Cook the Book: 'Food Matters: A Guide to Conscious Eating'

Mark Bittman's motto for responsible eating is the heart of his new book, Food Matters: A Guide to Conscious Eating. A mix of recipes, philosophy, and how-to, Bittman reveals the hows and whys of his newfound lifestyle and diet. Think of Food Matters as a more realistic and solutions-oriented Michael Pollan-like book with lots of doable recipes thrown in for good measure.

In typical Minimalist fashion, the collection of recipes spans the globe and includes a multitude of variations. Along with the recipes, there's also a month's worth of meal plans and a primer on stocking a Food Matters pantry to get you started. Despite its how-to nature, the book is neither stern nor pedantic, though Bittman certainly calls it like he sees it, and he is unafraid to venture an unpopular opinion or some unconventional wisdom. His common sense approach to cooking and living shine through and the straightforward recipes sound in typical Bittman fashion delicious and empowering.

With over seventy five recipes and endless substitutions to mix it up, both the beginner home cook and the amateur gourmet can find something to start eating responsibly and smartly in Bittman-like fashion. We'll be posting a recipe from Food Matters everyday this week, including spinach and sweet potato salad with warm bacon dressing, a classic Thai beef salad, an interesting hybrid quick bread, and a decadent chocolate semolina pudding with raspberry puree. Thankfully, there's no need to sacrifice bacon or sweets on Mark Bittman's eating plan.

Win 'Food Matters: A Guide to Conscious Eating'

Courtesy of Simon & Schuster, we're giving away five (5) copies of Food Matters: A Guide to Conscious Eating. In the comments below, tell us what healthy changes Mark Bittman has inspired you to make with your own diet.

Contest will end and comments will close at 3 p.m. ET, Monday, March 16, 2009. One entry per community member. The standard Serious Eats contest rules apply.