"Real Food All Year puts the joy back into eating seasonally. A food educator with a background in Chinese medicine, Nishanga Bliss has meticulously researched how the seasons affect our bodies and gives lively instructions for enriching our connection to spring, summer, winter, and fall through mindful eating. Her recipes fuse fine dining with traditional hippie food to create astoundingly tasty dishes like kale caesar salad and red lentil dal with sweet corn. As a gardener, I found the book a delight: a pat on the back that endorses growing your own food and also a gentle reminder to harvest my root vegetables so I can make a batch of pickled beets and turnips."
—Novella Carpenter, author of Farm City and The Essential Urban Farmer
"This is an excellent and intriguing book. Its overview of the seasons is quite comprehensive, the recipes are really well chosen and easy to make, and there is a lot of excellent scientific information in the text. This would be a worthwhile addition to any health-oriented cook’s collection!"
—Annemarie Colbin, PhD, founder and CEO of the Natural Gourmet Institute in New York City and author of The Whole-Food Guide to Strong Bones
"Deftly weaving together the principles of seasonality, sustainability, and healthy eating from a Chinese medicine perspective, Nishanga Bliss does something entirely new—she presents a system for eating that is both sensible and meaningful. Real Food all Year is a fascinating and inspiring read that goes far beyond the usual gastronomic reasons for eating local foods in season, but isn’t afraid to fully celebrate the pleasures of the table. Call it hedonism Rx."
—Vanessa Barrington, author of DIY Delicious
"Real Food All Year is filled with invaluable tips and sound advice. Follow the guidance in this book and find yourself coming back into balance both in your health and with the natural world that surrounds you."
—Margaret Floyd, NTP, HHC, CHFS, author of Eat Naked and The Naked Foods Cookbook
"Real Food All Year is filled with important practical information on nutrition and seasonality. Author Nishanga Bliss clearly explains essential concepts from both Chinese medicine and Western nutritional science and applies them with mouth-watering recipes and easy-to-follow techniques. This book is a valuable resource for anyone seeking to find their way back to the simplicity and harmony of local, seasonal eating."
—Sandor Ellix Katz, author of Wild Fermentation, The Revolution Will Not Be Microwaved, and The Art of Fermentation
"I’ve been waiting for a book like this for years! Nishanga Bliss makes the ancient wisdom of traditional Chinese medicine accessible and relevant to today’s readers. She deftly weaves these time-tested teachings together with a practical approach to eating locally, seasonally, and sustainably. Well-written and full of useful information and recipes, this will book will be a resource I turn to again and again."
—Jessica Prentice, owner of Three Stone Hearth Community Supported Kitchen
"I am a big fan of eating locally and seasonally as a vital part of healthy nutrition. Nishanga Bliss has created this wonderful new book, Real Food All Year, that helps us enjoy her great guidance and sumptuous recipes."
—Elson M. Haas, MD, integrated medicine practitioner and author of Staying Healthy with the Seasons
Bliss (traditional Chinese medicine, Acupuncture & Integrative Medicine Coll.) combines the popular practice of cooking with fresh, seasonal foods with the nutritional principles of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). TCM categorizes foods by their energy qualities and as either warming (yang) or cooling (yin). This book focuses on the five-element theory (i.e., wood, fire, earth, metal, and water), in which each element corresponds to internal organs, seasons, tastes, and foods, and argues that balancing these elements in food is the key to optimum health. Bliss explains that seasonal eating and the consumption of fresh, whole, unprocessed foods puts people in harmony with nature while strengthening organs and balancing energy levels. Each chapter begins with an overview of a season, a description of in-season foods, examples of relevant cooking styles and flavors, information about the organ corresponding to these foods, and a list of traditional foods thought to strengthen that organ. Bliss also includes eight to ten recipes per season, many of which focus on sprouting and fermenting. VERDICT Readers who already practice TCM will appreciate its application to current nutritional research. Adherents of Western medicine, however, will find much of the information hard to swallow.—Pauline Baughman, Multnomah Cty. Lib., Portland, OR