Eat a Little Better: Great Flavor, Good Health, Better World (Amazon Link) by Sam Kass
As I’ve mentioned on the food blog a number of times, I collect cookbooks and have since I was a teenager. I have candy cookbooks, vegetarian cookbooks, meat lovers cookbooks, Paleo cookbooks, Keto cookbooks, cookie cookbooks, Indian cuisine cookbooks…. okay, I have just about every conceivable kind of cookbook you can imagine.
You’re looking at the newest member of the cookbook family above: Eat a Little Better by Sam Kass. 3-4 years ago, I had to give up all gluten and wheat. Around that time, a close family member had to have a stint put in and these back-to-back health upheavals shook up my world as well as my kitchen. The fact that the way we eat directly effects the way we live hit home and I totally changed the way I looked at food.
I hope to never see another person I love in recovery of a cardiac hospital and I am determined to do my part to keep it from happening again. I’m also committed to stay as healthy as I possibly can because, if we’re being honest, this crazy family of mine needs me more than they realize!
For this reason, the majority of my cookbooks now focus on eating healthy. NOT counting calories, NOT depriving yourself of delicious food, and NOT obsessing to the point of making people want to throw an entire cheesecake at you…. but simply eating healthier food and making smarter choices at the store as well as in the kitchen. You know, things that’ll help keep you playing horseshoes in the yard with your family as opposed to having them visit you in the hospital.
Books like Eat a Little Better make it easier because the food is DELICIOUS and… this is something we all appreciate… the recipes are completely doable, with ingredients we’ve heard of, can easily find, and very often already have on hand.
Did you know that fried potato consumption (hello, French fries) beats out even soft drinks as an indicator for obesity?
From the Back Cover: As a chef, and then as a senior food policy advisor to President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, Sam Kass became an expert on the ins and outs of deliciousness, nutrition, and sustainability.
Recipes in Eat a Little Better Include…
- Whipped Sweet Potatoes with Maple-Cider Vinegar
- Slow-Roasted Salmon
- Barbecued Chicken
- Roasted Chicken Stir-Fry
- Dirty Brown Rice
- White Bean Hummus
- Canned Salad (fascinating!)
- Mustard Green Salad
- Celery-Radish Salad
- Charred Zucchini
- Grilled Cauliflower Steaks
- Pork Chops with Tomato Corn Relish
- Rigatoni with Pork Ragu
- And many, many more…
While I do have to eat gluten-free and most of the recipes on Get Cooking are gluten-free…. this is not a gluten-free cookbook. However, as I always point out in all of my non-gluten-free cookbook reviews, all recipes are easy enough to tweak and twist in order to make them gluten-free. Simply substitute gluten-free options for the gluteny ones listed! For example, in the Rigatoni with Pork Ragu, it’s a cinch to substitute gluten-free pasta for the traditional rigatoni.
Sam Kass, former chef to the Obamas and White House food policy advisor, makes it easier to do a little better for your diet–and the environment–every day, through smart ways to think about shopping, setting up your kitchen so the healthy stuff comes to hand most naturally, and through 90 delicious, simple recipes.
This book lays out Kass’s plan to eat a little better. Knowing that sustainability and healthfulness come most, well, sustainably when new habits and choices seem appealing rather than drastic and punitive, Kass shares his philosophy and methods to help make it easy to choose, cook, and eat delicious foods without depriving yourself of agency or pleasure. He knows that going organic, local, and so forth all the time is just not realistic for most people, and that’s ok–it’s all about choosing and doing a little better, and how those choices add up to big change. It’s the philosophy he helped the Obamas instill in their home, both in Chicago and that big white one in Washington. – Amazon
I love everything about this beautiful cookbook. I love that it’s hardback (so much more durable!), I love the big gorgeous photographs, I love the creativity and the simplicity of the recipes (a rare combo), and I love the fact that the focus is on eating healthier.
But there’s something else I love… I love the peak we get inside President and Michelle Obama’s family – as in their efforts to eat healthier. This focus on health, of course, led Sam Kass and the First Lady to implement healthier meals in our public schools. Their efforts were incredibly commendable and I hope their hard work continues.
One thing that stands out the most from reading this book actually has to do with children. It’s up to us to provide them with better diets than French fries, soft drinks, and hamburgers. Arming yourself with wonderful recipes is the single best way to provide healthier meals for your children, grandchildren, spouse… and, of course, yourself!
You will love Eat a Little Better – click through and read more about it (there’s even a recipe on the Amazon page for “Lucky Pasta!”).
Note: I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review. The opinions are entirely my own.