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Eating in the Middle: A Mostly Wholesome Cookbook Hardcover – March 29, 2016
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“This book has exactly the kinds of foods I love—healthy, wholesome dishes you won’t believe are light, and a few decadent treats sprinkled in for those special occasions, because let’s be realistic, isn’t that what life’s about? Eating in the Middle is about balance, not about depravation. I adore Andie, and I can’t wait to dig in to that Peanut Butter Mousse Pie!”
—Gina Homolka, author of The Skinnytaste Cookbook
“Most every woman, at some point in her life, is able to relate to Andie’s struggle with weight and food. Therefore, many will find something in this book, whether it’s comforting advice or a satisfying meal. Eating in the Middle provides any level of cook with recipes that nourish the body while satisfying the taste buds—a difficult feat, which Andie masters flawlessly! Her stories are beautifully written and echo the inspiring mantras of her bestselling memoir. This cookbook will make you fall in love with food all over again, in a balanced, mostly wholesome way.”
—Ali Maffucci, author of Inspiralized
“This girl is not only a storyteller, but man, is she a chef. She knows what she is doing in the kitchen and she knows how to string words together in such a beautiful way to express herself and send her message directly to her readers’ hearts. I can’t think of anyone better suited to write a cookbook, and I hope there are many more where this came from. I credit Andie for reigniting my passion for cooking after my own eating disorder struggle. Thank you, Andie, for being a sensation and an inspiration.”
—Jordan Younger, author of Breaking Vegan and lifestyle blogger at TheBalancedBlonde.com
“With Eating in the Middle, Andie is squashing the all-or-nothing dieting attitude one recipe at a time. You can feel her vibrant and genuine spirit in each word. In fact, Andie is your best friend on this journey with you. I’ve never seen a cookbook celebrate a realistic, healthful lifestyle (with the occasionally indulgence!) as well as Eating in the Middle. Fabulous!”
—Jessica Merchant, author of Seriously Delish and blogger at HowSweetEats.com
“Anyone who is or wants to be a mindful eater will treasure Eating in the Middle, as moderation has never been more approachable and satisfying. Those who loved Andie’s memoir, It Was Me All Along, will be thrilled that she’s back with another work as honest as it is delicious.”
—Kerry Diamond, cofounder of Cherry Bombe magazine
“Andie Mitchell makes balance possible for us all in her new book by reimagining her favorite dishes and foods for a modern (and moderate) lifestyle.”
—Claudia Wu, cofounder of Cherry Bombe magazine
“As someone who has obsessed over food my whole life, in both positive and challenging ways, I felt that reading Andie’s words was like hearing the voice inside of my head. I’m sure I’m not the only one to feel that way. Once again, just like she did in her moving memoir, Andie gives us so much. Not only are there recipes that will make you want to get in the kitchen immediately, there’s that honest and vulnerable voice that makes us feel less alone in the struggle to maintain healthy relationships with both food and ourselves.”
—Julia Turshen, cookbook writer
“I love Andie’s healthy approach to healthy eating. Stressing over what to eat can be just as bad for our health as eating poorly, but she definitely strikes the right balance in Eating in the Middle.”
—Lisa Leake, New York Times bestselling author of 100 Days of Real Food
About the Author
ANDIE MITCHELL is a writer, recipe developer, Yahoo! Health columnist, and lover of cake. Her popular blog, CanYouStayForDinner.com, and first book, It Was Me All Along, share the poignant story of her successful weight loss and continued passion for good food. She lives in New York City.
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I read and buy a lot of cookbooks. I had eagerly awaited Eating in the Middle after much hyping on every food blog and on instagram. I should have paid more attention to the fact that every blogger that wrote glowing and gushing reviews also described themselves as her friend. It is billed as a balanced eating cookbook with a mix of healthy and indulgent recipes that helped the author lose and keep off more than a hundred pounds for a decade plus. I like to eat and cook the same way so it sounded right up my alley. When it first arrived, I was thrilled as it is beautiful; I can't say enough about how gorgeously produced this book is. I dove in immediately. However, it did not live up to the advance press or its production values. At heart, it is the world's prettiest Weight Watchers cookbook. I know this review may be unpopularly received as Andie Mitchell seems to a sweet and lovely person with a huge following. She's a great memoirist and I write this as a fan of her writing and what I know of her as a person. I wanted to love the book so much but there's just not much there to recommend it.
What I liked: Mitchell's writing in the short essays sprinkled throughout the book and in the recipe headnotes is heartfelt and lovely. She is very likable and personable. She has a great "voice" and I wish her recipe developing was on par. She includes nutritional information at the end of every recipe, which I love. She sprinkles in some excellent weight loss/maintenance tips. The book is beautifully styled, much to the credit of her talented collaborators, Jen Elliot Blake and Aran Goyoaga (author of the very much superior Small Plates and Sweet Treats). The styling has the effect of making you want to be there even if you wouldn't want to eat the food pictured. The book itself is beautifully printed and substantial feeling in the hand.
What I didn't like: There are not many recipes for the size of the book, only 80. The recipes suffer from being unimaginative and cliched with long lists of unnecessary ingredients, designed to fool the tastebuds. Anyone who has flipped through a diet cookbook knows what I mean. Most of the recipes have far too many ingredients for their degree of complexity, making them uneconomical and laborious. Some of the ingredients specified are the kind of fake, processed or unhealthy substitutes I deplore. A healthy eating book should use whole foods.
The recipes are extremely derivative and cliched. How cliched? There is a recipe for kale chips! Is it different from any other kale chip recipe I've ever seen? Not in the slightest. In this internet age where millions of recipes are available for free in an instant, a cookbook writer needs to be better. Don't just give me another recipe for overnight oats or chia seed pudding unless you can make it different, new or better. If the recipe is the same or worse than the first googled result for overnight oats (for example) than why pay for the book or bother with the endeavor at all? For a cookbook to be of enduring value, it needs to either be an essential reference, full of excellent information, tips and definitive recipes that you return to time and time again, the kind of book that makes you a better cook or baker, or it needs to be evocative of a particular time, place or lifestyle, taking the reader somewhere they want to go. Sadly this book does neither. The more indulgent recipes are even more lackluster than the healthy ones. They were a strange mix of the gourmet and chain restaurant junk food like off a Cheesecake Factory menu (the peanut butter chocolate pie comes to mind). There was literally nothing in the book I wanted to eat or make. My other problem was how basic some of the recipes are, barely worth memorializing as a full recipe rather than a technique applied to an ingredient without any twist or innovation. The recipe for roasted carrots stands out as an example of this.
UPDATE: as of now, I have made:
-Chicken Souvlaki with Tzatziki & Feta
-Jerk Shrimp Salad with Avocado & Mango
- Morning Glory Muffins
-Asian Chicken Salad
-Lemon Herb Fish (subbed in tilapia)
-Spice Rubbed Steak with Blue Cheese & Grilled Peaches
ALL winners, and recipes I would make again!
I'd happily recommend this to someone who wanted a fresh approach to the food they make with a balanced and healthy perspective whilst still being able to enjoy what they eat.