This thorough collection of recipes keeps health-conscious eating simple by making the most of fresh vegetables, lean meats and low-fat dairy products. Author Jacobi (12 Best Foods Cookbook) focuses on classic preparations with inventive twists: egg salad is brightened by curried onions, and citrus and capers turn that self-righteous standby kale into an appealing side dish. Main courses are wholesome, hearty, and frequently vegetarian, like Crisp Buckwheat Polenta with Mushroom Topping, which transforms humble ingredients into a decadent, crisp-salty treat. However, the book does include several meat and fish recipes, including Persian Chicken with Sour Cherries, a whole bird stewed in an exotic mix of fruit and spices, and Roasted Salmon with Moroccan Tomato Compote, which benefits enormously from the addition of fresh summer tomatoes (the sauce that pools at the bottom of the plate begs to be mopped up with a thick piece of bread-whole-wheat, of course). Since virtuous does not always mean abstemious, Jacobi concludes with a nice assortment of desserts, including offbeat options like Nutty Popcorn Bundt Ring and Tropical Fruit Salad with White Tea Syrup. Nutritional information at the bottom of each recipe assures that even these tempting indulgences won't end in regret.
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This follow-up to food writer Jacobi's 12 Best Foods Cookbook focuses on 60 "best foods"-the original dozen, of course, plus other healthful ingredients from avocados to red wine (in moderation). An introductory section that provides information on buying, storing, and using each ingredient as well as "Why It's Best" is followed by dozens of simple but imaginative recipes that use at least one but usually more of these healthy foods. Nutritional analyses are given for all of the recipes, and most of them include serving suggestions, variations, and "food facts" as well. Highly recommended.