The Moosewood Restaurant Cooking for Health

[9 December 2009]

By Karen Zarker

PopMatters Managing Editor

One can run a half-marathon (and a full marathon, if so inclined—I wasn’t) powered largely by the delicious teachings of a Moosewood Restaurant cookbook. I’ve had my Moosewood for over 10 years, now—treasured well beyond that nutty idea I had to run for distances that now, well, that’s what a bike—or car—is for. Sure, healthy eating was part of what steered me toward Moosewood back then, but budget played a large role, too. I was well served by low cost, highly-nutritious and better yet delicious ‘fuel’, if you will, gleaned from the pages of this highly regarded resource.

During my weekend forays into new recipes, I learned more about protein combinations in beans and legumes, and the properties of various leafy greens than I realized—until I found myself regularly spouting off nutritional facts to whomever might be helping me make dinner—many years beyond that silly half marathon. The recipes and the ‘prose’, if you will, are simple and elegant. This offshoot of my old ‘master’ text, New Vegetarian and Vegan Recipes, is for the Moosewood initiated, the local and environmentally sustainable-inclined consumer, and/or the novice cook who must make changes to her diet, doctor’s orders.

Sure, with this book you’ll become a maser of the Glycemic Index without even realizing it. That’s part of the appeal of Moosewood books; you absorb scientific knowledge as easily as you digest the delicious meal you’ve made from these simple recipes. Moosewood is not preachy, but it will subtly change your eating habits for the better. With far less effort than it takes to run 13 miles, you’ll attain practical nutritional knowledge—and you well have many simple, favorite recipes in your repertoire—for the rest of your life.

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