Clean Slate: A Cookbook and Guide

“Most of us know that the way we eat is central to our well-being. But we may not always know exactly what ingredients to buy or meals to plan for the most satisfying, delicious and healthful results. This book will show you how easy it can be: Start with fresh produce, whole grains, and lean proteins; prepare them simply; and take the time to share and enjoy them.” – Martha Stewart

I love food. I love cooking food, eating food, and celebrating the way that healthy food makes me feel. In all honesty, though, there are times when too much of a good thing isn’t so good, and when I can’t seem to break out of a rut with the foods that I make.

How refreshing it was to read Clean Slate, a beautiful book by the editors of Martha Stewart Living. The book is rich with information about the healthiest foods to integrate into your diet, the richest fruits and vegetables to make part of your daily routine, and the most delicious combination of antioxidant-packed foods in tempting recipes.  Rich photographs, a wealth of information, and a clearly organized collection of recipes identified as Vegan, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, and Nut-Free makes this book absolutely tempting. All of the recipes avoid butter, refined sugar, all-purpose flour and red meat, all in an effort to get readers the clean start they need to reexamine their eating and encourage new healthy habits.

Options like Watercress and Potato Soup, Melon-Mint Smoothie, Squash Salad with Tomatoes, Zucchini Blossoms, and Ricotta, Warm Spinach White Bean Dip, Almond-Date Smoothie, Red Lentil Soup with Turnip and Parsley, and Lentil Burgers provide plenty of options for throughout the day.  The authors even include sweets that are healthy and delicious: Spiced Hot Dark Chocolate, Fig and Walnut Biscotti, and Coconut Water Ice Pops, among others. Overall, this book is an absolute treasure with options for anyone wishing to eat healthy and for all home chefs who are passionate about ingredients.

Baked Sweet Potato with Greens

2 sweet potatoes, scrubbed and pricked all over with a fork

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 small onion, thinly sliced

1 bunch Swiss chard, tough stems trimmed and leaves chopped

Coarse salt

1 avocado, halved, pitted, peeled, and sliced

Cayenne pepper

Lemon wedges for serving

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Bake sweet potatoes on a baking sheet until tender, about 45 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium. Add onion and cook until tender, stirring occasionally, about 6 minutes. Add chard and cook, stirring, until bright green and wilted, about 5 minutes. Season with salt.

3. Split potatoes and top each with the greens and sliced avocado. Season with cayenne and salt. Squeeze with lemon before serving.

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