POPSUGAR Food

Super Natural Cooking for the Rest of Us

May 10 2007 - 5:58am


One of my favorite websites is 101 Cookbooks [1] by Heidi Swanson. So, when I found out that Heidi's cookbook, Super Natural Cooking [2] was finally published, I had to get my hands on a copy. I had no idea that it would become one of my most favorite cookbooks - I have even taken to reading it before bedtime - especially since it's one that's "good for me." And yet, I can't stop myself from gushing about this book, I've told so many people about it, and plan on getting a copy of it for many others. It is handsdown one of the most gorgeous cookbooks I've ever seen (and I've seen a lot of cookbooks). The beautiful photography and layout really draw you into the book, and the recipes look so delectable, if it wasn't for some of the odd ingredients, I might not have realized it was "healthy."

Designed for people who want to easily incorporate healthier, natural, whole-foods into their cooking style, Super Natural Cooking is surprisingly modern and fresh. It manages to do it without coming across as stuffy, preachy or annoyingly hippy. There are general guidelines on how to begin thinking in these terms, tips on how to stock a whole-food pantry and great definitions too. Seriously, this book is fantastic (see, gushing about it again), the recipes are great, simple and there are even substitutions for some of the harder to find ingredients. If you've always thought that healthy food meant disgusting food, this book will make you think again.

Jimmy's one of those people who hate "healthy food", so it was difficult convincing him to try something from a book called Super Natural Cooking, but once I showed him the recipe for Muhammara-Slathered Kabobs (and promised that we could use chicken instead of tofu) he was sold on the idea. The muhammara had a nice rich flavor that really brought a nice complexity to the kabobs - I've been enjoying the leftovers on chips too. I tried to find a salad to pair with it, but in the end I really wanted to try the Clemenquat Salad and so opted to make it as a starter. The celery brought a fantastic crunch to the salad and the tang from the citrus really paired well with the parmesan - I believe I just found my new spring staple.

To check out the recipes for Muhammara-Slathered Kabobs and Clemenquat Salad,

And if you need something to wash this down, I suggest trying Heidi's White Sangria [3].


Muhammara-Slathered Kabobs
Reprinted with permission from Super Natural Cooking: Five Ways to Incorporate Whole & Natural Ingredients Into Your Cooking by Heidi Swanson. Photographs by Heidi Swanson. Copyright 2007. Published by Celestial Arts.

1 tbsp red pepper flakes (or 1 small chile)
1/2 tsp ground cumin
3/4 cup toasted walnuts
1/4 cup whole-grain bread crumbs (coarse)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp pomegranate molasses (or pomegranate juice)
1/4 cup tomato paste
2-3 roasted bell peppers
1/2 to 1 cup warm water
1/2 tsp fine-grain sea salt

2 red onions (cut into 6 wedges)
3 lemons, each cut into 4 lengthwise wedges
12 ounces extra-firm tofu, cut into 12 equal-sized cubes
12 mushrooms
extra-virgin olive oil
fine-grain sea salt

Makes 6 [delicious!] kabobs.


Clemenquat Salad with Walnuts and Parmesan Shavings
Reprinted with permission from Super Natural Cooking: Five Ways to Incorporate Whole & Natural Ingredients Into Your Cooking by Heidi Swanson. Photographs by Heidi Swanson. Copyright 2007. Published by Celestial Arts.

6 or 7 clementines
7 stalks of celery, stripped of strings
10 kumquats
3 big handfuls of walnut halves, toasted
juice of 1/2 a lemon
2-3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
fine-grain sea salt
fresh ground pepper
block of parmesan cheese

Serves 4-6.


Source URL
http://www.yumsugar.com/food/Super-Natural-Cooking-Rest-Us-249249