On the crowded shelf of cookbooks lushly illustrated with the latest foodie trends, one spiral-bound newcomer stands apart. Simple sustenance is its goal, using plain language and standard ingredients to create healthy, homemade meals no pictures included.
Its ambition, however, dwarfs those trendy tomes. Change Lives: Faith, Family, Food is, in its creators words, a really bold name for a cookbook. But, Elizabeth Greenlee-Harrison of Inter-Faith Ministries goes on to say, Our mission is really bold to feed and clothe the needy. When you look at food as a steppingstone to health and clothing as integral to dignity, then you see how it fits.
The books introduction puts it this way: Food is health. Health is hope. Hope changes lives in more ways than we can count.
Greenlee-Harrison unveiled the Inter-Faith project Tuesday at Get Fit Inspiration Studio on McHenry Avenue, one of the outlets selling the $8.50 book. On hand to celebrate the books release were two of about a dozen community recipe contributors: dietitian Sandy Cadra and Sheriff Adam Christianson.
Christianson gave a spinach-sporting side dish called green rice, a family favorite his mother taught him to cook, he said as he bought a copy.
Cadras advice helped guide the book, and her recipes many from healthy cooking classes she teaches helped fill it. Stocking up on copies of the book as Christmas presents for her family, Cadra said she believes in healthy, easy cooking. Easy to prepare, easy-to-find ingredients it has to be easy, she said.
Thanksgiving was a reminder of why family meals are so important, she said, We all eat. We all have such great memories around food.
The cookbook was Greenlee-Harrisons first project as marketing coordinator at Inter-Faith Ministries. But what was originally envisioned as a fundraising tool has found a higher calling.
I think community cookbooks are a great idea for raising money. But they tend to be full of casseroles and sour cream and mayonnaise type of things, she said. In Change Lives, she compiled healthier recipes, as well as tips for meal planning, nutrition, inspiration and more.
Supported by a grant from the Teichert Foundation, the recipe book will raise money for Inter-Faiths food pantry and pave the way for a Cooking for Four on Foodstamps cookbook, which will be released early in 2014 for free to pantry clients.
That book will have beginning cooking tips and food safety information, as well as very-low-cost meal plans, Greenlee-Harrison said.
The idea is to encourage them to cook at home, she said, where meals can be cheaper and more nutritious, powering healthier bodies and empowering families.
Change Lives: Faith, Family, Food, $8.50, is sold at Get Fit Inspiration Studio, Loretellis Farms, Artsy Girls events and Inter-Faith Ministries, 120 Kerr Ave. For more information, call (209)572-3117 or visit http://interfaithmodesto.org. Bee staff writer Nan Austin can be reached at email@example.com or (209)578-2339. Follow her on Twitter @NanAustin.