This is it. Everyday. These are my treasured cookbooks and collections that have stood the test of time and trial and that I thumb through and cook from every week.
I believe in home cooked meals. Food should be delicious, nourishing, satisfying, and make us more resilient, healthy, calm, balanced, and strong while not being too complicated or tricky.
Many have been given to me by beloved and wise friends while some I have found through teachers or mentors. There are so many these days it can be hard to find a quality one or overwhelming to know which one to get.
It’s funny, the more biochemical and deeper I get into science, disease pathology, root cause and health the more I return to food. We all want that magic supplement or herb or fad detox, and while they can be helpful, it really comes down to what we put into our body day after day, bite after bite, meal after delicious meal.
Some of my cookbooks are ‘cleaner’ than others but they are all based on nutrient dense whole foods. I even have one that my mom wrote with our favorite recipes from growing up and the farm (there are even quotes on every page, old pictures from the farm, and my grandmas hand written recipes. You rule mom). I also keep a folder to put my favorite recipes in from friends or print outs from favorite online recipes to keep handy and organized. I do have things saved online but I need things to be tangible and in front of me.
Here is a list of my favorites (winner is at the bottom), why they are my favorites, and a favorite recipe or two from each of them
- Flavors of Health by Dr Ed Bauman and Chef Lizette Marx. This book rules for overall healthy lifelong everyday eating. It comes from a culinary/nutrition school and skimps on neither. My favorite part is the Cooking Pearls it offers explaining how to prepare many basic healing foods. One of these I use often for simple and quick meals is the Roasting Vegetables to Maximize Flavor one. I can eat roasted garlic on everything!
- Love and Lemons by Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews. This book is gorgeous and organizes recipes by ingredients which is different from most books I know. My sister Lisa (who is a health junkie and actually introduced me to mark Hyman’s work decades ago) recommended it and I have loved it since she made me The Creamy Miso Brussels Sprout Fettuccine (with rice noodles of course).
- The Ultra Metabolism Cookbook by Dr. Mark Hyman. I think I have used this cookbook more than no other for over a decade (and it also came from my sis lisa!!)! It is straight forward and crazy delish. The lamb burgers in this are my absolute favorite and everyone I make them for loves them. Another weekly go to is the red coconut dahl with brown rice and broccoli. Yum.
- Nourishing Meals– By Alissa Sergesten and Tom Malterre. This cookbook is awesome for the family that is trying to eat clean or allergen free. The recipes are all marked clearly for allergens and state if they are dairy, gluten, soy, egg, nightshade, tree nut, or grain free. I love their sweets (like mango coconut pudding, and avocado fudge pops) and their snacks (such as tahini lemon kale chips and ginger-macadamia nut energy bars). They have lots of good clean family meals as well. An awesome every day cookbook. This one probably comes in second place overall.
- At Home in A Whole Foods Kitchen by Amy Chaplin. A beautiful cookbook with delicious vegetarian dishes and directions for how to prepare many whole foods basics such as nut mylks, ferments, and more. This is where my favorite clean granola recipe comes from and also an incredible recipe for beet chickpea cakes with tzatziki sauce.
- From The Heart of Our Home By Cheryl Jenkins. My mamas cookbook that is beaten and battered from decades of cooking out of it and loving it cover to cover. My favorites are the Chinese chicken salad with tons of ginger, garlic, sesame oil and cabbage and the best chili ever. She even included a quote on every page. My mom rules.
- The Clean Plate by Gwyneth Paltrow. Oh Gwyneth, you do clean eating so well. She has the best chefs and Functional MDs here with awesome recipes as well as philosophies behind various specific healing diets. This book is totally clean, meaning no gluten, dairy, eggs, red meat, night shades, peanuts, soy, or processed foods or sugars. It is for the most dedicated clean eater that loves delicious food everyday! I adore the black rice with braised chicken, the sheet pan cauliflower and chicken curry and the nori salad rolls. Everything is good here, you won’t miss anything.
- Mostly Plants by Tracy, Dana, Lori and Corky Pollan. Given to me by my great buddy who is a functional medicine psychiatrist, not to mention amazing cook, Jocelyn. “Eat food, not too much, and mostly plants.”- Michael Pollan. A great balance here for everyday eating. We love the shrimp and kale hot pot as well as the smashed potatoes with shredded brussels sprouts and the turkey chili is something special.
- Plenty More by Yotam Ottolenghi. This book is gorgeous and loaded with spectacular recipes. So many colorful vegetables prepared with herbs and spices that not only taste amazing but smell and look delish too. It is a touch on the gourmet side, but still doable. This book was given to me by my sister Brittany who is another health junkie and also a successful chef and founder of Truffle Berry Market. The quinoa and wild garlic cakes with salbitxada sauce are mind blowing.
- Food- What the Heck Should I Eat? – By Dr. Mark Hyman- My favorite! Last but certainly not least is Mark Hyman’s new cookbook. If I could give it to everyone I work with I would. Besides all the semi cheesy pics of him, the recipes are down to earth, every day food to live by. He highlights what foods we should be eating everyday which is the same ideal diet I fully support (unless people need a specific healing diet of course). He calls it Pegan, or Vegan Paleo and it rocks. The idea is mostly vegetables, as our ancestors ate but with a good balance of protein and fat too. What should you eat? Clean protein, healthy fats, colorful fruit and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, clean water, ferments, and quality counts! Boom. There are so many great recipes but I love the Thai Broccoli Fish Stew, Toasted Sage Butternut Pizza and the coconut curry chicken with green beans and almond dipping sauce is INSANE.
Every week I pick about 4-5 recipes to make for dinner and grocery shop for them all early on. I wing the other days with what is left over, what I get in the CSA, and what we are inspired to create (or not). I love getting inspirations from my favorite books. What are your favorites????