Between digital overload, sleep deprivation, and the stress of modern life, most people’s brains are constantly in flight-or-fight mode, with levels of cortisol and other hormones and neurotransmitters out of whack. Brain conditions ranging from childhood ADHD and adult depression to memory impairment are on the rise, and medications for brain conditions, if available, do only a mediocre job while generating a host of debilitating side effects. Fortunately, Rebecca Katz has harnessed the latest research on brain functioning to identify how the foods we consume can improve the brain’s ability to control cognition, emotion, and physical function–all of which dictate memory, mood, and motion. These 120 recipes translate the very best of this science into the kitchen, incorporating nutrient-dense foods that best promote brain health and development from childhood through the golden years. – Goodreads
After this review, I think I’ve discovered something new about my blogging life: reviewing cookbooks might be my new favorite thing. Seriously. An excuse to try a new fabulous recipe? Count me in. When I was in college, I wrote a little cooking column for the student newspaper called Hooker in the Kitchen (because my maiden name is Hooker, you see). This kind of reminds me of those days.
The Healthy Mind Cookbook focuses on recipes that have ingredients that have been shown to help brain health, such as mind clarity, focus, and anti-depression. The introduction part of the book covers these ingredients and details some of the research behind the recipes. Recipe sections include meats, vegetables, sides, soups, drinks, dollops (sauces) and desserts.
First, the layout and design is gorgeous. The photos are vibrant and make you want to cook everything in the book. Because most of the recipes feature plenty of colorful vegetables and spices, they look great. The instructions and ingredients are easy to read and follow. Overall, the layout is clean and fresh.
Second, the variety is great. There is something for everyone here. Some of the recipes feature more obscure ingredients, and others are pretty basic.
Before I reviewed this book, I wanted to test out a recipe. I chose Baked Chicken with Minted Chimichurri Sauce. The baked chicken part was pretty simple—some chicken thighs marinated in the minted chimichurri sauce featured in the book.
The minted chimichurri was fan-freaking-tastic. It features fresh mint, fresh oregano, fresh parsley, lemon, sea salt, olive oil, and red pepper flakes. Very fresh and green. It was super easy to make—simply blend the ingredients together in a food processor. It took me ten minutes to make the chimichurri, 45 minutes for the chicken to marinate in it, and 40 minutes to bake the chicken. Boom! Super easy, and I have extra sauce for another dinner this week.
It was awesome. Fresh, light, and will definitely be a summer staple. The husband loved it, too.
I’m very excited for my garden to begin growing because many of the recipes call for fresh fruits and vegetables. I can’t wait to bust this summer!
If you’re interested in healthy eating (for your mind, too!) and enjoy medium level cooking, I’d highly recommend this. I rated it a 4.5/5 — there were some ingredients that require special visits to special stores which can be a pain.
I received a copy of The Healthy Mind Cookbook from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.