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Your Organic Kitchen: The Essential Guide to Selecting and Cooking Organic Foods Hardcover – October, 2000

6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews Review

"To me," says chef-author Jesse Ziff Cool, "restaurants as well as home kitchens should be places where food is simply as pure as it can be, and always served with love." In Your Organic Kitchen, Cool has culled 160 recipes from her 25 years in the restaurant business and from her food-loving family to share with the public. Cool is an unabashed believer in organically grown and raised foods: pure foods equal healthier bodies, she says, plus foods raised without pesticides or hormone enhancements simply taste better.

Cool divides her cookbook into eight seasons, distinguishing, for example, between the first juicy strawberries of early summer and the bounty of fresh tomatoes and peppers in midsummer. Each section contains recipes for appetizers, main and side dishes, and desserts. She balances savory vegetarian options like Roasted Root Vegetables with Apples and Mustard with nonvegetarian dishes like Lamb Burgers with Caramelized Shallots.

Clear and straightforward, many of the recipes contain ingredients that you will already have on hand or that are easily purchased at your local market. To help you build an organic kitchen, Cool gives suggestions on how to begin stocking your pantry with organic spices, pastas, and grains. Essays on organic farms and companies crop up throughout the book--although they read rather like product advertisements and would work better if simply represented in the list of organic food providers in the back of the book. While Your Organic Kitchen is intended for organic cooks, you can still make the recipes if you don't have all organic ingredients, and you should--these recipes are too delectable not to try. --Dana Van Nest

From Publishers Weekly

In this easy-to-navigate cookbook, Ziff Cool, proprietor of jZcool restaurant in Palo Alto, Calif., and author of Breakfast in Bed, praises the flavor and health benefits of organic produce. A section titled "Why Organic?" explains that "before 1900, all food was organically grown," so the fad for heirloom tomatoes is really a return to the food-raising practices of centuries. Cool proudly relates that she raises chickens in the backyard of her suburban Palo Alto home, which is known as the best after-school-snack house among her son's friends. After the first two chapters, which explain how to shop for organic produce, readers may head straight for the closest co-op. However, recipes are organized into eight mini-seasons, so if you're wondering what you should do with those early springtime fresh strawberries, or those portobellos you impulsively bought, recipes such as Strawberry-Chocolate Cobbler and Stuffed Portobello Burgers, with easy instructions and tips, will help. There are also a number of meat and fowl dishes, including Port-Braised Lamb Shanks and Pork 'N' Pumpkin Noodles. Yet some recipes call for ingredients, such as chicken broth in Creamy Autumn Soup, that are not exactly fresh from the farmer's stall. The strongest points are fruit-based recipes and desserts, such as Persimmon-Berry Crisp and Rosemary Grilled Figs. If Cool had included more of the unusual vegetables and fruits that are now available at local farmers' markets, these recipes might have melded better with her laudable philosophy. Photographs by Lisa Koenig not seen by PW. (Oct.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Rodale Press (October 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1579541666
  • ISBN-13: 978-1579541668
  • Product Dimensions: 11.2 x 8.8 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,958,755 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on April 13, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Because we raised free range hens for the eggs and have a large vegetable garden and savor the fresh fruit we have available I wanted the book in my home library. It is shy 300 pages and what I like about the book is the well laid out format. Like Why Organic? And Your Organic Pantry? And then the stages of spring, summer, fall and winter sections which get the reader back to the idea of eating according to the seasons.
I like what the author says in the Why Organic section of how food used to be grown organically and then things after world war 2 changed and quantity over quality became the key. Even though I note we as a country throw away more food than we grow or take to market. Many health problems came about when we went from natural to artificial means of growing food.
I was happy to see that the author discusses organically grown meats as well. And eggs as well as dairy items. Buying locally caught fish is her suggestion for fish and its a wise suggestion. And she even discusses the pros of wild game. Some people think that ranch raised pheasant is wild pheasant when in fact it is not.
The recipes are so vast and varied and its nice to see them listed according to the season. Like the sugar snap peas and potato cakes on page 22. The Orange steamed chicken and asparagus on page 31 is delicious and easy. The summer fruit pizza on page 136 is great for the hot days we have. And because we cook outside so much we love recipes like the Rosemary Grilled Figs on page 144 which is served with Warm Brie and kumquats.
The photography is great and like the best cookbooks the author lists calories, protein, carbs, fat, cholesterol, fiber and sodium.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 3, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I have to have good picutures to go with a great recipe to really enjoy it. This book has them.
The writting is a lot of fun, and the recipes are easy to understand and follow. They also taste great!
I have already made 4 dishes, and they all came out well.
I am glad that organic food has become so easy to get your hands on. It is so important to undersatnd what you are eating in this day and age.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on February 15, 2001
Format: Hardcover
With Your Organic Kitchen, Jesse Cool provides the kitchen cook with an essential, "user friendly" guide to selecting and preparing organic foods. From Banana-Walnut Shortbread, Black Beans with Corn Relish, Deep-Dish Summer Vegetable Cobbler, and Warm Brie with Kumquats, to Mediterranean Stuffed Whitefish, Tangerine Slaw with Salmon Roulades, Sweet-And-Sour Cabbage with Smoked Pork Chops, and Rosemary-Lemon Biscuits, this compendium of 160 delicious, nutritious, main courses, side dishes, and desserts will provide a popular addition to the family cookbook collection. These wonderful enthusiastically recommended recipes are enhanced with 120 color photographs and tips on how to create an organic kitchen in the home.
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