When it comes to cookbooks, most of us have our favorites for classics like Caesar salad, spaghetti, or apple pie. To me, a worthwhile cookbook provides more than just the standards — perhaps novel ways with vegetables, whole foods or healthier desserts. It’s a bonus if the book offers information and tips on healthy living and eating, too.
If you’re looking for a cookbook that can help boost your health along with your recipe collection, here are five of my favorites:
- Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Cooking: Five Delicious Ways to Incorporate Whole and Natural Foods into Your Cooking. With a well-entrenched reputation for broadly appealing recipes using natural ingredients and huge blog fan base, Swanson proves that all-natural can be as enticing as traditional. Her recipes use easy-to-find ingredients and combine them in novel ways. Hijiki and Edamame Salad with Creamy Miso Dressing, Mesquite Chocolate Chip Cookies or Risotto-Style Barley with Winter Citrus and Arugula will surely make a whole-foods convert of almost anyone.
- Christy Morgan’s Blissful Bites: Vegan Meals that Nourish Mind, Body and Planet. A former personal chef with macrobiotic leanings, Morgan brings healthy, whole, sustainable foods to the everyday table. With informative tidbits on tools and ingredients, the book features recipes like Coconut Bliss Granola, Red Quinoa Salad, Cali-Style White Bean Bruschetta or Mama Mia Magnifico Sauce, a magical marinara-style sauce without tomatoes!
- Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything Vegetarian. This hefty tome, hailed as “the definitive guide” to vegetarian cooking, is packed with preparation techniques, how to choose and store ingredients, and just about every variation on any recipe you can think of. If it’s vegetarian, you’ll find it here. This book is my “go-to” resource any time I have questions about how to prepare, well, anything.
- Natalia Rose’s Raw Food Life Force Energy. Nutritionist Rose offers tips on harnessing the powers of raw foods along with recipes that appeal to all palates. Even if you’re not a raw foodist, you’ll enjoy many of the recipes in this collection, from Mega-Veggie Platter to Chocolate Mousse to Portobello “Steaks.”
- Ali Segersten and Tom Malterre’s Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook: Whole Foods Recipes for Personal and Planetary Health. The husband-and-wife team who pen the Whole Life Nutrition blog bring you allergen-friendly recipes and tips on how to detox, plus delectable recipes like Artichoke and Almond Pate, Quinoa and Black Bean Salad, Sunny Sunflower Seed Burgers or Raw Chocolate Hazelnut Brownies.