the appetizer:

Cooking with the Seasons at Rancho La Puerta by Deborah Szekely and Deborah M. Schneider, includes recipes from the spa, like Squash-Apple Soup with Thai Red Curry; Roasted Garlic en Cazuela; and Lobster a la Diabla.

Cookbook Profile

Cooking with the Seasons
at Rancho La Puerta
Recipes from the World-Famous Spa

by Deborah Szekely and Deborah M. Schneider


Great cooking—unlocking the amazing farm-fresh flavors of seasonal, local ingredients without the traditional overuse of processed oils, animal fats, salt, and sugar—is at the heart of the experience offered by Rancho La Puerta, the world-famous fitness resort and spa located in Baja California.

In Cooking with the Seasons at Rancho La Puerta, the Ranch's founder, Deborah Szekely, and co-author Deborah M. Schneider demonstrate that you can bring this revitalizing experience to your own home kitchen. Cooking with the Seasons changes the way you think about food and cooking and inspires a healthier lifestyle that doesn't let the enjoyment of delicious, satisfying meals take a backseat.

Though not a "diet cookbook," Cooking with the Seasons at Rancho La Puerta emphasizes the authors' view that eating simply and healthfully—with homemade meals that reflect the cycles of nature—is one-of life's most profound pleasures. This beautiful book includes 120 delicious recipes featuring seasonal ingredients that are colorfully and creatively combined to entice the palate as well as promote health.

The inspiration for the book comes from Rancho La Puerta's own farm, "Tres Estrellas" (Three Stars), which provides the spa with much of its fruits and vegetables. Here, in a cooking school literally built amidst the rows and orchards beneath Mt. Kuchumaa, Creative Chef Jesús Gonzalez works his healthful magic in a way that enthralls over 6,500 guests each year. His and the resort's favorite recipes, developed under the tutelage of his many years of work for spa founder Deborah Szekely, form the heart of this book.

Organized as a series of complete seasonal menus-including Poached Wild Salmon with Avocado-Tarragon Aioli for summer, Carrot and Ginger Soup and Butternut Squash Flan for autumn, Mayan Hot Chocolate for winter, and Sorrel and Spinach Salad with Roasted Cumin-Orange Vinaigrette for spring—Cooking with the Seasons at Rancho La Puerta illustrates how you can create dishes that are both luscious and nutritious all year round. Throughout, the authors also give valuable advice on how to make the most of natural ingredients, from choosing healthful grains to preserving summer's goodness with dried herbs and homemade jams.

By showing readers how to integrate fresh, local, and organic ingredients into their dishes, and to be more environmentally conscious in the process, Cooking with the Seasons at Rancho La Puerta offers an inspirational, perhaps even life-changing, approach to cooking.

About the Authors

Deborah Szekely invented the destination fitness resort and spa when she opened Rancho La Puerta in 1940. She opened The Golden Door in 1958, and it has been consistently rated the top spa in the United States for many years. Szekely lives in San Diego.

Deborah M. Schneider is a chef and food writer with more than 25 years of culinary experience. She is the author of ¡Baja! Cooking on the Edge. She lives in San Diego.


Buy Cooking with the Seasons at Rancho La Puerta


Cooking with the Seasons at Rancho La Puerta


Cookbook Profile Archive


This page created February 2009