Synopses & Reviews
In this groundbreaking cookbook, Nina Simonds offers us more than 175 luscious recipes, along with practical tips for a sensible lifestyle, that demonstrate that health-giving foods not only provide pleasure but can make a huge difference in our lives.
With her emphasis on the tonic properties of a wide variety of foods, herbs, and spices, this book also brings us up to date on the latest scientific research. In every recipe gathered from cultures around the world in which good eating is a way of life Simonds gives us dishes that are both irresistible and have a positive effect on one's well-being. For example:
- Cardamom, a key digestive, subtly seasons her Steamed Asparagus with Cardamom Butter.
- Cinnamon, which strengthens the heart and alleviates nervous tension, adds spice to her Fragrant Cinnamon Pork with Sweet Potatoes.
- Basil has long been used as a healing salve and in teas. So who wouldn't feel rejuvenated by a delicious bowlful of Sun-Dried Tomato Soup with Fresh Basil?
- Peanuts, which fortify the immune system and lower cholesterol, provide a tasty, crunchy accent in Sichuan Kung Pao Chicken.
- Mint, which has many healing properties, from taming muscle spasms to dissolving gallstones, can be relished in Minty Snap Peas accompanying Pan-Roasted Salmon or in a Pineapple Salsa served with Jerk Pork Cutlets.
- And peaches give us vitamin C, beta carotene, and fiber. So enjoy them in a wonderful Gingery Peach-a-Berry Cobbler.
To help us understand what part these health-restoring foods can play in our lives, Simonds peppers Spices of Life with lively interviews with a variety of experts, including Dr. Jim Duke, who offers anti-aging advice from his Herbal Farmacy; Dr. Andrew Weil, who discusses his latest nutritional findings; and Dr. U. K. Krishna, who explains basic Ayurvedic practices for healthy living. And more.
With its delicious, easy-to-prepare recipes and concise health information, this delightful book opens up a whole new world of tastes for us to enjoy every day and to share with family and friends.
"For many home chefs, reading through most cookbooks is a bit like perusing some high-end fashion magazine: an exercise in aspiration you'll never get around to making that Boeuf en Croute, but it's nice to imagine a world in which you would. Then there are cookbooks like this one, which is more like an issue of Self than Vogue: full of straightforward but practical recipes, and peppered with loads of health information. Structurally, the book is rich with material, although somewhat confusing: in addition to chapters organized by theme ('Pleasures from the Garden,' 'Hearty Stews and Braises'), there's interstitial material from alternative health experts like Andrew Weil, with recipes relating to their medical philosophies. The chapters are creative and useful. Why don't more chefs devote a chapter, as Simonds (A Spoonful of Ginger) has, to 'Appetizers That Can Serve as a Meal'? Mixing Indonesian, French and Italian recipes within one chapter, Simonds displays her wide-ranging professional and personal experience, sharing meals kids will love, like Teriyaki Beef. For those who relish cookbooks for the elegance they promise, Simonds's side notes may seem less than sexy (learning that dill is supposed to cure bad breath somehow makes the dish the note accompanies less appetizing), but for those open to alternative medicine, and curious about international cuisine, this book is uniquely useful, and Simonds's recipes are easy and inviting. Forecast: Simonds contributes to Gourmet and the New York Times, and is a well-known expert on Asian food and culture. Expect her book to garner reviews and attention, which should yield solid sales." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Food is undeniably the spice of life, and Simonds proves it on every page of this seductive cookbook from the Spicy Peanut Dip she offers in "Something To Graze On" to the Sesame Grilled Eggplant in "Pleasures from the Garden." Also included are the amazing healing properties of spices.
About the Author
Nina Simonds has lived, studied, and traveled throughout Southeast Asia. For the past thirty years she has taught cooking classes across the United States and in mainland China. An Asian correspondent for Gourmet and a frequent contributor to The New York Times Sunday Travel section, she is also the author of numerous award-winning cookbooks, including A Spoonful of Ginger, which won both a James Beard Foundation Award and an IACP Cookbook Award. She lives in Salem, Massachusetts.