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Monday, January 3, 2011

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


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 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 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.

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 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 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

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!

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

Would you like to comment?

  1. You've certainly gotten this book review down. I do love Bittman and am preaching to the choir when I say I am in agreement with all. I'm a horrible joiner but shall endeavor to make a Bittman recipe for you - because - I can!

  2. I'm not really one for these cooking events, but I think I might give it a try.

  3. This is the perfect excuse / reason to finally try out one of his recipes!! Can't wait to get started :) Cheers!!

  4. I adore Bittman, especially his message in this book! Thankfully I am posting one of his recipes on Wednesday. Could my timing BE more perfect?

  5. I have seen SOOOO much Bittman around but I've yet to make any of his recipes. Really, is he THAT good? If it wasn't for the blogging world, I never would have heard of him. Am I living under a big rock or something?

  6. I haven't read much of Bittman's work, but from what I know...I support his philosophy! We often get it wrong...fad diets just don't work! We need to return to a more natural, wholesome diet. Those sweet potato muffins look AMAZING, by the way. Thank you for sharing with me. I hope you have a happy Tuesday!

  7. I love Bittman. I always follow him online at The New York Times. I've made several of his recipes and he knows what he is talking about. Will try to make something for your giveaway. Happy New Year!

  8. Yay! I just got my January Bon Appetit and there is a whole Bitty section. I'm going to make them all :)
    Those muffins look crazy good, too!

  9. Oh man! If I can just manage to get the posts written up for all my holiday cooking, I'll be all set! Can you say "Bittman's Prime Rib for a Small Crowd"? I knew ya could....

  10. Great review... love all the concepts, and absolutely correct about weight issues... why America is getting fatter by the mouthful


  11. Oh thank you so much for this review! I can't believe I havn't heard of this book it sounds perfect and right along w my philosophy on cooking and eating! Yay, I could use some more yummy, healthy recipe ideas! I will make the chorizo & greens tacos and the sweet potato muffins for sure!
    Can't wait to see what I can come up w for the blog hop, and I sure hope to win a copy of this cookbook!!!

  12. Sounds like fun, and good healthy eating, but since I don't have any of Bittman's books, where can I find a recipe to post?

  13. Here's his site: ...but I know tons come up if you Google his name plus recipe!!! Hope you find one, Gloria :)

  14. Nice review...and already waiting for the round up...I have Bittman on my iphone/ipad, but haven't really use any of the recipes.
    Happy New Year to you and your family!

  15. did I forget about those beans and greens burritos? Seriously! In fact, they just might be the Bitty recipe I go with this month.

    I'm not the biggest muffin fan either, but every once in awhile I meet a muffin that I love. The sweet potato muffins with the streusel sound fantastic and adding bacon....hello! That's just awesome.

  16. Hi Heather! Thanks so much for joining the tackling bittman recipe hop team as a "roving reporter!" I too adore the Food Matters book and I think Bittman has the ear of the people much more than a lot of food politics folks. I would very much love to enter this giveaway! I will be sending you a recipe shortly, and remind folks to please link up to the linky if they want to as well for double exposure! I linked your roundup to my hop page and will also mention it this friday on my thoughts on friday at a moderate life! All the best! Alex

  17. OMG - I would so love this book (BTW - if by some remote chance I am lucky enough to win it, because I am at the bottom of the world, I am happy to pay the postage). I've just done a post for Tackling Bittman - sending you through all the details.

    Sue :-)

  18. I made a saffron rice AND a peach cobbler/crumble from Bittman's HTCE book. That fat red one? Yeah...great go to book.
    Now, since I have a broken wing of a right arm...I hope to post those items and do all the link ups.
    We'll see how ambidextrous I can be.

  19. Hi!

    Two questions:
    - can I join you?
    - any Bittman recipe? Here is why Iam asking, last week I made his Orange Confit, - but this isnt an original Bittman recipe, would it still count?