Kitchen Books I Love

Food is a huge and essential part of creating a healthy lifestyle, so it's important to find ways to eat healthy food that you enjoy and that inspires creativity.  The more you enjoy the healthy food you're consuming, the more likely you'll stick to a diet that supports you.  Sometimes it's hard to know where to start, so I want to share with you the books that have helped me the most. I hope you can find some tools that help you incorporate healthier foods into your lifestyle.

The Flavor Bible by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg

This is the ultimate book for inspiring creativity in the kitchen.  You won't find recipes, but what you will find are flavor pairings.  This was my go to book when I lived on a farm.  The farmer would come into the kitchen and tell us what was  ready to be eaten and I'd have to find ways to incorporated that into our menu.  Sometimes it was beets, cauliflower, kale, a ton of green beans, radishes, etc. I would look up what flavors pairs well with those foods and start creating.  It's also a great book to nurture your skills and creativity since you don't have a recipe to fall back on.  Extremely insightful and educational.  Every chef, cook, home cook, should own this book.

The Vegetarian Flavor Bible by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg

Same as The Flavor Bible this book will inspire ideas and hone creativity.  There's a lot of educational information in the beginning and then features a wide variety of vegetarian foods and their tasty pairings.  Great for anyone interested in a vegetarian lifestyle or just to get an idea on how to incorporate more vegetables, fruits, and grains into your diet without sacrificing flavor.

Veganomicon by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero

This is one of my favorite vegan cookbooks.  I sometimes have a hard time finding ones that are also healthy.  I think lots of people adopt the vegan lifestyle and start eating a ton of processed fake cheese and fake meats to create foods that taste like the foods they've given up.  I get this, but my focus has always been on health, so lots of those ways of cooking aren't my thing.  This book has a lot of great ideas that feature vegetables, fruits, grains, nuts, seeds, and the less processed protein soy products like tofu and tempeh.  I used this a lot when I ran a kitchen at a yoga retreat center because they have great family style meals that I could serve to a lot of people.  Great for cooking for a family or for friends.

Raw Food Made Easy for 1 or 2 People by Jennifer Cornbleet

This book fell into my lap.  I was volunteering at a raw foods expo doing chair massage and ended up massaging this author.  As a thank you she gave me this book.  Little did I know, it would end up being one of my most used recipe books.  Raw foods are a great way to add nutrient-dense foods into your diet and can be really exciting and delicious.  I love her recipes because they're very simple and easy.  I think sometimes raw foods can be too complex and hard to digest, which kind of defeats the purpose.  Her recipes are straightforward and delicious.

Thug Kitchen by Rodale, Inc.

Good food and a fun attitude. This book is edgy and full of great recipes and colorful humor and tips.  Be warned: there's a fair amount of cursing, which is personally why I love this book. It's a down-to-earth approach to healthy, vegetarian food with lots of creative ideas meant to reach the average joe wanting to incorporate more fruits and veggies into their diet without going broke.   

Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi

This is a slightly more refined approach to vegetarian cooking using delicious, unique recipes to showcase vegetables and grains. What I like about this book is that his recipes are greatly influenced by his exposure to European and Middle Eastern cuisines, which creates unique flavors and allows me to step outside of my comfort zone and learn new, delicious tastes.  I also like that he himself is not a vegetarian because I agree with his philosophy: that even if you aren't a vegetarian it's still good for you to find new ways to incorporate vegetables in your diet.

The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods by Michael Murray, M.D.

As a chef who sometimes works with food in a more therapeutic manner, I use this book as a reference tool. It's a wealth of nutritional education describing the nutritional benefits and healing properties of specific foods. Also, and probably my favorite part, it tells you how to eat for a large number of common ailments.  It's great for anyone who wants to approach food as medicine.

Crazy, Sexy Diet by Kris Carr

I love, love, love this book.  Kris Carr is an incredible woman who used her battle with cancer as an opportunity to learn about her body and find a lifestyle that supports her.  There are lots of great food ideas, but, more importantly, it's a guide on how to adopt a healthy lifestyle.  She approaches health the way that I do, by looking at the whole picture and dealing with all aspects of your health, this includes physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health.  This book provides the stepping stones for a nutrient-dense healing journey that helps develop self-awareness and allows you to know your body and how to support it.