When your stomach is growling, you might turn to a jumbo bag of sodium-laden potato chips or run to the nearest Dunkin' Donuts for a high-calorie coffee and pastry. The editors of The Green Teen Cookbook have a different idea: make yourself a healthy meal! Healthy cooking might seem like an unappetizing challenge, but a look through the full-color pictures of meals confirms that you really can eat guilt-free meals that don’t skimp on the flavor. The 80-plus recipes are written by teens, so the difficulty level ranges from very simple to moderately challenging. Short, easy-to-understand chapters on organic food, vegetarianism, and other eco-friendly topics help teens understand the importance of eating in sync with nature. Whether you’re already a health-conscious eater or you’re just beginning to show interest in green cooking, The Green Teen Cookbook will offer you smart advice and fresh recipes for all seasons.
I have always been interested in how to be a good advocate for Mother Nature, and The Green Teen Cookbook is a fine addition to my green library. I was very happy to see that the book is not just a string of recipes, but that it also makes a point to educate teens on sustainable eating. The chapters at the beginning were both interesting and educational, a feat that is often difficult to achieve. The authors do not push readers to stop eating meat; instead, they make suggestions about how to limit meat consumption and have fun eating seasonal foods. Many of the recipes feature fresh or unique ingredients that can broaden a young cook’s horizons. Even if you can’t find a single stalk of celery, you can still make the Oreo Cupcakes!
The authors were also considerate in including tips on how to shop on a budget. As much as I love Whole Foods, the prices are considerably higher than at the supermarket. Teens on a budget (and that’s about 80% of us) can feel comfortable swapping out ingredients and trying fresh new recipes. The recipes include the teen creator’s name and picture, which adds warmth and relatability to the cookbook.
As for the quality of the recipes, I was left with a mixed bag. The Guacamole was the best I’ve ever tried, and I have had a lot of the avocado goodness. The Tuna Salad also made a light, delicious dinner that is perfect for lazy summer evenings. I do not recommend the Apple Chips, since mine burned way before the cooking time was up, nor do I suggest the Miniature Chocolate Cookies, whose mixture was so crumbly it was impossible to roll. Of course, it could have been my oven acting up or a mix-up in ingredients. I don’t expect every recipe to work for me, so I was satisfied with a 2-2 record.
The Green Teen Cookbook may be aimed at teens, but home cooks young and old will benefit from its practical sustainable eating advice and yummy recipes.