So, this month I tackled Mark Bittman’s cookbook, The Food Matters Project and am completely obsessed. It is an amazing book that has given me some great tips and taught me a lot about food. I can’t recommend it highly enough.
If you’re not familiar with Bittman, he is a prolific food writer who’s written several huge cookbooks. This particular one focuses on eating more whole grains, veggies and fruits, while limiting meat. He doesn’t ask you to give up meat, but rethink how much of it you eat as a serving. He believes this way of eating will improve your health and the planet. It’s the kind of common sense nutritional advice that always has me slapping my forehead. I mean, we all know what we’re supposed to eat, but I have a hard time figuring out what to make. That’s where this cookbook really shines.
Bittman offers options for many of the recipes. For example, if you don’t like something or it’s not in season, he suggests swap outs. He tells you what to cook in large batches and freeze. The man knows food. Throughout this month, I had a lot of Oprah worthy “aha” moments. One was that oatmeal takes 5 minutes to make. Did you know this? And, you can make a big batch of it that will keep in your fridge. You can do the same with rice too, which works well for quick fried rice.
He gives a great method for making your own pita chips that takes about 10 minutes. I also made big batches of beans that I stored in small, 1 cup portions in the freezer. These make quick additions to salads or can be whizzed into a quick dip.
Did I mention I really, really liked this cookbook?
Here is what I’ve made from the cookbook. I marked my favorites with asterisks.
- Cinnamon-Cocoa Gorp
- Baked Pita Chips*
- Black Bean and Rice Soup with Carrot Relish
- Roasted Butternut Chowder with Apples and Bacon
- Ten-Minute Green Salad
- Couscous Salad with Dried Cranberries and Pecans*
- Thai Beef Salad
- Pasta with Smashed Peas, Prosciutto, and Scallions
- Black Bean Chili Mac
- Pasta with Smoky Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Bacon*
- Batch of Grains (Oatmeal)*
- Rice, Peas and Carrots*
- Spicy Fried Rice with Bean Sprouts, Chicken and Peanuts*
- Vegetable and Shrimp Fried Rice*
- Skillet Carnitas with Pinto Beans
- Mexican-Style Fruit Salad with Broiled Fish*
- Roast Potatoes and Chicken with Romesco*