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Last week I found out about a brand new cookbook, Nourish, which was written by two New Jersey health coaches. As soon as I started flipping through the pages I knew I had to try one of the recipes. I went for the chickpea burger with avocado mash which was delicious! After that experience, I decided I wanted to learn more and see just how these two locals were able to manage writing a cookbook with such interesting recipes.
“Mom text message!” comes a voice from what sounds like a purse. Debbie just starts laughing, “That’s mine!” She goes on to explain that her daughter recorded that text message signal for her. I think to myself, these women are just as interesting and unique as the recipes in their cookbook.
Local friends and integrative nutrition counselors, Wendy Bright-Fallon of Renew Wellness in Red Bank and Debbie Peterson of 180 Health in Little Silver, met a few years ago and “instantly clicked.” They both shared a common interest in eating healthy and cooking most of their meals, but it wasn’t until they started going over all of their of recipes that they decided to actually put together their own cookbook.
In the fall of 2011, Wendy and Debbie debuted their first cookbook, Taste, an online version featuring 25 recipes. They received such positive feedback that they decided to go the extra mile and put together a full cookbook – this time in print.
Collaborating with the Local Community
Developing their first printed cookbook, Nourish, which debuted in early 2013, was an act of love. Not only do they enjoy cooking and experimenting with foods, but they also knew that a lot of their friends were really getting their hands dirty in the kitchen. With their clients, friends, and families in mind, they started going through their recipe files with the hope of piecing together a cookbook featuring healthy and unique recipes that they all would enjoy.
Wendy and Debbie went back to their files upon files of recipes. Not only did they want to include their favorites, but they also decided to bring in recipes from community chefs and cooks who shared their feelings on preparing and enjoying simple, healthy food. They contacted chefs at Good Karma in Red Bank, Casey Pesce of d’jeet in Shrewsbury, and Marilyn Schlossbach of Langosta Lounge. Skimming through Nourish you’ll also see recipes from Sunshine Kate, Purple Dragon, and Chris Jolly of Live Jolly Foods. They even feature a few recipes from clients and their children (one is just 10 years old!)
All of the recipes featured in Nourish had to meet certain guidelines and most importantly they had to be simple, healthy, and delicious.
“We wanted healthy food that’s simple to make. This is how we operate. We’re not gourmet chefs. If the readers wouldn’t make it, then we weren’t including it,” said Debbie.
Nourish features 140 recipes from 50 creative cooks (95% of which are gluten-free or gluten-free optional), with the goal of bringing back the pleasure of eating simple and delicious food that even kids can make. Stand out recipes include Harmonizing Hijiki Salad, Tomato Risotto with Spinach and Asparagus, Bison Meatballs, 5 Minute Peanut Sauce, and Banana-Mango Nice Cream.
During their personal cooking tour through Nourish, Wendy and Debbie came across ingredients that they had never heard of such as sambal. And now that they’ve tried it, they’re not going back!
“There are unique recipes that include ingredients like seaweed, but there’s also kale which is a household name. Nourish gives people the option to explore new ingredients and it’s all about getting people back in the kitchen. Food is healthier when we cook it ourselves,” said Wendy.
Extra Information In Nourish
Not only does Nourish have 140 recipes that will keep you cooking all year long, but it also provides some information about what Wendy and Debbie feel is “good stuff to know.” Nourish’s first chapter is dedicated to educating their readers about the differences between common food buzzwords such as GMOs, organic meat, gluten, soy, and sweeteners.
“These ingredients are in the recipes. We felt we had to clarify for our readers and give them the facts so they could decide for themselves,” said Debbie.
Wendy and Debbie have been bitten by the cookbook writing bug and are already working on their third cookbook, Seasoned, which is scheduled to debut in 2014.
If you’re looking to eat healthier and want some simple yet delicious and unique recipes, you can purchase Nourish on their website www.renewhealthbooks.com.
Melissa Beveridge is a freelance journalist and editor, focusing on great food, healthy living, and wellness. Her passion for eating and living well embodies her writing. A lover of all things Jersey, she is also an avid traveler, always looking to discover those hidden culinary gems everywhere she goes. Her musings can be found on her blog mbeewell.wordpress.com. – See more at: http://www.jerseybites.com/the-team/#sthash.Ezf9Okgz.dpuf