Tuesday, December 29, 2020

The Mediterranean Diet Cookbook for Beginners


The Mediterranean Diet Cookbook for Beginners is a tutorial and recipe guide with recipes developed by Elena Paravantes. Due out 29th Dec 2020 from Penguin Random House on their DK imprint, it's 192 pages and will be available in paperback and ebook formats. 

The Mediterranean diet has gotten a lot of attention because of its association with a wide variety of health benefits including a lower incidence of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, neurodegenerative disease, and early death. This book provides a good introduction to the diet and lifestyle for beginners wanting to make changes to their eating habits for health benefits and a healthier lifestyle. 

The layout is logical and easy to follow. The introduction covers the basics of the Mediterranean Diet, tools, supplies, and the how-to and why of choosing ingredients (the subchapter tutorial on choosing and storing olive oil is one of the best I've ever seen). The following chapters include the recipes arranged roughly by category: breakfast, vegetables & beans, pasta rice & savory pies, seafood meat & poultry, salads, snacks & appetizers, and desserts.

Ingredient measurements are supplied in American standard measurements with metric in parentheses.  The nutritional information:  calories, fat, carbs, and protein content are listed for the recipes as well as serving sizes.  Extra tips or recipe alternatives are listed in sidebars. The recipes themselves are fairly straightforward and are made with easily sourced ingredients. Many are very simple, none of them are overly complex.

The photography is not abundant; roughly 25% of the recipes are illustrated, but the photographs which are included are clear and well done.  I wish there had been more photographs and serving suggestions, but I do understand that extra photography increases the price of book projects very quickly.

This is a nice collection of recipes and even allowing for the fact that some of them are very similar to others in the same category, this will keep cooks going for ages. Many of these can also easily be adapted to other styles of cooking and meal planning. 

Four stars.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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