Now that the holidays are over, it is time to think about healthful eating again. Here are a few selections to get you back on track.
If I were limited to only one kitchen appliance, I would choose the Vitamix. I love making salad dressings, sauces, and soups in this fantastic device. Now I have THE VITAMIX COOKBOOK: 250 Delicious Whole Food Recipes to Make in Your Blender by Jodi Berg, which makes my Vitamix even more useful. This companion cookbook is full of wonderful ideas for breakfasts including smoothies and breakfast crepes; for soups, incorporating lemon soup with rice and black bean tortilla soup; for entreés like quinoa and barley sliders or turkey burgers with cherry salsa; and dessert such as pumpkin pudding and apple pie ice cream.
CROSSROADS: Extraordinary Recipes from the Restaurant That is Reinventing Vegan Cuisine by Tal Ronnen with Scot Jones and Serafina Magnussen shows off a new side of Vegan cooking. Tal Ronnen is a classically trained chef who is redefining vegan cooking in a most enjoyable and satisfying manner. I have eaten at Crossroads and enjoyed the experience thoroughly. Now Ronnen imparts his secrets in this new book where food is elevated rather than copied. Egyptian fava bean spread; cauliflower bisque with fried capers; sweet potato latkes with spiked applesauce; grilled garden vegetable lasagna with puttanesca sauce; and decadent dark chocolate cake with figs and hazelnuts are some of the standout recipes.
THE MEDITERRANEAN FAMILY TABLE: 125 Simple, Everyday Recipes Made with the Most Delicious and Healthiest Food on Earth by Angelo Acquista, M.D. with Laurie Anne Vandermolen is an easy way to start on a new healthful eating regime after the holiday food fests. We know that the Mediterranean diet is a medically sound way to eat and this book is full of ideas for guilt-free eating that tastes delicious. Highlights include tabbouleh salad with quinoa; scallops with cannellini beans; pasta with fava beans and radicchio; and olive oil mashed potatoes;
CLEAN GREEN EATS: 100+ Clean-Eating Recipes to Improve Your Whole Life by Candice Kumai are full of inspiring recipes to eat non-processed foods. The author begins with an overview of wholesome ingredients, including a guide to choosing the most nutrient-dense fruits and veggies, whole grains and herbs and spices. Some of the appealing recipes include creamy coconut and fresh pea mint soup; roasted acorn squash with homemade kale marinara; miso-orange glazed salmon; and vegan dark chocolate-avocado cake. The recipes do take time, but if you are into clean eating, this book has lots of suggestions.
The QUINOA [KEEN-WAH] COOKBOOK by María del Mar Sacasa delves thoroughly into the world of this ancient supergrain. If you are tired of kale and quinoa salads or quinoa pilaf, try the over 75 different ideas in this nice small volume. The book starts with breakfast coconut quinoa and then moves on to quinoa quiche Lorraine; matzo ball-style quinoa soup; vegetarian quinoa bibimbap; lettuce cups with pork and quinoa in peanut sauce; and orange and ginger poached pears with quinoa crumble.
THE BEST and LIGHTEST: 150 Healthy Recipes for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner from the editors of Food Network Magazine is a terrific compendium of recipes that are healthful and yet super tasty. The chefs at the magazine have lightened up dishes using clever techniques with very satisfying results. There are icons included that indicate vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free dishes as well as nutritional info and beautiful photographs. Ratatouille soup; Mexican stew with Tilapia; honey-mustard chicken and apples; spaghetti squash and meatballs; and banana-almond pudding are some of my favorite recipes.
HEALTHY LATIN EATING: Our Favorite Family Recipes Remixed by radio and television personalities Angie Martinez & Angelo Sosa shows that Latin food can be healthful and still quite delicious. As Angie writes in her introduction, this is not a diet book! It is more about the author’s passion about clean and healthy living with the Latin community. The book describes smart ingredient substitutions, alternative cooking methods, and subtle reductions in sugar, fat and sodium that create healthier food without compromising the integrity of Latin cuisine. Standouts include red quinoa con pollo; jicama & watermelon salad with cumin vinaigrette; beef ropa vieja; and spicy dark chocolate tamales.