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Cooked Alive!

Cooked Alive!

by Nancy Wirsing

Cooked Alive! is a cookbook for learning to use whole foods – raw, naturally whole and chemical-free foods –  to secure human health. To this end, it contains over 200 distinctive whole food recipes that families and friends will readily welcome and enjoy. These carefully crafted recipes are:

  • meticulously tested over many years.


  • original because vegetables and fruits are prominently cast as “top dog” ingredients in dishes. Simple conservation techniques capture the vast – but now overwhelmingly and wantonly wasted – nutritional and flavoring capacity of vegetables and fruits. Recipes use these techniques to transform vegetables and fruits into super nutritious foods and highly effective flavoring ingredients.


  • workable because the dishes are popular traditional dishes. All preparation steps are clearly and thoroughly detailed to ensure preparation success by cooks in general regardless of prior cooking experience. The basic approach – reliance on vegetable and fruit flavoring – is applicable to dishes in general, whether vegetarian, vegan, paleo or any other dietary regime.


  • genuinely attractive because the application of conservation-based preparation and serving techniques successfully converts vegetables and fruits into the main flavoring in dishes. By providing appealing color and texture, juiciness, and distinctive flavor, vegetables and fruits successfully substitute for commercially prepared flavoring.


  • reliably healthful because dishes maximize the nutritional contribution of all whole ingredients included while eliminating highly processed fat-, sugar-, salt-, and chemical-laden commercially prepared ingredients and minimizing overall fat, sugar, and salt content.


Beyond arming cooks with technical cooking skills and recipes needed for successful inclusion of whole foods in everyday eating, Cooked Alive! is also a timely and unique guidebook devoted to the mission of expanding understanding of the “why” of whole foods. Alongside its recipes, Cooked Alive!, unlike virtually all other cookbooks, informs readers in detail about whole foods and the critically essential role they play in liberating cooks from the modern processed food eating approach that has nothing less than a devastating impact on human health and well-being.


Book Type: Paperback

Genre: Food/Health

Size: 8.5″ x 11″

Pages: 754

ISBN: 978-1-948080-20-0


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About Nancy Wirsing

Born in 1944, Nancy Wirsing grew up in rural South Dakota. In 1968, she earned an MA degree from the Graduate School of International Studies at the University of Denver, where she met her husband. Together they began a life centered around the study of international politics. Right from the beginning of this life, she had a special interest in whole food cooking as a means for maintaining health and vitality. This meant cooking with raw foods that retain all naturally occurring parts as opposed to processed foods that have been refined or otherwise altered from natural form.
Fully committed to whole foods, she devoted much time to experiment with them. As she sought to expand the variety of dishes she was preparing for her three growing sons, she found a dearth of practical help and recipes for cooks interested in converting traditional dishes into whole food form. She decided to write her own cookbook, one consciously designed as a guide for successful conversion to whole food cooking. To this project, she has been passionately committed ever since.
Before culminating in the publication of Cooked Alive!, it evolved considerably, changing with Nancy’s different life experiences. Years spent in South Asia and the Middle East played a notable role. They opened Nancy’s eyes to the dazzling diversity of cuisine to be found around the world and exhibited the inevitably close connection between the way people eat and the health problems they suffer.
But nothing impacted her cookbook’s development more than the experience of living on the small ranch in South Dakota that she inherited from her parents. There she began vegetable gardening, which immeasurably expanded her knowledge of vegetables and fruits, propelling them into “top gun” ingredients in her recipes and central actors in her whole food cooking approach. There she became a regular vendor at a local farmers market, enabling close observation of what her customers knew about vegetables and fruits.
What she discovered was a gigantic void in practical knowledge about vegetable and fruit preparation as well as about the importance of these foods to human health. Of no less importance, country living placed her in direct and daily contact with the industrial agricultural domain in which modern food processing starts. This prompted some final important additions to Cooked Alive!
It became clear that unnatural treatment of plants and animals during production – such as chemical spraying and use of genetically modified seeds and artificial fertilizer in the case of plants and use of antibiotics, hormones, and grain in the case of livestock – is as much a form of destructive processing as alterations made to food after harvesting. Accordingly, she expanded her definition of a whole food. Being raw and physically intact was not enough. To qualify as a whole food, a food must also have been naturally produced from the start. And with this change, Nancy was satisfied that Cooked Alive! was ready for publication.