When I first glanced through the review copy of “If It Makes You Healthy: More Than 100 Delicious Recipes Inspired by the Seasons
” by Sheryl Crow and Chuck White with Mary Goodbody, I thought it was a vegetarian cookbook. It’s not. The book is grain- and vegetable-heavy, and that’s a good thing. There are a few seafood and meat recipes to keep carnivores happy, and there’s a huge emphasis on buying humanely raised meats and seafood.
You’re probably familiar with Sheryl Crow's music and recognize the book’s name is a takeoff of her hit song, “If It Makes You Happy.” You might also know that the singer was diagnosed with breast cancer five years ago. She calls that diagnosis a “game changer” with her diet. After years of eating whatever was within reach on the road, she hired Chuck White to cook for her, the band and crew for the group's summer tour following her radiation treatments. The first few pages of the book tell this story, and they shouldn’t be skipped over.
But do make sure you get to the recipes, though. Each recipe has an introduction by either Sheryl or Chuck, and many of the recipes have side notes with additional tips. When a recipe calls for toasted hazelnuts, for instance, there’s a side note about toasting hazelnuts — very helpful.
So what recipes have caught my attention? Here are just a few:
- Roasted Potato Salad with Sweet Corn and Cider Vinegar – No mayonnaise in this healthy version of potato salad that looks like a great addition to a summer cookout.
- Marcona Almond-Dusted Scallops with Sweet Corn, Leeks and Tomatoes – I admit it. I love to wrap scallops in just-cooked bacon and then cook them in the leftover bacon grease. This looks like a much healthier way to serve scallops, and the almond coating intrigues me.
- Jack Daniel’s Glazed Pork Tenderloin and Sweet Potato Skewers – I’m always looking for new combinations to pop on a stick and grill.
- Cyclops Salad – A poached egg sits atop a watercress, bean and red pepper salad, that sits atop Italian bread that’s been toasted with oil and garlic. Can’t wait to try this.
I’ve poured through enough seasonal, farm-to-table, farmers market-type cookbooks to know that there are recipes in this book that are different from the usual fare. I like that. I believe that “If It Makes You Healthy” is going to earn a permanent spot on my cookbook shelf. You can check out one of the complete recipes, Mixed Lettuces with Anjou Pears, Toasted Walnuts, Blue Cheese, and Pickled Red Onions, on the publisher’s website.
If you’ve got questions about the cookbook, healthy eating, or living greener, you have the chance to ask Crow yourself. She’s teaming with Tom’s of Maine
(who is helping her reduce the carbon footprint of her spring tour with biodiesel fuel, recycling bins at every venue, and a commitment to eco-friendly cleaning products, local and organic catering and reusable/biodegradable hospitality products, among other initiatives) for a live, on-the-road Facebook chat on May 19 at 7 p.m. ET.
During the chat, she’ll take questions from fans about living a green life, her music, motherhood, life on the road, healthy cooking tips and more. There’s also a free download of a live version of Crow’s song, “Long Road Home” for those who “like” the Facebook page.