I have found a few outstanding books for Mother’s Day this year with an emphasis on health, a trend that is here to stay.

Superstar Gwyneth Paltrow has just released her second cookbook IT’S ALL GOOD: Delicious, Easy Recipes That Will Make You Look Good and Feel Great (co-authored with Julia Turshen). In this volume she shares her getting healthier tips for the restorative diet that she embarked upon after a rigorous and grueling schedule. Paltrow is a foodie who has tried to make the dishes in this book of healthful eating delicious even without sugar, alcohol, dairy, shellfish, or gluten. She does allow for organic meat but nothing is processed in the book. Standouts include spicy sweet potato soup with chipotle & coriander; Mr. Chow-style minced chicken with lettuce leaves; whole grilled pink snapper with herbs, garlic, & lemon; and chicken & turkey sausage paella.

Suzanne Landry, a health educator and organic chef, searched for a more healthful diet for herself and her family. THE PASSIONATE VEGETABLE: Health Inspired Recipes to Revitalize Your Life for Vegetarian or Meat Lovers! is the answer to her quest. I am not a vegetarian but I like her ideas and the use of fresh and organic produce without any processed ingredients. Beets and tangerine salad with lots of fresh feta and mint is beautifully photographed and described. I also like the quinoa tabbouleh salad; Moroccan couscous; the sweet potato home fries (with lots of spices); and chocolate coconut bars. Ms. Landry also has a section for those who want to eat meats, poultry, and fish advising them strongly that it be natural unprocessed animal protein.

From the fabulous America’s Test Kitchens, the people who bring you Cook’s Illustrated Magazine, comes COMFORT FOOD MAKEOVERS, a look into lightening up your favorite dishes just in time for bikini season! Flavor first is the motto in this book redoing such favorites as chicken and dumplings; glazed meatloaf, and mac & cheese into very delicious but more healthful alternatives. Baking instead of deep-frying, poaching chicken for salad instead of sautéing, and using very lean cuts of meat, are wonderful techniques to save calories.

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