Thursday, October 10, 2013

The New Eat to Live Cookbook, Healthy Girls Kitchen Attempts Julie and Julia Style

Many years ago, when I first read Eat to Live and Eat for Health by Dr. Joel Fuhrman, I was lucky enough to stumble on the blog of a woman who had challenged herself to cook each and every recipe from Eat for Health and blog about it. Her name is Jana and I scoured her blog over and over for anything I could glean about which recipes I should attempt to make. You can check out her amazing story here.

Fast forward about three years. I got wind that Dr. Fuhrman was on the verge of releasing a brand new cookbook, called The Eat to Live Cookbook (you can peruse some of the content here.) It immediately occurred to me--what if I made every recipe from that cookbook and blogged about it?

And then I dismissed the thought as certifiably nuts.

Why would I even want to do something like that?

Selfishness, really. It would be motivation to cook all of this Nutritarian food, even when I'm tired and lazy. Plus and an infusion of fun on my blog. A challenge. And just to see what would happen.

I would pretty much be forced to tune out the rest of the food world that's out there and just focus on one thing: Nutritarian cooking. No oil, of course. No salt. No sugar--not even maple syrup. No wheat. Very little grains. Lots of beans, onions, garlic, and berries. Loads of vegetables--cooked and raw. Fruit every day.

That's not an easy thing for me to do. I'm sort of a glutton for really tasty Vegan food, made without oil. But that gluttony isn't doing me any favors. Maybe I need to simplify for a good long while?

Can I really pull this off? What if I fail? What if I poop out? Will you hate me? It will take over a year! Are enough of my readers interested in the Nutritarian style of cooking to make this an interesting community project?

I have to take that chance.

It doesn't mean I won't blog about other stuff, but my blogging for at least a year will certainly focus on recipes from The Eat to Live Cookbook and my experience with them.

I need to try. I just can't get this idea out of my head. I'll regret it if I don't.

Strange story: I have had this recipe for Ukrainian Sweet and Sour Cabbage Soup from Dr. Fuhrman's Member Center for a few years now. I had printed it out and filed it neatly with all of my other soup recipes. But it got buried and remained untried for a long time. Then last week I happened upon it, this strange combination of apples, prunes, cabbage, carrots, onions, barley, split peas and spices. I knew it was time to make it.

So I did, make it that is, on my special "play hooky day from work because yesterday was my birthday and I deserve one day off all to myself every decade" day. And I wrote about what I was doing on Facebook. And one thing led to another and I found out that this very recipe that was simmering on my stove at that very moment was in the new Eat to Live Cookbook.

I was already doing it, and I didn't even know it.

I don't have the cookbook in my possession yet, but I ordered it earlier that day as soon as I found out it went on sale.

I was blogging about Eat to Live, and there was really no stopping it.

Ukrainian Sweet and Sour Cabbage Soup
from The Eat to Live Cookbook by Dr. Joel Fuhrman

Did I like it? yes

Was it easy to make with readily available ingredients? Absolutely. The only sort-of odd ingredient was caraway seeds, which I was lucky enough to have in my spice pantry, but I have no idea why they were in there to begin with.

What specifically did I like about the recipe? I loved the crunch from the toasted walnuts. I'm also going to steal the creative idea of using blended up granny smith apples and prunes to sweeten the soup a touch (don't be afraid, the soup is not very sweet!). It was very filling, so that made me very happy.

What specifically didn't I like about the recipe? I know I would have gone gaga over this soup if I had put salt in it, so perhaps my reservations just lie in the fact that my taste buds have not adjusted yet to ABSOLUTELY NO SALT. In addition, as you can see from the photos, it's not too pretty. But I can get past that.

Did my husband like it? Yes, in fact, he loved it. He said it was totally unusual, in a good way!

Did my teenage daughter like it? Nope, but she gave it a good try.

Did my eight or five year old try it? I got my eight year old to try one bite. She refused any more, even after I offered to pay her $1.00 to take 4 more bites.

Would I make it again? Probably, but not anytime soon, as I made a lot of it and I have 174 other E2L recipes to test!

Is there anything I would do to improve on it if I made it again? Maybe add some salt free seasoning? But I'm really hoping that my taste buds adjust and I won't need to do that. It's a very flavorful soup even without salt and the textures are great.

Overall Grade (completely unscientific, I admit): B

Have you made this soup? What were your impressions? Leave a comment below.

What do you think of my crazy undertaking to cook and review each and every recipe from the new Eat to Live Cookbook? Am I off my rocker?

Wanna buy the book and go on this ride with me?

Also, check this out--Dr. Fuhrman's got a new gig. Get the recipe for this delicious looking eggplant and veggie dish right here. I'll be preparing that dish and reviewing it next.

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