I first met Maggie Battista in the summer of 2012. I was in Massachusetts promoting my first book and she was hosting a little gathering for me. I rolled up to her house a little late and a more than a little disheveled from driving. Maggie brought me in, calmed me down, and welcomed me into her life. We’ve been friends ever since.
Since then I’ve stayed with Maggie and her husband Don when I’ve been in the Boston area (I am always grateful when they are willing to put up with me for a day or two). Maggie and I have been roommates at conferences (once I came down with the flu while we were rooming together. She woke up in the night to make sure I was okay). And throughout it all, we’ve talked. About our lives, our projects, and the things we hoped to create someday.
I remember when Maggie told me that she was working an idea for a new book that would be wholly different from her first (the very useful Food Gift Love). It was going to be something that would share her journey towards better health and self-acceptance and the ways that food played a role.
I loved the idea of this book from the very start. I knew how much happier and at ease with herself Maggie was since making those big dietary and lifestyle changes and yet, the food she was eating and sharing on social media was just as glorious as ever. She had dialed into something that was going to resonate with others.
Now that A New Way to Food is here, I am delighted to say that the reality of it is even better than the dreamy samples Maggie showed me all those years back. Half cookbook and half tale of her process towards better health and self-discovery, this book is bursting with good food and inspiration.
Many of the recipes are plant-based (you will find seafood and eggs in the book, but no meat or dairy), but that doesn’t make them spare or uninspiring. This food is flavorful, filling, and life affirming. There are hearty casseroles, satisfying desserts, and fun cocktails alongside the bright, beautiful vegetable dishes.
For those of you who are thinking, “I come here for the pickles and preserves. Does this book have anything for me?” I have good news. This book also have a really nice selection of flavor-packed condiments. You’ll find pickled carrots, fermented hot sauce, brined curtido, peach pico de gallo, and a roasted stonefruit and rhubarb jam.
Disclosure: I was given a review copy of this book at no cost to me. No additional payment was received and all thoughts and opinions expressed are entirely my own.