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Fast, Fresh & Green Paperback – April 28, 2010

4.6 out of 5 stars 137 customer reviews

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Nutrition Stripped: 100 Whole-Food Recipes Made Deliciously Simple by McKel Hill
"Nutrition Stripped" by McKel Hill
Discover more than 100 delicious whole-food recipes—with striking color photos—in this cookbook based on the popular blog, 'Nutrition Stripped'. Learn more | See related books
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Not all these recipes are fast, nor do they all feature green veggies (nor are they consciously ecofocused). The subtitle explains it better: this rainbow of appealing recipes is for those who adore vegetable dishes and want more than an afterthought chapter dedicated to them. Middleton, a former editor-at-large for Fine Cooking magazine, divides recipes by cooking style, instructing readers in braising, hands-on sautéing, stir-frying, grilling, and more. She offers dishes—braised fingerlings with rosemary and mellow garlic; sautéed carrots with warm olive and mint dressing; stir-fried swiss chard with pine nuts and balsamic butter; and grill-roasted bell peppers with goat cheese and cherry tomato dressing—with layers of complexity that heighten but don't overwhelm the flavors of the intended stars, the vegetables. And she employs interesting contrasts—savory and sweet, for example—in recipes such as vanilla and cardamom glazed acorn squash rings; roasted turnips and pears with rosemary-honey drizzle; and gingery sweet potato and apple sauté with toasted almonds that are likely to tempt even the vegetable-averse. Fink's photos—mostly of green veggies, perhaps in a nod to the misnomer title—show lima beans and peas as mouth-watering, decadent treats. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From the Author

I couldn't be happier with my first cookbook, Fast, Fresh & Green. It's beautiful (thank you to Chronicle Books and my fabulous photographer Ben Fink!), and I feel like my mission--to help people learn more easy and delicious ways to cook vegetables--really comes to life on these pages. When I was Editor of Fine Cooking magazine, I noticed that our vegetable side dish features were always very popular, that folks really wanted to cook more vegetables but struggled with how to cook them and with making dishes that everyone in the family would like. I could relate! As a little girl, I was such a picky eater that my mother let me put sour cream on my vegetables just to get them down me. But that all changed when I started to cook for myself, went to culinary school, worked in great restaurants, and began to understand that vegetables don't need to be handled with kid gloves. In fact, the kiss of high heat brings out their sweetness; and roasting, braising, sauteing, and grilling are all great ways to make vegetables tasty.

To that end, I wanted my book to be organized by technique (instead of being just another recipe collection). So I developed 9 great ways to cook vegetables (8 are quick and perfect for weeknights; the ninth is a slower-but-worth-it bonus gratin chapter), and also included a master recipe for each technique that you can customize with your own flavor choices. But realizing that a lot of cooks just like to jump into a recipe to get started, I've included more than 90 other recipes, too, so that you can get friendly with vegetables however you like. I hope you enjoy Fast, Fresh & Green, and I promise you that you'll definitely find at least one (hopefully many) new go-to weeknight vegetable dishes in this book. 
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books; 1st edition (April 28, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811865665
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811865661
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.8 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (137 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #152,360 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Debbie Lee Wesselmann TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 3, 2010
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Length: 1:46 Mins
I haven't tried a recipe in this cookbook that I haven't loved. Even my husband, who only tolerates vegetables, likes the interesting flavor combinations. The best part is that I now have fantastic recipes to dress up vegetables when I entertain. This is not a vegetarian cookbook, however, since a few recipes contain ingredients such as pancetta and chicken broth, but they can be easily converted.

Not everything is fast. Not everything is green. But it is all freshly delicious. In this video, I show my own results with the recipes as well as give glimpses of what the cookbook contains.

-- Debbie Lee Wesselmann
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Susie Middleton is a trained French chef and former editor and current editor-in-charge of Fine Cooking magazine. The 90 vegetable recipes are organized by preparation method - roasting, sautéing, no cooking, grilling, stir frying and recipes that require two methods of cooking. The recipes are wonderful, but be warned that these are not stark vegetable dishes made for only the health food crowd, and vegetarians will need to make slight alterations to some of the recipes. I believe the author stated that 75 percent of the 90 recipes are vegetarian. The focus is on fresh ideas and delicious dishes, not low fat, so the dishes may contain butter and cream, etc.

The book is a large paperback, and except for the middle of the book, refuses to lay open on its own, so a cookbook holder will be useful. The paper quality is good and I found spills wiped up easily. The index is comprehensive and makes finding recipes by ingredient a breeze.

Photographs are sprinkled throughout the pages, but only twenty-two of the dishes are pictured. Annoyingly, some of the photographs are wasted on stacks of potatoes, tomatoes or squash. The reader undoubtedly knows what those vegetables look like and would have benefited from a few more photographs of the prepared dishes. If the pages with photographs were divided into quarters, with little if any additional cost, each dish could have been pictured.

Cookbooks are primarily tools for use in the kitchen, and should be constructed with ease of use in mind. For example, using bold and pale fonts make the recipes difficult to read from a standing position while the book rests on the countertop. Providing nutritional information would also be appreciated.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The premise behind Susie Middleton's Fast, Fresh, and Green is that you want to cook interesting side dishes and vegetable accompaniments, but you don't always have a lot of time to putter in the kitchen. I can get behind that. On too many occasions, I find that I put all my energy into the entree, and I end up with ordinary (read: relatively dull) steamed vegetables alongside. I wanted something more for veggies than "What do we have in the freezer, honey?" without giving myself yet another complex dish to cook. On a weeknight, no less.

The "fast" part comes from you spending a few minutes cutting ingredients that ordinarily take a long time to cook (such as potatoes) into smaller pieces. Most recipes promise to be fridge-to-table in 30 minutes. Although several could be a meal in themselves (or they would if you added extra protein, like cheese), these recipes are primarily meant to be served with something, and Middleton usually provides guidance about what a dish would go with. (Often, it means the "with" can be simple, such as a roast chicken. You don't have to knock yourself out on a school night.)

The book is organized by cooking method, such as quick-roasting, stir frying, or grilling, and an introductory section discusses items you should have in your pantry and how to buy and store vegetables. Three quarters of the 90 recipes have no meat, making them suitable (though not optimized) for vegetarians. This is a very readable cookbook, too; that didn't surprise me because I've enjoyed so many of the author's articles in Fine Cooking over the years.

The key point, however, is that these recipes are _good_.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Early on, I decided I didn't like "Fast, Fresh, and Green". The author takes a somewhat condescending tone toward the reader, making sure you know that she's a pro who loves to cook and loves vegetables, and that she knows you are a dolt who doesn't cook and hates them. "I just want you to know this is a cookbook...my gift to you." Puh-leeze. She recommends an "everyday pantry" that includes basics so you'll be ready to cook, things such as eight different kinds of cheese, blood oranges, prosciutto, fleur de sel (or, in a pinch, Maldon sea salt). She allows that your pantry may differ (can I get a hallelujah?), but assures you that as a recovering dolt, yours will become more like hers all the time. So anyway, I decided I didn't like this book.

Then I started cooking from it.

The first recipe I tried was Brown Butter Asparagus with Pine Nuts, which - okay, I admit it - I do just happen to have all the ingredients on hand for most of the time, except the asparagus that I'd gotten from the farmers market that morning. I like asparagus. I like it steamed, I like it sautéed, I like it roasted. I haven't made it any of those ways since I discovered this recipe.

The next step was to try something that was more unusual and didn't have simple pantry ingredients, so I chose the carrots stir-fried with ginger, lime, and cilantro, which required me to go buy the last three ingredients (although I will admit, it's not too unusual to find them on hand in my kitchen; maybe it's not as bad as I thought). The carrots were fast and fresh, if not green.

I haven't disliked a recipe from this book yet. I'm sort of working my way through it, and I imagine I'll hit a clinker sooner or later. It's going to be a tasty adventure in the meantime.

If you like vegetables, get this book. If you don't like vegetables, get this book. You won't be sorry.
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