Nikki & David Goldbeck’s WHOLE FOODS CUISINE is my “go-to” cookbook for basic information on food preparation. At the time it was published in 1983, it was considered cutting edge information on whole foods shopping, planning, and cooking. The subtitle gives the reader a strong hint of what is inside this 580-page “vegetarian cooking Bible.” It reads: “Over 1300 Meatless, Wholesome Recipes from Short Order to Gourmet–Low Fat –High Fiber-No Refined Ingredients-Naturally Sweetened and Seasoned.”

This book delivers what it states on the cover, but it is much more than a cookbook. I noted above that it was my vegetarian cooking Bible, because it contains all the basic information I need from the authors. Nikki has a degree in nutrition and many years of cooking experience and David was a short-order cook as well as a lawyer.

The Introduction contains the authors’ whole food philosophy, which basically is still founding newer cookbooks, that is, health problems emerge when we fragment whole foods, which involve heavy-duty processing that destroys many of the nutrients we need.

In addition to the helpful introductory information on the importance of basic foods, at the end of the book is a section called The Food Reader, which includes The Wholefoods Pantry, Food Handling & Storage, Basic Cooking Techniques and Eating Out. In between are the 113 recipes promised in the sub-title. This includes short order cooking, side dishes, condiments, sauces, bread baking, beverages, and planning the menu.

Needless to say, this is what I call a “comprehensive compendium whole foods cookbook!” Still available after 31 years in print, I would call it a vegetarian classic. Even the Index is 55 pages long.

Below is one of my favorite recipes, House Cornbread. I also made the Banana Bread and the Applesauce Cake. The negative side is if I don’t give them away, I eat too much! And while Mae West stated that: “Too much of a good thing is wonderful,” sweets and desserts are meant to be eaten sparingly, as the authors also note. But the cornbread has almost no sweetening and it is also gluten free. And if you make the savory variation, there is no sweetener at all.

House Corn Bread

Note from authors: “We like this recipe so well we have repeated it in all our books.”

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon oil

¾ cup cornmeal

1 egg, lightly beaten

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

1 ½ cups yogurt

1 tablespoon honey


Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Combine butter and oil in a 9-inch baking pan or shallow 1-quart casserole.
Place in the oven for 5 minutes to melt.
Mix remaining ingredients together and pour into the hot baking dish.
Return to the oven for 30 minutes until set. Cut into 3-inch squares to serve.

Makes nine 3-inch pieces
Minor Protein (The authors note major &minor proteins in recipes es)

Variation: For Savory Onion Corn Bread, omit honey, increase salt to ¾ teaspoon, and add 1/3 cup chopped onion to batter.

My Notes: Regular yogurt can be watery, so I drain off the liquid first before measuring. Or try Greek yogurt, which is thicker. This is a great bread for Memorial Day Week-end meals.

AMERICAN WHOLEFOODS CUISINE is still available  at various prices online. Original price was $17.00.

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