Thursday, February 13, 2020

The Plant-Based Diet for Beginners by Gabriel Miller, Rockridge Press, Callisto Publishers, 155 pages

           " While losing weight was my original goal,
                                        I believe my greatest accomplishment has been
                                           encouraging and leading many of my family 
                                        members and friends to regain their own health.”
        -Gabriel Miller, Introduction, page IX

This cookbook is separated into two sections, Part One: Getting Started with Chapter 1 explaining why you should go plant-based and Cooking with Oil (really without) on page 4, and Chapter 2 containing shopping lists and sample menus. There is a vitamin chart listing vegetables to eat that are rich in nutrients and a chart for some foods to eat “instead of this, eat that” on page 15. A good cookbook contains pantry, refrigerator, freezer, and equipment essentials which this one does starting on pages 16 through 19. Part Two: The Recipes has Chapter 3 through Chapter 8 with the titles of Entrees, Smoothies and Beverages, and Sauces, Dressings, and Dips to name a few.

Two recipes that caught my eye are Sautéed Collard Greens on page 63, and White Bean and Chickpea Hummus on page 133. I am a  hummus lover and fortunately have the ingredients in my cupboard of staples.  I like collard greens also and usually prepare in my slow cooker, but decided to try this sautéed recipe in a saucepan.

The White Bean and Chickpea Hummus after tasting was a little bland so I added additional fresh lemon juice, onion and garlic powders, a pinch of kosher salt and a few roasted red bell pepper. The Sauteed Collard Greens were very tender and tasteful.

I am recommending this plant-based cookbook for any person interested in preparing plant-based meals for a simpler and healthier eating lifestyle. There are plenty of interesting recipes to prepare for a taste test. Get ready, set, and go!

I received this cookbook from Callisto Publishers in exchange for an honest review in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission Guidelines.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

The Essential Cookbook for Men by Manuel Villacorta, MS, RD, Rockridge Press, Callisto Publishers, 134 pages

                          “Get ready to experience a lifelong journey that will keep you
strong, healthy, rejuvenated, and empowered
to take control of your health right in your own kitchen.”
-Manuel Villacorta, MS, MD, Introduction-page xii

This cookbook aimed at men who want to cook healthy meals in their home kitchen is full of numerous tasty recipes that are healthy and may be prepared within a bare minimum of time. The photography provided by Thomas J. Story is simply beautiful that has me wanting to eat the sandwich off the front cover and take a fork to the avocado dish on the back cover.

The Essential Cookbook for Men has nine chapters with Recommended Food Brands, Measurement Conversions, and an Index in the end of the cookbook. There are sections such as Introduction to the Kitchen, Gear Guide, Pantry Essentials, Grocery Store Guide, and basics to include in the pantry. Villacorta has compiled easy recipes with easy ingredients that have prepping and cooking times reduced to a minimum.

Here are my two favorites I will be preparing and posting pictures at least one of the two (even though I am a woman, smile): Stir-Fry Beef Sandwich and California-Style Stuffed Bell Peppers.  I do recommend this cookbook for men who want to prepare easy home-cooked meals with as less time as possible. Eventually, you will be able to graduate to more complex homemade meals.

I prepared the Stir-Fry Beef Sandwich and forgot to take a picture. This is a very flavorful sandwich and easy to prepare recipe. The leftover mixture was placed in the freezer for a later date. I guess the wonderful smell and taste made me forget about the photograph for my post! (smile)

I received this book from Callisto Publishers in exchange for an honest review in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission Guidelines.

The Complete Clean Eating Cookbook by Laura Ligos, MBA, RDN, CSSD, Rockridge Press, Callisto Publishers, 315 pages

“Clean eating encourages you to choose foods
that not only taste good but also optimize
your healthy and wellness.”
-Laura Ligos, Chapter One, page 1

Chapter One starts this cookbook with the Clean Eating Basics and Code. There is a section on how to stock your kitchen, refrigerator and freezer, and what tools and equipment to have to enhance preparing your meals.

Chapter Two offers three Meal Plans: Clean Eating 101 Plan, Wellness Plan, and the Healthy Lifestyle Plan. The meal plans are easy to follow with weekly examples, the recipes, and corresponding page numbers from the cookbook, and shopping lists.

Chapters Three through Twelve contains numerous recipes including Smoothies, Snacks, Salads, Seafood, Beef and Lamb, and Desserts. Following the recipes are useful cooking temperature and measurement conversion charts, resources list and recipe index.

I chose the Turmeric Rice on page 93 to prepare with my Chicken with Olives and Capers (page 105), and Greek Fasolakia (Green Beans) (page71) recipes from the Mediterranean Diet Slow Cooker Cookbook by Shannon Epstein. This dinner was very tasty and filling and I plan to prepare these recipes again in the near future, maybe with different sides and main dishes.

Whether you are looking for a chicken, pork, or vegetarian recipe it is there waiting to be prepared for your enjoyment. I am recommending this cookbook for everyone who cooks wanting a healthier way to prepare their meals without compromising on flavor or any choice of food.

I received this book from Callisto Publishers in exchange for an honest review in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission Guidelines.

One-Pot Diabetes Cookbook by Kathy Birkett, RDN, LD, Rockridge Press, Callisto Publlishers, 168 pages

“Everything a person with diabetes eats affects their blood glucose,
so knowing what to eat is the first step. But preparing that food requires a
strategy. One-pot meals you can make quickly using a few ingredients and
tools you already have in your kitchen is a great strategy for diabetes.”
-Kathy Birkett, Introduction, page x

One-Pot Diabetes Cookbook is filled with nine chapters beginning with the first two chapters dedicated to Living with Diabetes and Your Diabetic One-Pot Kitchen. Some of the information is simple swaps to avoid carbs and sugars, and a pantry makeover.
Those lacking vitamins A through E will find corresponding information of fruits and vegetables sources.

Diabetics usually have other factors involved with this diagnosis, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and heart disease naming a few. There are numerous beef and pork recipes including cheese and shrimp dishes normally avoided for diabetics or very limited in nature.  Concluding this cookbook is a list of resources of organizations for healthy eating and diabetes management.

Three recipes I will test, as I already prepare certain recipes with chicken or use ground turkey as substitutes (I keep the use of ground beef and pork to a minimum in my meals). The three are Balsamic Chicken with Leeks and Carrots (Skillet), Oven-Fried Chicken with Sweet Potatoes and Cabbage Wedges (Sheet Pan), and Fish Packets (Sheet Pan).

The Fish Packets were delicious with the vegetables on top. I prepared this dish three times in one week! First two dishes I used Tilapia Fillets and the third time I used Flounder Fillet. This is a must try recipe. 

I recommend this cookbook for diabetics seeking new recipes and others who wish to cook on a healthier level.

I received this cookbook from Callisto Publishers in exchange for an honest review in accordance with Federal Trade Commission Guidelines.

Mediterranean Diet Slow Cooker Cookbook by Shannon Epstein, Rockridge Press, Callisto Publishers, 159 pages

“I hope this cookbook show you a different way to slow-cook and
opens your eyes to the wonders of the Mediterranean Diet…
Writing this cookbook made me remember why I love
Mediterranean food in the first place.”
-Shannon Epstein, Introduction, page ix

Shannon Epstein explains what the Mediterranean Diet consists of and what to eat a lot of, eat some of, eat less of, and what to eat none of in consecutive order. Epstein includes a food pyramid with first section containing fruits, vegetables, grains, herbs, and spices. Also discussed are the health benefits of the Mediterranean Diet and lifestyle.

The cookbook is divided into nine chapters with Chapter 1 dedicated to Mediterranean slow cooking. Chapters 2 through 9 include soups, rice and pasta, lamb, beef and pork, and desserts. Measurement conversions, resources and a recipe index conclude the slow cooker cookbook.

My tester recipe of choice is Chicken with Olive and Capers on page 105 and Greek Fasolakia (Green Beans) on page 71, but I prepared the green beans in a skillet instead of a slow cooker for timing purposes. This recipe was easy to prepare and uses staple ingredients and spices that should be in any cooks cupboard or pantry. The flavor was quite tasty and very filling. I paired it with Turmeric Rice (from The Complete Clean Eating Cookbook by Laura Ligos).

I recommend this cookbook for persons wanting to try a Mediterranean Diet with no fuss cooking and those who already embrace the Mediterranean Diet but want to experience it on a different cooking level.

I received this book from Callisto Publishers in exchange for an honest review in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission Guidelines.

The Big 10 Fish & Seafood Cookbook byTerri Dien, Rockridge Press, Callisto Publishers, 185 Pages

"My hope is that this book will become an extended lesson
for you…..Hopefully, you’ll be able to take these as foundational
guidelines and create some signature versions of your own.”
-Terri Dien, Introduction page x

I like fish but never really learned how to cook it. The only recipes I knew were fried fish with cornmeal or baked in the oven. After reading this fish and seafood cookbook, I have learned there are numerous ways to prepare any fish or seafood meal with confidence.

Terri Dien shares the “truth about mercury” in fish; what to know about the smell of fish and whether it is fresh; the best fish and seafood, and what to look for when buying fresh or frozen fish. She also shares “buy seafood only in months with an ‘r’ in it; it’s for good reason (page 10).”  Dien includes what equipment is needed for preparing these meals and how to remove pin bones from fish fillets.  Information on how to build flavor with “fats and oils; citrus and acid; and herbs and spices” along with “a note on variations.”

There are ten chapters with measurement conversion, resources, references, and index references concluding this wonderful seafood cookbook. Not being a fan of frsh tuna, mackarel, trout or mussels I decided to concentrate on the fish I do like and chose a recipe from Chapter 5: Tilapia and prepared Tilapia Piccata. The reason I chose this recipe is because I love Chicken Piccata and decided it would be just as good as the chicken version.  Well, I was not wrong in this decision. I prepared this dish and fell in love immediately. I did my own variation and created a “signature version of my own.”  As I write this portion of my review, I am smiling and very proud of myself.  I have included a short video of the outcome that I posted my Facebook page receiving nice compliments.  I believe I will start doing this on a regular basis to encourage people to start or increase their cookbook shelves.

Other recipes I intend to prepare are:
Roasted Salmon with Compound Garlic Butter; Salmon Fillet Provencale En Papillate;
Tilapia in Mustard Sauce; Shrimp Rumaki; Crab Cakes; Clams Casino Manhattan Clam Chowder; Tilapia Piccata (I made this and it was simply delicious). I forgot to take a picture of this great recipe dish.

I definitely recommend The Big 10 Fish & Seafood Cookbook for all seafood lovers who prepare their own meals. You will some familiar recipes and new recipes to test and evaluate. Bon Appetit!

I received this book from Callisto Publishers in exchange for an honest review in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission Guidelines.

Healthy Family Cookbook by Brittany Poulson, MDA, RDN, CDE, Rockridge Press, Callisto Publishers, 181 pages

“It (this cookbook) isn’t for professional chefs, but rather,
for everyday cooks who want to be proud of what
they’re putting on the table for their family.”
-Brittany Poulson, Introduction, page x

Healthy Family Cookbook by Brittany Poulson is a cooking reference for those interested in cooking healthy meals. Chapter 1 brings tips for adventurous eaters, pantry staples, and kitchen equipment. Chapters 2 through 6 are easy go-to recipes titled 15-Minute Prep, 30 Minutes or less, 5 Ingredients, One Pot or Skillet, and Slow Cooker.

This is a good family cookbook that enhances the reduction of prep and cooking times and will be a great addition to any home cookbook shelf.

Recipes ready for my testing that caught my eye are Avocado Bean Burritos, Avocado Chicken Burgers with Sweet Potato Coins, and Pork Chops and Potatoes with Creamy Dijon-Spinach Sauce.

I prepared the Pork Chops and Potatoes recipe that has excellent flavor and a smooth and creamy sauce.  The Dijon mustard and parmesan cheese made the sauce absolutely delightful.

I recommend all home chefs to add this book to their cookbook collection after testing just one recipe. I do not think you will be disappointed in the least.

I received this book from Callisto Publishers in exchange for an honest review in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission Guidelines. 

Pastry for Beginners by Sharon Glascoe, Rockridge Press, Callisto Publishers,147 pages

“This cookbook ensures that you have all the knowledge you
need to become the expert baker  you always knew you could be.
So, what are you waiting for?
Let’s get started!”
-Sharon Glascoe, Introduction page ix

Let the learning begin! The Introduction section (page viii) you will learn of the four main varieties of pastry dough, Pie Dough; Puff Pastry; Yeast Dough; and Choux Pastry Dough. I have never learned to bake cakes and pastries from scratch and so I began my newfound journey (smile).

Starting in Chapter 1 are the “master ingredients of pastry”: fat, flour, sugar, yeast, salt, water, and eggs. Do you know the secrets for a perfect pastry? Temperature is one of the answers. You learn the basic methods of common baking used in this cookbook and very useful equipment. Included are measurement conversion charts, resources, a glossary of pastry baking terms. Chapters 2 through 5 provide numerous tasty recipes waiting to be prepared.

Chapter 2: Pie Dough section introduces several sweet and a few savory surprises such as Bourbon-Peach Hand Pies, Raspberry Rugelach, and Beef Empanadas. Chapter 3: Puff Pastry has recipes for Breakfast Pizza, Aussie Sausage Rolls, and Classic Butter Croissants. Chapter 4: Yeast Dough has Cinnamon Monkey Bread, Asiago Cheese Bread, and Mallorca Sweet Bread. Chapter 5: Choux Dough has Churros with Mexican Chocolate Sauce, French Crullers, and Chicken Salad-Stuffed Gougeres.

There are plenty recipes to experiment with as a beginner pastry maker. I tried the Cinnamon Raisin and Walnut Pinwheels that were not too bad for my first time. The puff pastry did not quite turn out as I wanted it, but I later learned after watching a baking show contest where I went wrong. I did not keep my butter cold as I pin rolled and turned my dough. It is okay, as I intend to tackle this beginning fete again!

I prepared the Cinnamon Monkey Bread and Sweet Yeast Rolls recipes. The Cinnamon Monkey Bread was very tasteful and I loved it. The Sweet Yeast Rolls tasted better than dinner rolls from the grocery market. I will definitely make these again and again.

I recommend this pastry cookbook for beginners and seasoned pastry makers to start or include new and old recipes to your collections.

I received this cookbook from Callisto Publishers in exchange for an honest review in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission Guidelines.
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Herbalism at Home by Kristine Brown, RH (AHG), Rockridge Press, Callisto Publishers, 237 pages

“Figuring of the world’s thousands upon thousands
of herbs to use can be daunting.
This book presents the basics of herbal preparations…
Ready to get started?”
Kristine Brown, Introduction, page ix

Part One: Chapters 1-3 contains information regarding herbalism, The Starter Pantry, and Herbal preparations explaining tisane, diffusion, decoction, infusion, tincture, acetum, tonics, and elixir usage. Part Two: Chapters 4-10 contains recipes for Common Ailments, Emotional Well-Being, and Personal Care naming a few.

Included are a Glossary which is useful, that explains the listed properties for herb use. The Resources and References section lists books, magazines, supplies, websites, and educational herbal schools for purposes that are more informational. The Ailment Index is helpful for looking up aches and pains you may want to address for herbalism ingredients.

You will need a dictionary as I did to understand some of the properties listed under each herb.  Overall, this is an excellent reference book for those wanting to get started in herbalism, even though it is a learning process. I did not try any of the recipes in this book because there were far too many herbs in the recipes I wanted to test that I could not easily get a hold.

I received this book from Callisto Publishers in exchange for an honest review in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission Guidelines.

The Dream Interpretaion Handbook, A Guide & Dictionary to Unlock the Meaning of Your Dreams by Karen Frazier, Althea Press, Callisto Publishers, 123 pages

“My ultimate goal, however, is to teach others to find
the meaning in their own dreams. To do this, I turned
the way I interpret dreams into a system that
 I teach in classes and at national conferences.”
-Karen Frazier, Introduction, p. vii

The Dream Interpretation Handbook is a non-fiction reference for persons who wish to interpret the meanings of their dreams. Karen Frazier came to teaching dream interpretation after numerous people asked to have their dreams interpreted. It is well organized and has numerous resources for your use. Frazier suggests using additional dream dictionaries along with her teachings for even further understanding would prove useful.

There is information on the different opinions of dream interpretation from ancient Egyptians, Grecians, Chinese, and Sigmund Freud. Mention of Carl Jung, Calvin Hall, Jr., Ann Faraday, David Foulkes, and Edgar Cayce are also included.

The Dream Interpretation Handbook is broken down into two parts with sub-chapters. Part I-Interpreting Dreams have three chapters: On Dreaming: The Spiritual and the Scientific; Variations, Archetypes, and Symbols; The Interpretive Process. Part II-Dream Dictionary: How to Use; Animal; Items/Things; Plot/Action.

A few things I found was that on an average, you have at least four to six dreams a night but will not always remember what the dreams were or remember dreaming. Many people believe the dream of falling and hitting the ground that you will die. This is an untrue assumption many have believed in for years. Overall, this is a good book for dream interpretation if you are looking for such information.

I received this book from Callisto Publishers in exchange for an honest review in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission Guidelines.