If asked “What is your favorite cookbook?” one Hundred years ago it would be easy to answer. Most cooks had 2 choices: The Boston Cooking-School Cook Book, or using “hand-me-down recipes.” Things changed in the 1930″s, when “101 Ways to Use Bisquick” was produced by General Mills and rewritten in the ’50’s as “Betty Crocker’s Picture Cookbook” Cooks loved the recipes and it soon became the largest selling cookbook with 18 million copies sold. But, there were still few books written. Now, contrast that with a trip to Barnes and Nobel to marvel at an endless display of books related to food.
For me, it is fairly easy pick a favorite because I view food as a way to nourish and heal the body which narrows the choices. Of course I like “comfort food” or as some call it – “recreational food,” but I try to cook meals that have healing properties.
With that said, there are only about a dozen on my list that I would call favorites. Many may seem outdated but the concepts are based on time-tested principals Low fat and lots of fruit & vegetables.; “low-fat” was a buzz word thirty years ago and is still important. In addition to my book list I’ve added my favorite publications and web sites that keep me up to date on current research studies.
Basic Cooking tips, Nutrition advice and Healthy recipes
√Mayo Clinic Physicians and Dietitians. Williams-Sonoma. The Mayo Clinic Williams-Sonoma Cookbook. Time Life Books. 1998
- Mayo Clinic, the well-respected medical network, co-sponsored this collection of cooking tips, nutrition facts and delicious recipes. Natural foods are used in the recipes so instructions are given to “cook from scratch,” such as making-your-own sauces, dressings, marinades and spice mixes. This book is a “Must Read” if you are looking to serve meals that have healing qualities and maximum nourishment.
Manenica, Kathleen (project director) and Washington State University Extension staff. Eating Well for Less . Washington State Dept of Social and health Services. 2012 Download a free copy: http://nutrition.wsu.edu/EW4L/Eating%20Well%2022-146sm.pdf
- This excellent publication gives a brief look into what your FMP is all about: saving money while cooking healthy meals. Their tips, tricks and recipes are a mini-version of our soon-to-be-published $10 Dollar Meals for a family of 6.
√ Pirello, Christina. Cooking The Whole Foods Way. H. P. Books, 1997.
- Includes information about macrobiotics & Whole Foods. Macrobiotics is a way of life for people seeking to achieve balance and harmony from within. By eating a variety of natural, organic, plant-based foods (with a little fish) and embracing a Zen-like spirituality, a balance of yin and yang can be achieved, To read more see: http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/macrobiotic-diet
- Tips and Tricks for cooking with real food.
- Over 500 recipes. Some need special ingredients.
Shaw, Diana. Almost Vegetarian:: A primer for cooks who are eating vegetarian most of the time, fish some of the time and altogether Well all the time. Clarkston Potter. 1994
- Even though published 20 rears ago, Almost Vegetarian is a timely primer for cooks who are flexitarians. Diana Shaw discusses cooking methods that preserve nutrients, and directories for veggies, fruit and seasonings. Recipes feature low-fat whole foods, yogurt, and vegetable proteins. Recipes are also included for using lean meat, poultry and fish. It’s a unique cookbook because it reads like a novel; fun and entertaining.
Books with affordable, simple recipes:
Johnson, Carlean. Six Ingredients or Less: Cooking Light & Healthy. second printing. CJ Books, 1999
- Carlean Johnson lays the foundation for cooking with just a few ingredients. Her ideas for making cooking easier is worth reading, if you can find the book. We substituted ingredients to use what was in our cupboards: important for serving $10 meals.
- Note: She has recently co-authored several books with new recipes. see http://sixingredientsorless.com/ We plan to review one per month. Want to add your review? Contact us or post it in the forum.
√ √ Gaunt, La Rene. Recipes to Lower your Fat Thermostat. Vitality House International. 3rd printing 1986
- This is an obscure 30-year-old classic packed full of recipes for making your own sauces, dressings, soup bases and recipes to use them.
- PLUS there are interesting side discussions like “potato Friend or Foe”, “Wok Talk” and “The Bean Bag”.
- Wherever possible, she chooses natural ingredients in recipes.
- The appendix contains an extensive glossary full of useful information.
Pellman Good, Phyllis. Fix-It and Forget-It: 5 – Ingredient Favorites. Good Books.2004
- This is a collection of simple slow cooker recipes sent in by people throughout the US. Use your oven if you have no slow cooker. Make your own sauces and spice mixes to replace their processed ingredients if you prefer.
√ Golson, Terry Bender. 1000 Low-Fat Recipes. MacMillan, 1997. Print.
- Everyone has a favorite cookbook and this one together with Sublime Sops (next) used to be my favorites when relying on recipes.
Braum, Lenore. Sublime Soups. Culinary Publications, 2002. Print.
- Laura autographed the book saying “Eat Well….Be Well” and her vegetarian soups are not only healthy, they are delicious.
Slow Cooker Tips, Tricks and Recipes
Slow cooking makes it possible for meals to be started in the morning then cooked all day to be ready at mealtime. The FMP recognizes this.
√ Good, Phyllis Pellman. Fix-It and Forget-It Lightly. Good Books, 2004. Print (Slow cooking)
- Phyllis Pellman Good Has written several NY Times Best Selling cookbooks. Five books are filled with slow cooker recipes sent in by people wanting to share their favorites. I liked the variety of recipes even though I preferred to change ingredients. Recipes often use canned sauces, seasoning packets and other processed ingredients plus refined flour. If you want “quick and easy,” and not using whole food, her recipe collections will give you lots of ideas
Crock Pot the original slow cooker. Slow Cooker Bible. Publications International Ltd.2010
- The Slow Cooker Bible has a short introduction about food safety, using a crock pot for different types of food and using thickeners. You learn cooking techniques by following their clear instructions to create over 200 entrees and side dishes. Their recipes use canned beans and tomatoes, natural spices and herbs ,plus some frozen vegetables. These short cuts save time and energy but are easily substituted with fresh ingredients.
√ Sheasby, Anne, consulting editor. Over 50 recipe contributors. The Ultimate Soup Bible. Barnes and Nobel. 2005
- The book starts with a 30-page glossary of potential soup ingredients with tips & tricks for using them in soups.
- Step-by-Step illustrations of over 400 delicious soup recipes make cooking easy. However, some require a long list of ingredients.
Hupping, Carol. Rodale Food Center Staff. Stocking Up III: America’s Classic Preserving Guide. Rodale Press 1986
- Recipes, Tips and tricks for harvesting and preserving food. This is a classic guide to preserving food. The last update was 1990 but you can contact your State University’s Farm Extension office for current preserving guidelines.
√ Greer, Anne. The Ultimate Low-Fat Mexican Cookbook. Gulf Pub Co, 1995.
- There are many excellent Mexican Cookbooks available but this one caught my eye years ago because of her focus on reducing fat and detailed description of how to use natural spices and herbs in “Tex-Mex” cuisine. It is a complete guide.
√ Drachman, Linda. 365 Ways to Wok: Stir-fries, Stews and Sautes.
- This book covers techniques of stir-frying, sauteing, poaching, braising, pan-frying, steaming, stewing, and even baking in a wok. Linda offers recipes from around the world. Most of her recipes are “meat-based.”
Coleman, Eliot. Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables From Your Garden All Year Long. Chelsey Green Pub Co. 1999
- A practical guide for building cold frames and other structures for prolonging your growing season. He explains what, when, where, and how to grow continuous vegetable crops.
Books that influenced my wellness plan:
√ Benson, Herbert. Stuart, Eileen RN C MS. Staff of Mind/Body Medical Institute of New England. The Wellness Book: Comprehensive Guide to Maintaining Health and Treating Stress-Related Illness. Fireside Book. 1992
- This is not a cookbook. It is a workbook that allowed me to look at how stress, exercise, thoughts, eating habits and interactions with people affect my over-all health. Recent studies suggest that stress reduction, exercise and eating natural food can reduce inflammation; the culprit in many medical problems
v Daniluk, Julie. Meals that Heal Inflammation. Hay House Inc. 2012
- In-depth discussion about how inflammation affects your health. Balancing healthy foods (recipes are included) with exercise and relaxation allows for healing and building natural body defenses.
√ American Institute for Cancer Research. Moving toward a Plant-Based Diet, 1997
- A collaborative work, complete with recipes, by medical researchers to explain why plant-based meals promote healing and prevent cancer. This booklet is out of print but you can visit the AICR site and browse their brochure series. This organization offers the most complete and up-to-date education series on wellness I have seen.
√ Yeager, Selene. Editors of Prevention Magazine. The Doctors Book of Food Remedies. Rodale Press. revised 2007
- A collaborative work with 700 pages of articles describing the healing power of food from Apples to Yogurt. Also presented are discussions and research on various conditions from Aging to Yeast infections. The important idea is that the phytonutrients in certain food are necessary for healing and unfortunately lost when food is incorrectly prepared. I refer to this book as well as Prevention Magazine to keep abreast of new findings and then move on to source of the research
Periodicals and websites:
v Prevention Magazine and Prevention.com
- This magazine and website contains ideas, information, and recipes dedicated to preventing illnesses and improving overall health.
Cooking Light magazine and website
- My first choice for finding healthy recipes and information about cooking techniques. They also have a search engine that links to their magazine articles
My Recipes.com website
- A great site for healthy recipes, up-to-date nutrition news, and foods for health conditions.
Eating Well.com website
- This site is all about healthy eating. You can also submit recipes for their evaluation.
Mayo Clinic website.
- Healthy recipes, medical information and nutrition news, all in one place.
- Dedicated to answering questions about medical conditions and related food recipes for healing or prevention.
Recipes used in our publications have been handed down from family members. Others have been changed from their original form and will continue to “evolve” to fit out family’s taste preferences or available ingredients. Recipes on this site are original or adapted from published recipes. Think of a recipe as a starting point and then make changes like we did. The only reason for duplicating someones recipe is to recreate the same taste.
Websites are valuable in that they give us up-to-date information. We hope that you visit them with a wary eye for inaccurate information. Bookmark the sites you find valuable and credible, like , http://.sweetveg.org, Cooking Light and University Extension sites. Betty Crocker at.bettycrocker.com/Home and allrecipes.com are popular sites and easy to use. But many of their recipes use processed ingredients. Some may contain high fats and simple sugars so be prepared to modify them to improve nutritional value. Don