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12 Best Foods Cookbook: Over 200 Delicious Recipes Featuring the 12 Healthiest Foods    by Dana Jacobi order for
12 Best Foods Cookbook
by Dana Jacobi
Order:  USA  Can
Rodale, 2005 (2005)

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* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

The title immediately begs the question of what the best 12 foods are. They're on the cover here for all to see - blueberries, black beans, sweet potatoes, oatmeal, salmon, spinach, broccoli, tomatoes, chocolate (glad to see that included), walnuts, soy, and onions. Color photos of the foods and selected recipes increase the appeal. In his Foreword, Dr. Mehmet Oz emphasizes the importance of diet in avoiding disease. Dana Jacobi herself tells us that she writes cookbooks 'to show others how healthy food and delicious eating truly can go together.' In the first chapter, she introduces each of the '12 best foods' with 'Benefits at a Glance', how to buy, store and cook, and ways to eat the food.

On to the recipes themselves, divided into the usual sections from First Courses and Soups to Desserts and the finale, Breakfasts and Drinks. I love Smoked Salmon Dip and like the look of this one (with scallions, capers and cayenne). Or how about Roasted Portobello Mushroom with Warm Avocado Salsa for starters? The Red Velvet Soup (beans, tomatoes and beets) intrigues, as does a warm Blueberry Soup. There are unusual, but appetizing, salad combinations like Spinach Salad with Nectarine, Blueberries, and Lime Balsamic Vinaigrette. We eat a lot of chicken and are always looking for new recipes - I just noted Chicken with Rhubarb Sauce here, and will also try Turkey Meatballs in Porcini Sauce. And my family will love 'Lean Mean Chocolate Chili' (made with beef).

On to Fish and a mouthwatering Roasted Salmon with Fresh Garden Salsa, or Pan-Roasted Halibut with Caramelized Onions. Following that come a variety of pastas, sauces ('Ginger Tomato Sauce' appeals), and grains like Indian Spinach Rice. In the Eggs, Beans and Soy section, I have to make Green Eggs and Ham for my kids. A meatless Dirty Rice also looks good. An impressive selection of veggie dishes includes a Corn and Broccoli Pudding that would make a great holiday dish. I love Desserts - Blueberry-Lemon Trifle looks simple to make and good to eat, as does a Cherry Berry Crisp, and of course chocolate brownie variations. For Breakfast, my vote goes to the Lemon-Blueberry Granola recipe, or maybe the decadent sounding Chocolate Pancakes.

I hope that gives you a flavor of what's in this 12 Best Foods Cookbook. Cook with it for family and friends, and you'll eat well in every sense of the word.

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