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1. Veggies and Fish: Inspired New Recipes for Plant-Forward Pescatarian Cooking
By Bart van Olphen
Chef, author and founder of Sea Tales sustainable food brand, Van Olphen taps into the plant-forward and pescatarian zeitgeists in this colorful book. The Dutch chef deftly presents globetrotting recipes that start with vegetables (and sea vegetables) and add fish in a supporting role. There’s even a helpful section for some of the basics of fish cleaning and prep for newbies.
Divided by preparation for easy navigation (Raw, Soups, Salads, Brunch, Pan, Oven etc.), the book includes 95 recipes for inventive preparations like Ratatouille with Pan-Fried Cod and Fennel Gravy, Green Pea Guacamole Rolls with Pulled Salmon, and Seaweed Salmon Burgers with creamy Celery Remoulade. While Olphen does call for a few unusual ingredients (razor clams and marsh samphire, for example) he by and large relies on familiar ingredients, so this healthy eating cookbook makes it easy for you to get more veggies and fish in your diet. The Experiment, $24.95
2. Everyone’s Table: Global Recipes for Modern Health
By Gregory Gourdet with JJ Goode
Top Chef star and trendsetting chef Gregory Gourdet book provides a dazzling array of colorful, globally inspired dishes that just happen to be gluten, dairy, soy, legume and grain-free. An avid long-distance runner and self-proclaimed “health freak,” Gourdet taps into his Haitian immigrant background, French culinary education, experience in top restaurant kitchens, and travels in Asia to create food that is vibrant, healthy (though occasionally a tad heavy on salt), and very of the moment.
Dishes like Creamy Cashew Dip with Jalapeno and Seedy Seaweed Crackers, Fish in Green Curry with Asparagus and Spinach with a fiery homemade green curry paste and Haitian Bouyon Beef stew with plantains and yucca will delight cooks looking for a challenge, whether you’re living the Paleo lifestyle or not. Helpful photos explain everything from spatchcocking a chicken to fermenting your own Pikliz (spicy Haitian cabbage relish). Harper Wave, $37.50
3. Grist: A Practical Guide to Cooking Grains, Seeds, and Legumes
By Abra Berens
Chef, former farmer and author of best selling cookbook Ruffage, Berens offers a comprehensive roadmap to making grains and legumes the star of your meals. This isn’t just a collection of recipes; the healthy eating cookbook guides you through 29 pantry staples from the familiar (barley, chickpeas) to new-to-us foods (fonio, freekeh) with 125 recipes plus 300 variations with a mind towards seasonal produce. You’ll turn to this book for inspiration year-round. Plus, thoughtful interviews with farmers pepper the book, inviting readers to connect with food on a more mindful plane.
Meal prep fans will appreciate Berens’ “A Week’s Worth” sections that show how to batch cook beans, barley, and lentils and use them for delicious meals all through the week without getting bored. Going beyond other grain books that focus on stodgy boiled side dishes, this book instructs you how to sprout, fry, “risotto-fy”, fritter, grind flour, and even make milk with the ingredients therein. So far, we’ve added the Anchovy-Garlic Marinated Corona Beans with Arugula and Beets, Risotto-ed Barley with Gingered Apples and Goat Cheese and the Lentil and Sausage Soup with Harissa Yogurt to our regular cooking rotation, and more are surely to follow. Chronicle Books, $35
4. Chicken A to Z: 1000 Recipes From Around The World
By Mireille Sanchez
Possibly the only chicken cookbook you’ll ever need, the chapters in this giant tome are cleverly organized by region – India, Oceania, Latin America, Asia, Near and Middle East, Europe, Africa, The Antilles and Caribbean, the US and Canada, so you can shop for a recipe based on what cuisine you’re in the mood for. And there are plenty to choose from. There are over 1,000 chicken recipes, plus complementary side dishes for many, to provide you with a grand total of 4,000 recipes!
If the term “global cuisine” intimidates you, don’t worry. Sanchez writes thoughtful notes on ingredients, interesting chicken-related trivia, and cultural context. Perhaps because the book is so comprehensive, there’s not a lot of space saved for tantalizing food photos, though the design is well laid out and easy to follow. There’s plenty to tempt you, from street food like Thai Khao Man Gai (rice with chicken and zesty chile dipping sauce) to lemony Tuscan chicken grilled under a brick, and Ethiopian Doro Wat with homemade injera (fermented teff flour flatbread). With this book, you’ll never run out of winner, winner chicken dinners. Rizzoli, $55
5. That Sounds So Good: 100 Real-Life Recipes For Everyday of the Week
By Carla Lalli Music
This smart book caught our eye because of its combo of no-nonsense kitchen instruction combined with on-trend flavors and a fun, flexible cooking ethos. The former food editor at Bon Appetit and star of Carla’s Cooking Show on Patreon divides the book into “Monday through Thursday” recipes designed for days when time is short and “Friday and Weekend” recipes meant for days during which you’ve got more time for lazy lunches, grilling, hands-off roasts and long-simmered stews and sauces.
There are 100 recipes, from homey Italian dishes like Gia’s Sunday Ragu and Spaghetti and Baked Polenta with Floppy Broccoli for the weekend to quick dishes with short ingredient lists like Flash In The Pan Chicken with Burst Tomatoes and gochuchang-laced Spicy Tangy Green Beans and Tofu that will be a boon when you’re almost too hangry to cook. The chapters “Big Salads” and “Give It Up For Vegetables” offer up excellent veggie inspo and Lalli Music also offers ingredient swaps for every recipe, so you can cook with what you have instead of running to the market. Clarkson Potter, $35
Looking for more inspiration and recipes? Check out more cookbooks we recommend for healthy eating ideas: