Serving Larchmont Village, Hancock Park, and the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods of Los Angeles since 2011.

Eat It Up! New Book By Brooksider Sherri Vinton


Brookside resident Sherri Vinton’s new book will inspire you to use more of the fresh food you buy…and in doing so, save money and the natural resources that go into producing food. “Eat It Up,” which came out in June, is an accessible, how-to cookbook offering smart tips and simple recipes.

“This is not dumpster diving,” Vinton laughingly told the Buzz. “It’s about enjoying every bit of food you bring home.”

Take broccoli stalks, for example. Vinton said she used to simply throw them away, not realizing they were edible.

“Julia Child was a fan of broccoli stalks, too, and it’s her method for prepping them that I use today,” wrote Vinton. “Broccoli stalks are easy to trim: just cut off the florets and use a vegetable peeler to remove the tough outer layer of the stalk. Trim off the dry bottom. You can now cut the stalk into coins or batons (short sticks) or shred it on a box grater.”

Or crusts of bread. “No one in my family will eat the heel of the bread loaf, so I put them in a plastic bag in the freezer and when I have a collection, I make bread crumbs or croutons,” said Vinton.

“Eat It Up” is Vinton’s fifth book. Her interest in food grew out of a career shift she made in the early 2000s, when she left her career in the dot-com world to start a family. She and her husband took a motorcycle road trip across the country and back, and saw the negative impact of industrialized farming on communities and people. Her search for answers lead her to the then-burgeoning local food movement.

Her first book, The Real Food Revival, focused on finding real food in farmers markets…and led her to her next three books on preserving and canning extra produce she’d inevitably buy. “Put ‘Em Up” offered a complete how-to guide for every kind of preserving: refrigerating, freezing, air- and oven-drying, cold- and hot-pack canning, and pickling.

But don’t worry — if don’t use all your fresh veggies, you can still dump your kitchen scraps into the big green trash cans and the City of LA will compost them for you.

At the end of the book, Vinton offers a little extra idea that she cleverly calls “Upcycling.” She takes leftovers and turns them into something new. There are recipes for whole new meals, like frittatas, risottos, empanadas and enchiladas, which re-use leftover ingredients more creatively than just re-heating them.

Vinton and her books are not preachy, just helpful; like a friendly grandmother who is passing along tips for frugal, old-fashioned, healthy cooking that our parents grew up on before we industrialized all our food.

“Eat It Up” offers some great ideas on how we can work our way back to a simpler, healthy diet and do something good for the planet at the same time.


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Patricia Lombard
Patricia Lombard
Patricia Lombard is the publisher of the Larchmont Buzz. Patty lives with her family in Fremont Place. She has been active in neighborhood issues since moving here in 1989. Her pictorial history, "Larchmont" for Arcadia Press is available at Chevalier's Books.

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