Meat Free Monday

It’s a Bank Holiday weekend here in Ireland I thought I’d celebrate with a giveaway – so up for grabs is a copy of Sheryl Crow’s brand new cookery book If It Makes You Healthy (love the play on words there).

I have been a fan of Sheryl for a long time – she is such a talented singer and songwriter and her version of the song The First Cut is the Deepest is one of my all time favorite songs. When she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006, she handled it in the public eye with grace and dignity and became a breast cancer advocate, pointing out that she has no family history of breast cancer, and saying “I want to know what causes this disease. We need to put more resources into figuring out what the environment has to do with breast cancer.” (watch a video of Sheryl testifying before a House Health subcommittee on breast cancer).

When Sheryl’s book publishers contacted me with the offer of a review copy, my first reaction was, oh no, not another celebrity cook book, and my expectations weren’t that high. I duly received my copy, put it on the shelf and forgot about it until this weekend, when I took it out, read it and just loved it!

Sheryl’s conversion (like so many of us)  to healthy eating began with her breast cancer diagnosis and (unlike most of us) she hired a personal chef and a nutritionist to overhaul her bad eating habits. While we don’t all have access to a personal chef, we can have access to his recipes in this book. Chuck White is an enthusiastic and inventive chef with a passion for organic food and cooking in tune with the seasons. For the first time ever in reading a cookbook, I actually got up from the chair in the middle of reading one of his salad recipes to make it instantly, because I couldn’t wait to try it out!

In this book you will find an imaginative collection of recipes such as Lime-Kissed Stuffed Avocados and a spin on the traditional PBJ – Cashew Butter and Fruit “Caviar”. Crow’s nutritionist, Rachel Beller, offers tips throughout to educate readers and combined with beautiful illustrations and Sheryl’s down-to-earth narrative, the book is an absolute delight.

If you would like to win a copy of If It Makes You Healthy, then simply leave a comment below, telling us what changes you have made to your diet or sharing some inventive recipes or imaginative twist on an old classic. Winners will be picked at random from the comments both here and on the Facebook page (so to double your chances of winning, why not leave a comment in both places!)

Oh and I nearly forgot to post today’s Meat Free recipe…here it is

Lime Kissed Avocados

ripe avocados

4 teaspoons fresh lime juice

1½ teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon garlic powder

½ teaspoon black pepper

4 tablespoons fresh store-bought salsa, preferably organic

Blue corn or flax seed tortillas, preferably organic

Cut the avocados into halves and remove pits. Carefully scoop the flesh from each avocado, leaving the skins intact so that you can refill them. Transfer the avocado flesh to a glass mixing bowl. Add the lime juice, salt, cumin, garlic powder, and pepper and mash with a fork or potato masher. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Spoon the avocado back into the scooped-out skins. Garnish the top of each with a tablespoon of fresh salsa.

Serve with organic blue corn or flax seed tortillas.

If It Makes You Healthy, Sheryl Crow and Chuck White with Mary Goodbody, St. Martin’s Press, March 2011.