big green cookbook

About the Book

The premier, high-flavored, eco-friendly cookbook

You can now reduce your carbon footprint deliciously … with green cuisine. Big Green Cookbook by Jackie Newgent, RDN (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), is like a hybrid … the “Prius” of cookbooks. And there’s something in it for everyone—whether a little green or already completely eco-conscientious.

Chockablock with plant-based recipes, informative sidebars, and useful tips with every recipe, Big Green Cookbook is a comprehensive climate-conscious cookbook that’s ideal for both culinary novices and experiences cooks. In it, Jackie shows how to cleverly maximize flavor in real meals that minimize environmental impact.

The book contains 200 simple and environmentally-friendly recipes for fresh, delicious, all-natural food, with a chapter for every season plus a year-round-recipes chapter, including succulent dishes such as Eco-Beer-Battered Red Onion Rounds, Cool Thai Peanut Soba Noodles, Breaded Organic Chicken Paillard with Fresh Mango Relish, Garlicky Spinach Flatbread Pizzette, French Kissed Cress, Pan-Seared Alaskan Wild Salmon with Papaya Sauce, Buckwheat Blueberry-Peach Pancakes, Navel Orange Mojito, Hot Fuji Apple Sundae (see below), and Dark Chocolate-Fresh Raspberry Truffles.

Jackie Newgent’s recipes will help you follow an “ecotarian” diet. An “ecotarian” is someone who eats a plant-based diet and chooses foods with environmental friendliness in mind. They may or may not eat small amounts of organic or sustainably-raised animal products. Try out some ecotarian recipes from Big Green Cookbook below. And get 195 more of them in the book!

Inside Big Green Cookbook you’ll also find:

  • A green kitchen checklist, complete with energy-reducing hints and cooking equipment suggestions
  • Guidelines for going organic and tips for buying locally
  • Nutritional information for every recipe—to make it easier to find recipes that meet your specific health goals
  • Clever, brand-new low-carbon cooking techniques designed by Newgent that save energy and time
  • An eco-friendly shopping guide and seasonal produce chart
  • Luscious green menus
  • Seven ways to love your leftovers
  • Planet-pleasing party tips
  • Pages printed on 100 percent post-consumer waste paper with soy ink

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Season: SPRING
pretty in purple

Pretty In Purple

Pan-Seared Organic Poultry Breast Paillard with Fresh Blueberry Sauce

Photo credit: Jackie Newgent, RDN

Makes 4 servings: 1 paillard with 1/3 cup sauce each

I found my thrill! If you like your food pretty, this poultry dish takes the cake. It’s elegant—and purple. And it’ll impress nearly any guest. The portion will sound petite, but because the chicken is flattened into a paillard, it’ll look larger. And it’ll cook super fast—about 3 minutes!

2 (6-ounce) boneless skinless organic chicken or duck breasts, pounded into 1/4-inch thick paillards
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 large shallots, finely diced
1/2 cup local blueberry or other fruit spread or homemade jam or 1/3 cup mild floral honey
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup fresh blueberries
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh tarragon

  • Cut each chicken paillard in half. Rub each with the canola oil. Season with the salt and pepper. Cook in a panini grill on medium-high heat until fully cooked, about 3 minutes. (Alternatively, cook in a skillet over medium-high heat for about 2 minutes per side.) Set aside on a plate.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large stick-resistant skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shallots; cook, stirring frequently until softened and just beginning to caramelize, about 1 1/2 minutes. Carefully stir in blueberry spread, vinegar, blueberries, and tarragon. Once hot, add the cooked chicken paillards and any chicken juices. Cover and cook for 1 minute. Turn off the heat. Let “lid cook” (cook covered with burner off) until the blueberries are soft and chicken has been slightly infused with the essence of blueberry, about 5 minutes.
  • Remove the chicken. Spoon the sauce over the paillards. (If you don’t want all the sauce with your poultry, it’s delicious over grains, too!) If desired, garnish with additional tarragon leaves and serve.

Per serving: 290 calories, 13g total fat, 2g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 45mg cholesterol, 630mg sodium, 27g total carbohydrate, 1g dietary fiber, 18g protein

little green cooking tip
No kitchen mallet? No problem. Check the toolbox for a rubber mallet or a big hammer! Wash it well. Then use it to flatten organic boneless, skinless chicken, duck, or meat of choice between sheets of unbleached parchment or waxed paper. Whack it good! The flatter the meat, the faster it’ll cook.

a planet-friendly bite
Mark your calendars, iPhones, BlackBerries, and other techie organizers for Earth Day on April 22. It’s the birthday of the modern environmental movement—born April 22, 1970. Check your area for Earth Day events and participate in the celebration. Visit for more.

Season: SUMMER
cool cantaloupe soup

Cool Cantaloupe Soup

Fresh Cantaloupe Soup in Cantaloupe Bowl

Photo credit: Jackie Newgent, RDN

Makes 8 servings: 1 cup each

A cool thing about cantaloupe is that the rind can be a serving bowl. It turns anything you serve in it into a fabulous fun food. You can make a cool (literally!) soup with the fruit, too. When its über-hot outside, a chilly bowl of soup is the ultimate antidote.

2 cantaloupes, halved, seeded
8 large fresh mint leaves
Juice and zest of 1 lime, or to taste (about 2 tablespoons juice)
1 tablespoon turbinado or Demerara sugar
1/8 teaspoon sea salt

  • Scoop the fruit out of the cantaloupe halves using a melon baller. Add the cantaloupe balls, mint, lime juice, sugar, and salt to a blender container or food processor. Cover and blend until smooth and frothy, about 30 seconds. Stir in a pinch of the zest.
  • Chill in a 2-quart pitcher in the refrigerator, if desired.
  • Pour 1 cup of the soup into each cantaloupe half. Pour the remaining soup into small bowls or chill in the refrigerator for later. Sprinkle with the remaining zest, and serve.

Per serving: 50 calories, 0g total fat, 0g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 60mg sodium, 13g total carbohydrate, 1g dietary fiber, 1g protein

little green cooking tip
Wash a cantaloupe—or any fruit—even when you’re not eating its skin or peel. That’s because if there is any dirt or bacteria on the outside, then it won’t make its way to the fruit on the inside when cutting into it.

use it, don’t lose it
Whether honeydew, watermelon, cantaloupe, or other melon, their tough rinds actually come in handy when preparing low-carbon cuisine. They make sturdy earth-friendly bowls after cut in half and the inside flesh and seeds are scooped out. They’re great for melon soups, fruit salads, or tuna or chicken salad if they contain some of the melon. And they don’t require to be washed after their used!

Season: AUTUMN
apple of my eye

Apple Of My Eye

Hot Fuji Apple Sundae

Photo credit: Jackie Newgent, RDN

Makes 2 servings: 1 sundae each

It’s apple season. That means apple pie season, too. So when you have a craving for a pie, it’s now easy to please that passion. This Fuji apple dessert conjures up those flavor memories in every mouthful. It only takes minutes to make since it’s “micro-roasted.” And you even get to enjoy it à la mode-style.

1 large Fuji apple, halved lengthwise
2 tablespoons turbinado or Demerara sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon, or to taste
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup vanilla soy or rice frozen dessert
1 tablespoon chopped pecans or walnuts

  • Place the Fuji apple, cut side up, on a microwave-safe dish.
  • Stir together the sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a small bowl. Sprinkle the mixture over the cut surface of the apple halves.
  • “Micro-roast” (cook in the microwave oven*) on high until the apple is tender and the sugar mixture melts, about 3 1/2 minutes.
  • Serve each apple half in a dessert dish. Top with a scoop of the frozen dessert. Drizzle with any of the remaining syrup. Sprinkle with extra cinnamon, if desired, and the pecans. Serve immediately.

Per serving: 190 calories, 4.5g total fat, 0g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 170mg sodium, 40g total carbohydrate, 5g dietary fiber, 1g protein

*Microwave oven cooking times will vary.

little green cooking tip
You don’t need to bake a pie to get all of the mouthwatering flavors of a fresh-baked one. Fruit can be “micro-baked” in minutes and topped with nondairy frozen dessert. A sprinkling of nuts on top will give you a crustlike crunch.

go local
It has been estimated that most Americans live an average of about sixty miles from an apple orchard. Unfortunately, the apples usually purchased from a typical grocery store travel over 1,700 miles from orchard to your table. That’s almost the same distance from New York City to Colorado Springs!

Season: WINTER
fall into winter salad

Fall Into Winter Salad

Mixed Green Salad with Pears, Walnuts, Cranberries, and Maple Dressing

Photo credit: Jackie Newgent, RDN

Makes 4 servings: 1 1/2 cups each

Having family or friends over for a holiday dinner? This salad will knock their stockings off! The maple syrup in the dressing coupled with the mixture of seasonal fruit and nuts create a concoction worthy of an elegant affair or casual merrymaking.

2 teaspoons Champagne or white wine vinegar
2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 small shallot, finely diced
1/2 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
5 cups mixed salad greens, such as chopped endive, frisée, and radicchio
1 Seckel or Comice pear, sliced
1/2 cup raw walnuts halves
1/4 cup dried cranberries

  • Whisk together the vinegar, maple syrup, and mustard in a large serving bowl. Whisk in the oil. Stir in the shallot and add salt and pepper.
  • Add the greens and pear and toss with the maple dressing. Top with walnuts and cranberries and serve.

Per serving: 280 calories, 22g total fat, 3g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 320mg sodium, 19g total carbohydrate, 3g dietary fiber, 3g protein

little green cooking tip
Prepare and serve a salad in the same bowl, when possible. Then you’ll only need to wash one bowl, not two or more.

a planet-friendly bite
Pure maple syrup is about as natural as it gets. It’s basically sap from maple trees that has been cooked down until it’s a thick syrup. But watch out for maple-flavored syrup; it’s basically corn syrup with just a touch of maple syrup. And pancake syrups can be almost entirely corn syrup with some artificial flavoring.

brew and bean chili

Brew-N-Bean Chili

Eco-Brewed Beer and Two-Bean Veggie Chili

Photo credit: Jackie Newgent, RDN

Makes 4 servings: 1 1/4 cups each

Beer’s not just for drinking anymore! It’s for stewing—or “eco-brewing.” As this chili is sans meat, the beer adds another layer of flavor. My favorite part of the recipe, though, is how fast it is to fix. My carbon footprint appreciates that and yours will, too.

2 tablespoons peanut oil
1 cup finely chopped red onion
1 small jalapeño, with some seeds, minced
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
3/4 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
1/2 cup locally brewed beer (drink what’s left in the bottle!)
1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 (15-ounce) can organic kidney beans, drained (do not rinse)
1 (15-ounce) can organic black or white beans, drained (do not rinse)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro or flat-leaf parsley
1 1/4 cups shredded organic or locally produced Monterey jack or sharp Cheddar cheese (optional)

  • Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and jalapeño. Sauté until the onions are softened, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  • Stir in the tomatoes, broth, beer, chili powder, and cinnamon and increase the heat to high. Bring to a full boil and boil for 1 minute. Stir in the beans and salt and return to a boil. Cover and turn off the heat.
  • Let “lid cook” (cook covered while the burner is off) until flavors are combined, about 5 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary.
  • Stir in the cilantro. Top with the cheese (if using) and serve.

Per serving: 290 calories, 7g total fat, 1.5g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 660mg sodium, 42g total carbohydrate, 11g dietary fiber, 13g protein

little green cooking tip
Make rich meaty soups, stews, and chilis without meat. Use hearty ingredients, like beans, and use hearty flavors, like beer.

a planet-friendly bite
In recent years, increasing numbers of communities are recycling a variety of materials. The U.S. EPA finds that approximately 52 percent of all paper, 31 percent of all plastic soft drink bottles, 45 percent of all aluminum beer and soft drink cans, 63 percent of all steel packaging, and 67 percent of all major appliances are being recycled. But there is still plenty of work to do.

Recipes reprinted with permission from BIG GREEN COOKBOOK by Jackie Newgent, RDN (Wiley).

Cookbook Photos

Enjoy browsing through these selected photos of dishes within Big Green Cookbook. These are simply shots I took of the finished dishes during recipe testing; they are not published in the cookbook.

Attention Media: If you would like to use any of the photos for media purposes, please include the photo credit: Jackie Newgent, RDN. For the original JPG of a photo, please send your request to

For The Press

Publicist: Claire Holzman,, 201-748-5627

For more information from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, click here.


April 2009
Contact: David Greenberg

Hundreds of Planet-Pleasing Recipes & Tips for a Luscious, Low-Carbon Lifestyle
By Jackie Newgent, RDN

“Big Green Cookbook shows you how deliciously easy it can be to reduce your carbon ‘food’ print. It’s the perfect tool for anyone who wants to eat well and treat the earth right.”

~Ellie Krieger, host of Cooking Channel’s “Healthy Appetite” and author of The Food You Crave

It’s time to go green— in the kitchen! Jackie Newgent, R.D., author of BIG GREEN COOKBOOK: HUNDREDS OF PLANET-PLEASING RECIPES & TIPS FOR A LUSCIOUS, LOW-CARBON LIFESTYLE (Wiley Paperback; $24.95; April 2009) has created the first comprehensive, climate-conscious cookbook. There’s something for everyone—from strict vegetarians to meat eaters. With over 200 simple, planet-pleasing recipes, Newgent has finally created a book for both culinary novices and experienced home cooks that shows how to maximize flavors in the kitchen while minimizing negative effects on the environment.

In BIG GREEN COOKBOOK, Newgent shares her unique cooking techniques that save time, energy, and money. The BIG GREEN COOKBOOK recipes are arranged by season and focus on fresh, full-flavored, and nutrient-rich foods. In fact, every recipe contains a fruit or veggie and every recipe features a nutrition profile.

While the recipes are healthful, going green doesn’t mean sacrificing good food. Every season includes tasty recipes for “bites and snacks,” “dips, salsas, & sauces,” “soups & salads,” “vegetarian dishes,” “fish poultry & meat dishes,” and “sips & sweets.” Here’s a taste: Eco-Beer-Battered Red Onion Rounds, Shallot-Spiked Veggie Dip, Gingery Red Grapefruit Shrimp Salad, Minted Pilaf with Pomegranate Seeds, Sesame Soba Noodle Bowl with Bell Peppers and Cucumber, Garlicky Spinach Flatbread Pizzette, Pan-Seared Organic Poultry Breast Paillard with Fresh Blueberry Sauce, and Chocolate Fudge Brownies with Starfruit (and there’s much more!)

Newgent helps home cooks see how to find their sustainable “sweet spot” in the kitchen, such as:

  • Preparing a delicious, quick, weeknight meal with your significant other? – Instead of spaghetti with a jarred pasta sauce (15 minutes cooking time), prepare Citrus Cream of Capellini (8 minutes of cooking time) and save 7 minutes of cooking energy!
  • Entertaining a few friends at home? – Instead of homemade roasted eggplant dip (50 minutes of cooking time), try Baba Ghanoush à la Skillet (10 minutes of cooking time) and save a total of 40 minutes of cooking energy!
  • Trying to feed your children healthy and planet-friendly snacks? Instead of the typical chocolate chip cookie (20 minutes of cooking time), bake Happy Planet Cookies (10 minutes of cooking time), and save 10 minutes of cooking energy!

With every recipe there are practical tips and intriguing facts that enhance each meal’s green appeal including:

  • Little Green Cooking Tip: simple suggestions for eco-friendly cooking
  • Use It, Don’t Lose it: ideas for preventing food-related waste
  • Go Local: tips for choosing locally-produced foods
  • A Planet-friendly Bite: interesting environmental facts related to a recipe

In addition, BIG GREEN COOKBOOK also contains effective strategies for creating an eco-conscious kitchen, including Newgent’s top eight big green cooking “rules”; a green kitchen checklist; practical advice on how to choose, store, and prepare foods in an eco-friendly way; luscious, low-carbon menus; and a seasonal produce guide. Everyone can make a difference— Newgent states, “Just following one new recipe…or using some of the tips that are on every page will guide you to a smarter, eco-friendlier, even more cost conscious way of life.” So start pleasing your palate while pleasing the planet today with BIG GREEN COOKBOOK!