What's making this process, well, not exactly easy, but easier, is the variety of fantastic natural/healthy foods cookbooks out there. I feel like I'm learning how to think about food in a whole new way, and part of it is realizing how truly delicious wholesome foods can be with just a little bit of effort. So I thought I'd share some of the cookbooks currently in heavy rotation in my kitchen.
by Heidi Swanson
Written and photographed by Heidi Swanson, creator of 101 Cookbooks (one of my favorite cooking blogs), Super Natural Cooking explores a range of simple dishes that make use of unrefined ingredients like whole grains, natural sweeteners, and nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables. Swanson also includes tips on creating a whole foods pantry, which I'm finding particularly helpful as I restock my kitchen shelves with healthy staples. Many of Swanson's recipes are gluten and/or dairy-free, a bonus for those with food allergies or those who (like me) simply wish to minimize those foods.
Recipe to try: Otsu (buckwheat noodles tossed with a fiery ginger-sesame dressing and a generous dose of cucumbers, scallions, and pan-seared tofu)
For: uncomplicated, delicious dishes with an emphasis on unrefined ingredients + equally scrumptious photography
by Mark Bittman
True, "vegetarian" is not synonymous with "healthy," but in his follow-up to How to Cook Everything, acclaimed New York Times food writer Mark Bittman ("The Minimalist") has compiled an astoundingly comprehensive collection of super simple recipes, featuring a mostly healthful assortment of whole grains, vegetables, and legumes. Bittman offers variations on almost every dish, and his easy-yet-flavorful concoctions are perfect for spicing up stuff like leftover brown rice, beans, and veggies.
Recipe to try: Fava and mint salad with asparagus
For: a seemingly endless supply of mostly health-conscious vegetarian dishes
by Alicia Silverstone
The collection of healthful recipes encompasses three separate levels - the first level for those who simply want to reduce their meat intake and eat a more plant-centric diet and the third level being totally macrobiotic. In other words, there's a little something for everyone along the healthy eating spectrum. Silverstone also includes insights and musings on her personal relationship to food, and her philosophy on eating well for our bodies and for the planet.
Recipe to try: Eggplant Chana Masala (an Indian-spiced chickpea dish)
For: Recipes and advice on making the switch to a plant-based diet, as well as tips for those flirting with veganism or macrobiotics
What are your favorite healthy cookbooks and recipes? I would love to hear!