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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Review of NOURISHED, a low-carb cookbook by Judy Barnes Baker


Review of Nourished, A Cookbook for Health, Weight Loss, and Metabolic Balance by Judy Barnes Baker.  Purchase:  Here and Here

I have Judy’s first cookbook, called Carb Wars and it is my favorite low-carb cookbook, besides my own.  It is beautiful.  I was anxiously anticipating receiving my copy of Nourished and I knew it would be beautiful as well.  I was not disappointed!  It is a large cookbook like her first and has tons of gorgeous photos (eighty to be exact!).  I said to Judy, her cookbooks are like beautiful heirlooms that she can pass down to the next generation.  Now I have two favorite cookbooks from Judy!

We’ve been friends for a few years and frequently correspond.  We can really relate to each other and some of the ups and downs of cookbook writing.  I was delighted to see some of my recipes in her wonderful cookbook (she shared some of her recipes in our cookbook too).  Recipes of mine that I spotted were:  Splendid Low-Carb Bake Mix, Biskmix (like Bisquick) and Biskmix Crackers, Cheddar Cheese Muffins, Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies, Cheddar Biscuits, Whole Grain Bread and the Two-Loaf Oven Baked Bread recipe.  Judy has photos for most of those recipes too.

The preamble to Judy’s recipes is very interesting and thorough with a Preface from Mary C. Vernon, M.D., a Foreword from Jackie Eberstein, R.N. (she worked closely with Dr. Atkins during a large part of his career) and a scientific perspective by Richard Feinman, PH.D, R.D. I even enjoyed the introduction written by Judy and several other interesting articles about low-carb diets, who can benefit from a low-carb diet, the birth of Fat Phobia, and more.

There is a section where many of the different fats and oils, sweeteners and low-carb products and flour alternatives are discussed.  There is also a neat section for Snacks, Food for Travel and “Freebies”!  I’ve never seen that in a cookbook before.  The Index is very in-depth and professionally done.

This cookbook of Judy’s is different to her first one in that it is a menu-oriented cookbook as that is what the ADA asked for (long story which is on her blog, I believe and HERE (Jimmy Moore tells the story) – basically, they turned it down on the premise that it was too low-carb! She was ahead of the times.).  Judy gives wonderful ideas for menus for all the different meals, special occasions and holidays.

My friend, Barbara Goldstein and her husband, made one of the menus and this is what she said:  “I made Menu 3, pages 169 through 172, a wonderful Egg Flower Soup, Pork in Peanut Sauce, Sauteed Broccolini and ending with a Coconut Mousse with Caramel Sauce.  My husband, Jay, gives the entire meal a 10 – highest praise!  The soup was wonderful made with homemade chicken stock.  The peanut sauce was pure heaven with the pork and pasta.  The entire menu was so thoughtfully written and the flavors balanced up perfectly in taste and texture; not too much garlic, not too much anything – just right!  I love the idea of menus that are written so well.  I will try another menu soon.”

Judy is so clever with her recipes.  For instance, she mentions that smoothies often contain bananas, but she said a perfect, low-carb alternative is avocado.  She makes a wonderful Chocolate Avocado Smoothie that might become your favorite!  Not only does Judy provide lovely, innovative recipes, but she also provides tons of very interesting reading material and tips throughout the cookbook about various products such as chia and flax seeds or coconut milk, etc.   I think Judy is the Veggie Queen – said tongue-in-cheek – she sure knows her veggies!  Plus, Judy tends more towards gourmet cooking but she makes it look easy!

Hmm, as I read through the recipes, there are many I would like to try.  How about Chocolate Granola, Dried Cranberries, Peanut and Chicken soup, Poached Chicken with Coconut Curry Sauce served over Hominy Faux rice and with Chayote Chutney on the side, Carnitas Soup, Protein bars (these look seriously good!), Sautéed Cabbage (simple but really good!), Snow Pudding with Custard Sauce, Jicama Shoestring Fries, Oven Baked Fish Fillets, “Apple” Cobbler, Barbecued Country-Style Ribs, Cheese Polenta, Yellow Cake with Chocolate Butter Cream Frosting, Ginger Pumpkin Puree, Eggplant Casserole, Mocha Mousse, Celery Root Puree, Raspberry Marshmallow Squares, Rose Flavored Ice Cream, Simply Roasted Asparagus, Pork in Peanut Sauce, Waldorf Salad, Eggplant and Sun-Dried Tomato Mini Pizzas, Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms, Coconut Macadamia Pie, Coco-Choco-Chia Bars, French Fries (Fried Green Beans), Home Fries (using Rutabagas), Baked Custards, Steamed Artichokes with Garlic Lemon Butter, Bannock Bread, French Style Peas, Ambrosia Panna Cotta, Turkey Dressing with Mushrooms and Hominy, Pumpkin Pie, Pumpkin Soup, Standing Beef Rib Roast, Browned Butter Sauce, Christmas Puddings with Cranberry Syrup and Custard Sauce (Yum!), Cauliflower Faux Potatoes for Cottage Pie, Hominy Faux Rice, and Rutabaga Faux Potatoes.  These are just some of the recipes that caught my eye, but there are dozens more to suit every need and taste all artfully interspersed in various menus.

This beautiful cookbook is way underpriced!  You will love having Nourished in your low-carb cookbook library, as well as her other cookbook, Carb Wars!


As an aside:  Judy will be joining us in volume 3 of Low-Carbing Among Friends.

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