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Homegrown Pure and Simple:
Great Healthy Food from Garden to Table

by Michel Nischan, Mary Goodbody

Review by Jennifer A. Wickes
Other articles by Jennife A. Wickes

Delicious, appetizing recipes fill this book, all of which were made from the freshest organic ingredients, giving a pure simple taste. An excellent second book by Michel Nischan, winner of a James Beard cookbook award in 2004 for his book, Taste Pure and Simple.
Michel Nischan grew up in Illinois where his mother grew most of their fruits and vegetables. His love of food coninued as an adult where he became the executive chef of Heartbeat in the W Hotel (NY-1997). Nischan is a contributor to numerous magazines including: Bon Appetit, Gourmet, Cooking Light, and much more. He has also appeared on various television programs. He is the founding member of New American Farming Initiative. He currently lives in Connecticut with his wife and five children.

Mary Goodbody is a food writer who has worked on over 45 cookbooks.

Susie Cushner is a photographer whose work has appeared in Real Simple, Gourmet, Martha Stewart Living and more. She has worked on numerous books: The New England Table, The Cape Cod Table, The Pleasures of Slow Food and The Bride & Groom First and Forever Cookbook.

Michel Nischan yearned for the days where his mother grew all their vegetables in their garden when he was a child. With the tragic findings that two of his five children were diagnosed with Juvenile Diabetes (at ages five and two), his focus on his cooking changed. He decided that not only should he and his family eat healthier, but also his restaurant customers. This book has been inspired by his children and his desire for fresh pure ingredients without the use of cream, butter, processed starches or processed sugars. Michel has made it his mission to educate people on eating and cooking healthier.

This is more than a cookbook, but also a book filled with cooking and gardening tips, planting seeds, storing produce, sterilizing jars, choosing knives, and handling food. There is an excellent glossary in the back of the book, as well as a list of sources if some items are hard-to-find in your area. And I must comment on the gorgeous photographs throughout this book.

This book has even received kudos from the American Heart Association and Alice Waters.

The book is broken down by the following chapters: My Garden and How It Grew; Salads; Soups; Main Courses; Side Dishes; Extending the Harvest; Breakfast and Breads; Desserts. The recipes are wonderful. They are simple to make and extremely tasty. In fact, I never even noticed, initially, that the book had no recipes laden with fat and sugar! Some of my favorites in this book were: Osaka Mustard Greens Salad; Pumpkin Soup with Crispy Sage Garnish; Baked Fresh Ham with Roasted Apple and Almond Salad; Skillet-Browned Broccoli and Cauliflower with Pan-Toasted Garlic; Homemade Applesauce; Butternut Squash Muffins; and Sweet Corn and Toasted Almond Rice Pudding.

In our society, where everything runs at such a fast pace, I think it is time to slow down, and appreciate life and family. Eat healthier. Buy this book!


Homegrown Pure and Simple: Great Healthy Food From Garden to Table By Michel Nischan with Mary Goodbody
Photographs By Susie Cushner
Chronicle Books 2005
Hardback: 232 pages, 9.7 x 9.1 x 1.2 inches
Original Price: $35.00


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