Saturday, May 7, 2011

Carrots 'N' Cake: Healthy Living One Carrot and Cupcake at a Time

by Tina Haupert
New York, Sterling Epicure, 2011
208 pages    Non-Fiction

Carrots N’ Cake was a good book to read in Kalamazoo this week because the city is sponsoring its first ever marathon, and the race is going right by our house. My nephew is running in the race; he and his wife came from Colorado to visit my sister for Mother’s Day and also for the race. We will be having a viewing party on our front steps with muffins, fresh fruit, and granola for our guests.

The city is all agog over the race; there are special bands playing tonight at all the bars, especially at Bell’s Brewery, and last night there was a huge art hop all over the downtown area. We live in a great little city, and it is so fun to see it so alive. Oh, I forgot to say that the Farmer’s Market opened today for the season. The first-of-season asparagus was all sold out by the time I got there at 10.

Tina Haupert lives in a world of food and exercise. Her full time job is to be a food blogger, food critic, spokesperson for a nutrition company, and a restaurant critic. Most of what is included in Carrots 'N' Cake first appeared in her blog, which has the same name as the book. She writes with a breezy, quirky style that is as appealing as her recipes. She deals with the realistic push and pull of keeping a healthy diet without giving in to overindulgence. However, she acknowledges that overindulgence is a part of life, and one shouldn’t get overwhelmed with guilt and recrimination when it happens.

Tina offers tips about how to keep balance, like having a cookie or two on Fridays; she calls it Cookie Friday. She discusses how to pace yourself at a salad bar. She calls it her three-quarters rule, which I found quite useful. When making a salad at a salad bar, make three-quarters of your salad leafy greens and raw veggies, and allow only one quarter for the fun stuff, healthy fats like nuts, olives, and avocado. She discusses fast food and dining out. And much like her blog, her book includes a lot of recipes.

There are a lot of breakfast recipes; many of them look delicious. She uses lots of oatmeal, zucchini, and chickpeas in her recipes. There is even a recipe for oatmeal raisin cookies that has a quarter cup of chickpeas in it. One that I liked is for zucchini and chickpea salad. One thing I particularly liked about her recipes is that each recipe is small; in other words, it doesn’t make too much. If there is anything I can’t stand it’s a refrigerator clogged with leftovers. One of the last recipes in the book is an oatmeal raisin bar that everyone in my family just loved.

This is a helpful book and a fun read. I received it from the publisher, and I can recommend it. It would be an excellent gift for someone beginning a fitness program or someone trying to find some new, fit recipes. I will give it to my nephew when he is here for the race tomorrow.

Here is Tina Haupert’s blog:

Here is a review in the Seattle Post Intelligencer:

No comments: