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The Organic Cook's Bible: How to Select and Cook the Best Ingredients on the Market Hardcover – April 24, 2006

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The Organic Cook's Bible: How to Select and Cook the Best Ingredients on the Market + Wildly Affordable Organic: Eat Fabulous Food, Get Healthy, and Save the Planet--All on $5 a Day or Less + The Organic Food Shopper's Guide
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; 1 edition (April 24, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471445789
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471445784
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 1.7 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #41,324 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Cox (Cellaring Wine), a veteran organic gardener, provides an encyclopedic guide to organic ingredients from fruits and vegetables to meats and dairy products, plus "kitchen staples" like coffee, bouillon and flour. Unlike most reference books, his is filled with personal touches: sidebars like "My Favorite Cherries" and "Keep an Eye Out for Black Walnuts" tell about Cox's encounters with foods, and even within the technical portions of the entries—which give information on nutrition, seasonality, storage, preparation and so on, as well as brief, fascinating histories of a food's cultivation—Cox often takes a personal approach. There are recipes using nearly every ingredient, most prepared simply to highlight a particular flavor, as in potent Rosemary Pesto, but others incorporate a food into heartier fare, like Caraway-Infused Pork. Though Cox's frequent pauses to extol organic food's virtues are of the preaching-to-the-choir variety, his abundant, knowledgeable advice on how to find and use the best products, and his presentation of special varieties of the ingredients make this a helpful resource for shoppers who are both bewildered and excited by the offerings in an ever-expanding field. Color photos not seen by PW. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

A comprehensive guide to foodstuffs, this valuable reference tool empowers the reader with practical knowledge for identifying and making use of almost every edible. After a discussion of what constitutes organic food, Cox inventories vegetables in alphabetic order. Beyond commonplace asparagus, beets, carrots, corn, peas, potatoes, and their ilk, Cox includes cardoons, crosnes, ground cherries, and even seaweed. For each entry, he gives a brief history, its organic cultivation, nutrition, types, seasonality, selection hints, preparation, and uses. Each citation has a recipe or two featuring the item as an ingredient. He provides identical treatment for fruits, nuts, seeds, beans, grains, herbs, spices, meats, dairy products, eggs, and kitchen staples such as chocolate, oils, flours, and wine. A supplemental chapter covers special varieties of vegetables and fruits that occasionally appear in markets. A list of sources complete with Web addresses helps identify organically oriented dealers. Although Cox openly advocates for organic foods, his encompassing approach eschews food fanaticism. The wealth of practical information crowding these pages makes this an indispensable resource. Mark Knoblauch
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Customer Reviews

This book is literally, a bible.
I love this detailed book full of information on why, how, where & recipes of organics.
Orgainc mama-san
I am really looking forward to working my way through the recipes.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Lynn Harnett VINE VOICE on July 7, 2006
Format: Hardcover
While this well-organized encyclopedic reference and cookbook covers meat and poultry as well as produce, it's the fruits and vegetables that get organics guru Cox's most loving attention.

Each section - vegetables, fruits, nuts and grains, herbs and spices, meats, dairy and eggs and kitchen staples (oils, flour, sweeteners) - is organized alphabetically. Each entry follows a format which includes a brief history, a nutritional profile and comparison with non-organics, various types and varieties, seasonality, what to look for (and avoid), preparation, cooking tips and recipes.

The "what to look for" comments are especially illuminating as Cox explains what weather and time do and how you can spot the signs. Recipes (250) come from a variety of sources and Cox also includes general tips about what techniques and ingredients suit each food. Sidebars throughout share personal anecdotes and gardening experiences.

In addition to providing new information about ordinary garden-variety produce, he includes those you see in the grocery but aren't sure about - like jicama or passion fruit - those you might not recognize if you did see them, like medlars or crosnes, and even those Cox himself has never tasted or seen like the mangosteen, reputedly the most delicious fruit in the world. You'll also find a list of edible flowers.

Easy to use, this is a must-have, particularly for anyone interested in getting their families to eat more vegetables - quality being the first essential.

--Portsmouth Herald
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By D. Horvath on September 11, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I borrowed this book on an impulse from our local library. I was pleasantly surprised at how thorough and easy to use this book is. It is an absolute must, whether you are into organic foods or not. It covers everything from fruits & vegetables, meats, dairy, grains, pasta and nuts.

How many times have you gone to the grocery store and wondered how to tell if the fruit you were looking at was good(like melons) or wondered what some fruit or vegetable tasted like and what to use it for? This book clearly explains how to pick the best produce, what the nutritional information is, with beautiful color photos.

I can't wait to get my own copy and start trying some of the recipes. This will definitely be something I use every day.

This deserves a rating of 10 stars!!!
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Tricia Littlefield on August 10, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This book answers all of my questions about produce: the organic factor, (which tells you whether a certain product is sprayed heavily with toxins when you cannot purchase organic), nutrition details, seasonality, what to look for when buying, preparation, and uses.

There is just the right amount of detail including full colour photographs of vegetables, nuts, fruits - or whatever you are looking for. I find this very helpful when I want to buy something that I am unfamiliar with like Okra for instance.

The material is extremely accessible. Everything in this book is organized perfectly so that you intuitively know where to find what you are looking for. I love the headings, shadings, chunking of information and the gorgeous green font that suits this book.

I use this book daily for a reference. On top of being extremely useful, it would make a great coffee table book. I'm sure that people couldn't keep their hands off of it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Chantel on September 13, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
So, I feel like I really need to review this book in conjunction with the author's other book The Organic Food Shopper's Guide because I bought them both together, and they are so much alike. The Bible is that...its over 500 pages and has tons of detail and most every fruit, veggie and herb has at least one if not multiple recipes to accompany it. The Shoppers guide, which has a 2 year newer copyright is really a regurgitation/contracted version of the bible, but I will try not to hold that against it since they do compliment each other so well. The shoppers guide has less listings, skipping over fruits, veggies, and spices that I was surprised to see left out. Additionally, there are only 3 recipes in the shopper that are not already in the bible, none of which are crucial. The advantage of the shoppers guide however is its small (6x8 inches) which means it will fit nicely in most purses and can therefore be taken to the store with you. They are both organized in a similar fashion with veggies grouped, fruits grouped, etc. and then alphabetized by category.

I was specifically shopping for cookbooks with more vegetable ideas overall when I chose these. They were even more than what I thought I wanted since not only are there recipes but the volumes of information to help choose was exactly what I was looking for. I grew up in a meat and potato family and married the same. I did get more into veggies, organics and juicing in college but really have veered back to the mainstream diet due to hubbies likes. Honestly I did alot of juicing because I was convinced most of what went in would taste bad if I had to actually taste it. I have been desperately searching for ways to diversify the family diet so that I can incorporate more nutritious foods that taste good.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on September 23, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Plenty of books on the market cover organic foods and health, but THE ORGANIC COOK'S BIBLE is a resource which goes beyond recipes to offer a survey of organic ingredients and how to choose, store and prepare them. Home cooks and chefs receive a guide which covers meats, dairy, herbs, spices and more, with an A-Z arrangement for quick and easy reference, and a survey of over a hundred organic foods, from flavor and nutrition benefits to storage, what to look for, and top varieties. A 'must' for any serious culinary or home organic cook's collection.

Diane C. Donovan

California Bookwatch
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