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The How Not to Die Cookbook: 100+ Recipes to Help Prevent and Reverse Disease Hardcover – December 5, 2017
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A New York Times Book Review favorite holiday book of 2017
About the Author
Michael Greger, M.D.,FACLM, is a physician, author, and internationally recognized speaker on a number of important public health issues. He is the author of the New York Times bestseller, How Not to Die and he runs NutritionFacts.org, the first science-based, non-commercial website to provide free daily videos and articles on the latest discoveries in nutrition.
Gene Stone has written many books on animal protection and plant-based nutrition, including the #1 New York Times bestseller, Forks Over Knives. He has also co-written the bestsellers How Not to Die, The Engine 2 Diet and Living the Farm Sanctuary Life.
Robin Robertson has developed recipes for and written more than twenty cookbooks, including Vegan on the Cheap, 1,000 Vegan Recipes, Quick Fix Vegan, and Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker. Before becoming a cookbook expert, she was a restaurant chef and cooking teacher. She is also the writer of “The Global Vegan” column for VegNews Magazine.
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As a bit of background, I've been vegan for almost five years, but only read Dr. Greger's How Not to Die: Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease earlier this summer. I loved that book and its focus on integrating research studies with practical tips, but had wished for more actual recipes. Enter this new cookbook . . . .
The book is divided up into the following sections:
* Simple Preparations -- includes ten recipes that are used as the basis for other recipes -- things like spice blends, almond milk, and vegetable broth
* Snacks, Dips, and Spreads
* Soups and Chilies
* Salads and Dressings
* Burgers, Wraps, and More
* Very Veggie Mains
* Bean Cuisine
* Great Grains
Also included at the end is a section that includes sample menus for two weeks of eating, as well as some kitchen prep tips. At the beginning of the book, Dr. Greger summarizes some of the more pertinent research from _How Not to Die_. After that, he also provides his list of the "Daily Dozen" -- the twelve foods he suggests we eat every day as a way to prevent heart disease, cancer, and other illnesses.
All of the recipes use a whole-foods, plant-based (WFPB) approach to eating, one that is similar to the Forks over Knives, Engine 2, China Study, and Plant Pure Nation lifestyles. Sweetness comes in through the use of things like the dates in the Date Paste recipe and date sugar, and everything is also refined-sugar-free, oil-free, and salt-free, for those following an SOS-free diet. (Miso paste is used in a few recipes for salty flavor.) The only "unusual" ingredient that the recipes use is nutritional yeast, which you can buy here on Amazon. "Nooch," as it's nicknamed, imparts a cheese-like flavor to dishes, and is a great source of Vitamin B12 (if you buy the fortified version of it), which plant-based eaters need to supplement with since plant foods don't contain it.
Many of the recipes also contain a side box that provides cooking/preparation tips or other information that is helpful in preparing the recipe. There are beautiful full-color photos -- which is one thing I always look for in cookbooks since they inspire me to cook -- for almost every recipe, except for the smaller things like in the "Simple Preparations" chapter. (See the two photos for samples of what the pages look like.) The directions are also clear and easy to follow, and speak to the expertise of Robin Robertson, who developed the recipes. At the bottom of each page, there are also X's that mark off which of the Daily Dozen foods that recipe incorporates.
The book itself is also wonderfully put together, with hardback binding and a lovey green binding that matches the cover of _How Not to Die_.
It would have been nice if this had included the prep and cooking times for each recipe, but you can eyeball them and get an idea of how long each will take. Also, the voice/style of the writing is a little off to me; the headnotes to each recipe and the supplemental textboxes make it sound as if Dr. Greger created the recipes, but then credit is given to Robin Robertson.
Although I've only had this for a day, I've made the Chocolate Oatmeal, the Black Bean Soup with Quinoa and Kale, and the Pumpkin Pie Smoothie. All three recipes came together quickly and easily, which is important when you're looking for fast, healthy meals. I'm looking forward to using this often, and know it will get a lot of use in my kitchen!
UPDATE ON 12-7-17: I noticed that a few reviewers have given this cookbook a negative review because it doesn't include nutrition information, but the philosophy behind whole-foods, plant-based eating is that if you're eating healthy whole foods, you don't need to worry about calorie counts. I've been following this approach to my eating for a few years, and have been at a stable, healthy weight. While I agree that having this information would be useful, only two of the ten or so WFPB cookbooks that I own have that information, so it's not that unusual that Dr. Greger chose not to include it.
UPDATE ON 12-9-17: I've made a few more recipes this weekend, including the Almond-Chocolate Truffles and Black Bean Burgers pictured, and all have been delicious.
Also, I've noticed that some reviewers are worried about getting ahold of miso paste and nutritional yeast. If you can't find miso locally (it has to be refrigerated, so is harder to buy online), you can substitute tahini mixed with a bit of salt; the taste won't be quite the same, but it will add the salty flavor. For nutritional yeast, I've been buying Hoosier Hill Farm Nutritional Yeast Flakes, 1 Pound for the last three years here on Amazon, and really like it. It stays fresh for quite awhile in the pantry. Hope that helps!
UPDATE ON 12-24-17: I've been using this book non-stop since I got it, and continue to love it! This past week one of the recipes I made from it was the pasta with lentil sauce (see last photo). I used pre-cooked lentils from Trader Joe's, and it came together so quickly and easily.
UPDATE ON 5-6-18: I've been cooking a lot from this book, as well as other SOS-free cookbooks, and have lost seven pounds since January. It's been hard for me to lose weight, but really focusing on cooking without oil and eating whole foods has made a huge difference.
I'm a Mid-Westerner, so about 1 out of 10 of the ingredients were items I'd never heard of before...let alone ever used before. So, most of the recipes looked difficult to me.
On the other hand, I need this book. I'm a leukemia survivor, and I've been researching nutritional means to reduce the odds of relapsing. Dr. Greger's work (and the nutritionfacts.org website) is the best of all the sources on science-based nutrition out there. There are a few decades of nutritional science development...AND... in recipe development that come together here in this book.
Got the book 2 days ago and I've tried a couple of smoothies and they were way better (nutritionally and flavor wise) than my usual "random" smoothies. I've never had "bean" dishes that were other than just BEANS (butter beans OR pork-n-beans)...so the 2 bean-based dishes I've tried so far were pretty special.
I'll be "walking" my way through every one of the recipes in this book...(trying to bring my wife on-board).
After having learned from "How Not to Die" about the long-term health benefits of a whole plant-based diet, I ran into the challenges of how to cook in this new way. After all, it's not enough to just avoid meat, dairy, & processed foods. You need to get your complete nutrition. Before this cookbook came out, I was struggling to piece together recipes that I found online. The trouble with that method was that (a.) I had no way of knowing whether the recipes I was selecting fit together to ensure that I was covering all my nutritional bases; (b.) it takes a lot of time to hunt down recipes online that are not only whole-food plant-based but also practical and tasty; and (c.) as a result I found myself stuck in a rut, cooking the same dishes over and over. That's no good. A new way of eating needs to be fun in order to sustain it over the long term.
The "How Not to Die Cookbook" solves all of these problems. I cannot recommend it highly enough, and have purchased a copy for every household on my Christmas list.
Some things that I especially like about this cookbook:
- It offers a wide variety of nutritient-packed recipes. (Some cookbooks feel like "100 variations on quinoa salad." This one offers something for everyone.... even a vegan version of Mac & Cheese.)
- Every recipe I've tried so far is delicious. (Unlike my experience with many other cookbooks, which are hit-and-miss).
- The recipes I have tried are also are pretty quick to prepare. (This is coming from someone who is used to cooking from scratch. People who are transitioning away from processed foods will have to keep in mind that cooking whole plant-based foods does require SOME time.)
- Each recipe includes a photograph, and the photos are beautiful. (This is helpful when choosing or cooking a recipe for the first time).
- It's flexible. The authors encourage you to experiment with substitutions, and provide ideas in many of the recipes for substitutions. This is helpful for people who don't like a particular ingredient that's called for, or simply don't have it on hand.
- The beginning of the book includes instructions on how to make & store large quantities of the staple ingredients that are used in many of the recipes (almond milk, vegetable broth, spice mix, etc.).
- For those who haven't read "How Not to Die" but are interested in an evidence-based eating, the beginning of the book includes a summary of the most important findings from "How Not to Die."
- In the back of the book there are complete meal plans for two whole weeks, which really helps me to get a concrete picture of what complete nutrition looks like over the course of the day.
- To make it easier to freestyle your meal-planning, each recipe comes with an easy-reference list telling you which of Dr. Greger's "daily dozen" foods the dish contains.