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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

A Manual to Add More Greens and Grains to Your Diet

Posted By on Wed, Nov 26, 2014 at 8:36 AM

click to enlarge greens_grains_cov.jpg
With the season of excess nearly upon us, it’s quite a relief to get a cookbook like Molly Watson’s Greens + Grains: Recipes for Deliciously Healthful Meals from Chronicle Books dropping right about now.

It’s a smaller book, one that doesn’t land on your table with a huge thud as if to announce its arrival, and to be sure, the word “healthful” in the subtitle may turn some people away. But with photos of Wild Rice Salad with Kale, Pecans and Blueberries and Greens-Stuffed Corn Cakes with tomato salsa on the cover by Joseph De Leo, it definitely grabbed my attention.

We all know we should be eating more veggies these days, and this book offers a pain-free and filling way to do it. This is healthy food, yes, but Watson emphasizes this is not a health book, and it is delicious-looking food all the same. And while Paleo people will have to give this one a pass, all kinds of lesser-used grains like farro, buckwheat, and polenta and the many varieties of brown rice get their chance to shine here.

Watson is a San Francisco-based food writer whose work regularly appears in places like The San Francisco Chronicle, Sunset Magazine and Edible San Francisco. Her recipes aren’t fussy; most are perfect for a week-night dinner, but also just fancy enough if a guest drops by unannounced. Many dishes can be enhanced by a bit of pancetta or bacon, but are just as complete without it. Most recipes are vegetarian, but a few are not. Many are also vegan and/or gluten-free, though not intentionally so. Also in its favor are that many of the recipes can be used as templates; while Watson may recommend one type of leafy green, others can easily be substituted.
Some recipes on my soon-to-try list: Braised Chicken with Farro, Kale, and Winter Squash; Farro, Chard and Ricotta Casserole; and the above mentioned Corn Cakes.

As we brace ourselves for the upcoming onslaught of overindulgence, I, for one, will be glad to have this little volume in my collection.  
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About The Author

Alix Wall

Alix Wall

Alix Wall is an Oakland-based freelance writer and certified natural foods chef. Her web site is


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