Even the full review I have written about The Garden of Eating (on Go Dairy Free) doesn’t do justice to this over-sized, 581-page resource that I refer to as a bible for healthy eating. I first learned about the author, Chef Rachel Albert-Matesz (aka The Healthy Cooking Coach), when she came out with The Ice Dream Cookbook. It wasn’t until almost a year later that I discovered The Garden of Eating, which was actually her first book. Though this book would have been immensely helpful for me several years ago, I can honestly say, better late than never.
The first half of The Garden of Eating is dense with information. The chapter topics smoothly flow from health and nutrition (with titles like “Friendly Foods,” “A Short Fat Primer,” and “Returning to the Garden of Eating – General Principles) into kitchen help and menus. The principles Chef Rachel shares focus on what she calls a produce-dominated diet. I like to call it a Paleo-friendly diet or a whole foods diet to the extreme.
Of course, beyond the useful information, there are the delicious recipes. I simply love the recipe layout of this book, which is organized by key ingredient …
With some serious broccoli cravings beckoning (yes, I crave broccoli), I flipped right to the clump of broccoli recipes in Chapter 18 (Cooked Leafy Greens , Flowering Vegetables & Shoots). The Simmered Broccoli in Herbs caught my eye as a fantastic one pan dish. The result was so light and flavorful that I devoured the entire dish myself. And how could I not love how easy this dish was to make?!
Then there were the boneless, skinless chicken breasts that I stocked up on for a great price. I flopped The Garden of Eating open, and thumbed my way through the chicken recipes in Ch. 16 (Birds of a Feather). Within minutes I had picked out a recipe that I had all of the ingredients on hand for.
My husband generally dislikes honey mustard, and he loathes ginger, but since I am a fan of both, I went out on a limb and made the Honey Mustard Chicken with Ginger. The gamble paid off, it was a tasty success. As a side note, I loved how flavorful this dish was without any added salt, and the fact that it wasn’t overly sweet in the least bit. For dinner, we enjoyed the chicken breasts with a side of broccoli (of course).
And then again for lunch, we enjoyed the chicken sliced atop a basic avocado and bell pepper salad, topped with a light and simple (homemade) honey mustard vinaigrette.
Then, I wanted a variation on the peanut butter protein spread I typically make for our snacks, and wouldn’t you know it … there it was, the Protein-Nut Spread recipe in Ch. 24 (Sweet Protein-Packed Snacks & Mini-Meals). This recipe was wonderful for reducing the fat in the nut spread I was using, allowing me to enjoy a thicker spread. It didn’t thicken up quite enough after refrigeration, so it was still a bit gooey, something I can easily solve by reducing the water a bit next time, but it was tasty.
Every time I was left wondering what to eat, I just had to pick out an ingredient in our refrigerator and plop open The Garden of Eating; a true gem. It would be easy for me to simply say, this is a great book for dairy-free and gluten-free dieters, but that would cut out too many other people whom this book and cookbook could help. If health and nutrition is of importance to you and your family, then The Garden of Eating should be on your wish list. This is one book that will remain in my collection until it is so tattered with dog-eared pages and splattered with ingredients, that I have to get a new copy.
Speaking of new copies, who would like to win one?
- To enter to win this fabulous cookbook, leave a comment on this post telling me why you want to win The Garden of Eating.
- To receive a bonus entry, spread the word about this giveaway … tweet it, share it with your friends on facebook, mention it on your blog, or email some colleagues … whatever works for you. Just make sure you come back here and leave a second comment letting me know you did.
Entries will close at midnight TODAY, so get your entry in now! All of this week’s cookbook winners will be announced at the end of the week.
Now, about that recipe I mentioned …
Honey-Mustard Chicken with Ginger
Recipe adapted from The Garden of Eating by Chef Rachel Albert-Matesz.
In the cookbook, it states to cut the chicken into 2-inch wedges. I completely missed this part and broiled them whole – luckily it worked out beautifully. This recipe is Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Soy-Free, Nut-Free, and Free of Refined Sugars.
Prep: 20 minutes ~ Cooking: 8 to 10 minutes ~ Yield: 6 servings
- 1-1/2 to 2 lbs Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
- 3 Tablespoons Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
- 1/3 Cup Creamy White, Yellow, or Dijon Mustard
- 2 Tablespoons Honey
- 1 Tablespoon Finely Grated or Minced Fresh Gingerroot
- 1/4 Teaspoon Ground Red or Black Pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon finely ground unrefined sea salt or 1 tablespoon tamari soy sauce (optional) [I omitted and it was still delicious!]
Add chicken to a glass or Pyrex dish. Mix marinade, pour over chicken, and stir to coat. Cover and refrigerate 6 to 8 hours, all day, or overnight.
Cook chicken pieces on grill, under broiler, or in lightly oiled, heavybottomed skillet over medium heat, about 3 minutes per side, or until firm, meat is beige throughout, and juices run clear when a test piece is cut in half. I opted for broiling.
To broil, preheat your broiler (about 8 to 10 minutes), and move the oven rack so that the meat will be about 5 to 6 inches away from the element. Spread the meat out in a broiler pan or over a wire rack in a roasting pan, to allow the juices to drip while cooking. Give it a good basting of that thick marinade, and broil for 3 to 7 minutes, or until the chicken begins to brown. Flip the chicken and marinade it again (see the next step for heating up that marinade). Return it to the oven and broil until the chicken begins to brown and the meat is cooked through, roughly another 3 to 7 minutes.
To bake, preheat your oven to 400˚ F. Transfer the chicken and marinade to an oblong 14x9x2 or 18x9x2-inch heatproof Pryex baking pan if it has not been marinating in one. Bake until chicken pieces reach an internal temperature of 160˚F or the juices run clear and chicken is the same color throughout when cut in half.
Add a dash of water to any leftover marinade, bring to boil, and simmer 4 minutes. Baste chicken with mixture as it cooks. Serve warm. Refrigerate leftovers and use within 3 days. (They’re delicious cold)
- In step 1, add 1 tablespoon minced fresh or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, tarragon, dill, or basil.
- Honey-Mustard Chicken with Chipotlé: Replace ginger with 1/2 teaspoon ground chipotlé. Omit black pepper and garnish final dish with minced cilantro before serving.
- Honey-Mustard Chicken Salad: Serve chicken over heaping individual plates of raw spinach, arugula, or spring greens, minced scallions, parsley, red radishes, celery, fresh or sun-dried tomato slices, avocado, and a squeeze of lemon or lime juice.
Nutrition analysis provided by The Garden of Eating: 1 serving ~ 230 calories, 30 g protein, 7 g carbohydrate, 9 g fat, 15 mg calcium, 128 mg sodium
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