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Monday, February 13, 2012

book review:: The Organic Family Cookbook (& a recipe)

I recently received a review copy of the cookbook, The Organic Family Cookbook: growing, greening, and cooking together by Anni Daulter. Ironically, the book arrived on a day that I purged many other cookbooks from my kitchen, realizing I rely on them less than ever these days. Organic Family is a little different and will stay on my shelf for a while. 

The recipes and concepts Daulter touts are sensible, whole food focused, easy and delicious. I have other whole foods cookbooks that do not appeal to my kids at all - with flavors that just don't jive with 6 year old taste buds.

 I appreciate that Daulter included sections on breakfasts, snacks, deserts and condiments - areas that can usually use some healthy rehab. Homemade fruit roll ups, berry quinoa and red velvet cake (without the red dye!) all temp me into the kitchen.

This book is in no way gluten, dairy or fat free... just healthy, whole food recipes. It would be ideal for a young family or parents who need help learning to cook nourishing food - but do not want to be bogged down with complicated ingredients and recipes. 

Essays sprinkled throughout the book support connecting food to children in the family and are great reminders to include kids in the planting of, shopping for and preparing food. My children have grown up in the kitchen and garden and are pretty good eaters for it. 

I needed to make a quick lunch and decided to try Daulter's Pasta with Spicy Tomato Caper Sauce. I am not a huge pasta fan (but my kids are), but I really wanted to make the sauce. Every time I cook with fresh tomatoes the sauce seems too juicy - so I was on the lookout for a new way. And I love capers. 

This recipe is brilliant because it is made from things you might easily have in your pantry, and after you make it once, you can start customizing. It took under 30 minutes to pull together and was delicious! The tomatoes and lemon made it fresh and the capers added their wonderful floral breath to the dish. A keeper! See below for the recipe.

Linguine with Spicy Tomato Caper Sauce
from The Organic Family Cookbook, by Anni Daulter

1 T olive oil for boiling noodles and 1 T for sauce
sea salt
13 oz (3/4 package) linguine pasta (we used a whole package of spaghetti)
2 garlic cloves
2 cups halved grape tomatoes
1/4 cup capers
juice of 1 small lemon
1/4 t red pepper flakes (adjust according to your taste - this amount was perfect for us)
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided

cook the pasta 

to make the sauce (while the pasta is cooking):
sauté the garlic for a minute or so in the olive oil

throw everything else in, except for 1/2 of the cheese, and stir and sauté for 5-7 minutes (just until when the pasta is finishing up)

assemble the pasta and sauce and top with the rest of the cheese and some basil if you have it - that's it! fast, simple and really tasty!

image from here

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