The Balanced Plate: The Essential Elements of Whole Foods and Good Health
Renee Loux. Rodale Press, $22.95 (406pp) ISBN 978-1-59486-471-1
Loux's debut, Living Cuisine, was a raw foods (food perparation with low or no heat) primer. This follow-up has plenty of recipes that involve cooking, but retains the focus on ""choosing balanced whole foods over processed, denatured foods"" for wellness and for pleasure. To that end, Loux introduces the Ayurvedic system of classifying food, and gives advice on ""finding out where it really comes from, and choosing the safest, most nutritious options."" She begins with ""The True Cost of Food,"" laying out the number of pounds-per-acre of pesticides used in growing everything from potatoes to strawberries-and cows-as well as the large amounts of fuel used in shipping imported goods and the potential dangers of genetically modified foods. From there, she covers seasonality, macrobiotics, the basics of a whole foods pantry (including safer cleaning products), and clean water issues. The last two thirds of the book is comprised of Loux's recipes for everything from Velvet Nutmeg Nog to Lotus Manitok Wild Rice with Mache; also included are takes on Sheherd's Pie, Salad Niçoise and Black-Eyed Peas and Collard Greens. The whole is produced with passion and expertise.
Reviewed on: 09/18/2006