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Great Cookbooks for Families: Clean Food and Petit Appetit

Reviewed by Katy Killilea

CleanFoodClean Food

This is it! Terry Walters has rescued cooking with fresh, local, sustainable foods from becoming an irritating cliché. Filled with creative, energizing recipes–many that even my children will eat–this book makes me hum.

Shoehorning more nutrition-packed foods into your family’s meals? This book is for you. If you’re already filled to the gills with collards and quinoa, this book is for you too. Clean Food puts a fresh spin on all of the cooking buzzwords and concepts we’ve been hearing about ad nauseum. Without making a big to-do of it, it is dairy free and largely wheat free, resulting in meals that can be enjoyed by everyone.

The recipes are organized by season, along with a shorter “anytime” chapter at the end (where you’ll find salad dressings and oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, among other things). petit appetitAlthough this book is based on the nutrition powerhouses, it manages to include plenty of awesome desserts. Try the Tofu Pumpkin Pie with Gingersnap Crust and you’ll find it’s as legit for a mixed-audience Thanksgiving as it is for a party with the tofu set.

Petit Appetit

When I get a new cookbook, I take my first look at it armed with a pad of mini Post-it notes for tagging the recipes I might use. I had to stop this practice with Petit Appetit; I was marking every page. Like Clean Food, it’s all about making health- promoting choices and feeding our families well. But unlike Clean Food, this one’s aimed squarely at a family dining table’s most particular patrons.

The recipes here will make most children swoon (not that adults don’t enjoy dishes like French bread pizza and strawberry milk) and allow parents to feel confident that, as far as a crispy coated chicken tender goes, they’re serving from the apex of all possible child-friendly crispy coatings. It’s a rare find: If a kid wants to eat it, the recipe is included–with mindful care about ingredients–in Petit Appetit.

The details:

Clean Food by Terry Walters
$30 Sterling Epicure

Petit Appetit by Lisa Barnes
$18 Perigree

The publishers provided review copies to for this article. No company nor Kidoinfo has received any monetary compensation for this and we have no undisclosed relationship with the companies who provided review copies.

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