Sunday, January 9, 2011

Review: The 10 Things You Need to Eat

Summary: THE 10 THINGS YOU NEED TO EAT AND 100 WAYS TO PREPARE THEM pairs New York Times health columnist Anahad O′Connor with foodie Dave Lieberman to present the 10 foods that should be on your plate, including the scientific research on why they will make you healthier and easy-to-follow recipes to savor them at every meal. Each chapter will be devoted to a new food from the list -- cinnamon, beets, quinoa, nuts, wild salmon, berries, tomatoes, spinach, avocado, cabbage and some honorable mentions, including pomegranate, turmeric, Sicilian wine and more -- which have been proven to help prevent early onset of aging, cancer, or general fatigue, among other health benefits.

Anahad and Dave, who met when they were roommates at Yale, will bring a young, fun voice to this book. With their help, readers will not only be inspired to cook up entire meals - from appetizers to desserts - chock full of the 10 things you need to eat, but they will also become more informed and aware of the food that they choose to put on their tables. This cookbook also sets itself apart form other health cookbooks on the market because of this dual voice and fresh package, including illustrations. 

Based on the hugely popular and widely shared New York Times article on this subject, THE 10 THINGS YOU NEED TO EAT AND 100 WAYS TO PREPARE THEM is sure to appeal to foodies, health nuts, novice cooks, and people who simply enjoy healthy living.-- William Morrow

I thought it was an appropriate time of the year to review THE 10 THINGS YOU NEED TO EAT: AND MORE THAN 100 EASY AND DELICIOUS WAYS TO PREPARE THEM by Dave Lieberman and Anahad O'Connor. After being a total piggy during the holidays and allowing myself to gain way too much weight, I've decided that one of my resolutions in 2011 is to eat healthier. In addition, I have recently started to freak out that my family just doesn't eat all that well. We are always rushing from play practice to dance to soccer to karate to piano lessons, and I just feel like we eat way too much junk. I'm kind of on a mission to get us eating healthier meals, and I thought this cookbook might be a great way to start.

Now being that THE 10 THINGS YOU NEED TO EAT sounds like a very healthy cookbook, I wasn't exactly expecting to be wowed by the recipes. In fact, if I'm being honest, I wasn't even sure I wanted to know what "ten healthy foods" I should be eating. However, I didn't think the list was too intimidating, and many of the runners-up are food that I love like cinnamon! Furthermore, I actually found myself marking quite a few recipes to try -- many of which our entire family could eat even with Booking Son's food allergies.

Just in case you're interested the top 10 foods are: tomatoes, avocados, beets, spinach, quinoa, lentils, cabbage, super fish, nuts and berries. As it stands right now, my family isn't doing a very good job eating any of these food except for berries. Each chapter in the cook offers a wide range of recipes for each top 10 food. There are breakfast items, appetizers, soups and salads, main dishes, smoothies, and even a few desserts (like Chocolate Avocado Mousse and Chocolate Beet Mini-Cakes.) In addition, there are recipes from many different ethnicities including Greek, Italian, Mexican, Spanish, and Indian. I was pleasantly surprised by the range of recipes in this cookbook.

Besides having lots of healthy recipes, another thing I really liked about THE 10 THINGS YOU NEED TO EAT was that the recipes seemed to be easy. Like many of you, my schedule just doesn't allow for meals that take a long time to prepare. As I was looking through this cookbook, I realized that it really doesn't take that much longer to make a healthy meal than an unhealthy one. I just need to be more organized with meal planning and have the ingredients on hand. (Right now, I only have spinach and berries in my refrigerator and some cans of tomatoes in my pantry; and often times, I don't even have that much!)

In addition, THE 10 THINGS YOU NEED TO EAT also has loads of health and cooking tips. There is plenty of information on the benefits of these 10 foods as well as the runners up and honorable mentions. I found that the cookbook is very readable -- with clear and concise descriptions of the health benefits and research that went into selecting these foods. There are also many tips about how to cook and even how to keep these products stored so that they last longer. THE 10 THINGS YOU NEED TO EAT had much more than I was expecting when I first picked it up!

As I mentioned earlier, there are a lot of recipes that I want to try. However, one that I know we'll eat because it's simple and tasty is Dave's Marinara. It only has six ingredients and I almost always have them on hand! It only takes about a half hour to cook, and I can even make it ahead of time and reheat.

Dave's Marinara

1/4 cup olive oil
4 large garlic cloves, very finely chopped
One 26-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook just until fragrant, no longer than a minute. Add the tomatoes, 1 cup water, oregano, sugar, and salt. Bring the mixture to a simmer, reduce the heat to medium, and simmer for 15 minutes longer.

Thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy of this cookbook.
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bermudaonion said...

We eat a lot of tomatoes, nuts and berries and some spinach and cabbage, so we're not doing so hot either. I think Carl would have trouble giving up meat! Good luck with your healthy eating mission.

rhapsodyinbooks said...

I love quinoa and have a giant thing of it I got from Costco. But I tend to avoid it because somehow I always manage to spill it, and all those little tiny pieces go all over the place!

Beth S. said...

This sounds like a good one! I'm going to have to check it out!

Beth F said...

We do eat fairly healthy and eat meat only a few times a week. That sauce looks great -- very much like the Frank Sinatra sauce I wrote about last summer.

Of the foods, super fish is where we fail. I just don't get to Wegman's enough to buy fish. Yeah, I know (and I know you know), Wegman's isn't *that* far away, but I just don't seem to go out that way very often.

I'm going to pick up this cookbook on your recommendation.

Rebecca Rasmussen said...

My husband is a newly minted vegetarian so I am always looking for great healthy cookbooks! I am totally on a health mission! Thank you, Julie. xox

Margot said...

One of my resolutions this year is to eat more fish so I'm glad to see it is on this list. I need ideas of how to fish all this fish so I'm going to see if my library has a copy.

Shelly B said...

The only one on that list I hadn't heard of is quinoa...will have to check it out. We do try to eat healthy because my husband is a diabetic.

Unknown said...

You have to read "The Cure," by Dr. Timothy Brantley. It will definitely make you eat better. It's a life changing book. It changed my life and cured me from an undiagnosed / misdiagnosed ailment. I am now so healthy and feel so much better! It's not a boring read either - I think you will like it.

Jenny Girl said...

Sounds intersting! I do eat tomatoes, spinach, lentils and nuts, but I must work on the others. I have great lentil soup recipe if you are interested...seriously. Good luck Julie :)

Dawn @ sheIsTooFondOfBooks said...

We do OK with the items on the list ... but no fish (or qunoa?).

Are all the recipes this straightforward? If so, it will soon be on my kitchen shelf.

Kate said...

This sounds great! I thought the author sounds familiar, and it turns out I read and reviewed his "Young and Hungry" a couple years ago.

I like the idea of grouping recipes around particular ingredients. We eat plenty of fish, nuts, berries, tomatoes and avacados, but not so much the others. I may need to run to the library to see if this book is available. Thanks for the review!

Tracey M. said...

Took some time to browse around your site today ... you do so many great book reviews with such detail.

I really like the sound of this book. I love tomatoes, avocados, berries and spinach ... have beets sitting in my cupboard along with some quinoa I used for some muffins a couple times. Have to add some more. I like that the recipes were easy so I'm waiting for a copy I put on hold at our library!