Clean Food

green beans and fingerlings with lemon-dill dressing

I received an email a couple of weeks ago offering me a copy of Terry Walters’ new book, Clean Food. Now, I can count on one hand the times I’ve actually accepted the offers of free stuff that land in my inbox, but the premise of this book – cooking with fresh, seasonal, sustainably grown foods – is so obviously in line with the way I like to cook and eat that I gladly agreed to a copy.

green beans

What’s not so obvious about this book is that the recipes are vegan, yet they are so simple and enticing they should appeal to anyone who wants to eat better. I’ve really enjoyed leafing through the pages for inspiration, and I’m sure I’ll turn to Clean Food often as the seasons change and I’m in search of new ways to serve fresh local produce.


My only complaint – and it’s a small one – is that there are no photos, but hopefully my photos of Terry’s delicious green bean and fingerling potato dish with a lemon and dill dressing will give you an idea of what this book is all about.

Dinner:  August 12, 2009

green beans and fingerlings with lemon-dill dressing

As you can see, we didn’t eat this bean and potato dish as part of a vegan meal (instead serving it alongside wedges of heirloom tomato from Kimball’s Fruit Farm and crackly-skinned Poulet Rouge from Pat’s Pastured), but the book aims to reach a broad audience and inspire people, meat-eaters or not, to include whole, fresh foods, simply prepared and with clean flavors, into their diets.

Clean Food

This is an idea I can get behind.

12 thoughts on “Clean Food

  1. I picked up a copy of a magazine called “Clean Eating” a few months back because the meal on the cover made me drool in the check-out line. As I flipped through it, though, I found that the idea of clean eating, and many of the recipes, are how I instinctively prepare meals, especially vegetables. I think this is a form of eating that has been lost on many Americans. Although I enjoy sweets too much to be a “clean eater”, I also hope more people become inspired by this movement.

  2. sherry krol says:

    I read and appreciate your work here everday. Thanks so much for taking the time and energy to share your talents and creative outlets with me.
    Your choices and methods are so sensible.
    My favorite thing about your writing is the way you nearly always include the influence your day, ie. mood , health, time, weather… has on your cooking.
    Really unique to you.
    Also, your egg pics are tremendous.
    Let me give you the words every loving cook wants to hear, More Please!

  3. I must say, after seeing Michael Chiarello own it last week on Top Chef Masters with his quinoa pasta and basil/oven-roasted tomato wonder, I’m I’m planning to try my hand at pairing simple herb sauces with vegan pasta this weekend–it feels so summery!

    M and I have made steps to make more vegetarian-esque dishes as of late–we both want to lose some weight, naturally, but I think the appeal of achieving more balance in meat-versus-plant meals is strong. All that said, though, I will NEVER give up dairy. EVER. Or wine, for that matter. 🙂

  4. Jennifer Hess says:

    Jennifer – I’ll have to look for that – thanks for the tip! And honestly, I do think there’s room in a balanced diet for sweets – everything in moderation, right? 🙂

    sherry – Thank you so much. I worry sometimes that talking about my mood or how I’m feeling here ventures into whiny-ness sometimes, but it does have an impact on what and how I cook and eat!

    elizabeth – Thank you! Mike and I have been joking lately that we could probably be mostly vegetarian during the summer, because there’s just so much good fresh produce around… but then there’s the issue of bacon, and our love for it. And also barbecue. So there goes that idea. 🙂 Still, I think we both have been trying to go more veg-heavy anyway, for many reasons. The animal proteins we buy aren’t cheap, so we try to stretch them, and we have both been eating meat-free lunches and breakfasts more often. Like you said, it’s about balance, and I’m right there with you on the dairy and wine thing!

  5. Thank you so much for your kind words about my book, CLEAN FOOD.

    You are not the first person to suggest adding photos of the prepared recipes, and yet there have been just as many who have expressed how much they like the addition of artwork and the exclusion of photos! When I created CLEAN FOOD, my goal was to make healthy recipes easy and delicious and to motivate people to nourish themselves without feeling bound by the need to make their recipes look a certain way in order to be successful (not to mention delicious). So many people judge themselves and their food choices and that judgement is often destructive when it comes to creating a positive relationship with food. It’s my hope that people will enjoy Clean Food, will connect with it, and will feel inspired, empowered and nourished by the book and by their creations. All that said, your photos certainly are beautiful!

    Eat Clean Live Well!

  6. I just bought this book this past weekend and I am so excited to start cooking from it. It really has made me interested in eating more locally and to incorporate clean eating into my daily life. I don’t think I could give up meat and dairy, but I could for sure eat less of it and start to eat more vegan. I could be 1/2 and 1/2 🙂

  7. Jennifer Hess says:

    honey living – Aw, thank you for suggesting it 🙂

    Terry – Thank YOU for putting together such a beautiful collection of recipes! Like I said, the lack of photos is a *very* minor complaint, and mostly because I’m more of a pictures than words kind of girl. That said, I do love the artwork in the book, and your dishes are so appealing and accessible, I really think that once people take a look at CLEAN FOOD, they’ll definitely be motivated to give your recipes a try.

    Jolene – I have to say, I don’t know if I could ever give up my beloved farm-fresh eggs, artisan cheese, homemade butter, etc., but I think there’s a lot to be said for incorporating those things into a plant-heavy diet judiciously. We’re doing fewer meat-heavy dishes these days both for financial/health/ecological reasons and because the local produce we get just tastes so great! Like I’ve said before, it’s all about balance 🙂

  8. Sheila Jacobs says:

    I have accumulated many cookbooks over the years, but I need only one now: CLEAN FOOD – my most reliable resource for a wide variety of creative, easy-to-prepare, satisfying recipes using “clean food”. I keep it very handy! Thanks, Terry!

  9. laura says:

    I LOVE the idea of clean eating! I’ve been vegetarian for about a decade and am thinking about giving veganism a try for a month or two. I’ll definitely be checking this book out!

  10. Michele Ellington says:

    I could eat locally, as long as I could make a diet composed of chile, pecans and cotton. That’s all our desert environment can sustain on large scale. Chile pecans are yummy, but not exactly nutritionally complete. This eating clean idea is great for people who live in the breadbasket, but for those of us in hotter and stonier climes.

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