Fitting in squarely between Starters and Desserts, the two other volumes to date in the New Healthy Kitchen series edited by Chuck Williams, this richly illustrated volume proposes the rainbow approach to dining. It's not about calories or carbs, it's about reds and greens and browns; for each color has its own "phytochemicals," a word that appears as often in these pages as "butter" slides across the works of Julia Child. The organizing principle, which acknowledges its roots in the work of the Produce for Better Health Foundation, keys each recipe to the color of its principal ingredient. Otherwise the book is not particularly distinguished from others serving up new California cuisine-light, bright, herb-strewn and agreeably complex without being truly complicated. This is mostly scratch cooking, with exceptions for the likes of prepared horseradish and chicken stock. The one notable deviation is the Chickpea, Corn & Cilantro Salad, which calls for canned chickpeas; here taste and texture were apparently sacrificed to minimize the aggregate prep and cooking time. What the recipes don't mention is how much shopping time is required and how critical it is that the cook have access to specialty grocers in order to whip up a quick dish with purple asparagus or Puy lentils. (June) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Each volume in this new series includes 60 recipes, arranged by color of the main ingredient. The general introductions emphasize the nutritional benefits of a diet "rich in fruits, vegetables, legumes, and grains," as well as of "eating the rainbow," listing the health benefits of each color group. Brennan is a well-known cookbook author (e.g., Foods and Flavors of Haute Provence), and Langbein, a prolific cookbook writer from New Zealand. The recipes are simple and uncomplicated, and there are suggestions for other easy dishes in each section as well. Lavishly illustrated with color photographs, these large-format books have a design somewhat similar to that of Donna Hay's popular cookbooks. For larger collections. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.