Confession is good for the soul – I am a diehard cookbook collector! I collect several categories of cookbooks. First of all, I have some that have completely healthy ingredients in their recipes and I don’t have to worry about tweaking or substituting any ingredients. There aren’t too many of those. Then there are thoiesse that are plant-based but that use some ingredients that I don’t think are needed or might have negative health consequences (like vinegar, black pepper, irritating spices, etc.). Then there are those that are not plant-based but have good information on food science and/or a wide variety of recipes that can used as inspiration for healthy dishes. I’d like to share some of my favorites from each category with you.
All plant-based/vegan, mostly whole food, ingredients (and no, or minimal, oils/sugars):
Guiltfree Gourmet by Vicki Griffin – very tasty recipes. Unfortunately, it is now sometimes difficult to find. I will be sharing recipes from this source, or adapted from it, on this website, so stay tuned!
Flavors of Health by Lucia Tiffany and Arna Gilkes – this was a collaborative effort with my mother, who started me on this whole track of healthy eating and teaching cooking. Features international recipes with easy to find ingredients.
NEWSTART Cookbook by Weimar Institute – these recipes from the internationally known lifestyle center at Weimar Institute are especially developed for the reversal of lifestyle diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.
7 Secrets by Neva Brackett – The author ran a popular vegetarian restaurant for many years and these recipes have no free oils and are delicious.
10 Talents by Dr. and Mrs. Hurd – this vegetarian classic has been updated and is still one of the best foundational plant-based cookbooks out there. Includes lots of information on health besides hundreds of recipes.
Plant-based, but might need some tweaking for healthiest version:
Cook :30 by Jeremy Dixon – This New Zealand vegan chef has a whole series of cooking shows done at 3ABN tv and available on YouTube as well. His cookbooks are beautiful and he has a great assortment of dishes, many with international flavors. His meal based recipes are designed to be on the table in 30 minutes.
Vegan Richa’s Indian Kitchen – Well-known vegan blogger Richa Hingle has several cookbooks that draw on her rich Indian heritage to bring a flavorful assortment of vegan recipes to the table.
How Not to Die cookbook by Dr. Michael Greger – Lots of great recipes that are whole food based.
Not all healthy or plant-based, but good inspiration for creating your own recipes:
The New Book of Middle Eastern Food by Claudia Roden – wonderful recipes from the Middle East with amazing stories and traditions sprinkled throughout. Large sections of vegetable and legume recipes that need little adjusting to make them healthy.
How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman – This book, along with the next one, provide you with anything you ever wanted to know about traditional recipes and cooking techniques. Great reference book and inspiration for creating healthy versions of foods
The Joy of Cooking – a classic reference book for cooking and baking techniques with huge collection of traditional western and European recipes. I don’t actually make many of these recipes but use it to get ideas.
Some of these you may be able to locate through your local library. In any case, I hope that you find this resource list help to you as you progress on your personal journey to better health. If there are others that you thing should be on this list, just comment below!