|Reviewers Comments: ||The Centi$ible Nutrition Cookbook is targeted specifically to low-income audiences, and can be used by nutrition educators to teach nutrition concepts, cooking skills, and resource management to multiple audiences, including teens, adults, and older adults, as well as families. The cookbook is divided into seven sections: information, grains, milk and milk products, meat & eggs, beans & other legumes, fruits & vegetables, and snacks.
The information section of this cookbook contains a wide range of information. Included is basic cooking information, for example, measurement equivalents, food substitutions, preparation and cooking terms, and guidance for revising recipes, in addition to microwave cooking tips that could assist those with limited cooking skills. Information on altering recipes for elevation is also included, as Wyoming has many mountainous areas. This section also contains tips to help users plan meals on a budget and alter recipes for health according to nutrient needs and the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and MyPlate. However, it should be noted that some information provided in the cookbook is inconsistent with current guidelines. For example, the cooking temperature for pork is listed as 155°F (see p.101), while the most up-to-date guidelines from USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service recommend cooking pork to 145°F (except for ground pork, which should be cooked to 160°F as indicated in the cookbook). Additionally, the calcium intake/milk equivalent recommendations found on page 67 are inconsistent with those found on the MyPlate Web site. Finally, educators may wish to consider their audience when determining whether to review the detailed information and recommendations for macronutrients and many vitamins as it is complex.
The remaining sections of the cookbook contain over 150 recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or snacks. The beans & other legumes section could be useful for vegetarians. Each separate recipe section includes additional information at the beginning that gives more cooking and budgeting tips specific to food type. Many of the recipes in the grains, milk & milk products, and meat & eggs section are made with a master mix, which can be used as a basis for cooking various dishes. For example, the grains section includes an all-purpose baking ‘Master Mix’ that can be made ahead of time and stored easily. This Master Mix is then used in 19 different recipes such as biscuits, pancakes, cookies, and breads. Many recipes include variations to give users different options based on one recipe. For example, variations to the Fried Rice recipe (p. 153) include adding pieces of cooked meat and additional vegetables. Most, but not all, of the recipes include nutrition facts panels. Many of the recipes found in Cooking for You or Two, Cent$ible Nutrition’s other cookbook that is available in both English and Spanish, are scaled down versions of recipes in this cookbook.
This cookbook can be a useful took for nutrition educators working with low-income audiences. The wide range of recipes and information included can allow educators to tailor to their own lesson plans.