Roasted Maple Balsamic Pears

New book shows how simple eating, living clean can be

A fall treat: Roasted Maple Balsamic Pears.  | From “Eat Clean Live Well” © 2014 by Terry Walters, Sterling Epicure, an imprint of Sterling Publishing Co., Inc. Photography by Julie Bidwell

 With 175 recipes, it’s clear “Eat Clean Live Well” by Terry Walters (Sterling Epicure, $30) is a cookbook. But it’s a lot more than that.

Walters is one of the dominant voices of the clean living movement in the United States. So it is no surprise that in “Eat Clean Live Well,” her third book, she offers advice on how we can maintain a cleaner and healthier life in addition to the recipes.

A lot of people, myself included, think living a cleaner life probably means a lot of work.

If there’s one thing I’ve discovered from reading “Eat Clean Live Well”  (Sterling Epicure, $30), it’s just the opposite. And, it’s not the expensive proposition you and I thought it was, either.

Everything about the book tells a reader, yes, you can do this. What a celebration of eating and living a clean life this book is! Reading it I just felt like I want to be part of this.

 

EatCleanLiveWellCookbook

 

Walters knows we all have busy lives. She has one, too. So she shows simple steps that can be taken. Personally, I know that household cleansers are giving me sinus problems. Ah, but where to start to change? Walters has a nice selection of homemade cleansers that sound simple (and cheap) to make. I know I am giving some of these a try. (Love the idea of using felted wool balls to throw in the dryer instead of those scented sheets!)

The author has children and offers a lot of sensible and easy-to-follow advice on getting kids to adapt to clean food. I like this tip in particular: talk with your kids about clean food choices, explain why you are making them.  Once they know the reason, they are more likely to go along with the program. Good advice.

The tasks and recipes are divided into the four seasons. I really like this format, something I have seen in a few other books as well. It just makes sense that we live our lives according to what’s going on in nature.

Since it’s fall I’m concentrating on that section (although she has advice in each season I want to follow), which includes methods for dehydrating herbs and making the bounty of fall last.  She also features a recipe for a daily tonic to ward off colds and the flu. Gonna try that, too. Couldn’t hurt!

But back to the recipes. I tell people this all the time: cooking real food doesn’t have to be difficult or complicated. “Eat Clean Live Well” supports that reasoning. For the most part the recipes use a short list of ingredients. They are easy to follow. I like the combinations she shows us, such as apple and kale (Seared Tart Apple and Kale Saute) or pumpkin and cannellinis (Pumpkin and Cannellini Bean Chili).  Very original.

Her recipes are so fresh and inviting. I have a whole list I want to try.

So many fall recipes concentrate on apples. Here’s one from “Eat Clean Live Well” that uses the other bountiful (and often forgotten) fruit of fall, the pear.

 

ROASTED MAPLE BALSAMIC PEARS

MAKES 6 SERVINGS

4 ripe pears, Bosc or D’Anjou

1 teaspoon virgin coconut oil

2 tablespoons maple syrup

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Zest and juice of 1 orange

¼ cup sliced almonds, toasted

 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Quarter pears by cutting from stem to base. Using a melon baller, scoop out and discard core. Melt coconut oil in cast iron skillet over medium heat. Place pears flesh-side down and saute 3 minutes on each side until slightly browned.

In small bowl, whisk together maple syrup, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, orange zest and orange juice. Add almonds and drizzle mixture evenly over pears.

Transfer skillet to oven and bake 10 minutes or until pears are soft and caramelized. Remove from oven and serve.

From “Eat Clean Live Well” by Terry Walters