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The Real Food Cookbook: Traditional Dishes for Modern Cooks Hardcover – June 10, 2014

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The Real Food Cookbook: Traditional Dishes for Modern Cooks + Real Food: What to Eat and Why + Real Food for Mother and Baby: The Fertility Diet, Eating for Two, and Baby's First Foods
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Editorial Reviews Review


[Planck's] capacity for humor and self-deprecation makes for good company, and her intelligence and skepticism inspire confidence. (Holly Brubach, The New York Times, on Real Food)

Persuasive and invigorating. A valuable and eye-opening book. (Michael Pollan, on Real Food)

Compellingly smart. (Mark Bittman, on Real Food)

The antidote to the faddists, alarmists, and kooks who all too often dominate American food discourse. (David Kamp, on Real Food)

An important book. (Hannah Wallace, Los Angeles Times Book Review, on Real Food)

A cross between Alice Waters and Martha Stewart. (Jonathan Yardley, Washington Post, on Real Food)

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA (June 10, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1608196755
  • ISBN-13: 978-1608196753
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 1.1 x 10.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #414,694 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Nina Planck is a farmers' daughter, food writer, farmers' market entrepreneur, local foodist, and advocate for traditional foods. She will liberate you to eat red meat, butter, raw milk, and lard. After reading Nina's books, you will eat the foods of your ancestors with pleasure and with impunity. Men and women planning to be parents will find her prenatal advice bracing and life-changing. Nina is the author of The Farmers' Market Cookbook; Real Food: What to Eat and Why; and Real Food for Mother and Baby. Her books are published in English and five other languages. The Real Food Cookbook is next.

Born at home in in Buffalo, New York in 1971, Nina was raised on an ecological family farm in Wheatland, Virginia. She grew up milking the cow, feeding the chickens, growing vegetables, and eating simple, real food. At age 9, she sold produce at roadside stands until the first proper farmers' market opened nearby in 1980, neatly turning a money-losing farm into a profitable one. In 1999, Nina opened the first modern farmers' markets in London, England and today her company runs two dozen popular year-round markets. Chef Loyd Grossman called her market in Marylebone one of the world's best. In New York City, Nina was Director of the famous Greenmarkets. In Washington, D.C., she founded (and later sold) the Mount Pleasant Farmers' Market.

Nina lives in New York City and Stockton, New Jersey with her husband Rob Kaufelt, the proprietor of Murray's Cheese, and their three children.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
My 97-year-old mother thinks we spend too much for food.

“The prices of organic milk and grass-fed meat --- why do you have to spend so much?” she asks.

And I say, “So we can live as long as you --- we’re just trying to eat as you did for the first 50 years of your life.”

Or as Nina Planck does now.

Nina Planck, a farmer’s daughter, was raised on “real food, plain old American-style: meat, vegetables, whole grains, real milk and cheese.” Her mother used to say, “No matter how poor we are, we’ll always have real butter, olive oil and maple syrup.”

Then Nina read about the dangers of that way of eating, and she adopted the non-fat, vegetarian diet and six-mile runs that are said to lead to eternal life. It didn’t work out: “I was 20 pounds heavier than I am now and struggled constantly with my weight. I got colds and flu in colds and flu season. I was moody and irritable once a month. My nails were brittle and my skin was dry. My digestion was poor.”

Back up the truck! She reaffirmed the diet of her childhood, became a “conscientious omnivore,” started farmer’s markets in London and New York, married the king of cheesemongers, produced three children --- one triumph after another. I know Nina slightly. When I see her, I restrain myself from confessing that I want to be president of her fan club.

I am Nina’s fan because she is so resolutely human. “I’m not a foodie,” she says, and I believe her. She says she made many mistakes on the way to this way of cooking, and I believe that too. Her modest ambition: “to spare you a few wrong turns.”

One more cookbook, you say. And sigh. What’s it like? It’s like: sensible.
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Format: Hardcover
Order this cookbook. Today. ASAP. No really, I'm serious. I read Nina Planck's Real Food for Mother and Baby after my second son was born, and it was life-changing. Full-fat? Yes please. Butter on my cooked veggies? Don't mind if I do.

And now there's this cookbook. I've never really raved about a cookbook, because most of them make me feel like I'm back in law school getting called on in Contracts on the day that I'm unprepared. But this cookbook. This cookbook is gentle with your insecurities, all the while being bountifully beautiful, with tales of cultured butter, fried cheese, vegetables galore (beets, especially my beloved beets), kefirs, bone broths, grass-fed beef, and pastured chicken. You will be in traditional food heaven, but strangely without all the judgment or pretense one might typically find in such untouchably ethereal circles. (Spoiler: she even cops to not being able to entirely give up industrially refined white sugar!).

Now that right there speaks to me, since I'm on about two years of fast food, Lean Cuisine, and aspartame sobriety now, and my cooking skills and confidence have been painstakingly slow to catch up. This cookbook works for me, but it would also please the most discriminating foodie out there.

This is starting to sound like some sort of drunken, last-call, gushing confessional-monologue to your best girlfriend about the perfect, elusive arch in her eyebrows, when you've suffered from a lifetime of tweezer-impairment, but that's pretty much the feeling here. So just order the cookbook.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful By R. Evans on June 15, 2014
Format: Hardcover
I would give this 3.5 stars if possible.

When I started my real food journey, I started reading Real Food: What to Eat and Why by Nina Planck. One of the things I liked so much about it was that she cited her research sources. So I was a little disappointed to see that her first recipe, for Kombucha, was filled with common misconceptions and no research. I feel it is necessary to correct some of these statements so that others can make the best choice for you and your family.

1) "Kombucha is nonalcoholic" - it actually has at least .5% and as much as 3% or more depending on the length of fermentation. If you do the second ferment for flavor it will be on the higher side. I personally wouldn't feel comfortable feeding it to my kids for this reason.
2) The SCOBY "devours the caffeine in the tea and the sugar creating the good things in the Kombucha: B vitamins, enzymes, and antioxidant glucaronic acid." - the caffeine is only consumed by the SCOBY when it has nothing else to feed on, such as sugar. You'd have to ferment it for quite a while to reduce the caffeine at all. The amount of B vitamins is so small it's immeasurable. And there is NO glucaronic acid in it whatsoever.
(Source: [...] )

Aside from that, I was a little disappointed that the recipes weren't more "traditional". They are definitely a little more fancy than what I cook on a regular basis. Some of the ingredients are costly, some I don't even know where to find. She doesn't seem consistent in the types of ingredients she recommends, she seems to often recommend canned tomatoes over fresh, which seems a little odd (obviously this is something you could personally change). She gives instructions on how to make certain ingredients on your own but not others.
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