Dietitians of Canada Cook!: 275 Recipes Celebrate Food from Field to Table is a tough cookbook to review. I admire dietitians and their dedication to eating healthy but having a cookbook that is a compilation of numerous recipes from many different people is hard to test.
In the introduction they write that there will be a generation of children growing up having no idea how to prepare food. That has already happened. There is a generation of adults who have no idea how to cook, therefore, no way of teaching the next generation what to do with food. I was one of those adults and taught myself everything I know.
Sadly, as much as their hearts are in the right place, had I started my food journey with this cookbook I would have become quite disillusioned, very quickly. I will let the recipes speak for themselves.
ROASTED RED PEPPER AND FETA HUMMUS
In a small bowl combine 3/4 cup of cranberries and 1/4 cup of orange juice. In a large bowl combine 2 cups of flour, 3/4 cup of whole wheat flour, 1/2 cup of ground flax seeds, 1/2 cup sugar, 2 tsp grated orange zest, 2 tsp baking powder and 1 tsp baking soda.
Whisk together 1 egg, 1/4 cup canola oil and 1 1/4 cup of orange juice. Pour into flour mixture and beat until just combined.
Fold in the cranberry mixture.
Divide batter evenly and baked in a 375F preheated oven for 16-18 minutes until tester comes out clean.
I don’t know if you can see it but there was a green tinge to these muffins. Now I normally try and put aesthetics aside but muffins with a green hue? I took a bite and they were so bland and yet kind of harsh, I could not finish it. I gave my husband a bite and he summed it up sadly, yet perfectly, “I get no pleasure out of eating this at all.”
Perhaps if there was a pinch of salt like most baked goods require for a reason these would have tasted like something. I learned that lesson when I forgot the salt in Chuck’s No-Knead Whole Wheat Bread. I know salt is not great for you but a pinch of it in a batch of muffin batter is not that big a deal and yet could have made these muffins pleasurably edible.
I began the recipe testing with the Broccoli Cheese Soup which was a bit of a disaster. Then I made the Beef Kabobs with Peanut Sauce which I loved. The red pepper hummus was meh and the muffins were not pleasant to eat. After I made those muffins I decided, I was done. I do not have the time, energy, money or resources to waste trying to find the few fabulous gems in this cookbook.
Sometimes I think that dietitians only see food as medicine and do not realize that food is so much more than that. If it is not going to be enjoyed, it will not be eaten. The most important thing is for us to make our own food when we can and that is a huge step towards proper nutrition:
“The recipes in this book have been carefully tested by our kitchen and our tasters. To the best of our knowledge, they are safe and nutritious for ordinary use and users.”
Note, nothing about the food tasting good was mentioned. I am sorry but for me, healthy is not enough. For the seriously dedicated health nut you may enjoy maple barley pudding but I will pass. In fact, whoever writes, “I am a health nut and want this book” and leaves their email address I will send you this book in the mail. I am done with it.