I want the perfect cookbook. You know, the kind of book that seems to respond to you, Siri-like, after requests such as “Find me a gluten-free muffin that uses whole grains” or “Give me a dinner recipe with max nutrition and flavor that happens to be dairy free.” I want a cookbook I can recommend to all of my patients; those with allergies, those with kids, those that are used to eating fast food but are learning to cook for the first time. I want one cookbook (just one!) that seems to magically cater to just about everyone’s health needs and deliver awesome taste with maximum nutrition. As a dietitian, I can always find some reason to not like a recipe or cookbook. Too much white flour! Not diabetes-friendly! Too tentative with the spices! Where’s the mineral-rich seaweed!?!
Okay, it’s a tall order. I know.
However, I think I’ve finally found my book. Alissa Segersten and Tom Malterre MS, CN are a Bastyr-educated husband and wife nutrition duo whose last book The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook I could barely put down. Now they have published their second book Nourishing Meals: Healthy Gluten-Free Recipes for the Whole Family. Like their first, this cookbook is full of nutrient dense, allergen-free meals that I would recommend to my grandma as quickly as I’d recommend to an 18 year-old newly diagnosed with celiac disease. It is (dare I say it?) the perfect cookbook for everyday healthy eating. We’re talking incredible nutrition here, people. I don’t think you could pack more nutrition or flavor into each one of these recipes.
The first portion of the book is devoted to educating the reader on topics such as probiotics, organics, GMO’s and food allergies. I found this section helpful, as it answers so many of the questions I hear every day from patients in my nutrition practice. They explain that these recipes are meant to be the answer to a world of pro-inflammatory foods, and the ingredients chosen are maximized to protect and heal our bodies from a toxic environment. The second part of the book is devoted to the recipes. There are soups, breads, vegetables, smoothies, and desserts – everything you’d need to plan a week of healing meals.
After reading about all of this wonderful, healthy soul-nourishing food, I had to break out my mixing spoons and give something a try. On a cool fall day, there was one recipe that was calling out to me: Pumpkin Scones.
Pumpkin is a wonderful vegetable, full of healthy carotenoids, fiber and low glycemic carbohydrate. Mixed with spices (antioxidant-rich), sorghum and rice flour(gluten free), chia seeds (high in omega-3’s) and coconut sugar (low glycemic), these scones seemed just about perfect.
The recipe called for organic palm shortening to make it dairy free, but since I have no problem with dairy I used butter instead, and cut it into the flour and spices just like a pie crust. After cutting the fat into the flour, you add your choice of milk along with the pureed pumpkin and form the mass of dough into a round, cutting it into triangles.
I brushed each scone’s top with a little milk, and then sprinkled them all with turbinado sugar for a pretty finish.
How did they taste? Well, the guests at my brunch kept reaching for one after another until they were gone. When I told them they were gluten free, they were all amazed the scones were so light and flavorful. Warm, spicy and elegant, they were perfect with hot coffee on a rainy afternoon.
Want to win a copy of this power foods cookbook? We’d love you to have one too! Leave a comment on this post answering the question “What is your favorite go-to meal on a chilly fall day?” In one week, we will pick two winners at random and they will receive a free autographed copy of Nourishing Meals. You have until October 30th at midnight to enter. Good luck and happy cooking!
Christine Weiss MS, RD is a dietitian and Bastyr University graduate who counsels people dealing with food allergies, diabetes and digestive issues. She enjoys working with Zing Bars to raise awareness about healthy living through online media. She can be found at Eating It Up online.
Sweepstakes Rules and Regulations: No purchase necessary. Purchase will not improve your chances of winning. Method of entry is leaving a comment on this blog post. One entry allowed per person. Sweepstakes begins Oct 23, 2012 10am PST and ends Oct 30, 2012 at midnight PST. Must be at least 18 to enter. Sponsor is Zing Bars 10522 Lake City Way NE Suite C104, Seattle, WA 98125, USA. Retail value of each prize is $24.95. Winners will be selected at random and notified by email Oct 31, 2012. A list of winner may be obtained by contacting Zing Bars. Void where prohibited.