SWYF Finds: Titles to add to your book/cook shelves

Image from Vegetarian Times store

Healing Foods Cookbook, a special by Vegetarian Times: I think the months of February and March are the dreariest weather-wise, and perhaps the most boring, colorless ones on the local food front. You've probably started to tap into your canned goods, and potatoes, carrots and other root vegetables are losing their appeal. At least, these were my thoughts until I came across the Healing Foods Cookbook, a special issue of Vegetarian Times*. It has amazing, healthful recipes that make you want to get into your kitchen and cook. There's a list of "25 Foods You Need" - including the lesser known adzuki beans, buckweat, chamomile, chia seeds - with mouthwatering recipes to accompany each one. Also in the issue: heart-healthy soups, hearty root vegetable dishes and an entire gluten-free section. I would argue that this issue should be a staple in any vegetarian kitchen, for anyone wanting to begin, maintain or continue a healthy lifestyle, or for those who want to build and expand their veg repertoire with versatile recipes. *Note: This is only on stands until March 7, so go to your local bookstore, or get it here!

Image from Storey Publishing
Put 'em Up! (Storey Publishing, 2010) by Sheri Brooks Vinton: Never has canning and food preservation been so cool, kitschy and practical. Released in 2010, Put 'em Up! offers up tips and techniques to beginning and experienced canners, or those interested in learning about food preserving. Vinton mixes classic preserved recipes with lesser known ones. As I was reading it, I became so excited for new projects - and summer foods - for the upcoming year. Other reasons to get Put 'em Up!? It's so fun to look at! The detailed illustrations and beautiful images of canned goods (I have a little obsession with mason jars) with enlarged, handwritten tags. Vinton's commentary is also extremely thoughtful and approachable, which will put new food preserves at ease. Put 'em Up! is a great resource for anyone interested in becoming more self-sufficient - and adventurous - in their approach to food and in the kitchen. And, according to her Web site, Vinton is "working on two more Put ‘em Up!  books which will offer more tips, tricks and recipes for 'preserving local agriculture.'"

Image from Chronicle Books
Farm Together Now: A Portrait of People, Places, and Ideas for a New Food Movement (Chronicle Books, 2010) by Amy Franceschini and Daniel Tucker: This book reaffirmed my love of farming, working in the dirt and affections for the people of whom I've had the great fortune to meet during the last few years. Franceschini and Tucker profile amazing individuals and organizations who live and breathe good food and the desire to expand the enthusiasm behind the "new food" movement. Anyone who accuses this movement of being elitist needs to read the book. The authors went coast-to-coast to research and interview farmers, community organizers and agricultural groups from a broad range of political, economic and social backgrounds. Thanks to Franceschini, Tucker, contributors and the farmers who were profiled for this inspiring, hopeful and on-going literary gift.