Goodcooking.com Cookbook Review---


Moosewood Restaurant New Classics
Moosewood Collective
495 pages; Soft cover
Black and White Pictures
New York: Clarkson Potter Publishers, 2001
Reviewed by,  John Catrambone Jr. for Good Cooking, Inc. , Early Summer 2007


The review---

The Moosewood Restaurant New Classics is one of a few recipe books put out by the Moosewood restaurant in Ithaca, New York. Two of them have won James Beard awards. The recipes found in the book are a mix of different flavors from across the globe, with breakfast, lunch, brunch, dinner and dessert amongst your choosing. Ideally if you like meat on your plate, I would steer elsewhere; most of the recipes focus on healthy ingredients, and are simple to make. Overall it was a fun book to explore and I look forward to trying more of the recipes.

The first recipe I made was “Italian Bean and Squash Soup”. I got about 6 servings from the recipe and it tasted even better the next day. I would highly recommend this one.

The second recipe I tried was “Curried Spinach Pea Soup”. I found the Italian Bean and Squash Soup to be super delicious and would definitely make it more than one time. The curried spinach pea soup was good too, it reminded me of a spiced-up pea soup. I think some fish would be excellent with it.

In my searching for recipes throughout Moosewood Restaurant New Classics, I looked for ones that were somewhat challenging. I found the two I did to be just that as compared to most of the other recipes in the book, which are fairly simple. I would recommend Moosewood Restaurant New Classics if you are looking for quick and easy healthy cooking.

Recipes tested---

Italian Bean & squash Soup

Healthful, hearty, and satisfying, this attractive soup in the Southern Italian tradition is quite easy to prepare. Oregano and crushed red pepper are assertive enough flavors to balance the otherwise sweet and mild soup. Try the soup with Green Olive & Artichoke Tapenade (page 209) or Portabello Sandwiches

Serves 6 to 8
Total time: 30 to 40 minutes

31/2 cups finely chopped onions 6 large garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 celery stalk, preferably with some leaves, finely chopped
13/4 cups crushed canned tomatoes with their juice
(15-ounce can) 1 quart vegetable broth*
1 teaspoon dried oregano
pinch of crushed red pepper flakes 4 cups diced peeled
butternut squash 31/2 cups cooked pinto beans
(two 15-ounce cans, rinsed and drained)
1 teaspoon salt
coarsely ground black pepper to taste freshly grated Pecorino
cheese (optional)
* Ifyou prefer a commercially produced broth, we recommend
Pacific Organic or Imagine Foods brands, in aseptically
packaged boxes.

In a large nonreactive soup pot, heat the oil on medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, and celery and saute until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes, broth, oregano, and red pepper flakes and bring to a simmer. Stir in the squash and cook until tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Add the beans and salt and continue to cook until the beans are thoroughly heated. Add black pepper to taste. Serve hot topped with freshly grated cheese, if desired.

PER 12-OUNCE SERVING: 195 CALORIES, 7.7 G PROTEIN, 3 G
FAT, 38 G CARBOHYDRATES, 0.5 G SATURATED FATTY ACIDS,
0 MG CHOLESTEROL, 744.6 MG SODIUM, 6.8 G TOTAL
DIETARY FIBER

Curried Spinach Pea Soup

There are only four main ingredients in this vivid chartreuse soup: spinach, peas, potatoes, and onions-and then a long list of curry spices. The enticing fragrance loosed in the kitchen as the soup cooks is part of its appeal. So is the color. Feel free to play with the amounts of ginger, cayenne, and lemonjuice to shift the emphasis. Penny Goldin developed this soup as a tribute to Moosewood's Tibetan employees who grew up in India-exiled from Tibet-and whose childhood memories are stimulated by these aromatic Indian fragrances. With a soup this thick and spicy-sweet, you'll want something piquant and crisp, such as our Cucumber Peanut Salad (page 107).

2 teaspoons salt
4 cups diced potatoes
8 garlic cloves, peeled and left whole
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 cups chopped onions
11/2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger root
11/2 teaspoons turmeric
11/2 teaspoons ground cumin 11/2 teaspoons ground
coriander 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon ground
cardamom 1/a teaspoon cayenne, or to taste 1/4 teaspoon
ground black pepper 11/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 3
cups frozen green peas
(about 15 ounces)
4 cups packed fresh spinach, rinsed and large stems removed
1 3/4 cups reduced-fat coconut milk (14-ounce can)
fresh cilantro leaves, optional

Preparation time: 15 minutes Cooking time: 45 minutes

Bring the water and salt to a boil in a large soup pot. Ease in the potatoes and garlic, cover, reduce the heat, and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, warm the oil. Add the onions and sauté on medium heat, stirring frequently, until translucent, about 10 minutes. Stir the ginger, turmeric, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, cardamom, cayenne, and black pepper into the sautéed onions. Add the lemon juice and 1 cup of the potato cooking liquid, cover, and simmer for about 5 minutes. Transfer the onion mixture to the pot of undrained cooked potatoes. Add the peas and spinach, cover, and cook for about 5 minutes, until the spinach is wilted. Stir in the in the coconut milk. In a blender, puree the soup in batches until smooth and creamy. Reheat gently. Serve with cilantro, if desired.

PER 12-OUNCE SERVING: 210 CALORIES, 6.3 G PROTEIN, 6.7
G FAT, 32.9 G CARBOHYDRATES,
3.2 G SATURATED FATTY ACIDS, 0 MG CHOLESTEROL, 655.7
MG SODIUM, 5.6 G TOTAL DIETARY FIBER