All it takes is a casual scroll through Instagram (or TikTok if you’re one of the cool kids) to see that the increased time at home has turned virtually everyone into healthy food influencers. (Okay, at least amateur ones.)
More time to create healthy dishes is definitely a quarantine silver lining, but it of course requires a steady supply of recipe inspo to fuel ideas for what to cook next. As they have been for decades, healthy cookbooks are full of ’em. Here, five registered dietitians and one certified nutritionist share their ultimate all-time favorite healthy cooking cookbooks; the one they keep coming back to, sauce and wine stains be damned. Keep reading to check out the list.
Check out the healthy cooking cookbooks that nutrition experts use at home:
1. How to Cook Everything, Mark Bittman ($18.59)
Registered dietitian Melissa Rifkin, RD, says she loves this classic because it’s so thorough; anything you want to learn how to cook is in here. “It’s concise and has a variety of items that can meet the needs of just about anyone,” she says. She relies on the “fast recipes” section the most, which gets meals on the table in less than 30 minutes. “I’m a proponent for real ingredients, and Mark does a great job of incorporating this throughout this expansive and versatile cookbook,” she adds.
2. Whole In One, Ellie Krieger, RD ($15.99 for the Kindle version, $19.89 for the hardcover)
The premise behind Whole In One: healthy recipes that only require either one pot, sheet pan, or skillet. “I like this cookbook because it uses simple ingredients that are inexpensive and easy to obtain, or ones you have on hand,” registered dietitian Kim Melton, RD, says, adding it has recipes with meat and fish as well as vegetarian ones. Her favorite recipe in the book: cod in saffron broth with white beans.
3. The Dude Diet, Serena Wolf ($14.99 for the Kindle version, $19.86 for the hardcover)
“I love The Dude Diet because the recipes are are healthy, hearty, and easy to make,” says registered dietitian Jenna Gorham, RD. “She simplifies nutrition and makes cooking approachable for all.” Inside, there are healthy twists on everything from burgers and pizza to wings and nachos, but Gorham says one of her favorites is the Thai chicken meatballs.
4. THE KETO DIET, Leanne Vogel ($9.99 for the Kindle version, $17.94 for the paperback)
Certified nutritionist Katie Boyd, CN absolutely loves this one. Even if you’re not committed to keto, she says the delicious recipes can be enjoyed by all. “Her herb-crusted pork chops are hands-down my favorite recipe in the book,” Boyd says. “It’s a healthy twist on an old school favorite: shake ‘n’ bake!”
5. The Detox Way, Nour Zibdeh, RD ($34.99)
As a registered dietitian who wrote a cookbook herself, Nour Zibdeh, RD adds her own to the list. “The purpose of the book is to show people that everyday foods can be the best foods for helping the body,” she says. Inside, it’s full of smart substitutes, such as how to use cauliflower in place of potatoes to make a creamy mash, seasoned with garlic and onions. There are lots of creative ways to cook with turmeric, too!
6. The Superfood Swap, Dawn Jackson Blatner, RD ($12.99 for the Kindle version, $17.83 for the hardcover)
“One of my favorite healthy cookbooks is by a fellow registered dietitian,” says Maggie Michalczyk, RD. “It’s filled with recipes and awesome tips for adding more nutrition to meals and snacks in fun ways.” One recipe she makes on repeat is a quinoa omelet with greens. “I love it when I’m doing breakfast for dinner,” Michalczyk says.
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