This fall, a slew of healthy chefs have turned up the heat, creating cookbooks that are light on butter and heavy on greens.
The six cookbooks cull from all spheres—TV personality Candice Kumai cooks up confidence-boosting recipes, Amrita Sondhi applies ancient Ayurvedic principles to modern recipes, wellness guru Kris Carr delivers a dose of “kitchen sexy.” And Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough devoted an entire tome to healthy grains.
These cookbooks will look great on your counter, and each includes a healthy serving of what makes us feel satisfied with our culinary guide books: forward-thinking recipes, clear instructions, and a serious dose of food porn. —Lisa Elaine Held
Pictured: Tangled Carrot and Broccoli Sprout Salad from The Sprouted Kitchen
Model-turned-chef Candice Kumai (AKA The Stiletto Chef) is all about cooking food that makes you feel, and look, sexy.
The Top Chef alum and Iron Chef America judge packs over 100 recipes into her newest book, where you’ll find Dreamy Butternut Squash Mac ‘n Cheese filed under Veggies Go All the Way, Orange-Miso Glazed Salmon in Skinny Dip in the Sea, and, of course, an entire chapter devoted to the food that really gets around—chocolate.
Sarah and Hugh Forte
This is the first cookbook from blogger and self-proclaimed veggie-fiend Sarah Forte, and its recipes really do take produce to a new level. Think Tangled Carrot and Broccoli Sprout Salad with Tahini Dressing, Strawberry and Leek Quesadillas, and Creamy Coconut Barley with Pomegranate Molasses.
Even if you’ve never turned your oven on, this one is still worth grabbing just for its beyond-gorgeous, vivid photography, done by Forte’s husband, Hugh.
Grain Mains: 101 Surprising and Satisfying Whole Grain Recipes for Every Meal of the Day
Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough
Weinstein and Scarbrough are effusive cookbook writers, and they were nominated for a James Beard Award in 2011.
In this latest publication, they get creative with grains, which they say you can eat Early (Quinoa Cashew Muffins, Slow-Cooker Oat Groat Porridge), Cold (Curried Carrot and Bulgur Salad, Millet with Corn and Peanuts), or Warm (Black Quinoa and Black Bean Burgers, Brown Rice-Stuffed Cabbage).
And yes, they briefly address the gluten question (without really getting into it) before sending you off to cook.
The author of The Modern Ayurvedic Cookbook is back with a book full of vegetarian, dosha-complementing recipes. Sondhi provides a brief overview of Ayurveda and its tastes (and a dosha quiz) to start. Then, each recipe contains symbols indicating how it will affect your dosha.
Good news: Black Chickpeas with Red Peppers and Zucchini and Green Cilantro Mint Chutney balance all three.
Walters makes cooking seasonally and “close to the source” super simple in this robust collection of recipes and tips. An entire section at the beginning takes you through the basics of clean eating, from what to buy organic, to necessary tools, to basic cooking techniques for veggies and grains.
Simple but scrumptious-sounding recipes follow—Roasted Squash with Fennel and Asparagus, French Lentil Salad with Lemon, Radish, and Cilantro, and Stovetop Barley with Sweet Vegetables. And this book is so heavy, you can use it to fit in bicep curls while you saute.
Crazy Sexy Kitchen
The all-vegan Crazy Sexy Kitchen is filled with Kris Carr’s quirky personal anecdotes and vibrant living tips just like its predecessor, Crazy Sexy Diet. But instead of a chapter on why dairy is bad for your body, it’s filled with recipes—which Carr developed with Whole Foods Chef Chad Sarno—that will help you give it up.
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