What to Cook, Why to Eat it
Nutrition Facts, Health Benefits and Recipes
Changing your eating habits one baby step at a time
By guest author, Bobbie Kitto
Two recipes included in this article: Ginger Sesame Stir-Fry and Beet Soup with Cashew Cream
Knowing why we are doing something will either motivate us or lead to finding excuses not to do it. This 130 page book is a motivator and leaves you with no excuses to not try to improve your health today!
Most books that strive to motivate us to eat healthier, leave the impression you have to immediately turn your eating habits upside down… and do it now. Not so with Carrie Bonfitto’s new cookbook, What To Cook Why To Eat IT. Carrie starts off with suggestions on how to get started with a minimum of upheaval.
Just changing how you hydrate your system and knowing the minimum amount of water to drink is a big step. It surprised me when Carrie listed the signs of dehydration to find I had quite a lot of them. Her quick calculation of how much water you need is helpful.
If you are like me and drink way too much carbonated drinks, just changing to an herbal tea like green tea can improve your health. She suggested putting glass jars full of purified water with green tea bags in them. When I feel like getting a cold drink, I reach for something that will help me on the road to health. Not a drink that will lead me craving sugar.
Besides giving the whys and why not you should eat something, this book has 37 recipes that will take you from beverages that help promote your health to desserts you can enjoy with not a twinge of guilt. Pecan Cinnamon Granola on page 33 caught my eye for breakfast. It contains ingredients that will help regulate your blood sugar and also contain anti-inflammatory and pain relieving powers.
In conjunction with this book that I was sent to review (the free copy did not influence my opinion), Melissa’s Produce has a You Tube video you should watch. I found the video well worth the view. The author demonstrates two of her recipes, Ginger Sesame Stir-Fry (page 97) and Beet Soup with Cashew Cream (page 49). Carrie gives you a taste of her philosophy towards food. I really wished she had demonstrated the Apple Pecan Crisp. It looks and sounds so good in the book.
Carrie Bonfitto, is Board Certified in holistic nutrition. She has a nutrition counseling degree from Bauman College and has a Digestive Mastery Certificate from the Institute of Nutritional Endocrinology. Her culinary instruction came from the New School of Cooking in Culver City, Ca. Although this is her first book, you may have seen other articles featuring her in LA Parade, Better Nutrition, and Authority Magazine.
I am happy to say after reading this book cover to cover, I have been Inspired to change my eating habits one small step at a time. My husband and I now have a refrigerator stocked with herbal green tea made with filtered water. So I am lifting my glass of iced herbal green tea proclaiming this book’s rating a solid 5 stars.
Here’s two healthy but delicious recipes you can easily make with all the plentiful ingredients you’ll find located in the Pacific Northwest.
Beet Soup with Cashew Cream
For the cashew cream:
1⁄2 cup raw cashews
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1⁄3 cup water
2 cloves garlic
For the soup:
1 leek, whites and light greens only, diced (1cup)
2-3 red beets, peeled and diced (4 cups)
2 cups beef bone broth
1 teaspoon grated ginger
1⁄4 teaspoon black pepper
1⁄4 teaspoon sea salt
Make the cashew cream: Put the cashews in a heat proof bowl. Boil some water and pour it over the cashews. Soak the cashews for 30 minutes, then drain. (You can skip this step if you are using a high-speed blender).
Blend the cashews, lemon juice, water, and garlic until creamy.
Make the soup: Place the bone broth, beets, garlic, leeks, and ginger in a medium pot, cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the beets are soft, about 15 minutes. Puree the soup in batches. Return to the pan, reheat, and season with salt and pepper.
Garnish each bowl with 4 tablespoons of the cashew cream.
Per serving: 218calories; 8.3 g fat; 22.7 g total carbohydrates (4.9 g dietary fiber, 11g sugar); 15.3g protein; 0 mg cholesterol; 307 mg sodium; 52 mg calcium; 3 mg iron; 732 mg potassium; 0 mcg vitamin D.
Ginger Sesame Stir-Fry
2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
3 tablespoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 tablespoon fresh ginger
3-4 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon avocado oil
2 cups mushrooms, quartered
1 carrot, sliced
3 cups green beans, chopped
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 cup raw cashews
1⁄4 cup tahini paste (or nut butter)
3-4 scallions, sliced
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients for the sesame sauce.
Heat the avocado oil in a large skillet or wok over high heat. Add the mushrooms, sprinkle with salt and pepper, cook for 5 minutes.
Add the carrots, green beans, and the bell pepper. Cook 5 more minutes until the vegetables are done to your liking. Add the cashews, stir.
Add the tahini paste and water and stir for 30 seconds to 1minute, melting the tahini. Add the sesame sauce and more water, if needed, to the thin sauce. Cook for 30 seconds.
Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the garnishes. Serve as-is for a low-carb dinner or over brown rice, if desired.
Per serving: 503 calories; 40.3 g fat; 29.2 g total carbohydrates (7.5 g dietary fiber, 6.3 g sugar); 13g protein; 0 mg cholesterol; 547 mg sodium; 177mg calcium; 7 mg iron; 742 mg potassium; 126 mg vitamin D.
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Note: Roberta (Bobbie) Kitto is a freelance writer based out of Laughlin, NV. Her interests include travel, culinary pursuits and gardening. No fee was paid for this article, but she did receive a copy of the book to review . Her opinions are her own.
To make the best of each recipe, use quality ingredients! Bobbie highly recommends products from Melissa’s Produce, available at many markets.
What to Cook, Why to Eat It: Nutrition Facts, Health Benefits, and Recipes
Paperback – September 1, 2021
Kindle: $9.91Paperback: $20.61