Cookbook Review: A Modern Way To Eat

Cookbook Review: A Modern Way To Eat

_COVER Modern Way
By Valentine Reed-Johnson RD, CDN, Contributing Blogger

As a dietitian, love of food comes with the territory. The joy of eating is parallel with the functions delicious foods provide. Life is food, and finding the next best way to get back into the kitchen is essential to maintaining a culture of sitting down and “breaking bread.” A Modern Way To Eat is geared towards a younger generation, who we rely upon to continue cooking and maintaining a culture of dining.

About the Cookbook
A Modern Way To Eat by Anna Jones is more than just a cookbook. It truly captures the food revolution that is happening around us. People are ready to get back to the kitchen and are yearning for ways to get the most out of their food. Anna Jones has laid the groundwork for this with her unique modern ingredients and thoughtful seasonal specifications. Not only is this book practical and current with the times, but it’s also sincerely passionate; Throughout the book, Anna’s voice is easily heard and her plight to motivate people is noted. The rustic, plentiful images further prove her sincerity and joy for what she does. The passion behind the words is not lost and she certainly is following in her mentor, Jamie Oliver’s, footsteps.

However, if following step by step recipes is important to you, this layout may be a new challenge. It is certainly worth the effort, but the instructions are as though she is telling you in her own words how to prepare the food; it’s just a different style and an adjustment for those who are used to following step by step instructions. Another unique quality is her layout of creating and building recipes. Anna walks the reader through how to create a world class recipe with grids of different components you will need; she is very giving with her methods.

Anna was kind enough to share a recipe from A Modern Way To Eat:

raw thai citrus salad

Raw Thai Citrus Crunch Salad
Serves: 4

For the salad
1 zucchini
3 medium carrots, peeled
½ head white or napa cabbage
1 red pepper, seeded
2 scallions
1 pink grapefruit
1 lime
A small bunch of fresh basil
A large bunch of fresh cilantro
2 good handfuls of beansprouts

For the dressing
2 medjool dates
A handful (about 3½ ounces/100g) cashew nuts, soaked overnight in water if you have time
1 (¾-inch/2 cm) piece of fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
½ clove garlic, peeled, green center removed, roughly chopped
1 red chile, seeded and finely chopped
Juice of 2 limes
2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari

To serve
A handful of cashews, crushed

Use a vegetable peeler to peel the zucchini and carrots into ribbons and place them in a big bowl—it’s okay to leave a little bit of the middle behind for the sake of your fingers. Shred the cabbage finely, slice the red pepper and scallions as finely as you can, and add to the bowl.

Now use a knife to peel the grapefruit and lime. Then with the knife, roughly cut out all the segments from both, leaving the pith and membrane behind. Put the segments into a bowl, then mash them up so you are left with little juicy jewels of lime and grapefruit. Add these to the big bowl too.

Roughly chop the basil and cilantro, then add all the basil, half the cilantro, and all the beansprouts to the bowl. This will all keep well in the fridge until you are ready to eat.

When ready to serve, make your dressing by putting all the ingredients into a blender with 2 ⁄ 3 cup/150 ml of water and blending until you have a dressing just thick enough to coat and hold on to the vegetables. Thin with a little more water if you need to. If you don’t have a blender, mash the dates in a bowl until you have a paste, then finely chop the nuts, ginger, garlic, and chile and stir in the lime juice and soy sauce. Pour the dressing over the salad, mix well, and top with the crushed cashews and the rest of the cilantro.

My Experience
When I made this Asian inspired salad I was not ready for the flavors and smells that would rush through my kitchen. Yes, I may have cut my finger in the process, (serves me right for not reading the sentence that says: it’s okay to leave a little bit of the middle behind for the sake of your fingers), but overall, the experience was exotic and fun! I used a Veggetti spiral vegetable cutter instead of peeling the carrots and zucchini because I was concerned of my peeling skills. The cilantro and basil were a beautiful combination and added color to the salad. I decided to add avocado on top and served it with quinoa. I struggled with the dressing, there did not seem to be enough liquid, but it all wove together in the end into a beautiful Asian fusion explosion.

Should You Buy It?
Consider this book for a young adult living on their own for the first time, or a newly married couple. It’s a great cookbook for those who need a good kick in the right direction when it comes to cooking and eating fresh healthy foods.

Valentine is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, currently working at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. At the hospital she covers general medicine floors. Eventually, Valentine hopes to open up a private practice along side her hospital position. Valentine believes in providing practical nutrition knowledge, encouraging others to think logically when it comes to their health. Follow Valentine on twitter  or check out her website

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1 Comment
  • Paige
    Posted at 15:00h, 22 July Reply

    Oh I can see how it might be hard to follow her recipe, but I do like how it is more detailed and she tells you exactly how you are supposed to make everything. Thanks for sharing!

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