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Jan 3, 2008 09:52 AM

Cookbooks with healthy AND delicious recipes?

This has never been a particular interest of mine, but my dear mother-in-law has been diagnosed with heart problems and has been counseled to adopt a low-salt, "healthier" diet (i.e. lay off the pork bacon and ham at three meals a day, you old-school Iowa lady!). Does anyone know of an inspiring cookbook which might be useful to her?
Thanks very much in advance.

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  1. "loan" her a copy of deborah madison's "vegetarian cooking for everyone." she'll either go for it or not. if she goes for it, give it to her. it's full of recipes that can be used as sides or foundations with meat or fish mains, but also has some great sections about cooking soups, whole grains, desserts, etc. if your mil has never considered a meal w/out tons of cholesterol-laden meat, this book will be a useful gateway drug as well as a handbook for cooking foods which may be unfamiliar. this book often gets a good response even from very "old-school" customers because most recipes don't require a trip to a health food store or an ethnic grocery store, which they're just not ready for, maybe.

    hey even if she doesn't go for the book, you'll get a copy out of it. it should really be in every good cook's library, veg or non-veg.

    3 Replies
    1. re: soupkitten

      I love that book as well. Great choice.

      While not a cookbook per se, Paul Pitchford's Healing with Whole Foods is an AMAZING resource. There's a lot of information about heart problems in it. There is also a section in the back with recipes. For Americans, it's a totally different way to think about food.

      1. re: soupkitten

        This book (VCFE) is one of my favorites - and she can top the dishes off with some meat or fish if the thought of no-meat meals makes her cringe (I have a very mid-western father, who has to have some type of meat at every meal and recently developed similar health issues as your MIL). Another standard in my house is Jack Bishop, The Complete Italian Vegetarian Cookbook - plenty of veggie centered delicious meals!

        1. re: patz

          I also like VCFE. Another of my favorite healthy books is Totally Dairy-Free Cooking by Loius Lanza. Each recipe has nutritional info and you can easily sub real (low-fat) milk/cheese if the dairy part isn't an issue. The 3 potato mash is a house favorite, as well as a grilled shrimp recipe.

      2. Modern Vegetarian Kitchen--Peter Berley

        1. Eat Right, Eat Well the Italian Way by Edward Giobbi and Richard Wollf. Mr. Giobbi is a renown Italo-American artist who has won the James Beard Award and is a culinary professional. Dr. Wollf is a cardiologist who has broken down the nutritional values of each recipe. I have a first edition of this book and have been cooking from it since 1985. It's delightful to read Mr. Giobbi's comments and stories as well as a delight to eat the dishes he writes about.

          1. Best Light Recipes from the editors of Cook's Illustrated.

            1 Reply
            1. You might want to get her a subscription to either Weight Watcher's or Cooking Light magazine. Both have sensible and good-tasting recipes that don't rely overly much on gimmicks to make food healthier.

              1 Reply
              1. re: DanaB

                The Cooking Light suggestion is good. It doesn't feel like a diet magazine and the photos are nice, especially if you are trying to "inspire" a big lifestyle change.