here, and they cover all kinds of types of dishes.  Most are fairly easy to prepare, and there is a definitely lack of ingredients like Cream of Something Soup.  I really love that.

Now, I did struggle to find many recipes that would work for my family.  I rarely purchase produce in the grocery store, getting almost everything through Bountiful Baskets.  That means I don't have a lot of control over precisely what comes into the house.  As you can tell from the recipes above, quite a few of the recipes end up combining produce -- cherries and apples, kale and lemon, peach and orange.  Just to name a couple from the recipes above.

That probably isn't an issue for most people though.

I did find some recipes to try out, and we had fantastic results.  Like last night, we had Chicken Gumbo.  Yummy.  Bell peppers, onions, tomatoes and garlic -- those were the fresh ingredients.  Well, it called for fresh parsley too, but I subbed dried stuff there. 

The directions were easy to follow, and the results were delicious.

One truly great thing about this cookbook is the appendices at the back though.  Charts with suggestions for where to store various products, and how long you can keep it there makes up the first appendix.  There are also charts with cooking times for various produce items.  Possibly my favorite is Appendix C, which gives ingredient equivalents...  like:

1 pound green beans = 3 to 3 1/2 cups whole and trimmed = 3 cups sliced

Great book, I'm glad I have it, and I am going to make a point to check the glossary after getting my Friday night baskets.

Disclaimer: I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review.

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