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Sep 26, 2010 09:20 AM

If you could only buy one healthy cookbook...?

DH has finally started to eat right. What's a good cookbook that will give me many lowfat healthy recipes that are easy t make?

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  1. "The World's Healthiest Foods" by George Mateljan is amazing and gives a recipe for almost every healthy ingredient ever. It's huge (almost 900 pages) but you can get it for less than 30 bucks on Amazon. Best cookbook I ever bought - I consult it every week and have incorporated so many of the ideas into my daily eats.

    1 Reply
    1. re: crispandverdant

      I haven't bought the book but their website is awesome...great information!

    2. and both have good recipe databases, though I give the former a slight edge for "healthier", eg focus on whole grains. I'd give Cooking Light the edge for being more "cooking" (eg. discussing techniques and ingredients etc.) focused. Really, I think of Cooking Light as "Cooking LightER."

      Eating Well has a couple of cookbooks out that have been acclaimed, nominated for cookbooks awards, etc. "Serves Two" or whatever it's called and "Comfort Foods." You might get those out of the library and see if they are to your liking. Or just go to their website and do a search on recipes and sort the results by user rating. I find that most of the recipes in their cookbooks are also on their website. I like cookbooks, though, so I prefer the hard copy.

      I like to pickup the Cooking Light "annual" volumes when I can find them used and cheap. Or, again, get them out of the library. But, again, I just like to search their online recipe database and sort by user rating. Be careful, though, as they share their database with Southern Living and some other publications, so, make sure the recipe you choose is actually from Cooking Light.

      I like the New Mayo Clinic cookbook, too, though it is very thin.


      2 Replies
      1. re: The Dairy Queen

        Agreed on Cooking Light- they surprised me on how technique-oriented they were, but for many of their butter-or-cream-laden dishes, "light" is a stretch...
        Cook This Not That is a great resource for copycat recipes lightened up so you can ease your husband into eating lighter using familiar restaurant dishes.

        1. re: iheartcooking

          Yeah, I think of Cooking Light as a great source of recipes if you are at a healthy weight and are just trying to watch what you eat.


      2. America's Test Kitchen is putting out a Healthy Family Cookbook. It comes out October 5th. I have LOVED their other two family cookbooks and I have this one preordered.

        6 Replies
        1. re: Becca Porter

          I am cooking from this book for the first time tonight, and it will be my "Cookbook of the Week" for the rest of the week. Tonight I'm making Chicken Chilaquiles. Tomorrow it's Skillet Shepherd's Pie, and Tuesday I'm planning on Stuffed Eggplants. Haven't decided about the rest of the week, but one or two will be seafood.

          1. re: pikawicca

            Pika, I'd love to hear your thoughts about this book, both along the lines of, are the recipes reliable and whether or not you really find it to be "healthy".


            1. re: pikawicca

              I can't wait to get my hands on it. Did you buy it straight from CI?

              1. re: Becca Porter

                I did get it directly from CI. TDQ, I'd have to say these are healthier versions of favorite recipes, not necessarily health food. The Chilaqules were excellent, but labor intensive -- took 90 minutes to prep and cook. However, when I voiced the thought that this recipe required too much work for the return, my family strenuously disagreed. One thing I really like (as opposed to Eating Well recipes) is that portion sizes are realistic.

                My first take is that this is not a weight loss book, rather what sane people with an interest in healthy cooking might feed their families on a regular basis.

                1. re: pikawicca

                  I suppose it's easy to disagree about the work vs. the return when you're not the person doing the cooking! Funny that it took you 90 minutes. I always thought (assumed) chilaquiles were something you made with leftover tortillas and, therefore, would be somewhat fast. But, I've never made them, only eaten them. I'm glad they were delicious!

                  Hopefully the next recipes won't take quite so long!


            2. re: Becca Porter

              Made Skillet Shepherd's Pie last night. This was very good (really liked the addition of beer), but I made a few changes. First, it didn't seem to me that 1 1/2 pounds of mashed potatoes would begin to cover the filling in a 12" skillet, so I down-sized to a 10" and increased the potatoes to 2#, with appropriate additional milk. I'm glad I did, as there was just enough potato to work. Tasty leftovers for lunch today.

            3. I like Ellie Krieger's The food you Crave.

              I like her approach to eating healthy.

              7 Replies
              1. re: focioncroci

                I have that one and her "So Easy" but have only cooked 1-2 recipes from each. Again, I've liked them both. They weren't mind-blowing or anything I'd rave about, but they were solid, not complicated, and genuinely "healthy" with an emphasis on whole grains, and lower fat without relying on fake foods.

                Do you have any favorites from TFYC that I should put on my "must try" list?


                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                  I have this book too and I definitely agree with you. I've made a bunch of recipes and they all turned out pretty good- simple to prepare and generally well liked by all who ate it.

                  One that my husband loved was the Tuscan Roast Chicken - it was a one pan dish with the chicken roasted over veggies. There was a pasta recipe that had a sauce made of roasted peppers and feta that I thought was very good.

                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                    From TFYC: shrimp w/tomatoes & feta, Asian salmon cakes, and the sweet-spicy salmon.

                  2. re: focioncroci

                    I really like her and the book, but I just wasn't happy enough with the recipes. I know I can trust ATK with making sure the recipes are very delicious.

                    1. re: Becca Porter

                      Which ones didn't you like, Becca? (So I can cross those off my list...)


                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                        It wasn't so much that any were bad. They just weren't great. Nothing that I flipped over. It is still a good book with good ideas. I know I did make her delightfull ranch dressing a lot. It was one really great recipe I remember.


                        1. re: Becca Porter

                          Ah, okay. Yeah, I agree--I haven't had anything of hers that I thought was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G, although, nothing's been bad or super complicated either. I've thought they were all good and all "healthy" (to me that means an emphasis on whole foods and lower, thought not non-fat.)

                          I will put the ranch dressing on my to -do list! THanks for the tip.


                  3. Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. I eat meat, and it's my "Joy of Cooking" for healthy, interesting, balanced food.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Vetter

                      VCFE was a cookbook of the month a couple years ago. Here's a link to the "master" thread for that month, in case you find that helpful. as well as to a recent discussion