Do you have a friend who cooks like an angel, is both well educated and down to earth, and has just written her first fantastic book? Me too! Full disclosure, this author is a friend and colleagues. I would not, however, steer you wrong, and Brittany Wood Nickerson is a fresh voice with a truly beautifully handy offering.
Recipes from The Herbalists’s Kitchen: Delicious Nourishing Food for Lifelong Health and Well-Being is gorgeous, and, as the best cookbooks are, is an extension of the author. When I read Brittany’s thoughts on food as medicine and the home herbal kitchen, it’s as if I’m there in her garden, being lovingly served delicious morsels in the sun. I kid you not, she’s that good.
Ms. Wood Nickerson takes you into modern day herbalism. She dries flower and herbs, makes vinegars and pickles and makes it all seem as natural as – well, as I imagine it was to great-grandmother. Brittany has her own herbal online training and offers an apprenticeship in home herbalism that has many happy alums. Check it out!
The hardcover, 303-page book bursts with 4-color photos of scrumptious snacks, entrees, drinks and desserts designed to meet the body’s needs for comfort, nourishment, energy and seasonal support. Specific herbs are introduced along with their medicinal use, and readers are shown how herbalists make tinctures, vinegars, herbal honeys and other herbal folk medicines that happen to be delicious and effective.
The culinary perspective is ancestral, so includes meat and other animal foods, baked goods, and natural sweeteners as well as bountiful fruits and vegetables and, of course, herbs.
Ready to be inspired by a fresh approach to traditional herbal cooking and healing? Recipes from The Herbalist’s Kitchen introduces you to a truly endearing expert, chef and healer, and a collection of inspiring seasonal fare.
I’ve worked at Kripalu (the largest yoga center in the country) for seven years, so I have enjoyed my share of Indian food. I love the flavors of India – spicy curries, sweet-piquant chutneys, yogurt and lots of creative plant-based proteins. Indian cuisine in its original form is naturally healthful – filled with plants (often vegetarian) and aromatic spices.
I also love the work of the American Diabetes Association (bias alert – they published Yoga & Diabetes, which I co-authored). They have put together a collection of beautiful cookbooks that reflect a fresh range of ways of cooking and eating for health. If you have not yet looked at their growing collection – check them out! You don’t have to have a diabetes diagnosis to enjoy them – they are simply accessible healthful fare for everyone.
May Abraham Fridel’s Indian Cuisine Diabetes Cookbook has an authenticity and accessibility that are the hallmarks of a great cookbook. It practically smells like cumin – must be the beautiful red-brown of the two-color interior and beautiful four-color photos of select dishes. If you love the smells and tastes of India food and want to bring a bit of that into your own kitchen, this is a book for you.
The book begins with an overview of the philosophy behind India cooking, including the ancient nature-based wisdom of Ayurveda, a sister science of yoga.
There is a Spice Guide, a Pantry List, and some How-To Recipes to introduce you to the staples of healthful Indian Cuisine.
This is the book I will consult the next time I make Dal (spiced lentils). There are three easy tasty recipes and tons of advice to guide me. There’s a healthy version of my favorite Indian dish, Palak Paneer (cheese in spinach sauce) – this one uses tofu instead of cheese and skips the heavy cream that often turns that healthy sounding dish into something that while filled with nutrients is also calorie-dense. There is a chapter on street food and one on elegant dishes, a chapter on curries, a chapter on grilling, a chapter on Indian flatbreads, one pot meals, sides including slaws and salads, and drinks (I love me some lassi – India’s yogurt smoothie).
Ms. Friedel is a food literacy advocate, philanthropist and the founder and CEO of an organic spice company (www.passionforspices.com). She clearly knows of what she speaks when it comes to the flavors and spices of India.
I’m grateful for her offering, happy to add it to my cookbook shelf and look forward to continuing to sample and to learn about Indian cuisine.
Shawna Coronado’s enthusiasm is contagious in her latest offering, 101 Organic Gardening Hacks: Eco-friendly Solutions to Improve Any Garden.
She’s going on a journey to reuse, reduce, and recycle in the garden in some wonderfully inventive and a few wacky ways, and she’s inviting you to come along. Overall, this 4-color 160-page guide is a very handy and appealing one for this spring. Every time I open it I get excited, and I learn a little something new.
A hack, notes the author, is just a great idea that’s come to life. It’s the short path to the desired result. Hacks in the book are organized by type (maintenance, edible, seedlings, tools) and they really are great ideas.
Here are a couple of my favs:
- Hack 43 – Pet tender seedlings to keep them strong and stocky (put thigmotropism to work for you). I’m all over this one and had forgotten that. Grateful for the reminder.
- Hack 61 – Regrow food from cut kitchen scraps is a great reason to enjoy leeks, celery, or herbs in spring. You can plant them in your garden after dinner! Step by step instructions for increasing your likelihood of them taking are included. I really haven’t done this successfully, but am grateful that a gardener more enthusiastic than I has. I’ll try it again!
There’s a secret about gardens – they don’t have to be hard. You can practically toss seeds at the ground in spring and they will pop up amongst the weeds (and will pop up even better if you take a little time to pull the weeds). But you can keep it very very easy and simple.
That’s why I love Shawna’s new book – it’s in that spirit of whatever you can do. It’s not fancy, not precious. It’s a get-out-there and put-your-hands-in-the-earth (which I swear is a nutrient – hands in earth nutrient) sort of attitude. It’s reuse that plastic container attitude. It’s begin where you are attitude. I love me an expert who has that type of DIY (do it yourself) attitude – not what I call a guru “only I know” attitude.
Happy digging, be it containers on your windowsill, a square in your back yard, or the whole wide world.
Would you like to connect with me in the tropics in February 2018? Check out my Pura Vida Retreat. It’s filling up, so if it sounds like your cup or tea, reach out!
Since I’ve been blogging regularly, I’ve somewhere, somehow gotten on the radar of a number of book publicists. As a lover of books and authors, I’ve been overjoyed, and have a stack of the latest greatest by my bed. Sadly, there are not so many that I can recommend to you, my beloved tribe. Yet I read on, and there are definitely gems coming out every day.
Here’s one! Curvy Yoga. Love. It is beautifully produced, good to hold, well-written, contains needed messages, and features a great author.
As a nutrition clinician for decades, I’m seeing body hatred on the rise. It seemed that there were a few years when women (and men!) were feeling better about their bodies just as they are, but the last few years have felt like a bit of a backlash of the media-perfect. Too, I’ve crossed the 50-year-old mark and going through menopause was a powerful experience, not only within my own body, but sensing (while I feel fantastic and at the top of my game) that I was plopped into some less valuable category by…many. So I am sensitive, yet not too, methinks.
It takes no small amount of courage to show up as you are these days, but Curvy Yoga is a manual to do just that. If you find yoga too….whatever, here’s a read for you. In fact, if you’ve been injured in a yoga class, or can’t find a yoga class, please take a read before giving up on yoga. If you wonder if you belong in the spandex-wrapped perfect-yoga-body competitive yoga world (you don’t!…neither do I….or most people for that matter) here’s a book for you. And if you, like me, used to be a flexible yogi, and find yourself less so, but still interested in having yoga in your life, check it out.
Curvy Yoga focuses mostly on the integrative how of practice, focusing on accessibility from a physical, mental and energetic perspective. You’ll get to know the author, with personal stories of how yoga has impacted various areas of her life. As an author of a book in a similar genre (Every Bite Is Divine – it’s the food companion to Curvy Yoga) I feel a definite kin-ship sisterhood with this author. This book, as I think of it, is a lovely companion to Yoga & Diabetes.
Ms. Guest-Jelley provides a collection of aids for doing various yoga postures with a round goddess body and using props including (my favorite) a wall to support your safe and effective practice.
If you haven’t purchased a yoga book in a while, and you’d like a lovely and accessible guide written by a fresh voice, here you go.