Diana, do you have a favorite cookbook?
I use a wide selection of cookbooks that I have been collecting for years. They are all vegetarian or *plant-based* cookbooks. I list some on my web site's page of suggested books and many in the resource section of my book. Most get regular use; some have fallen apart with use!
The book Diet for a Small Planet by Frances Moore Lappé ©1971, did nothing less than change my life when I found it in 1975 browsing the library stacks while taking a study break. In fact, finally getting my second copy of it autographed by the author last year was a life highlight for me (my first copy literally fell apart). I still use several recipes from that book and always get asked for my Tabouli recipe when I take it to a potluck, which is based on the recipe from this book.
I have used and loved many cookbooks in the meantime but have recently become a fan of cookbooks by Lorna Sass, in particular her Recipes from an Ecological Kitchen, William Morrow & Co., ©1992. The original edition of this book is out of print, but it is now newly titled as Lorna Sass: Complete Vegetarian Kitchen. I knew I would love this cookbook when I read its dedication, which is very simply dedicated to Mother Earth. In addition, the author's first paragraph states "When I changed my diet a number of years ago, I discovered a beautiful symmetry: What is good for our health is also good for the health of our planet."
Diet for a Small Planet was my first introduction to thought and opinion that eating a vegetarian diet was healthful both for our body and our planet. It made sense to me as a biologist turned nutritionist. A long time ago now, I had first wanted to be an environmental biologist but followed the advice I received (yikes - can't be 30+ years ago!) to be *practical* and enter a profession that would have defined jobs and career-paths, leading me to a career as a Registered Dietitian (RD). My BS in Biology was considered unconventional as as platform for a career as an RD way back then (maybe even now) but I know it has given me many different perspectives, which have been valuable, and many of my colleagues have found helpful and even interesting. :-)
from an Ecological Kitchen includes frequent *eco-tips* and quotations
by cookbook authors, organic food growers, philosophers, and spiritual
leaders that remind us of the vital connections between the earth, food,
eating, and life. One example:
This book is good for my body and soul. It has made me realize that even as an RD, I have come full circle to my original goal. I have always been an environmental biologist, using a plant-based diet to optimize my personal internal environmental biochemistry along with my food choices optimizing the health of our planet. Thus, I urge you to try to find this book at a used book store or check it out at your local library. I don't feel that I could improve it in any way.
a final note, when I first made Tabouli
back in the mid-70's, not only had I never eaten it, I had never heard
of it. I can still remember that night like it was yesterday. My husband
and I ate the entire recipe - enough for 6 - it was that good! The experience
on that evening was a *defining moment* for me; it opened my eyes by
making me both aware of and wonder what other wonderful experiences
I had been missing in life simply because I had not yet been exposed
to them. Be adventurous - try something new. Not only might it be good
for you, better yet, you might actually enjoy it! Life doesn't get any
better than that :-)
faq posted 9/03
These questions and answers are intended to be of a general informative nature. Please consult with the Registered Dietitian in your cancer center or your health care provider for nutritional advice that can be individualized to your specific medical condition.
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