Food Allergy Counseling

Food Allergy Counseling
Sloane Miller, Food Allergy Counselor (Picture © Noel Malcolm 2013)

Monday, August 04, 2014

Book Review: Brassicas by Laura B. Russell


Recently Random House sent me a reviewer copy of Brassicas: Cooking the World's Healthiest Vegetables: Kale, Cauliflower, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts and More: Laura B. RussellLaura B. Russell is the former associate editor of Food & Wine cookbooks, the “Gluten Freedom” columnist for the Oregonian, and a frequent contributor to Prevention magazine. She has followed a gluten-free diet since 2007. Visit www.theglutenfreeasiankitchen.com.

I love this kind of book, going into one topic deeply yet simply. The topic is the brassica group of veggies, also called cruciferous. You may know this group of vegetables by their most common meal-time companions or side dish varieties: kale, broccoli, bok choy and Brussels spouts. However there are over 300 varieties in this grouping of veggies. I even mention them in my book when I take about expanding your diet safely.

For those of with restricted diets, like those of us with severe life threatening food allergies, it’s crucial to keep expanding our diets safely utilizing the world of things we *can* eat. Broccoli, for example. If you can eat broccoli, most likely you can eat all of the veggies in that vegetable family. Which means over 300 veggies to choose from, and create healthy, food allergy free wishes with.

*As always, please check with your board certified medical provider about your specific needs.*

 What I love love love about Brassicas: Cooking the World's Healthiest Vegetables: Kale, Cauliflower, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts and More: Laura B. Russell:
1. Its layout is clean and simple. 
2. The pictures are gorgeous and mouth watering. 
3. The recipes are straightforward.
4. The author provides measurements by cups and weight, fab especially as leafy things are variable and difficult to measure.

Each section of Brassicas: Cooking the World's Healthiest Vegetables: Kale, Cauliflower, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts and More: Laura B. Russell starts with a description of the vegetable, how to choose it in your market, how to prep, clean and store it and nutritional values. Then the recipes themselves use an ingredient, a cooking technique and then some easy flavor profile that matches that base notes of the veggies. 

For example, her recipe of cauliflower and salsa verde which is simply: roasted cauliflower in oil and salt then the salsa verde (parsley, chives, capers, mustard, lemon zest, green olives, salt and pepper.) So easy, so good.

Brassicas: Cooking the World's Healthiest Vegetables: Kale, Cauliflower, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts and More: Laura B. Russell is not allergen-free exclusively, however the author is conscious that everyone has individual needs and kindly made a chart in the back that tracks the top 8 allergens and where there are in her recipes. Also, she notes that very often the recipe can be made with an easy substitution.

Looking to expand your diet, get more veggies in or figure out what to do with your CSA (find your local CSA here) bounty this summer and fall?

Get Brassicas: Cooking the World's Healthiest Vegetables: Kale, Cauliflower, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts and More: Laura B. Russell. With simple, straightforward delicious recipes, you’ll use it again and again.