So do you need a healthy mind in order to even consider a "healthy mind" cookbook? Or is it vice versa, in which you are perusing a "healthy mind" cookbook in order to have a healthy mind? Well, which ever way it is, this is the book for you. And what book is this, you ask? It is "The Healthy Mind Cookbook" by Rebecca Katz (with Mat Edelson).
"The Healthy Mind Cookbook" is just what it says, for the healthy minds, and for a healthy mind. I just love the simplicity of this title, and the more profound meaning to what it could mean. Since I'm not here to get philosophical, but to share my opinion on Ms. Katz' book, I'll let you figure it out.
I'm not too familiar with Rebecca Katz and therefore don't know if she's a premiere "health food guru". However, upon doing a little further reading of her bio and on her website, (www.rebeccakatz.com), I'm quite impressed. She is the senior chef-in-residence and nutritional educator at one of the country's leading cancer wellness centers, and she had formal culinary training, as well as a Masters in Health and Nutrition Education. With that resume, I'm definitely intrigue on what she has in store for us.
First off, love the cover. It's simple and pretty (first impressions are important). Second, the layout of this book is my preferred layouts for cookbooks. What do I mean by that? The Table of Contents is easy to read with great spacing and font selections are perfect (but the smaller fonts are a little too small for an older reader or someone with difficulty reading smaller fonts). The chapters are categorized by what it is, and it's up to the reader to decide if it's an appetizer or entree or for breakfast or lunch. Admit it, like me, there are some of you that would love a good egg scramble for dinner or midnight snack. My other half fell in love with the "Soups" chapter, which has a whopping 17 soups, from basic 'Beef Bone Broth', to a variety of chicken soup to a more substantial 'High-Flying Turkey Black Bean Chili'. With the winter we had, I'm sure everyone's jumping for some chili. Not only the soups were impressive, as a cookbook, you sure get your 'bang for your buck' on this one. There's a total of 93 food recipe in this book, and additional 17 for dressings and sauces. And wait, there's more. There's 15 recipes for drinks, labeled "Tonics and Elixirs" which comprise of simple 'Almond Milk', 'Mexican Hot Chocolate', 'Brain-Berry Smoothie'....etc.
Now that we're done with the physical part of "The Healthy Mind Cookbook", lets get down to the crux of any cookbook - how does it taste? I've only had this book for a few days. So I did not pull a "Julie and Julia" and cooked up every recipe in here. However, there were a notable few that I will say was delicious. For a basic menu, 'Ginger Scented Forbidden Rice' was simple recipe for me. I actually already add fresh sliced ginger pieces in my brown rice, so this only require me to switch the rice and add some sea salt. (For the full recipe, please check out this cookbook). Her 'Tricolor Pepper Salsa' was a fresh note that's great as a side dish, a dip (for larger tortilla chips/crackers) or add some black beans, and make it an entree. This was already great with current season veggies from the supermarket. I'd imagined it would be superb with fresh ingredients when in season. My trip to the farmer's market will indeed be fulfilling. There's a few dressing and drinks that were absolutely refreshing and yummy. And to add the benefit of knowing how it empowers us (great for the brain/mind), it's worth every effort, which surprising is low. This is not a cookbook with lots of preparation work, except to acquire the ingredients. I would love to share more of her recipes that just 'makes my day' (or my husband's), but that might be too revealing of Ms. Katz' works and a copyright issue. Anyhow, I look forward to trying some more of the recipes.
And last, but not least, my FAVORITE part of the book is the information that Ms. Katz and Mr. Edelson put together in the first three chapters of the book. The descriptions and information put forth, was worth the hours I used to pour over the entire cookbook. Stress, anxiety, depression, memory cognition, learning were just some of the areas touch on with its correlation to food. The "Culinary Pharmacy" of chapter 2 is quite useful. It's like a dictionary of the food, and what area it helps or how it affects us. For example, "Cranberries. Memory. Mood. Cranberries are a great source of ursolic acid, which may have the potential to counteract some substances that can cause brain dysfunction. They also have good amounts of vitamin C, which can boost mood, and vitamin K, which may help memory. There's lots of antioxidant power in those two vitamins as well."(The Healthy Mind Cookbook, chapter 2, pp13.) As I said, the first three chapters have a wealth of information, and for each recipe, the nutritional facts/information were also provided. How to store and for how long were also a side note. Isn't it great that someone already did the calculations of how much calories a recipe has? I've been trying to do so with a lot of home-cooked meals, and boy, it gets mind-blogging!
Well, in conclusion (can just see my 4th grade English teacher smiling at me - for saying 'in conclusion'), "The Healthy Mind Cookbook" by Rebecca Katz with Mat Edelson has the looks, the brains (pun - the wealth of info and tastes good) and helped us do some extra work (nutritional info and storage stats). It gets an A+++ from me. Did I mentioned I love this book? It's one of the few cookbooks I really enjoyed reading lately, and looking forward to trying every recipe. I hope you'll give it a try too.
In case you're wondering if I work for Ms. Katz, Mr. Edelson or Random House to give it such a glowing review, I received this book from Blogging for Books for an HONEST review.
PS/ I also like the little blurb on each recipe on what it does or why it was a fave.