23 August 2014

Weekend Cooking: The Green Teen Cookbook edited by Laurane Marchive and Pam McElroy

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Earlier this summer when I was at BookExpo America, I spent some time looking through the booths for cookbooks. Laurane Marchive and Pam McElroy's The Green Teen Cookbook caught my eye because I know so many high schoolers and college students who are interested in cooking but want recipes that suit their modern tastes and sometimes limited skills.

There is a lot to like about The Green Teen Cookbook, especially because the vast majority of the recipes were submitted by and tested by real-life teens. And even better, the focus is on grown-up food, not glorified PB&Js.

The first thing I wanted to know when I started reading this collection is what was meant by green. This is not a vegetable cookbook or even a strictly vegetarian cookbook; instead, it's all about eating ecologically responsibly. And that translates to eating locally, seasonally, and organically. In fact, each recipe is tagged with icons to let you know when the called-for ingredients are at their peak.

Although the recipes assume you have some familiarity with the kitchen, they are quite doable, and the range of flavors and techniques is impressive. Here are some examples:
  • Easy: granola, Caesar salad
  • Regional: chicken and waffles, Spanish tortilla
  • More involved: risotto with arugula pesto, fish curry with spiced rice
The directions are clear and straightforward, and there is a full-color photo of each teen-submitted recipe. The beginning of the book includes basic information about ingredients, eating responsibly, and stocking the pantry. At the back of the book, cooks will find a useful index, resources for farmers markets, and the URLs for some popular food blogs.

If you click on the scan (from page 70), you'll get not only a very easy hummus recipe but a peek at the clean, green book design. I love that each recipe has a picture of the teen contributor plus a quote, quick tips, seasonal icons, and an appealing photo of the finished dish.

You don't need to be a kid to get some good use out of The Green Teen Cookbook. For example, this would be a great gift for a young adult moving into his or her first apartment. Experienced cooks who want to wean themselves from processed foods will also find many good dishes in this book.

Vegetarian alert: Although there are a number of vegetarian recipes in the book, vegans will want to look before buying.

Published by Zest Books, 2014 (US edition)
ISBN-13: 9781936976584
Source: Review (see review policy)
Copyright © cbl for Beth Fish Reads, all rights reserved (see review policy)


rhapsodyinbooks 8/23/14, 6:14 AM  

Ahh, now I know what I'm going to get my niece for Christmas! Thanks for spotlighting this!

Tina 8/23/14, 6:54 AM  

I'm glad to hear there are some decent cookbooks geared toward young people that offer heathy recipes and good tips. You're right, this sounds like a book adults may enjoy too.

bermudaonion 8/23/14, 8:06 AM  

I love that the recipes were submitted by teens. This sounds like it's worth checking out.

(Diane) bookchickdi 8/23/14, 8:40 AM  

My sons have been cooking for themselves since they went away to college six years ago, and this would be perfect for them. It would also make a great graduation gift.

JoAnn 8/23/14, 9:09 AM  

This sounds perfect for my daughters, niece, and even nephews!

Jackie McGuinness 8/23/14, 9:19 AM  

I agree the format is great. A great gift for a first apartment!

Karen 8/23/14, 9:36 AM  

This sounds like a great gift for my younger daughter!

Beth S. 8/23/14, 12:30 PM  

What a great idea for a book. I might check this out and see if any of my students would be interested in this.

Laurie C 8/23/14, 1:11 PM  

This sounds like a good one for the library's YA nonfiction collection!

Anonymous,  8/23/14, 11:39 PM  

Man, I needed this book when I first went away to college! But this is great to know about even now, in case I have gifts to buy for high school graduates entering the world where mommy might not be there to cook every night!

Heather 8/24/14, 8:30 AM  

This sounds great! I bet my daughter would love it.

Sue Jackson 8/24/14, 1:56 PM  

Looks very interesting! Coincidentally, on Friday, I helped my 20-year old son move into his first apartment at college! As you might remember, he is on a restricted Paleo-type diet for medical reasons, so i was a bit concerned about him cooking for himself! Before he left, I made him a cookbook with detailed instructions for cooking veggies and other foods (focusing on his faves, of course).

I received two texts from him yesterday with questions about cooking different veggies, so things seem to be going well so far!

I don't think he's ready for this cookbook yet, since I had to write out step-by-step instructions on how to steam vegetables, but it sure sounds good to me!

Hope you've had a good summer -


Book By Book

Leslie @ This is the Refrain 8/24/14, 5:24 PM  

This cookbook sounds really great. I'm always looking for fresh, easy recipes, so I might have to check it out from the library!

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