Cookbook Giveaway: Fast, Fresh & Green

by Sarah Henry on February 17, 2011 · 66 comments

in food book giveaways,food books,vegetables

Here’s what I planned to bring with me for a four day getaway in the snow earlier this month:

1. Baked butternut squash (to make wontons and/or as a base for soup)

2. Prepped pan for baked French Toast (a sweet treat, learned from my friend Lisa)

3. Parsley-walnut pesto (perfect on pasta for a carbo load after a day on the mountain)

4. Granola (fast and filling breakfast that holds you until lunch)

5. Hummous (for apres-ski nibbles)

Here’s what I ended up making: Zippo.

Here’s what my pal Katherine was able to rustle up for the trip:

1. Banana-walnut muffins

2. Salsa

3. Hummous

4. Butternut squash and apple soup

5. Roast chicken

What is wrong with me? I seem to have the toughest time carving out time to actually cook. It’s not like we didn’t eat: But I did find myself in the kitchen most nights helping fix something fast for a crew of hungry mouths.

So much for my 2011 food intentions. So far I don’t think I’ve cooked a single new dish or cracked a new cookbook for ideas.

Until now. What better way for busy folks to start the cookbook giveaways this year than with Fast, Fresh & Green: More Than 90 Delicious Recipes for Veggie Lovers (Chronicle Books, $24.95)? It’s written by Susie Middleton, former editor and current editor-at-large for Fine Cooking. (Astute readers will note that I never got around to a giveaway post for January. Another missed goal.)

Middleton and I seem to have similar tastes on the veggie front. I like the sound of Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Orange Butter Sauce, Gingery Braised Brussels Sprouts (I do love these cruciferous veg), Roasted Turnips and Pears with Rosemary-Honey Drizzle, and Sauteed Carrots with Warm Olive and Mint Dressing. And by the time this contest is over I’m determined to report back on how one or more of these dishes tastes, too.

The chef and recipe developer walks readers through nine different techniques, such as braising, sauteing, and stir-frying, and includes a diverse range of recipes for each category of cooking. A few bonus slower-cooking dishes are included in the mix for the simple reason that Middleton adores them. Who can argue against Warm Parmesan Fava Beans with Shallots and Mint or Slow-Roasted Heirloom Tomato Gratin?

Read a review in The Boston Globe. Check out the author’s site six burner sue.  Find recipe excerpts at Fine Cooking. (A note for vegetarians and vegans: A few dishes include meat ingredients that can be omitted. There’s also butter, cream, and mayonnaise in these pages.)

And, if you’re like me and similarly stretched for time to cook, you might find some solace (and recipes too) in this story from my local paper last week, where Chronicle food writer Amanda Gold concedes that cooking after having a child is a tad more challenging than in her pre-baby days.

To win a copy of Middleton’s cookbook leave a comment below about what veggies you’d like to add to your repertoire this year and why, or feel free to pass on a tried and true tip for getting food on the table each night. Katherine’s (see above): Devote a part of one day to whipping up a couple of sauces, spreads, and sides, while you bake or roast in the oven.

Entries must be received by Thursday, February 24, by 10 pm PT.

Winner chosen at random.

My job: I’ll announce the winners on Friday, February 25 and contact the lucky entrant via email. Will mail out shortly thereafter.

Your job:  You’ll have exactly one week to claim your prize. After that, I’ll find an alternate home (also at random) for the book.

Update: The cookbook goes to Kelly T. Thanks to everyone who submitted an entry and check back next month for another giveaway.

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{ 64 comments… read them below or add one }

Rachel February 17, 2011 at 11:14 am

Ooh, good question! I’d like to do more with root vegetables like turnips, parsnips, rutabaga. I need to be able to get excited about veggies during winter too! :)
Rachel´s last [type] ..Winter Weary Cardamom Ice Cream

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Clara Swan February 17, 2011 at 11:24 am

I love Swiss Chard, so easy to grow all summer but am wanting more kale. It’s so rich in nutrients, easy to add and a quick fix.

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NoPotCooking February 17, 2011 at 11:39 am

Kale. I just can’t bring myself to make it.
NoPotCooking´s last [type] ..Lazy Man’s Quiche

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Summer Beattie February 17, 2011 at 11:49 am

I would love a new veggie cookbook! I’m hoping to add local veggies to my diet this year; a huge challenge now that we’re living in Sitka, AK!!! One plus of living in a small community – we live close to work, and I’ve been going home on my lunch break to cook/ prep dinner – otherwise my daughter (almost 2) is starving by the time it gets done – especially if I’m cooking brown rice! It also gets me out of the office and keeps me from working straight through lunch :0)

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Sarah February 17, 2011 at 12:06 pm

I want to find some new ways to use all the veggies from my garden this year. I would like to make better use of the eggplants in particular. They grow so well–I should have a better sense of how to prepare them!

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debra February 17, 2011 at 12:32 pm

I love roasted veggies, and would love to see more ways to prepare them! We have veggies every night—roasted, stir fried, souped! All good!!
debra´s last [type] ..Put a Little Love in Your Heart

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Kris Bordessa February 17, 2011 at 12:47 pm

Asian greens grow well here, but my repertoire of recipes is slim. I’d love to know how to use these fresh greens more effectively.
Kris Bordessa´s last [type] ..Grill it Yourself at the Shore Bird in Waikiki

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Melanie Haiken February 17, 2011 at 12:47 pm

Hmmm…. veggies I’ve never mastered; the list is pretty long! Collard greens, turnips, baby bok choy, cauliflower and those little skinny Japanese eggplants are all veggies that I buy at the Farmer’s Market and then don’t know what to do with! Would love some creative ideas, which it sounds like this cookbook is chock full of!

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shilpa February 17, 2011 at 1:06 pm

i would like to cook more with rutabaga and celeriac!

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Elizabeth Ray February 17, 2011 at 3:19 pm

I’ve never fixed kale. I’d like to try that.

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Amber February 17, 2011 at 4:26 pm

I would love to learn some recipes with asparagus!

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Brian N. February 17, 2011 at 4:34 pm

All of them….because we don’t need SLAUGHTERHOUSES for veggies!

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Christine February 17, 2011 at 6:45 pm

I want to eat more vegetables, period! What a great giveaway.
Christine´s last [type] ..Blue- blue hat

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Debbie Criss February 17, 2011 at 7:20 pm

Just found out I have high cholesterol and blood pressure. For a month now I’ve been tracking my foods and searching all the benefits of each foods. I’m starting to eat all the vegetables and fruits that I love. I have squash on my list. I’m going to grow a big garden this year, like I used to. Would love to win. Trying new recipes and eating all the natural foods I can.

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alycep February 17, 2011 at 8:05 pm

I would like to add beets to my regular vegetable consumption. I want to recipes for cooked and roasted beets especially.

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Lentil Breakdown February 17, 2011 at 9:20 pm

Tonite I was contemplating making beet greens lasagne. Last night, I sauteed beet greens in garlic and olive oil and made a quesadilla which was good, but I am feeling more ambitious with the leftover greens. I have some arugula walnut pesto I made last week, so maybe tomorrow I will boldly go where no beet green has gone: Beet Green Arugula Walnut Pesto Lasagne. Wow, I’m tired already just typing the name!

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EMMA L HORTON February 18, 2011 at 5:26 am

I THINK I WOULD LIKE TO ADD BEETS TO MY VEGGIES THIS YEAR

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Glenn Jackson February 18, 2011 at 6:25 am

This year the farm is going to try kolrabi we enjoy it and always forget to plant it.

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jolene February 18, 2011 at 7:33 am

id like more kale but don’t know what to do with it

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Blair February 18, 2011 at 7:59 am

This year, I am hoping to be more adventurous in cooking with medicinal herbs, spices and vegetables that are grown from local and organic farms. Yesterday, I picked up some Burdock root along with some sunchokes and dandelion greens. I have no idea yet what to do with them – but I’m hoping that this first purchasing step will then enable me to include them into a delicious, simple and nourishing meal.
My tip for getting food on the table each night (also a struggle for me) is to prep food as much as possible the night before or in the morning (soaking grains, throwing food in a crock pot, etc.).

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debbie koenig February 18, 2011 at 8:17 am

My best tip for quick dinners: Have a well-stocked pantry. It’s pretty amazing what you can do with dried pasta, canned beans, and frozen vegs.
debbie koenig´s last [type] ..Taking Green to a Whole New Level

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Isa February 18, 2011 at 8:25 am

I’d like to master the art of using fresh, seasonal ingredients. Although I’ve gotten the hang of regularly cooking with readily-available, year-round vegetables like broccoli, spinach, sweet potatoes and squash, I know the flavor is better in veggies that are local and fresh. I know there are items at my local farmer’s market I probably haven’t even heard of!

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Roxanne @ Champion of My Heart February 18, 2011 at 8:34 am

Heading into my fourth full season with a greenhouse so that I can grow at least some veggies (very SHORT growing season at our altitude), there are all kinds of things I’d like to make … if I can just get the darn stuff to grow. I am pretty good at getting kale all season long. We mostly eat it raw in salads, but I would like to mix it in with other things and stuff either bigger veggies or maybe some chicken breasts.

Because it’s just the 2 of us, and I’m lucky that my DH doesn’t mind leftovers, I often just cook bigger batches (I come from a big Italian family), and then we eat for at least 2 days.

P.S. I hope I win … because Feb 24 is my b-day. :o)

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debbie February 18, 2011 at 9:33 am

I would like to add more dark, leafy vegetables, like mustard greens, kale etc.

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Lucky February 18, 2011 at 10:10 am

I’d love to use more acorn squash — as well as learn the art of beans. Lima, fava etc…without turning them into mush. I’ve recently fallen in love with swiss chard all over again, and love to use the leaves as roll ups for rice and veggie filling. Yum!

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stephanie February 18, 2011 at 10:25 am

I have always hated to waste a bunch of celery which seems inevitable, when you only need one or two stalks here and there. But I think I can overcome this habit via braising, I am extending this technique to fennel, which I am only used to using raw in salads. I am doing pretty well working my way through the vegetable patch roasting, so let’s see what this new process brings.

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Teslaca February 18, 2011 at 10:56 am

Cooking a big batch of food is my tip to keeping dinner on the table every night. Beans and grains can take awhile to cook, so I try to make a larger batch when I have time and keep several servings in the fridge. Adding some quickly cooked veggies with different seasonings or stir-frying everything makes for a quick meal.

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Suzanne K February 18, 2011 at 11:03 am

I’d love more ways to fix all the veggies I currently grow in my garden and some ideas for new ones to include. My tips for dinner include cooking bigger portions on the weekend and either freezing or refridgerating portions for use later in the week when it’s more hectic.

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MyKidsEatSquid February 18, 2011 at 12:09 pm

I’m a brussel sprouts fan too–after thinking for years I didn’t like them. Lately I’ve been experimenting with small version of bok choy I find at my local Asian grocers. I honestly have no idea what they are but there’s a bunch of different varieties of what looks like palm-sized bok choy.

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Susan February 18, 2011 at 12:11 pm

What a beautiful cookbook! Chronicle Books publishes such lovely cookbooks. I’d love to win this one. I cook a lot of veggies. I steam, stir fry, and roast them. Two I have never tried are celeriac and kolrabi. I would like to incorporate them into my cooking.

susanbillietaylor [at] gmail [dot] com

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Kaye February 18, 2011 at 12:23 pm

I need to do better with root veggies, which, except for carrots and potatoes, are somehow daunting.

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Natasha February 18, 2011 at 3:34 pm

Celery root. Nothing better than celery root salad. Easy to make, delicious and full of fiber, potassium, magnesium, and vitamin B6.

Celery Root Salad:
http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/recipefinder.dyn?action=displayRecipe&recipe_id=10000000682527

Here’s another tasty one:
Celery Root Mash:
http://sffoodie.wordpress.com/2007/02/25/celery-root-mash/

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Joan February 18, 2011 at 4:08 pm

I’ve never had Swiss Chard before and have noticed the rainbow colored in our local market lately. Would love to try that as I love most greens. I’ve had koloribi before but not in a long time so I’d like to try that again as well.

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Lisa February 18, 2011 at 5:36 pm

I would love more recipes for turnips and rutabagas. That mention of rutabagas and pears really intrigued me. I also need ideas for cabbage. It always seems to roll around in my refrigerator taunting me.

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Christine February 18, 2011 at 6:02 pm

I cook for the week on sundays

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Kimberly M February 18, 2011 at 6:18 pm

I’d like to do more with leeks and fennel this year ’cause I hardly ever use them, but when I do they make for some tasty meals.

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taylorbagels February 19, 2011 at 3:08 am

Eggplant and Squash

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Sharon February 19, 2011 at 7:02 am

I ran across your site today and am inspired by finding it. I would like to share my garden vegetables and time in the garden with my three year old grandson when I am fortunate enough to have him visit. I personally like raw kale and find it great mixed in salads, I would like to get him to like the things that are good for him to eat. I would like to recreate a fresh ginger tomato chutney that I was served at a dinner, it was garnishing baked salmon. I just have no idea where to start. I am currently starting my indoor seeds and would like to venture into growing ginger. The soil conditions in my garden need more amendments so off I go looking into that today. For dinner tonight, carrots will be the main feature. Thank you for sharing your knowledge.

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Kelly February 19, 2011 at 7:58 am

I cook with veggies all the time, but I’d like to try something else with things like broccoli, asparagus, etc. I usually just roast those and would like to find something equally easy (but equally delicious) to do with them!

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Jennifer Margulis February 19, 2011 at 3:40 pm

I’ve been wanting to eat more cauliflower. Not sure why, exactly. But it’s one vegetable that I don’t embrace as wholeheartedly as others. Hope to win the cookbook!!

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Mary Ellen February 19, 2011 at 3:42 pm

Although not a veggie, it’s close but I’d love to play around with tomatoes more. I spent 22 years of my life despising them and don’t really know how to COOK with them – just make them into great sauce.

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Casey@Good. Food. Stories. February 19, 2011 at 7:48 pm

Aw, all these commenters who haven’t experienced the wonder of kale – it’s my favorite! My trick is to make up a big batch of sauteed garlic kale and then mix it with other dishes throughout the week. It’s great with polenta, quinoa, alongside fish or chicken. I bet you could even freeze it into blocks and reheat for a quick side.
Casey@Good. Food. Stories.´s last [type] ..Rice and Beans So there

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merr February 20, 2011 at 8:01 am

I made a dish with red kale last month and it was amazing. So, I’m adding more red kale this year!

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Marcia @Frugal Healthy Simple February 20, 2011 at 8:11 am

Hmm…that book looks right up my alley.

I can’t really say what produce I want to add to my repertoire this year. I mostly just eat what I get at the local CSA. Each year, there is always SOMETHING new, I just don’t know what it will be this year. I’d like to eat more brussels sprouts, which is something we don’t get often from the CSA (but can get at the farmer’s market).

My tip to getting dinner on the table…I cannot remember where I read this out in the blog-o-sphere…but someone once suggested that you cook something EVERY DAY, and make more than one day’s worth. So instead of heading home after a long work day, and having to cook 3 things (which I do occasionally – creamed greens, cooked brown rice and quinoa, and curried lentils would be a recent example) – it’s easier to cook one thing a day. So, make a big salad one night, and save the leftover washed lettuce for night #2. On night #2, make a main dish (enough for 2-3 meals), and eat it with the leftover salad.

That technique, along with cooking big batches of items on the weekend, keeps us eating at home.
Marcia @Frugal Healthy Simple´s last [type] ..Guide to a Cheap Night at the Movies

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hjm February 20, 2011 at 1:41 pm

I love tomatoes and broccoli. One thing I would like to learn how to cook is turnips. I never made them and heard it’s not hard though.

hmcnaron at gmail

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Melanie @ Frugal Kiwi February 20, 2011 at 2:20 pm

I’m going with fennel this year. I love the smell and I’m planning to grow some. Can’t afford to buy it!
Melanie @ Frugal Kiwi´s last [type] ..Brain Storming

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Kat February 21, 2011 at 3:08 pm

My favorite tip for cooking is blocking out a few hours on Sunday night to prep for the week. I talk to my Mom on the phone while I make individual salads to take to work for lunch, and I also make a couple of big batches of soup to have around the house lunches and dinners when I’m too tire to cook later in the week. Works like a charm!

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Francine February 21, 2011 at 4:25 pm

I’d love to find a way to get rapini and other greens into my household repetoire – I love them, but hubby doesn’t – some great new recipes might just do the trick!

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Nancy Meyer February 21, 2011 at 8:03 pm

I’d like to make kale.

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ashley February 21, 2011 at 9:39 pm

theres tons of veggies i don’t know how to cook! I think id like to know what to do with beets and squash…

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