Book Review: Pure Food by Kurt Beecher Dammeier - Tzatziki Sauce Recipe + GIVEAWAY

Recently I've struggled with a host of health problems: epilepsy, food allergies, asthma, severe joint pain that mimics arthritis, and overwhelming lethargy. The list just seems to keep growing as the years pass, which worries me because I've only just turned 33. Countless visits with specialists ruled out a number of diseases that could be causing my current health crisis including: rheumatoid arthritis, vitamin deficiency, and even lupus—which made me chuckle a bit (those of you who are House fans will understand why)—but it wasn't until a few years ago, when I participated in October Unprocessed, that I realized that my diet was root cause of my most recent problems. I knew that if I didn't overhaul the way our family looked at food, my son would eventually suffer the consequences of our poor food choices.

A close look at my pantry staples showed that most of the items I had been relying on, although marketed as healthy options, were filled with non-food items meant to make the food taste better, artificial colors to make things look more appealing, and preservatives to keep everything shelf-stable for obscene amounts of time. This eye-opening discovery set me on the path I am today, it's also one of the reasons that I was so excited to see that Kurt Beecher Dammeier was releasing a new cookbook this month.

For those of you who aren't familiar with his work, he's the founder of Beecher's Pure Food Kids, a foundation that has been working tirelessly over the past ten years to equip children with the information and skills necessary to make healthy food choices. This is a man who understands the struggles I've been going through, because he's struggled with similar issues and he's turned his quest to seek out unadulterated food for his family into a mission to educate America about the impact their food choices have on their health, starting with those most vulnerable to marketing hype and more likely to make poor choices: young children.

Some Alarming Facts:

  • Food companies spend over 2 billion dollars annually marketing food to children.
  • Obesity rates have more than doubled in adults since the 1960s and tripled in children since the the 1980s.
  • For the first time in two centuries, the current generation of children in America may have shorter life expectancies than their parents. 

Now take a minute to let that last fact sink in, how does it make you feel? I'll be honest, it completely blew my mind.

These are just a few of the startling details that are outlined in Pure Food: A Chef's Handbook for Eating Clean, with Healthy, Delicious Recipes. The first few chapters of the book give a close look at the disturbing changes to our food system over the past 50 years, the failings of our regulatory system, the impact this will have on future generations, and what we can do to affect change. But that's not all this book offers, it's full of ideas, tips, and recipes that will help you make smarter decisions about the food you eat. If you're interested in starting down the road to clean eating I'd consider this book a must-read, especially for anyone looking to make long-term changes to their diet, or who is concerned with GMOs, additives, preservatives, and other non-food items that have invaded our food system.

Because I love you (as well as this book) we're giving you a sneak preview of one of the recipes in this cookbook, a fabulous Tzatziki Sauce that's perfect on home made gyros, salads, and even sandwiches. We're also giving away a copy of this book to one lucky reader. Keep reading below for more details on how to enter.  

Enter the Giveaway

The giveaway will run through July 22nd 2016 at 12AM EST and is open to US readers only, void where prohibited by law. You must be at least 18 years of age to enter, no purchase necessary. The number of eligible entries received will determine the odds of winning. Retail value of prize: $34.95.  Winner will be selected by randomly and be notified by email. If no response is received within 72 hours the prize will be forfeit and a new winner will be chosen. Winners: your contact information will be given to Ben Bella Books so they can ship the book to you, you can expect delivery in 4 - 6 weeks. 

Book Review: Pure Food by Kurt Beecher Dammeier - Tzatziki Sauce Recipe + GIVEAWAY


makes 1½ cups

Tzatziki is a cool, tangy yogurt-based sauce from Greece. I pair it with Lamb Gyros, but feel free to use it as a sandwich spread, alongside salads and grilled meats or vegetables, or as a dip. English cucumbers are drier and meatier and have fewer seeds and thinner skins than standard cucumbers. If you can’t find one, be sure to peel and seed your standard cucumber before grating.


Recipe excerpt and photographs from Pure Food,   ©   2016 by   Sugar Mountain Cookbooks LLC  . Reproduced by permission of BenBella Books. All rights reserved.

Recipe excerpt and photographs from Pure Food, © 2016 by Sugar Mountain Cookbooks LLC. Reproduced by permission of BenBella Books. All rights reserved.


1½ cups plain, whole milk Greek yogurt
½ English cucumber, coarsely grated (about 1 cup)
1 tablespoon capers, mashed and roughly chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon dried oregano
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon granulated garlic
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon lemon zest (from ¼ lemon)



Mix all the ingredients together in a medium bowl. Either serve immediately or store for up to 3 days refrigerated in an airtight container.

Where to Purchase


This post contains my Amazon affiliate links. I try to keep advertising unobtrusive and to a minimum in order to provide you with the best experience possible. Purchases made through these links provide me with a small income and ensure I can continue providing you with quality content.

This book was sent to me for review by Ben Bella Books as always, all opinions are my own.