Sunday, August 01, 2010

I'm excited - Feel Good Food

A few weeks ago I shared a few cookbooks healthy enough to get the Food Nazi stamp of approval. I'm excited to add a new one fresh off the press. Unlike many other foodbloggers I don’t actually buy many recipe books, to hand over my hard earned cash these days I have to be sure that I’ll actually cook from it, rather than just be seduced by the pretty pictures.

Tony Chiodo has had a mention on this site before, I did one of his wholefoods cooking courses years ago that began with learning how to sharpen our knives and ended with making a yummy fruit kanten. Readers living further a field from Melbourne may not of heard of him but a potted history includes being apprenticed under local French chef Jacques Reymond, then studying and working in Italy before swapping animal fats for tofu at the Kushi Institute where he trained in Macrobiotics. I met Tony long after I'd become a fan of his cooking at Wild Rice Cafe (back in the days when you could find healthy food to eat in St Kilda) and Cafe Angelica in Kew, so I can say with a clear conscience that it really is his culinary skills that hooked me before I was subjected to his Italian charm.

While his first book Eating Well: Tony Chiodo's Food for Health and Happiness, based on his Epicure column in The Age, didn’t give me the same tingle (nice but not as wholesome as his workshops) Feel Good Food is everything I’d hoped a Chiodo cookbook would be – a wonderful marriage of European lushness with Asian inspired health affirming food. For example, there’s a baked silken chocolate tart with a picture that looks so good I want to lick it off the page. The crust is made from spelt flour, ground almonds and coconut oil and the ‘silken’ filling is based on tofu, cocoa and rice syrup. I love his idea of adding cardamom to a sweet quinoa dish too. As you’d expect from a macrobiotic influenced cookbook the savoury dishes use a variety of grains, beans and soy. There are also a handful of seafood and chicken dishes but overall the book is about 80% vegan (including the cakes and how to make tofu sour cream).

I was happy to see some old favourites from his cooking classes included in the book, like the millet and cauliflower mash (that tastes more exciting than it sounds), variations on his pilafs and the aforementioned kanten (a jelly made with agar agar).

His recipes are accessibly written but may include ingredients unfamiliar to a novice. However it includes clear instructions on how to use or cook them, such as recipes for steaming millet or quinoa. There are also some commonsense guidelines on how to cook and eat well, including seasonal eating and incorporating colour, texture and flavour. Like the recipes, the information is conveyed with a sense of fun and exploration without being preached at.

Feel Good Food manages to deliver a very challenging brief, it presents food that looks and tastes so great that your guests or family won’t know they are being fed “health food”.


Feel Good Food
Feel Good Food

Feel Good Food is well worth the $45 I paid for it, though if I'd followed my own Fishpond link I could have got it for a few bucks cheaper!

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4 Comments:

Blogger Johanna GGG said...

if there were more cookbooks like this I would buy more - sounds great - hope it is in the shops as I rarely buy without browsing first

12:47 pm  
Blogger Another Outspoken Female said...

It's on the shelves of bookstores around town at the moment. It was published 1 July 2010 by SBS/Hardie Grant.

1:32 pm  
Blogger Lisa (bakebikeblog) said...

oooh this sounds like my kind of cook book - thanks for the review!!!

8:15 am  
Anonymous Zubaidatariq said...

Hi,

nice blog! sounds great! thanks for the review!!!



John Williams
Zubaida tips and recipes

4:56 pm  

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