Most of what I’m learning these days comes from books or blogs. Sometimes documentaries or TED Talks help me understand things even better.
All of my previous cooking and baking experience came from my Mom, and spending hours in the kitchen with her. I was lucky for her eagerness to let me experiment and guidance to start out with a standard Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook. When I was 7, she let me pick out a recipe, and try it as often as my interest required. Sometimes that meant we ate fresh made Cornbread for a week!
Here are the sources I recommend exploring on your real food journey…
Food for Thought – Film:
Food, Inc – From the book, In Defense of Food, this documentary really does a lovely job of exploring all the book covers. You’ll never eat chicken at a fast food restaurant again, but you’ll have appreciation for the farmers both in the standard industry but also at the Farmer’s Market.
Food Blogs that inspire:
Gluten Free Girl – I fell in love with this site before I needed to cook and bake gluten-free. An honest, beautiful food blog that I rely on for my gluten-free learning!
Not Without Salt – Dare I say food porn? Pretty much every single food photo on here makes me salivate. This is the place for food photos and recipes sure to make your mouth water. Add a dash of real life musings, honest life lessons and you have a taste of this site. Note: Not full of diet-restrictive recipes, but really butter/sugar/flour cakes and other decadent delights.
Seattle Seedling – Love this site: a mix of recipes, locavore inspirations and delightful photographs of gardening and chickens!
The Nourishing Gourmet – This sweet, young Mama takes pride in the kitchen and shares tips, recipes and how to make it all work on a budget. The recipes focus heavily on the Nourishing Traditions diet (real food, using milk, butter, etc.)
100 Days of Real Food – Started out as a way to share a challenge to eat real food, this blog has grown to share tips, talk honestly about food choices and options and meal plans.
Kitchen Stewardship – Written by a frugal mother, this blog is a great resource for recipes, natural remedies and non-traditional cooking (Nourishing Traditions).
The Healthy Home Economist – A blog dedicated to passing on health wisdom to the author’s children. The topics may seem on the health fringe, but it’s not just about things on the fray of the natural health scene. Recipes, news articles, and a large scene full of engaged readers. Sometimes I enjoy a post just for the comments.
Food Books I think everyone should read
In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan: This book explores the controversy around our current state of food quality and culture. This book is not only easy to read, it touches on current research without getting too detailed. Pollan offers suggestions about what to do with the information and how to help shape national change.
Organic, Inc. by Samuel Fromartz: Ever wonder if Organic means better on a food label? This book exposes the fact that when Organic food mimics the mass agribusiness in growth, distribution and marketing, it often means buying into a system that is unsustainable. This one was a real eye-opener for me to think beyond Organic being better as a standard, and the importance of locally grown produce, and things made with real ingredients (less processed).
Cook Books I have on my shelf
The Best Make-Ahead Recipe by Cook’s Illustrated Magazine, John Burgoyne and Daniel J. Van Ackere – I love how this book explains in detail why they found each recipe to be the best combination of ingredients. Each recipe is not super healthy, but helpful. I have made my own dietary changes as needed.
eCook Books I would loan you, but recommend buying – a way to tip me with affiliate links:)
Kitchen Stewardship‘s eCookbook, Healthy Snacks To Go– At $6.95, this was worth every penny, Katie’s blog is a great source, and I trust her research on these recipes. A mother, she has created and collected recipes that are quick to make and keep the whole family happy.
Blogs/eBooks/Books for simple, minimalist living and home making
Rowdy Kittens – While I cannot live as simply as Tammy does, I do appreciate her willingness to share her journey, living by example, inspiring essays and delightful photos often including her cat.
Books for diving into Non-conformist living more deeply and following your passions without going hungry.
The Art of Non-Conformity by Chris Guillebeau – this book shifted by perspective that it was and is okay to follow your passions and make a living. The book was super easy to read, inspiring and full of real examples. It’s not about starting your own business, but about living the life you want and encouraging you to look at your life in the long term without sacrificing what makes you feel alive, or waiting to live in retirement.
Renaissance Business by Emilie Wapnik – Emilie is the mastermind behind the site, Puttylike.com, where she encourages readers to embrace their multiple talents and interests. Following her encouraged me to create this site. I had the pleasure of proof reading this book. I think every creative person I know who wants to make a living doing what they love should read it.