MUSTARD SEED MARKET AND CAFÉ NATURAL FOODS COOKBOOK
By Bev Shaffer
It’s always a pleasure to review books that tempt the palate or stretch the mind. However,
there is a downside. I do most of my reading in the evening, so if it’s compelling, I’ll stay
up much too late. I refuse to even consider a novel as I end up “writing” in my sleep.
And then there are the culinary books.
Ever since I was a kid, cookbooks have been a passion. I read them the way others read
novels. However, invariably I get hungry as I pore over the recipes and I crave a
sumptuous snack, and it’s usually not for a snack that’s in my refrigerator! Who can
blame me, especially when there are full-color photos teasing my brain?
This is precisely how I felt reading Mustard Seed Market and Café Natural Foods
Cookbook, written by fellow IACP member Bev Shaffer in cooperation with Mustard
Seed Health Food Market, Inc. (Pelican Press; 2007). This book is definitely a keeper!
First, some background:
In 1981 Phillip and Margaret Nabors bought a stainless steel cooking pot and started a
vegetarian catering business in Ohio. Their goal was to change the way that Americans
eat, farm and think about food. Their business was a success and, over time, developed
into a natural foods cafe and then a market and café. They buy their produce and meats
from local farms and have a dedicated following of customers who love fresh, local,
Bev joined the market in 1997 as the cooking school director. One of her goals was to
help bridge the gap between the gourmet and health food worlds. Judging from the
recipes in this book, I would say without a moment’s doubt that both the Nabors and Bev
have more than accomplished their dream. Wait, there’s more! The luscious, full-color
photography is by Bev’s husband, John Shaffer. This is the kind of book to use as a
coffee table book, as every time you pick it up, you’ll be inspired to make something new
from the 250-plus recipes.
The book is laid out as both a recipe book and educational manual. Bev offers cooking
school techniques, there’s a discussion about what exactly constitutes natural, organic
and fair trade and there are three indexes: the main all-recipe index and then gluten-free
and vegetarian recipes indexes. Recipes sections include brunch, soups and salads,
produce at its peak, entrees – both vegetarian and with meats or fish – beans, grains,
pastas, beverages, desserts and Mustard Seed Market and Café Classics.
A sampling of recipes include: Sugar-Crusted Sweet-Potato Biscuits, Maple-Mustard
Green Beans, Cherry Chipotle Barbecue Sauce over Ribs Fallin’ Off the Bone, Roast
Salmon with Thai Coconut Sauce, White Hot Chocolate and Cookie Baskets with Fruit
and Creamy Amaretto Sauce. And that’s just a start!
You will find some recipes from this delightful book in our recipe data-base that will
have Bev’s name and the cookbook credited. Author Bev Shaffer has developed over
8000 recipes and teaches in collaboration with the Cleveland, Clinic, the Cleveland
Botanical Garden, Akron General Wellness Center and Summa Health Systems. The
Mustard Seed Market & Café Natural Foods Cookbook is definitely a winner! Highly
A Sample of Recipes From Mustard Seed Cafe Natural Foods Cookbook