January 7, 2009

Upgrade your pantry

I've mentioned Michael Pollan in several posts below. I loved his book, Omnivore's Dilemma. But, like many, I wasn't sure where to go with it in terms of my own diet and eating habits.

I found that his follow-up book, In Defense of Food, provided a great overall philosophy of eating and framework for a healthy diet (summarized by his catch phrase: "Eat Food. Mostly Plants. Not Too Much."). But the question remained: how do I actually parlay this approach into interesting, varied and reasonably convenient meals on the table?

There's a new book out by Mark Bittman (Food Maters: A Guide to Conscious Eating with More Than 75 Recipes) that I hope will help answer this question. My copy arrived just yesterday; so I haven't had a chance to read it. But I did see a related article by Bittman in today's New York Times that seems on point, offering some very specific suggestions on how to stock your pantry to support fresher, tastier and healthier eating. I look forward to putting his ideas into action.


jovaliquilts said...

I read that article this morning, lots of good advice. I will echo his advice about simmering a Parmesan rind in the soup -- I learned that 25 years ago from Marcella Hazan and it transforms whatever you are making into something divine! Some of his advice is easier in California -- I wonder about buying fresh lemons out of season here vs frozen lemon juice, probably put up in season. I now use spray oil only to prevent sticking in baking, but I bought a pump spray for olive oil and it was a disaster (plus you need to clean it often). Now I just use a little oil and toss well.

Laurel said...

I can't wait to partner with you to transform our pantry and come up with a better weekly menu/cooking system.... : )

Anonymous said...

I too am eager to see what creations will emerge from your cooking. What an adventure! chris

ann d. said...

I dug this book and my favorite recipe was "Cassoulet with Lots of Vegetables". I now make it about every other week.