So I was just browsing at the library….

We spend a lot of time at the library in the summer.  So much time that the children’s librarians know my children by name and book genre preferences.  I also use the inter-library loan feature that links our library system with the ones in the neighboring counties and allows me to get books that my local branch doesn’t carry.  I think, in fact, that I have checked out every vegan and gluten free book in the system; sometimes twice.  But I’m still constantly finding interesting books that give me insight into this journey.

Last week I happened upon “A Complete Guide to Cooking with Arthritis” by Melinda Winner.  The author is a chef who has multiple types of arthritis, among them RA.  She gives some good tips on how to set up your space and effectively cook while having problems with your joints.

This week’s find is a cookbook called “The Cleaner Plate Club” by Beth Bader & Ali Benjamin.  The subtitle of “More than 100 Recipes for Real Food Your Kids Will Love” is what intrigued me.  While not a vegan cookbook it has some very good ideas about how to introduce your children to healthier eating.  Even if your kids aren’t super young (mine are 9 & 11) I found nuggets of information I could use.  Many recipes are easy to veganize and in fact I tried one this weekend that was wonderful.  I have changed the name a little bit since my cousin, who was visiting, loved it.  I served it cold, as a salad.  The original recipe says it can be served warm or room temperature as well.

Emily’s Edamame Salad

2 cups frozen edamame

1 cup frozen corn

1/4 cup water

1 cube veggie bouillon

1.5 tsp earth balance

1 red pepper, seeded and chopped

1/2 large sweet onion, chopped

Sea Salt

Freshly Ground Pepper

2 tsbp fresh basil

Bring a pan of water to a boil.  Add the frozen edamame and cook for about 4 minutes.  Then add the corn and cook 2-3 minutes more.  Drain and set these aside to cool a little.

Into the pan put the 1/4 cup water, the bouillon, and the earth balance.  Mix it all up so that the bouillon cube disintegrates into the water.  Then add the pepper and onion and let them cook until the onion is see-through, between 3 and 5 minutes.  Add the edamame and corn back in and mix it up well.  Stir in the chopped fresh basil and then let it cool.  Store in the fridge for a good and easy salad.

It was a really wonderful addition to our dinner and I’m excited about trying out more recipes in the book.  I’m also gleaning some good information about cooking healthy food for kids from people who “get it.”  The line on page 156 really speaks to me

“We’ll go ahead and say it: Feeding kids is a never-ending task…”  So while there are sections on meat in the book, I am glad to be reading the thoughts about healthy food and children.

The other book I recently picked up from the library (Ok, I’ll admit it. I get 20-30 books a month.  So this is not the only other one I have, but is the other one I thought you might want to hear about!) is called “The Dirty Life: A memoir of Farming, Food, and Love” by Kristin Kimball.  This is by no means a specifically vegan book.  They raise and eat meat and do discuss the butchering.  However, the story of how they are trying to create a farm that specifically feeds an entire community everything they need is really amazing.  The author was a NYC based writer who met a farmer and fell in love with him and then gave up everything she knew to begin this life and this farm.  I’m not done, but so far I’m impressed with the writing and the philosophy behind the farm.  I truly believe that you don’t have to agree 100% with people to get something out of what they have to say, and I’m glad to have picked up this book on the suggestion of my sister in law.

So that’s what I’ve been reading when I haven’t been cooking or swimming or going to the beach!  Have you read anything interesting lately that has to do with your healthy food journey?  I’d love to hear from you!

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