There's no shortage of books that proselytize in favor of local and sustainable eating, but few manage to espouse their arguments in such a tasty manner as Lucid Food: Cooking for an Eco-Conscious Life.
In this book, author Louisa Shafia, a chef (formerly of Millennium in San Francisco and Pure Food & Wine in New York) and a caterer, has succeeded in combining political principles with top-quality taste. Shafia offers gorgeous recipes that don't skimp on flavor while also providing tips on how to reduce your carbon footprint (she's helping us battle our paper-towel addiction) and understand the world of confusing food labels, such as the terms organic and free range.
Her healthful focus is by no means depriving. Shafia's innovative recipes, including roasted beets with persimmons and a kale salad with avocado, almonds and toasted nori, put vegetables front and center. One of our favorites, a colorful cucumber and pomegranate salad (click here to download the recipe) imbued with the flavors of Shafia's Persian heritage, also serves as beautiful decoration on any winter table.
Despite her love of produce, Shafia doesn't eschew fish and meat as other sustainable gurus have; instead, Lucid Food centers itself with admirable balance.