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Williams-Sonoma: Essentials of Healthful Cooking

Williams-Sonoma: <i>Essentials of Healthful Cooking</i>
Eating well equals living well. And it's not just about creating gourmet dishes and experiencing exotic flavors. Today's cooks know that enjoying balanced, nutritious meals is fundamental to one's health, energy and overall lifestyle. Williams-Sonoma's Essentials of Healthful Cooking reveals how to prepare food that tastes and looks delicious—and is rich in essential vitamins, minerals, fiber and phytochemicals.

Mary Abbott Hess, past president of the American Dietetic Association and a nationally recognized expert on food and nutrition, provides authoritative yet engaging information on nutrition basics, ingredients and menu selection. Dana Jacobi, an award-winning soy expert and a weekly columnist for the American Institute for Cancer Research, and Marie Simmons, veteran cookbook author and writer of Bon Appétit's monthly "Cooking for Health" column, combine their culinary talents in over 130 original recipes.

These recipes draw from cuisines around the world and employ secrets for developing deep flavors with minimal fat. Using light, flaky panko crumbs from Japan ensures an extra-crunchy coating on Oven-Crisped Chicken. In an elegant Roasted Tomato Bisque, high heat concentrates the flavor of ripe plum tomatoes, giving the soup such vibrancy that only a tiny dollop of sour cream is needed to enrich it. Cannellini Bean, Fennel and Shrimp Salad is a Mediterranean classic that combines the rich texture of white beans and shrimp with the refreshing flavor of fennel. The chapter on small plates includes Lahvosh Filled with Goat Cheese, Walnuts and Dried Figs, an easy make-ahead dish that uses soft Armenian flatbread and figs (high in fiber, potassium and calcium).

By exploring this book, you will learn to cook more healthfully and eat more wisely. For convenient menu planning, the nutritional values of each dish appear in handy charts, organized by course and indexed with page numbers. In addition, every recipe includes streamlined headings that note their most important nutritional qualities, such as "High in Protein," "Cholesterol Free" or "Good Source of Fiber."

The basics chapter shows how to stock your shelves with essential ingredients and the best equipment for healthful cooking. Special charts make shopping for food easy. For example, the "Guide to Produce by Color" describes how to choose vegetables and fruit for maximum nutrition. For a long-lasting foundation of culinary skills, the techniques section introduces ways to cook more healthfully without sacrificing taste or appeal. Your friends and family will savor the results—without realizing that they're eating "health food"!

A comprehensive glossary provides useful information on ingredients, including detailed discussions of a broad range of dried beans, flavorful cheeses and cooking oils, from Asian sesame to deep brown walnut. Throughout the book, exquisite color photographs illustrate unusual ingredients, step-by-step methods and finished dishes.

Whether you're building a repertoire of quick and simple weekday meals or gathering special recipes for celebratory dinners, you'll be sure to reach again and again for Essentials of Healthful Cooking.