I have to admit that I am very blessed and very lucky to know so many amazing people. Beth Shepard is the creator of Eggplant Press, a brand new press focused on creating terrific e-books. I was lucky enough to receive one of their first ebooks on soups and stews. Oh, is it good. And what value for your money!! It costs less than a gourmet cup of coffee.

The Sage and the Cook: Soups and Stews – Two Generations of  Gluten and Dairy Free Recipes, the first e-book installment in The Sage and the Cook series, with twenty brand-new recipes to tantalize the taste buds of vegetarians and omnivores throughout the year includes: Slow-Cooker Pork Tinga (Mexican Shredded Pork Stew), Easy Chicken Soup with Spinach and Dill, Carrot Soup with Garlic Chips, Smoky Split Yellow Pea Soup with Spinach and Lime, and a hearty Buffalo Chili.

Highly recommend.

About the author, Rebecca Wood: Whole foods pioneer and award winning author, Rebecca Wood has taught and written about healing with food for over 40 years. Her book, The Splendid Grain, won both a Julia Child (IACP) Award and James Beard Award. The New Whole Foods Encyclopedia has remained the classic whole foods reference book for over 30 years.

I asked her to do a guest post for you all and she very graciously agreed.

Here we go:

From the Introduction: I’m Hungry

People often ask me what motivated me to write The New Whole Foods Encyclopedia, the book I’m most known for. I might say that it goes back to the days on my grandparents’ farm in Utah, where we ate with the seasons and made our bread, jams, and just about everything else from scratch. I might say it was because years back I was one of the first Westerners to write about the healing properties of whole foods and then-exotic grains such as quinoa, Kamut, and tef. This all may be true, but the main reason I wrote the encyclopedia was because I was hungry. While I loved sharing important food wisdom and creating recipes, my underlying motivation was that I wanted everyone—myself included—to be well nourished. That’s because I was never truly satisfied with what I ate—I grew up a long time before gluten and dairy sensitivities were on the radar, so it took years before I understood just why I was so hungry.

While growing up, Mom did all the cooking from scratch, meals cooked with love and care. But when everyone else was pleasantly full, I would still have the nibbles and be picking at the cookies while we cleaned up. This continued throughout my childhood and up into college—always hungry and constantly feeding what I would later realize were wheat and dairy cravings. I stayed hungry through various dietary forays, becoming high on brown rice with the hippies in the late 1960s and studying macrobiotics with Michio Kushi in Boston. Getting cancer after twenty years of macrobiotics—then touted as the cancer prevention diet—and returning meat to my diet as part of my natural cure. Still hungry while I wrote The Splendid Grain—working on this project it was easy to convince myself that for professional reasons I had to keep eating wheat!

Finally, many meals and years away from my mother’s table, I figured it out: I was gluten and dairy intolerant, and my intolerances led to a whole host of symptoms, first and foremost an insatiable hunger. The other symptoms, including severe bloating, excruciatingly painful joints, bowel irregularity, and aphasia (the inability to remember words), had gotten so bad that I had no choice but to say good-bye to gluten in 1995 and, a few years later, to all dairy. And now that I’ve figured it out, today I delight in satisfying meals, even-keeled mental and physical energy, and being free of the munchies! It’s my pleasure to help other people restore or maintain their health the gluten and dairy free way—and that’s why I decided to write this book and launch the Sage and the Cook series.

While I flush at being called a sage, the culinary reference was too good to pass by, and Leda, Schientaub the Cook and my long-time culinary buddy, has taken ownership of my food philosophy and reinvented it for her generation. What an incalculable gift is that. While our philosophy is in synch, our styles differ. As I get older, my cooking becomes simpler; I favor straightforward farmhouse cooking and often one-pot meals. Leda lived most of her life in New York City, so her style has a more urban flare and her recipes tend to be a little more chef-y and international. What we have most in common is that our recipes are made with real food: no ersatz ingredients to try to make you feel like you’re eating something you’re not. They are not replacements for gluten and dairy containing dishes like so many current books on the subject are; they are exceptional recipes in their own right that will please lovers of good food, from diehard meat and potatoes people to ethnic food aficionados, to the vegans among us.

Rebecca Wood is the author of:

The New Whole Foods Encyclopedia: A Comprehensive Resource for Healthy Eating

The Splendid Grain

The Sage and the Cook: Soups and Stews – Two Generations of  Gluten and Dairy Free Recipes

Her extensive web page with articles and recipes is at http://www.RebeccaWood.com

Friend her on FaceBook

Follow her on Twitter

See her additional book titles

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  1. Thanks so much for sharing this book review and Rebecca’s story, Monica. The telling of personal stories is critical to getting folks diagnosed with celiac/non-celiac gluten issues. And I love how Rebeccca talks about not making substitutions, but using recipes that are wonderful in their own right. Sounds like my favorite way to eat gluten free, using naturally gluten-free foods and recipes!


  2. What an amazing book idea. I love it & even better it’s traditional topics in tune with the digital age. Thanks for sharing this. As always, it’s so inspiring!

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