Food Matters

Food Matters A Guide to Conscious Eating by Mark Bittman (Simon & Schuster 2009)Food Matters

Does this lament sound familiar? “I want to eat more healthfully but I’m not sure where to begin.” or “I want to feel my family healthy, delicious meals, but I just don’t have time/don’t know how.” If so, Food Matters was written for you by Mark Bittman, who has distilled long years of experience writing a column for the weekly New York Times food pages into this very helpful guide. And he will guide you by providing a wealth of sensible, easy-to-follow advice including principles to help guide food choices (for example, “Eat all the plants you can manage.”), shopping (“avoid anything with more than five familiar-sounding ingredients.”), and planning ahead (“every week, cook a full pot of beans”).

I was inspired by the book tonight as I turned an assemblage of leftovers and frozen ingredients into an incredible soup in 20 minutes: cooked black beans and their broth; cooked pureed pumpkin from the freezer; roasted garlic from the freezer; diced, canned, roasted red peppers; a cup of leftover lamb-chipotle braising liquid; cumin, fennel, coriander, hot paprika, salt and pepper. A garnish of sliced scallions and some coriander, both of which had entered Must-Go’s territory (as in ‘everything in the refrigerator must go!’) That and a piece of bread made a great dinner. Some of the book’s 75 recipes have appeared in Bittman’s column and they bear repeating. They are technically easy, can be embroidered endlessly, and take advantage of seasonal abundance, and taste good. Who could ask for anything more?!

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2 Responses to “Food Matters”

  1. Debra
    25. May 2010 um 13:10

    Great review, Penni. I’m going to recommend his book to my family in the Midwest. And I just recommended you to a group of women I meet with once a month in Marin–they were thrilled by the idea of hiring a Kitchen Coach!

  2. penniw
    25. May 2010 um 14:02

    I keep coming back and back to Mark Bittman’s recipes. He, and they, just make so much sense. And would love to work with a group, how fun!


Today I enjoyed the beautiful loaf of bread I baked last night, and it was glorious! My husband loved it, too, and had it for breakfast and lunch. I felt so proud and accomplished and could not believe I’d actually produced it myself. However, I realize that most of the thanks goes to you for teaching me so well the other day. Thank you!

-Laura Wilson Hill, San Francisco

About Penni

Over 30 years as a food and wine professional, writer, and editor.

Cookbook author including:
'The Tra Vigne Cookbook' for Michael Chiarello,
'The Basque Kitchen' for Gerald Hirigoyen
and 'BurgerBar' for Hubert Keller.

Contact Penni Wisner