Images via Amazon.
The weather outside is lovely, but before long we'll be ready to curl up inside with a good book and catch up on our reading. I am always looking for good book recommendations and thought that I would pass along a few that I've enjoyed.
So here are four recommended reads to educate and indulge you over the winter months.
For the Family
HAPPY BABY: The Organic Guide to Baby's First 24 Months
This comprehensive new book, (September 2009, HarperPaperbacks) is written by the founders of the popular baby food line, Happy Baby: Robert Sears MD, and Amy Marlow, a registered dietitian.
The book is full of tips, according to age range, and a good list of do's and don't, like "Don't punish your child if he doesn't eat something that you serve him" and "Try not to become your child's short order cook." And on the Do side, "Offer a 'sure thing' food with each meal. This is something you know your child will eat, even if he refuses everything else."
Aside from kid foods, the book also covers proper nutrition for nursing moms, dealing with post-pregnancy stress, managing immunization schedules and planning family activities.
A sweet and complete list of "101 activities to teach your child how to live green." Written by Wendy Rosenhoff (2009, Krause Publications) and printed on 100% recycled paper, the book is full of recipes and instructions for activities to keep the whole family interested in living a greener life.
Each page includes a full-color illustration of the recipe or activity in mention, as well as a Chat Point to get you talking with your young partners and a Mini-Chat Point, geared towards the youngest participants. Above and Beyond tips offer resources for additional information and inspiration. Wendy says she hopes that each Chat Point will "find a home in someone's life and become as commonplace as buckling your seat belt."
The book is divided into 3 sections: The Lab Report - Science Projects, The Kitchen Sink - Food Projects, The Studio Gallery - Craft Projects. It's a must-have for all active and activist families.
For the Foodie
THE VEGAN TABLE
This beautiful new book (June 2009, Fair Winds Press) by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, author of the award-winning The Joy of Vegan Baking, packed with vegan recipes and menu suggestions. A generous portion of the book features full-cover illustrations of the recipes.
Worth trying immediately: Beet Bundt Cake where the moisture and beautiful color of the cake comes from this oft-forgotten root vegetable! And the Eggplant and Caramelized Onion "Lasagna" inspired from a recipe the author helped prepare while staying at an all-vegetarian gourmet guesthouse in Italy.
Colleen has been a long-time vegan and animal activist who founded Compassionate Cooks to empower people to make informed food choices, to debunk the myths about veganism, and to raise awareness about animal suffering.
A near classic, this book was written by Michel Abehsera in 1968. Abehsera was trained by the great Japanese macrobiotics master George Ohsawa. In the forward, Abehsera dedicates his book to "my fellow man - for whom I worry and dedicate my life."
The book is filled with recipes for 200 dishes based on Zen cookery, the traditional food of ancient Japan, now preserved fully only in the ancient Buddhist monasteries. Zen macrobiotic cooking is the ancient Zen art of selecting and preparing food to produce longevity and rejuvenation.
Though primarily a book of recipes, the pages are also filled with explanations, lessons and instructions on the regimens to be followed by those who want to eat according to a Zen macrobiotic diet.
I acquired my well-worn copy from my grandmother's bookshelf a few years ago, but newer versions can be found on Amazon and at bookstores worldwide.