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Moosewood Restaurant Cookbooks

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Start at The Beginning

Notes from an Eco Life Coach

When I was nineteen years old, I was in my second year of college, switched my major from Biology to English Literature, and landed the best part-time job as a sales associate at Wild Oats Organic Food Co-op, which became Wild Oats Community Market in Williamstown, I loved working there. My colleagues became my mentors, and I learned many life skills I hold onto today.

A typical week at Wild Oats in the 1990s looked like this: Conscientious community members discussing environmental issues and hugging each other in the aisles, children chewing on bell peppers like they were apples, NPR's All Things Considered playing towards closing time, Appalachian folk music playing softly in the background, listening to the flour grinder outback grinding down red wheat berries, the fresh scent of an entire crate of cilantro in the back produce kitchen, and on the first Saturdays of the month, half the staff would carpool together to a contradance after the store closed. Here, I learned about nutrition, herbs, and supplements to help naturally balance my health.

After I graduated from college and moved into my first apartment, the staff gifted me my first cookbook as a housewarming present; Mollie Katzen's Moosewood Cookbook. This was my work family, and they helped inspire the plant-forward eating I enjoy today. When I think about meal planning and what foods will keep my body running well, I know I can always come back to my Moosewood Cookbooks. Today there are so many vegan options that didn't exist commercially in the 1990s, so it would be easy to tweak any Moosewood recipe to be vegan or cleaner (fewer or no oils, for example). And if you wanted to add some meat, it would be easy to do that too.

Sometimes I overthink meal planning and nutrition planning ('Does this meal match my dosha? How fattening is this? How long will this take? Is this in season?' LOL) and when I stop and get quiet to think about the foods that I love that bring me home to myself, I always find true home in my Moosewood Cookbooks.

Where do you find your true home and cooking joy? And if you aren't sure, because these days the options can be overwhelming, I highly recommend starting right here. and some other cookbooks can be bought at the Moosewood Restaurant (online store, too), which is a fabulous place to have lunch!

Mindy Dow is an Eco Life Coach, Founder of NatureMind Coaching, and a member of the International Coaching Federation. She is also Outdoor Faculty at Kripalu in Stockbridge, MA. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from UMASS AMherst.

  • Moosewood Restaurant Cookbooks