Cookbooks For Healthier Eating

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February 9, 2011 by Flora Dawn

I really try to make my family well-rounded, nutritious meals. Of course we aren’t too restrictive, and we do enjoy our share of treats. But overall, I really am trying to make healthy choices.

Making healthy choices is not always easy. And just because food is gluten-free doesn’t mean it is necessarily good for you. High salt, high fat, and low fiber recipes are everywhere. Finding foods that are nutritious and taste great can be a bit of challenge, here are a few of my favorite books that make that job easier (They aren’t all “gluten-free” cookbooks per se, but there are lots of gf recipes and adapting most of the others isn’t too difficult, as very few are baking recipes).

Mark Bitterman, the New York Times columnist and one of my favorite cookbook authors, has two great books available Food Matters: A Guide to Conscious Eating with More Than 75 Recipes and The Food Matters Cookbook: 500 Revolutionary Recipes for Better Living. I know it sounds a bit dramatic, but I picked up one of his books while my husband was recovering from a major, unplanned surgery a couple years ago, and his books really inspired me to change our diet for the better. He is very realistic and not preachy at all. He writes very clear and simple directions, which I love.  It’s about small steps. And this guy LOVES food and writes about food for a living, so if he can eat healthier, I think anyone probably can if they have the desire.

Almost Meatless: Recipes That Are Better for Your Health and the Planet is another great cookbook, offering plenty of ideas that contain meat, but in a minimal capacity. The recipes include lots of veggies and other healthy grains, and the focus is really healthy eating. There are plenty of beautiful pictures to keep you drooling over the food, but some of the recipes call for a long list of ingredients, which might intimidate a new cook.

Anna Getty’s Easy Green Organic is another cookbook that focuses on eating and living well. The photographs are gorgeous and the dishes are fresh and flavorful; I would say they are very West-Coast, California Cuisine. The cookbook includes a wide variety of recipes, including: Chunky Tuscan Bean Soup with Swiss Chard and Pancetta, Quinoa Croquettes with Cilantro Yogurt Sauce, and Maple-Orange Glazed Carrots. They are sophisticated, healthy, and  for people who enjoy cooking. The only part I don’t really enjoy, is her focus on “living green.” The entire first chapter is devoted to why we should eat organic, toxins in our food and kitchen wares, etc; I would have preferred she just gave us some recipes, but I am sure others would disagree.

This book I reviewed before, but I think it is worth mentioning again, Gluten-Free Recipes for the Conscious Cook: A Seasonal, Vegetarian Cookbook . Although the recipes often suggest expensive and hard to find products, the overall cookbook is very nice and easy to use. The author is very helpful and offers lot of suggestions for substitutions and variations. She has a great intro that explains gluten free grains; this was the book that inspired me to try Teff Flour and I am so thankful. This is not a vegan cookbook, there are plenty of animal products used, but it is entirely meatless and gluten free. Again, no pictures, but a nice book if you are trying to reduce your meat consumption or incorporate healthier gluten free grains into your diet.

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