Eat It Up! by Sherri Brooks Vinton

What’s the best way to save on your monthly grocery bill? Use up everything you can and throw as little away as possible. If you need a little help in this area, Eat It Up! comes to the rescue with produce insights, pantry tips, upcycling scraps recipes, and how to use up every bit of that whole chicken you came home with.

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It isn’t just a way to save money, though. Food waste is a growing problem everywhere, and is sometimes exemplified when there isn’t a market for the good, nutritious, and completely edible by-product food that gets discarded. For example, Vinton writes:

Cauliflower heads are plucked from the center of the plant, the abundant wreath of nutritious leaves that surround it – pounds of fresh, nutritious food – are left to rot on the ground. They’re readily available and taste great, but there’s no market for them, so they go uneaten.

Other reasons to fully utilize what you’ve got: saves time; tastes great; preserves natural resources; gives farmer’s kudos; maximizes farmland productivity. The author suggests ways to reduce food waste in the way you actually shop – by buying directly from the grower, and looking for ugly foods (seconds and misshapen produce) and ‘trash’ fish (by-catches).

Eat It Up! Overview

The book is presented in 5 different sections with each one a great source of info. What’s Up with Eating It Up chapter is the ‘why and how of reducing food waste in your home kitchen.’ Nose-to-Tail Produce is a great chapter, and in it there are lots of great tips and suggestions on how to fully use up all the produce scraps you might typically throw out. The Whole Beast helps with the concept of using up the whole animal. Rendering fat, purifying drippings, using up bones, and storing and freezing extra eggs are all covered. The Pantry section gives your last bit of jam or pickles one last use before recycling the jar. A Little Extra – Upcycling has a few recipes to use up leftovers in the refrigerator.

Using Up Every Bit From What You Already Have

While clean eating may be a great start to healthy eating, using up every bit of what we buy or harvest saves on food waste. Food waste is a chronic problem, and controlling what we toss at home is a major step in reversing that trend. Namely, eating eat up what we already have instead of throwing it out.

Watermelon rinds are a prime example in our household. We eat a ton of watermelon during the summer months (even our two boxers are watermelon lovers) and we discard all the edible rind every single time. It’s edible, but what can it be used for? Peel off the green outer skin and dice it up for chutney or pickles.

The recipe below transforms watermelon rinds into a refreshing pickle salad. Salty, sour, sweet – all these flavors blend for a great dish that goes perfect with steamed fish or grilled chicken. Delicious.

Thai Rind Salad
Yields 4
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  1. 2 cups watermelon rind, cut into matchsticks (just the white part)
  2. 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  3. 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  4. 1 teaspoon nam pla (Thai fish sauce)
  5. 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  6. Pinch of salt
  7. Pinch of granulated sugar
  8. 1/4 cup neutral oil, such as organic canola
  9. 1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded, and cut into matchsticks
  10. 1 shallot, sliced thinly, rinsed, and drained
  11. Pinch of red pepper flakes
  12. 1/4 cup chopped peanuts
  13. 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  1. Blanch the watermelon matchsticks. Drop them into a small pot of boiling water and simmer for 60 seconds. Use a slotted spoon to transfer them to a colander. Rinse under cold water. Drain, blot dry, and set aside.
  2. In a medium-size bowl, whisk the lime juice, nam pla, soy sauce, salt, and sugar until the salt and sugar are dissolved. Gradually whisk in the oil. Add the blanched watermelon rind, cucumber, shallot, and red pepper flakes. Toss to combine. Garnish with the peanuts and cilantro. Serve immediately.
Adapted from Eat It Up! by Sherri Brooks Vinton
Adapted from Eat It Up! by Sherri Brooks Vinton
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Book Info:

  • Eat It Up! by Sherri Brooks Vinton.
  • Da Capo; 2016.
  • ISBN13: 9780738218182

Disclosure: This book was provided by the publisher and any opinions are my own. Affiliate links help to support this site. 🙂

Excerpted from Eat It Up!: 150 Recipes to Use Every Bit and Enjoy Every Bite of the Food You Buy by Sherri Brooks Vinton. Copyright © 2016. Available from Da Capo Lifelong Books, an imprint of Perseus Books, LLC, a subsidiary of Hachette Book Group, Inc.



Soupelina’s Soup Cleanse by Elina Fuhrman

 Spicy Quinoa and Vegetable Chili

Elina Fuhrman created Soupelina (soup + Elina, catchy!) from recipes she created at home in an effort to help her in her fight against an aggressive form of breast cancer. Her goal with her soup company is make the world a healthier place one soup at a time.

Soupelina’s Soup Cleanse book came out at the perfect time for me. I am currently undergoing chemo therapy for an aggressive form of breast cancer myself – something called triple negative breast cancer. The more research I do, the more I discover living a plant based diet is the key to beating it back, and to prevent cancer from recurring when I do beat it.

Fuhrman’s book is more than a recipe book as she goes into finding your dosha, folk remedies, equipment and ingredients, and how to fool your cravings. There are many interviews with doctors and experts in their fields, too. And if you are familiar with cleanses, she has tips for expert cleansers.

So, What Makes a Soup So Special?

It fills as it nourishes. Her soup cleansing diet provides energy, improves digestion, reduces inflammation, and keeps you full. Fuhrman details why soup cleanses are better than raw food smoothies which primarily rely on fruits. With cooked soups, you tend to eat more veggies. Your body absorbs minerals better, and cooking vegetables will make it easier for your body to digest them.

She believes that slowly simmered organic soups can both heal the body and mind, and help restore your immune system. And while she is a proponent of cooked soups, she does dedicate an entire chapter to raw soup recipes so that you are able to do a short one-day raw cleanse.

Menus and Recipes

The recipes are all divided by types of soups: smooth blended, chunky style, broths, and raw soups (not cooked). Because she has traveled the world as a journalist, she is keen on different cultures. Fuhrman brings out exotic culinary flavors in her recipes from her travels.

Included in the book are menus to help along the way: 5-Day Soup Cleanse, 24-Hour Reset Cleanse (using raw soup recipes), and a 3-Day Boost cleanse. The seasonal menus in the book go from Spring to Winter, and all have five meals (breakfast, midmorning snack, lunch, midafternoon snack, and dinner – all soups). She even gives a list of favorite soup toppings so that each soup can be unique.

A quick flip through the recipes will tell you it’s not just an ordinary soup cookbook. All her recipes have fun names, and half the fun of preparing the recipes is reading the titles: Kale-ifornia Dreamin’; I Gotcha Kabocha Covered; A-Mung the Stars; What’s the Hurry, Melon Curry?; Lady MacBroth; and Macho Gazpacho.

This cookbook is an excellent group of recipes. The soups are all vegan, soy and nut free, and all call for organic, GMO- and gluten-free ingredients. So, even when you aren’t doing a soup cleanse, any of the recipes would incorporate well in your everyday menus.

My favorite recipe? The quinoa and vegetable chili that she cleverly names ‘It’s Chili and It’s Hot’.

It's Chili and It's Hot
Serves 6
More protein than a steak, this great-for-you chili contains quinoa giving this dish an impressive amount of B vitamins all packed into an incredibly tasty dish.
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  1. 1/2 cup red quinoa, soaked overnight
  2. 1/2 cup white quinoa, soaked overnight
  3. Extra virgin olive oil
  4. 1 onion, chopped
  5. 2 garlic cloves, minced
  6. 1 jalapeno pepper, diced
  7. 1 medium size carrot, peeled and chopped
  8. 2 celery stalks, chopped
  9. 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
  10. 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  11. 1 orange bell pepper, chopped
  12. 1 zucchini, chopped
  13. 1 cup black beans, soaked overnight and cooked
  14. 1 cup kidney beans, soaked overnight and cooked
  15. 2 diced tomatoes with juice
  16. 1 cup freshly pressed tomato juice
  17. 1 tablespoon cumin
  18. Handful of fresh oregano leaves, or 1/2 tablespoon dried
  19. Himalayan pink salt and freshly ground pepper
  20. 1 tablespoon chili powder
  21. 2 to 3 cups boiling filtered water
  22. Sliced avocado, fresh cilantro spirgs, and chopped onion, for garnish
  1. In a medium-size saucepan, boil 2 cups of water, add the quinoa, lower the heat to a simmer, and cook until the water is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Set aside.
  2. Heat a little olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat, add the onion, and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in the garlic, jalapeño, carrot, celery, peppers, and zucchini and cook until the veggies are tender, about 10 minutes.
  4. Add all the beans, tomatoes, and tomato juice, along with the cumin, oregano, salt, and black pepper. Taste before slowly adding chili powder to your desired spiciness.
  5. Add the quinoa and boiling filtered water and simmer for 30 minutes.
  6. Keep stirring and adding spices and salt until you are happy with the taste.
  7. Garnish with avocado slices, cilantro, and onion.
Adapted from Soupelina's Soup Cleanse
Adapted from Soupelina's Soup Cleanse
Sand & Succotash

Book Info:

  • Soupelina’s Soup Cleanse by Elina Fuhrman
  • De Capo; 2016
  • ISBN13: 9780738218885
  • 265 pages; hardcover; color photos throughout.

Affiliate Link Below:

Recipe and image from Soupelina’s Soup Cleanse: Plant-Based Soups and Broths to Heal Your Body, Calm Your Mind, and Transform Your Life by Elina Fuhrman. Reprinted courtesy of Da Capo Lifelong Books.

Disclosure: This book was provided by the publisher and any opinions are my own.

Salad Samurai by Terry Hope Romero

“Discover the Way of the Salad!”


There are a few reasons why I love Terry Romero’s cookbooks: engaging text, downright delicious recipes, and the fact that you don’t even have to be vegan to enjoy what she makes. It’s actually included in the name of her latest cookbook: Salad Samurai: 100 Cutting-Edge, Ultra-Hearty, Easy-to-Make Salads You Don’t Have to be Vegan to Love. Salad Samuri is no change from her previous works (Veganonmicon; Vegan Pie in the Sky) in that there is fun for everyone.

Salad Samurai: Salads by the Seasons

Romero dives right into salads by talking about ‘The Salad Samurai Code’ with tofu pressing, portability and storing, ingredients, and seasonality. This leads the reader to see how she breaks down her book, mainly by the seasons. And don’t think salads are strictly for the long, hot, dog-days of summer. Winter and fall recipes include Smokehouse Chickpeas ‘n Greens Salad, Sesame Noodles in the Dojo, and Seitan Steak Salad with Green Peppercorn Dressing, which are hearty for anytime of the year.

Meal planning is important but pretty dull, and Romero attempts to make it fun (She succeeds! Who likes to menu plan? My hand will remain down!), and provides tips on how long as a general rule certain components should be kept with a plan for tackling salad menu planning.

Fun & Resourceful Supporting Recipes

Ok, her recipes are great, but all the supporting recipes are what makes the book gold and a valuable kitchen resource for me. I love this book for all of the separate supporting recipes that I can mix and match, and totally beef up my old, tired favorites – her dressings and ‘seriously hearty salad toppings’ are the bomb: Pickled Red Grapes and Roasted Hemp Seed Parmesan are keeps for more things than simply salads.

Here is a tempeh recipe to try from the book. The accompanying Roasted Hemp Seed Parmesan (look for the recipe in the book) is a supporting recipe, and an example of what makes this book gold.



Pepperoni Tempeh Pizza Salad
Serves 2
If a layer of pizza is the foundation of your food pyramid, toss this zesty salad into your well-balanced diet: “pepperoni” tempeh nuggets, fresh basil, olives, onions, and a vibrant pizza “sauce” dressing are served up not on a crust but on a robust blend of spinach and arugula. Guilt-free and gluten-free, it will leave you feeling great about having another slice, er, salad bowl. Perfect as is, but decadent with a dusting of Roasted Hemp Seed Parmesan (page 35 in the book).
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Total Time
30 min
Total Time
30 min
  1. 1 (14-ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes with basil and garlic (do not drain)
  2. 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  3. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  4. 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  5. 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  6. 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  7. 1/2 teaspoon salt
Pepperoni Tempeh Bites
  1. 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
  2. 2 tablespoons tamari
  3. 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  4. 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  5. 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  6. 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  7. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  8. 8 ounces tempeh, diced into 1?4-inch cubes
For the Salad
  1. 2 cups baby arugula
  2. 3 cups spinach
  3. 1 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves, torn into bite-size pieces
  4. 1 cup plain toasted pita chips or Classic Croutons (page 39)
  5. 1/2 cup pitted, chopped Kalamata olives
  6. 1 sweet onion, sliced into half-moons
  7. 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  8. 2 tablespoons Roasted Hemp Seed Parmesan (page 35)
  1. Set aside 1/2 cup of the diced tomatoes for the tempeh bites. Add the remaining tomatoes and the rest of the dressing ingredients to a blender and pulse until smooth. Chill the dressing until ready to use.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the reserved 1/2 cup diced tomatoes with the paprika, tamari, vinegar, garlic powder, fennel, and black pepper. Preheat the olive oil in a cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add the tempeh and sauté for 4 to 5 minutes, until browned, then stir in the marinade. Fry for another 3 minutes, until the tempeh is sizzling and most of the marinade is absorbed, then remove from the heat.
  3. Add to a large mixing bowl the greens, basil, pita, olives, onions, and oregano. Pour over half the dressing and toss to combine. Divide the salad into serving bowls, top with the tempeh, and serve with the remaining dressing. Sprinkle each serving with hemp parm.
  1. Prepare the dressing up to 2 days in advance and keep chilled in a tightly covered container. You can also make the tempeh the night before and gently warm it before assembling the salad.
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Book Information:

Disclosure: This book was provided by the publisher (thank you!) and any opinions are my own.

Recipe and image from Salad Samurai: 100 Cutting-Edge, Ultra-Hearty, Easy-to-Make Salads You Don’t Have to Be Vegan to Love by Terry Hope Romero. Reprinted courtesy of Da Capo Lifelong Books.

Welcoming Kitchen by Kim Lutz: CBOW

Cookbook of the Week

Cookbook author Kim Lutz has created recipes that are free from common food allergens, and also vegan and gluten-free. Recipes are family friendly.

For people with any kind of food allergy, a simple chore such as grocery shopping can be a challenge. Those looking for allergen-free and gluten-free recipes and meal planning ideas, can find it in Welcoming Kitchen, which also gives helpful pantry stocking solutions. Menus are included for all occasions, with simple, healthy recipes.

Amazon: Welcoming Kitchen: 200 Delicious Allergen- & Gluten-Free Vegan Recipes

Kim Lutz is a cookbook author and runs the blog, Welcoming Kitchen, with her co-author, Megan Hart, a registered dietitian. All recipes they post there are free of the eight common allergens (dairy, eggs, soy, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, fish, and shellfish), gluten-free, and also vegan. In her book of the same name, Lutz shares the story of discovering her son had a food allergy a couple of months after his birth. Because she was still nursing him, she had to find foods she could eat and cook with that agreed with her son: healthy and good tasting yet allergen-free.

Pantry Basics and Shopping Tips

Stocking up on pantry basics should always start with checking the labels. Lutz recommends that labels should always be checked each time before purchasing, even if the canned or dried goods are home favorites as manufacturers may change their recipe for a product. Some items may have hidden sources of gluten, wheat, soy, and dairy products. Choosing a product that is specifically dairy-free, gluten-free, or even tree nut-free, will help eliminate any problems once they are brought home.

Lutz’s ingredients in her recipes include items probably already in your pantry. One of her goals was to create recipes with ingredients that were accessible to most readers. Fresh fruits and vegetables, applesauce, pure maple syrup, grains and rice, dried beans, xanthan gum, and vegetable broths, are all relatively easy to find at the store, and make up the bulk of her recipes.

Welcoming Kitchen Cookbook Overview and Chapters

Welcoming Kitchen has 10 recipe chapters, in addition to a listing of different menus created from the recipes, including a cocktail party, holiday dinner, and game day buffet. The recipes cover the basics: Appetizers & Snacks; Salads & Soups; Lunches & Dinners; Grains & Beans; Vegetables; Pasta Options; Sidekicks; Muffins & Breads, Breakfasts; and Desserts. The helpful resource list in the back includes organizations with their contact information that specialize in food sensitivity.

Recommended for Those with Food Allergies

Lutz’s goal to find foods that could ‘welcome’ everyone in the kitchen, no matter what allergy or dietary restriction, was successful. Readers who are vegans, or lactose-intolerant, or even if they have a food allergy, can all cook tasty meals from the same book. Since most recipes include ingredients found easily, anyone wanting to incorporate low-fat and healthy foods into family meals would find this book ‘welcoming’ in their kitchen.

Artichoke Fritters
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  1. 1 15-ounce can artichoke hearts
  2. 1 cup cornmeal
  3. 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic pepper
  4. 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  5. 1/2 cup rice milk
  6. Canola oil
  1. Drain and thoroughly rinse artichoke hearts, and then drain again. Slice artichoke hearts in half.
  2. In a shallow bowl, combine cornmeal, garlic pepper, and cayenne if using. 3. Pour rice milk into another bowl.
  3. Heat oil in a medium skillet until shimmery.
  4. Dip artichokes, one at a time, into the rice milk, then into the cornmeal mixture. Use a spoon to ensure that all of the artichoke is covered.
  5. Fry the artichokes until golden on one side, and then turn to cook on the other side. Place cooked artichokes onto a paper-towel-lined plate to drain.
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Book Information

  • Welcoming Kitchen: 200 Delicious Allergen- & Gluten-Free Vegan Recipes; by Kim Lutz
  • Sterling, 2011
  • ISBN13: 9781402771859
  • Hardcover with Jacket, 256 pages

Recipe reprinted with permission from Sterling Publishing Co., Inc.

Disclosure: This book was provided by the publisher and any opinions are my own.

Whatever Happened to Sunday Dinner? Lisa Caponigri Has an Answer

I’m a sucker for old recipes, and when a new cookbook’s inside cover is littered with well-used hand written ones, I feel I’ve struck gold. Whatever Happened to Sunday Dinner (Lisa Caponigri, 2012, ISBN 9781402784828) was written with the author’s belief that “the family that eats together stays together.” For families with busy schedules and uninspiring recipe boxes, the book makes it easy to create great tasting and complete dinners.

Unlike cookbooks that divide the recipes by course – like a pasta chapter or dessert chapter – it is separated by week. Each week contains everything needed for a complete dinner: an antipasto to pass at the table, a primo (first course such as a pasta, risotto or a soup), a secondo (the main course) which includes a side dish (usually a vegetable), and of course, dessert. The recipes can be made and planned as laid out or they can be switched around to revolve around farmer’s markets or grocery aisle specials.

While the recipes are simple and resulting dishes well-flavored, and the photographs make them beg to be tried, the underlying theme is an important one. Family dinners can be done, and aren’t as difficult as it may seem. Caponigri’s introduction at the beginning and her family history at the end illustrate the importance of Sunday family dinners at her house: how it impacted her as a child, and how it positively affects her children and her children’s friends. She stresses that dinners should be stress-free and can be prepped ahead of time. The dinner combinations she’s put together are relatively easy to put together.

Caponigri includes her tips for making a commitment to Sunday dinner doable in any household:

  1. Make Sunday dinner a priority – Schedule it! Talk about it! Make it clear to everyone (including all the adults) that Sunday dinner is special and reserved for family conversation at the table through dinner.
  2. Plan ahead – Similar to any weekly menu or shopping list, plan what you are going to do before hand which makes execution simple.
  3. Decide the menu and assign the chores together – Getting the whole clan on board will make it much easier to finish, but more importantly, it gets the whole family in the kitchen cooking together, at least one night a week.
  4. Keep the menu simple – Recipes don’t need fifty ingredients to taste good. Caponigri’s recipes mainly consist of standard pantry items with a few shopping list ingredients. Incorporate your family favorites with her menu elements, like a pasta dish or side dish, to make it uber-family friendly.
  5. Let go and have fun – Having everyone together should be the highlight of the week, and a time for the family to connect and have fun. Sunday dinner shouldn’t be stressful, and if it starts to feel that way, simplify the menu and delegate more giving everyone in the house something to contribute for the dinner meal.

I enjoyed Caponigri’s recipes and the color photos, but in the end Whatever Happened to Sunday Dinner? was a reminder for our family to continue cooking together, no matter how busy our work/school/sports/scouting lives may be. Our kids have chefs as parents, and I know when they are all grown up they will care little of our job titles and what they did in school, but remember all those meals we stood around the kitchen counters creating together.


For a sample recipe, here is the Pomodori Arrostiti con Aglio – Roasted Plum Tomatoes with Garlic, used with permission by the publisher. It’s a good representative of the type of recipes found in the cookbook: simple, delicious, and adaptable to other family menus.

Pomodori Arrostiti con Aglio - Roasted Plum Tomatoes with Garlic
This dish is all about fresh flavors—ripe tomatoes, garlic, oregano, bay, and olive oil. Roasting accentuates the sweetness of the tomatoes and transforms the garlic cloves into savory softness—diners squeeze the cloves out onto slices of bread to spread.
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  1. 8 plum tomatoes, cut in half
  2. 12 cloves garlic, left unpeeled
  3. 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  4. 3 bay leaves
  5. Freshly ground black pepper
  6. Sea salt
  7. 3 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves
  8. Italian bread for serving
  1. Preheat the oven to 450F.
  2. Select a baking dish that will hold all the tomatoes snugly in a single layer.
  3. Place the tomatoes, cut side up, in the dish and push the garlic cloves between them.
  4. Brush the tomatoes with the olive oil, add the bay leaves, and sprinkle pepper over the top.
  5. Bake until the tomatoes have softened and are sizzling in the pan; they should be charred around the edges.
  6. Season the tomatoes with sea salt and a little more pepper, if you like.
  7. Sprinkle with the oregano and serve with bread (your guests and family squeeze the roasted garlic cloves out of their wrappers onto the bread for spreading).
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Author Information:

Book Information:

Disclosure: This book was provided by the publisher and any opinions are my own.

Pickled Pantry by Andrea Chesman

Cookbook of the Week: Pickled Pantry

Cookbook Trailer and Publisher Description:

The Pickled Pantry is a fresh, contemporary guide to pickling the abundance. The book provides a whopping 185 recipes for putting up everything from apples to zucchini. There are techniques for making fermented pickles, salsas, relishes, and chutneys; freezer and refrigerator options; and recipes that feature pickles front and center. There are instructions for single jars and small batches, as well as ways to preserve a bumper crop of produce. 

Chesman’s recipes are as diverse as they are delicious – from Korean kimchi to French jardiniere, from chutneys to chow chow, and from classic bread and butters to rosemary onion confit, Italian tomato relish, and even pickled watermelon rinds. 

Beginners will prize the simple, low-fuss methods and Chesman’s calm guidance through the basics, while dedicated home canners will appreciate the large-batch recipes and the variety of flavors.

I really liked Pickled Pantry. My kids are pickle lovers and Chesman’s approach to pickling and instruction on canning made it easy to produce great tasting pickles with the kids – one jar at a time, too. You’ll find everything from Sauerkraut, Salt-Cured Dilly Beans, and traditional favorite dill and sweet pickled cucumbers. The book begins with basic pickles and progresses with complexity. Ethnic and classic American dishes are presented such as Kimchi (fermented cabbage) to Chow Chow (classic Southern condiment).

Book chapters include: All About Pickling; Fermented Pickles; Single Jar Pickles; Big-Harvest Fresh-Pack Pickles; Salsas, Relishes, Chutneys; Refrigerator and Freezer Pickles; and Recipes for Enjoying Homemade Pickles. The color illustrations and multiple charts make it an enjoyable book to flip through.

The different profiles throughout the book made Pickled Pantry more than just a collection of pickle recipes. Chesman provides great canning tips such as knowing which end is the blossom end of a cucumber (which should ultimately be trimmed as it contains enzymes that can soften pickles). If you get confused which one it is, Chesman cures the dilemma by simply stating “Can’t tell which is which? Slice both ends off.” That attitude in the book makes it a great read for both first-time canners and more experienced ones, too.

Book Information:

Disclosure: This eARC was provided by the publisher and any opinions are my own.

For Cod and Country: CBOW

Barton Seaver in his book, For Cod and Country, cooks up delicious, sustainable food by promoting smaller fish portions and healthy amounts of vegetables.


Cookbook of the Week: For Cod and Country: Simple, Delicious, Sustainable Cooking by Barton Seaver

Barton Seaver practices what he talks about with fish sustainability and cooking: he’s a National Geographic fellow increasing awareness to ocean issues and is a practicing chef. His dedication to both industries has made For Cod and Country more than a cookbook. It provides tips for sustainability through portion size, using fish that are seasonally caught, and encourages the use of fresh produce.

Seaver uses the term ‘eat low on the food chain.’ Smaller fish are lest costly to purchase and are able to replenish themselves at a faster rate than larger predatory species. If there is a fish species you especially enjoy that is on a seafood watch list, he gives several seafood substitutions. For example, instead of Chilean sea bass, try sablefish, Pacific halibut, a farm-raised sturgeon instead. Another reason to steer away from larger fish is the levels of mercury and other toxins are considerably higher in larger fish. As the food chain travels up, so does the amount of toxins that are absorbed in the fish.

Descriptions of many sustainable fish and seafood species are listed. Seaver gives information on where they are found, why they are good choices, and tips for cooking them. There are numerous color pictures throughout the book. Techniques are sprinkled through the different sections such as cutting raw fish, shucking oysters, and shopping for fish.

For Cod and Country Cookbook Chapters and Overview

The recipes are separated by season: Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter, and A Separate Season. Each chapter features fish caught in those seasons, and the fifth season incorporates farm-raised fish and seafood. The Techniques section has useful information on different cooking methods and brining fish. For those interested in smoking fish, Seaver goes in depth on both methods: cold and hot smoking. There are three fish brining recipes for hot smoking as well as three rub recipes for cold smoking.

Recommended For People Interested In Basic Fish Cookery AND Sustainability

If there is one topic that is highlighted throughout For Cod and Country, that is to choose fish lower on the food chain and eat it in smaller portions. Categorizing the recipes by seasons helps to illustrate that fisheries also have seasons. All recipes are either photographed in the finished stage or show you how to do it. Seaver’s descriptions of the different catch methods is valuable to those who are interested in responsible fishing, and teaches which methods are best at reducing bycatch, anything not targeted by fishermen.  Enjoy the recipe for mahi mahi below.


Mahi Mahi with Grilled Peaches and Buttermilk-Mint Dressing
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  1. 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  2. 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  3. 1 teaspoon sugar
  4. 1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
  5. Juice of 1/2 lemon
  6. Leaves from 8 sprigs fresh mint, chopped
  7. Salt
  8. Four 5-ounce portions mahi mahi fillet
  9. 4 ripe peaches, cut in half and pitted
  10. 1 pound arugula leaves
  11. 1 small red onion, very thinly sliced
  1. For the dressing, whisk together the olive oil, mustard, sugar, buttermilk, lemon juice, and mint. Season to taste with salt and allow to sit at room temperature for at least 20 minutes and up to two hours so that the flavors combine.
  2. For the mahi mahi, preheat a grill using charcoal or gas heat. Place the fillets on the coolest part of the grill and the peach halves over the hot part of the fire. Cover the grill and cook about 15-20 minutes for fillets 1 1/2 inches thick. The fish should be cooked through but only just beginning to flake when gentle pressure is applied. At that point, the peaches will be slightly charred and beginning to soften.
  3. To serve, mix the arugula and onion, toss with two-thirds of the dressing, and season with salt. Divide the salad among 4 plates. Place 2 grilled peach halves next to the salad. Place a piece of mahi mahi on top of the salad and spoon the remaining dressing over it. Serve immediately.
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Book Information

  • For Cod and Country: Simple Delicious Sustainable Cooking; by Barton Seaver
  • Sterling Epicure, 2011
  • ISBN13: 9781402777752
  • Hardcover with Jacket, 304 pages; Full Color – over 200 photos

Recipe adapted and reprinted with permission from Sterling Publishing Co., Inc.

Disclosure: This book was provided by the publisher and any opinions are my own.