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Beautiful Living: Cooking the Cal-a-Vie Health Spa Way
Terri Havens and Curtis Cooke. Cal-a-Vie Health Spa, $75 (304p) ISBN 978-0-9766222-1-5
This lushly photographed cookbook showcases dozens of nutritious recipes featured at the Cal-a-Vie Health Spa in Vista, Calif . Cooke, the executive chef at Cal-a-Vie, argues that “we should respect what Mother Nature gives us” and emphasizes a farm-to-table approach to cooking by highlighting fresh produce in most of the dishes. Recipes include carrot coconut soup, spiced poached pear salad with grapes and hazelnuts, and blackberry lemon smoothies. There are also several dishes featuring meat and seafood, like beef tenderloin with red wine demi-glace, mashed sweet potatoes, and green beans; and herb shrimp with puttanesca sauce, parmesan polenta, and Swiss chard. Recipe introductions highlight health benefits of the ingredients (“Parsnips are also higher in fiber and lower in calories than potatoes”). Havens, the co-owner of Cal-a-Vie, provides a marketing-like history of the resort and shares trivia about it (“Our 400-year-old chapel was brought to Cal-a-Vie... from Dijon”). While the recipes are healthy and inspiring, this pricey volume will appeal most to Cal-a-Vie visitors. (Self-published)

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly on 05/01/2020