THE NEW YORK TIMES NEW NATURAL FOODS COOKBOOK, Rev. ed. by Jean Hewitt

THE NEW YORK TIMES NEW NATURAL FOODS COOKBOOK, Rev. ed.

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Hewitt has extensively revised her 1971 bestseller, the most immediately evident change being the omission of the red meat and candy sections. In place of the meat we get expanded fish and poultry sections, including several ground turkey dishes, Hewitt's major low-price discovery--but the vegetarian main dishes (many of them containing cheese or eggs) still carry an outdated cautionary note and are ""meant to be occasional substitutes for animal and fish protein."" A glance at the early pages reveals the auspicious disappearance of the Tang ""Eye-opener"" (it was fortified with blackstrap molasses, brewers' yeast, wheat germ, and Tiger's milk); added, however, is a tofu-in-wheat-germ appetizer, with a sweet-and-sour sauce using canned crushed pineapple, sugar, and ketchup. And so it appears that some widely discredited villains are gone, more widely indulged ones remain (lots of honey, some butter), and the book's basic tenor hasn't changed. For example, though Hewitt notes the wider availability today of exotic cuisines and ingredients, she has added few if any genuine ethnic classics--or even such modified versions as we got in her International Meatless Cookbook (1980). Instead we have here the sort of recipes that turned good-food lovers off ""natural"" foods. These range from the perfectly respectable virtues of boiled soybeans and lentil-millet patties. . . to the ""additive"" approach that sprinkles wheat germ everywhere (on chicken with honey, for example) and brewers' yeast here and there (as in black bean soup). . . to the arbitrary combinations (such as a ground turkey-beansprout loaf topped with avocado sauce) that sound like winning entries in contests sponsored by food-producers. Since 1971 we've seen many natural food cookbooks, both pristine and sophisticated, with recipes for all the basic foods covered here. But as Hewitt's first edition sold in the hundreds of thousands of copies, there will probably still be takers for her middlebrow mixtures.

Pub Date: May 18th, 1982
Publisher: Times Books