Customer Reviews for

Food Matters: A Guide to Conscious Eating with More Than 75 Recipes

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 84 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 5
  • Posted August 18, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Less meat, more fiber, almost painlessly

    Bittman, The Minimalist columnist for the NY Times and author of the best cookbooks around for people who love to eat and hate to fuss, discovered at age 57 that he weighed too much and was beginning to have health problems. So he cut out daytime animal products and ate what he wanted for dinner. He lost weight amazingly quickly, got healthy, and over the last couple years has developed a more plant based diet - and great recipes to feed it.

    But this is not a diet book, per se. It's about the planet, our industrialized food, and us. Meat production, for instance, produces "more greenhouse gas than the emissions caused by transportation." He explores how we got to such a state of mass production and over consumption, and reviews the uselessness of fad diets. Margin notes provide salient points and pull curious readers into the persuasive text.

    Then he gets into the food. Prepping veggies in advance and storing them, stocking the pantry. The basics of cooking all the beans and whole grains you can think of with variations galore. And a month of menus - 3 meals a day plus snacks. With recipes for every one. Here's a sample Tuesday:

    Breakfast Burrito with beans and avocado (no egg); Asian-Style Noodles with Mushrooms for lunch; a snack of Warm Nuts and Fruit; Roasted Vegetables with Halibut or Salmon Steaks, served with couscous for dinner; orange wedges for dessert.

    Bittman places lots of emphasis on whole grains - short-grain brown rice in his Paella (though he gives the adjusted time for white), whole-wheat tortillas, pancakes, and pasta. There's a lovely Vegetable and Grain Torta, which can be made with any grain you choose.

    With all this established, Bittman organizes the second half of the book by meal. Breakfast ranges from smoothies, granolas and Bread Pudding to Fried Rice and Vegetable Pancakes. He's big on breaking the breakfast mold and offers tips for using leftovers and making ahead.

    For lunch try Hummus with Pita and Greens, various vegetarian sandwich ideas, Spinach and Sweet Potato Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing, Fast Mixed Vegetable Soup.

    And for dinner there's a little meat. A hearty Chickpea Stew with Roasted Chicken. Meat and Grain Loaves, Burgers or Balls. Pan-cooked Grated Vegetables and Crunchy Fish. And enough variations to make you dizzy with inspiration.

    However, on sober reflection over the real-world dinner table, I think sticking with this would be nearly as difficult as sticking with any other diet, although more rewarding in the end. We're just not used to the chewy texture of whole grains and we like our meat. Imagine setting your table with a lovely big platter of eggplant or zucchini stuffed with herbed quinoa or wild rice. Even with a little sausage mixed in, it's an uphill proposition. Maybe forcing the family to read the book would help.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 3, 2009

    This book has changed my life!

    Finally, Mark Bittman has taken all of the messages out there about diet and nutrition and our industrialized food industry and created a book that provides simple, healthy and delicious meals to be eaten throughout the day. By concentrating on eating healthy vegetables and grains throughout the majority of the day - then one finds that one is satisfied and full, while also gaining so many health benefits (and he would argue helping to save the planet by reducing our consumption of meat which increases greenhouse emissions and other waste/pollution that is detrimental to the planet).

    I have dozens of cookbooks and cook regularly, but this is by far one of the most inspiring and easy to reference books I now own. It inspires you to find new recipes at every meal (breakfast, lunch and dinner) that entice you to eat healthy. No more having to search for a recipe for those meals - he's already done that for you - and provided the simple instructions to go with it. Bravo!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 10, 2009

    Honest assesment of what and how we eat.

    Mark Bittman gives a practical and entertaining view of food and how we as human beings eat or should I say over eat. The first half of the book tells us that we should eat well but that our our over indulgence is bad for both our health and for the environment. The second half of the book presents practical and easy recipes that are delicious. The breakfast couscous is very good.
    Enjoy, I still do.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2009

    I wasn't expecting a cookbook, my error

    I should have looked at the book closer as I wanted more nutritional knowledge regarding food, food labels, ingredients etc. I wasn't looking for a book that was 3/4 recipes and how to cook foods. My mistake. If you are looking for a book to help you eat consciously to lose weight you may enjoy this book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2009

    Everyone should read this book.

    I have been seeing Matk Bittman on the Today Show on cooking segments for a while now. He talks about how he lost weight by eating more whole grains and fruits and veggies and it doesn't have to be a big sacrafice. I got this book intersted in the recipies. I got so much more. I have been educated on how big government and business has helped to make all of us so unhealthy and obease. We have been being poisioned for the last couple of generations. I always said the closer your food comes form the ground the better but there is a lot more to it like anything that sounds simple. Cholestorol levels have made me want to find ways to eat more grains less meat but the polotics, global warming, and health behind it makes a lot of sense too. So not just for the recipies but to learn how much some simple changes can make everything a little better makes this book a great read.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 13, 2009

    Valuable book to read and live by

    I found this book so extraordinarily useful and inspiring that I read it three times, read it to others, quote from it (especially why drinking soda from a can is so, well, so not very good for the environment) and have made simple changes that make me feel better about my diet, my cooking and my planet. The author offers a sensible, easy way to change your diet, get healthier, thinner and eat with more conscience and respect for the planet. He is middle-of-the roaad but on the high road in life. Loved it and highly recommend it to you -- and anyone you know.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 6, 2009

    Serious answers for serious problems!

    Everyone should read this and follow the teachings. This is what your mother would teach you if she had known this information. After reading it, it seems like common sense and our society is lacking that!! I wish it would have stressed the vegan lifestyle. Good place for beginning a new lifestyle of conscious eating.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2009

    Lots of Great Info for Slow-Fooders or Healthy Eaters

    We have used this as a resource for recipes several times already. It covers a lot of the same ground (quite well) as Pollan and Schlosser.

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  • Posted May 2, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    A book for these times

    A great book about about why and how to eat responsibly for your own health, and for the planet's.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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