Brain food?

November 19, 2008

dsc006521What’s 11 lbs (5 kg) and black and white and silver all over? Heston Blumenthal’s The Big Fat Duck Cookbook!

Word on the street is that no serious foodie should be without this impressive tome. I’ve just got my hands on a copy. It cost $275! (or $25 per pound if you like to think about things in those terms.) Unfortunately, I’ve no time to sit down and take it all in with my eyes this week. Instead I’m going to keep this book on my head, hoping that the info and images somehow sink into my brain. 

I’ll be back with insightful and critical comments and comparisons to the other new books by kitchen scientists when I get a chance. In the meantime, send me referrals for good chiropractors.  (My neck is really sore for some reason).  Also, if you have any spare hair brushes around, send them over to me, too – now that I can see the back of my head, it’s obvious that I need to take my grooming up a notch!


Has anyone else had a chance to crack this baby open? If so, tell us what you think about the book!

Two new cookbooks to fall in love with

March 6, 2008

cookbooks.jpgBook Reviews by Amy Snider, PHEc:

I’ve discovered two wonderful new books this month:

The Complete Whole Grains Cookbook, 150 Recipes for Healthy Living by Judith Finlayson (Robert Rose, 2008) is a terrific resource for those interested in cooking with whole grains. The intro is well organized with an A to Z glossary of whole grains; I was pleasantly surprised that each description is accompanied by a photo of the grain in its dry state—wonderful help if you shop at the bulk store.

Other helpful information in the book includes culinary uses, buying and storage info, cooking instructions for each grain in its various forms and good nutritional profiles. Truly, Finlayson delivers a wealth of information that you can keep at your fingertips.

In addition, there are 150 recipes ranging from baked goods to entrees, sides and even sweets. The recipe format is approachable and easy to read, and many of the recipes provide grain variations, making this cookbook even more flexible for the home cook. Anyone interested in learning more about using whole grains will benefit from adding this wholesome volume to their cookbook library.

On the flipside, Everyday Grain-Free Gourmet (Whitecap Books 2008) is worth a read by anyone who suffers from celiac disease. This second book from authors Jodi Bager and Jenny Lass adheres to a modern version of the “Specific Carbohydrate Diet” (SCD).

SCD was developed by Dr. Sidney Haas; after three years on his regime he found that 80 per cent of the children he treated were cured and could eat normally. Researchers and the celiac community are reassessing the benefits Haas’ methods of controlling intestinal symptoms. More research is needed but physicians are encouraged by early positive results not only with celiac disease but other conditions such as Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and irritable bowel syndrome.

This book contains many recipes for wheat-free versions of favourite grain-based foods such as crepes, muffins, biscuits, crackers and even spaghetti and meatballs.