by Kathy Humiston, Book & Housewares Buyer
February is here...Love is officially in the air and visions of cinnamon red hots and chocolate hearts may be dazzling you and yours this month. This short month can sometimes seem the longest of the winter and I wonder if the huge promotion of Valentine’s Day is in part an antidote to the winter blahs! In any case, hearts and Cupids abound this month and many of us will be sharing treats or candlelit dinners with loved ones in a couple of weeks. Another focus this month is on healthy hearts and that includes healthy foods, as well as exercise and stress management. Let’s mix it all together!
For several years I have enjoyed reading and cooking from EatingWell magazine and so I was very pleased last fall to see the publication of The Essential Eating Well Cookbook. This book is a compilation of the best and most popular recipes published by EatingWell since 1990 and includes both vegetarian and non-vegetarian recipes. The focus is on healthy food that is also delicious and easy to prepare. Fats and calories are reduced, vegetables, whole grains and fiber are increased and flavor is always a priority. For a special Valentine dinner you could start with Marinated Olives and Edamame-Feta Dip, followed by Athenian Orzo or Honey-Mustard Roast Chicken and finish off with Chocolate Fondue or maybe a slice of Lemon-Almond Polenta Torta. Mmmm, I may have to go home and start cooking! This book will take you from breakfast through dinner with great taste and minimal guilt. The Essential EatingWell Cookbook is on special for the month of February at 15% off the publisher’s price.
The Voluptuous Vegan will pamper you with recipes that are good for your heart and satisfying to your soul and appetite. These dishes are full of flavor, incorporating a variety of seasonings, produce and grains, but contain no meat, eggs or dairy products. The entrée chapter includes suggested menus that turn a main dish into an easy feast. There are suggestions for advance preparation and lots of little tips to simplify the process. For Valentine’s Day you might consider Pumpkin, Sage and Pecan Ravioli with Raspberry-Cornmeal Tart for a sweet.
There is scientific research that proves that our pets are good for our health and can significantly aid in stress management. This is one more good reason to take good care of our pets as well as ourselves. The Complete Holistic Dog Book is full of tips for caring for our canine buddies. It addresses prevention of illness through diet and lifestyle and incorporates the uses of alternative therapies such as herbs, acupuncture, bodywork and more. There is a large section discussing the various body systems and specific illnesses as well as nutritional, herbal and homeopathic materia medica. Should your dog be a raw foods vegetarian? Read more about it...