Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Farm-to-Table Movement (and the books that took me there) by Val Curtis

This is the time of year when it is easier to acquire fresh produce. By fresh, I mean from the farm or, better yet, from your yard.

Whether you are starting small and enjoying fresh herbs or harvesting enough cucumbers to have a winter's store of pickles, you know that the homegrown taste is incomparable to what you would buy in a store.

A few years back, I was a member of a local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) and the produce was FLOWING. Often I caught myself thinking, "What am I going to make with this?" and as a result, I fell into a group of cookbooks that inspired fresh, seasonal recipes.

In addition, I began reading about the food movement, finding out how to save money while eating well and making my own bread.

Here is a collection of the books and cookbooks that led me through this journey.

Food for Thought:
1. Ominvore's Dilemma and Food Rules by Michael Pollen

2. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver (great recipes in here, too!)

3. Real Food by Nina Planck

 4.  Moosewood Cookbook and Pretend Soup (for kids) by Mollie Katzen

 5. The New Laurel's Kitchen by Laurel Robertson

 6. Foster's Market Cookbook by Sara Foster

 7. How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman

 8. Practical Paleo: A Customized Approach to Health and a Whole-Foods Lifestyle by Dianne Sanfilippo

 9. The Bread Bible: 300 Favorite Recipes by Beth Hensperger

10.  The New Mediterranean Diet Cookbook: A Delicious Alternative for Lifelong Health by Nancy Harmon Jenkins and Marion Nestle

What are your favorite fresh foods cookbooks?

Val Curtis is the CEO and Co-founder of Bonbon Break and the creator of the Food & Garden site Mental Chew and Val Unplugged. She is a former middle school science teacher who put her career on hold to be at home with her son and daughter in the Pacific Northwest.

When Val breaks away from her keyboard, she enjoys gardening, cooking, hiking, camping, tidepooling, sailing and potlucks. She gets a kick out of combing the web for recipes and then adapting them for her husband, family and friends to enjoy. Through her love of organic cooking, she became interested in growing her own produce and Mental Chew gave her the chance to combine her love of food and gardening as well as explore her new passion for photography. Follow her on Twitter.

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