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Book Review & GIVEAWAY: The Food Matters Cookbook by Mark Bittman in conjunction with Tackling Bittman!

The REVIEW

We should eat like Food Matters.  We should cook like Food Matters.  We should live like Food Matters.  Of course we should be mindful of what we're putting into our mouths...but are we?  Always?  Alot of of probably aren't.  The Food Mattters Cookbook is Bittman's follow up to Food Matters.  The Food Matters concept focuses on eating more whole foods and less animal products and processed foods.  Basically it centers around Bittman's (and others) experiences that "If you swap the basic proportions in your diet- increasing unprocessed fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and whole grains- you'll wind up losing weight and improving your overall health while also improving more difficult-to-measure situations like global warming, the environment in general, and animal welfare."  If this sounds too heavy for you, just know this...it is never preachy and nothing contained in this book is new-agey or weirdly unobtainable.  It is all common sense.  It's mostly about being mindful of what you're putting in your mouth.  Bitty starts out with an introduction to eating like Food Matters by talking about some basics like personal food policy, animal consumption in America today, junk foods, and changing your outlook on food.  After that he moves into some thoughts on cooking like Food Matters, like the fact that there are all levels of cooking, but basically anybody can do it if they want to.  He talks about which ingredients matter...seasonal, local...and how to figure out what to buy when you are at the market, as well as building a pantry that matters.  Building vegan meals, technique and how his varies from others...and perhaps one of my favorite one page of motivation on how to use this cookbook.  Once you've familiarized yourself with The Food Matters Cookbook in these first 30-some pages, you can dive into over 500 recipes that make Food Matter.  I was a huge Bittman fan before I picked up this book...and this only solidifies it.  I believe in making conscious choices in all aspects of life and this helps reinforce that mindset in the kitchen.

I have already made and posted a few recipes from The Food Matters Cookbook such as a version of Mostly Whole Wheat Crackers...
And a favorite that I now make and keep in my freezer at all times, Beans 'n Greens Burritos with Chorizo...
Plus an awesome filling dish that you can serve as a side...but I like to eat a big bowl as a whole meal, Hippie Rice with Tofu.
Something new...that I haven't posted previously...are these meltingly moist, jam-packed-flavorful Sweet Potato Muffins.  You may remember me telling you before that I am not a muffin kinda girl.  I'm really not.  However, I am COMPLETELY and WHOLE-HEARTEDLY a Sweet Potato Muffin convert at least this particular muffin.  Sweet Potatoes are one of my favorite things on earth, and I happened to have plenty of them calling my name, so I decided to go for it.  Now, I added a streusel topping that wasn't in the book...in which I used whole wheat flour and pecans and slid in a bit of crumbled bacon...and it was the perfect compliment.  While I'll never call myself a muffin kinda gal...I'll totally call myself a Food Matters Sweet Potato Muffin w/ Bacon Pecan Streusel kinda gal.  If asked.
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The GIVEAWAY and TACKLING BITTMAN

So, whatcha think?  Would you like your very own copy of The Food Matters Cookbook?  Silly question. Well then, you are in luck because I am giving you a chance to win a copy!  It's very simple to enter...it only requires cooking up a Mark Bittman recipe!    Read on for the details...

I am excited to be guest hosting Tackling Bittman this month!  Tackling Bittman is a monthly blog hop that celebrates Mark Bittman and is the brainchild of Alex from A Moderate Life.  There are several other great blogs who co-host the event at their sites each month (Couscous & Consciousness, My Sweet and Savory, Sidewalk Shoes, Frugality & Crunchiness w/ Christy, Who is Laura), as well...giving you a time frame in which to link up any Bitty recipes you've made.   Thing is, this time frame is only one week...and as a guest host this month who thinks one week is NOT enough...I am opening up the WHOLE MONTH OF JANUARY for you to send me your entries!  I will be doing a round-up of all the Bittman recipes/posts you send in (and announcing the giveaway winner) at the beginning of February.  Each entry I receive will be numbered in the order that I receive it...a number that enters you into the drawing to win your very own copy of The Food Matters Cookbook.  The week-long hop will still be there for you to enter your links...and I encourage you to submit your links there, as well...just don't forget to send them separately to me.  So this month, if you don't get a chance to link up in the first week...don't fret...just send them my way.  Every entry I receive will be entered for a chance to win, but if for some reason you don't wish to be entered into the giveaway madness!?, please let me know when you send me your entry for Tackling Bittman.


How to enter the giveaway
(and in turn, participate in Tackling Bittman this month at girlichef):
  • Make/adapt a recipe from Mark Bittman (or update one you've posted previously by adding in the proper links).
  • Blog about it with a link back to THIS POST and to the Tackling Bittman page over at A Moderate Life.  Use of the logo is optional.
  • You may submit as many posts as you'd like, as long as they meet the criteria stated.  Each submission will count towards one entry into the giveaway.  Entries numbered in the order they are received.
  • If you don't have a blog, but would like to participate, please email me all of the pertinent information.
  • Email your entries to: girlichef (at) yahoo (dot) come and include:
                         ~Your name
                         ~Your blog's name and URL (if applicable)
                         ~The name of the dish you made and the Permalink to the specific post
                         ~Attach a photo of any size (or just give me permission to "pull" one from your post)
                         ~subject line: Tackling Bittman Giveaway submission
  • Deadline for submission: January 31, 2011
TacklingBittman

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I highly recommend The Food Matters Cookbook to everybody and encourage us all to make conscious choices when we head into the kitchen.  Since it's something we all need to survive and we matter, then don't you agree...Food Matters!?  Good luck to all who enter the GIVEAWAY and I look forward to seeing all the ways that you TACKLE BITTMAN this month!

foodiesreadingchallenge
*Simon & Schuster provided me w/ two copies of this cookbook for review and giveaway...however, the opinions stated in this post are all mine...as is the shipping and handling cost for the giveaway.