Might as well start getting healthy now with cookbooks

Chicken in Lemon Sauce from “Everything Healthy Mediterranean Cookbook” (Photo by Amy Phelps)

As the new year looms, many people’s first New Year’s resolution is to lose weight, eat healthier, etc. Everyone seems ready to see the end of all the sweets and treats the holiday has brought.

So with that in mind, here are two new cookbooks to go ahead and get into the mindset of healthy eating.

First for those who are trying the vegan diet (or like me who don’t mind eating vegetarian once in a while) there is “Weeknight One-Pot Vegan Cooking” by Nicole Malik.

Malik, who is the author of DeliciousEveryday.com, has created 75 recipes that are meant to be quick and easy to prepare and not use a lot of pots in pans, so cleanup will be minimal.

Recipes are divided into 7 chapters: Eat Your Veggies, Eat with Your Hands, Crowd-Pleasing Comfort Food, Incredible Grains, Bowls of Deliciousness, Rise and Shine and Simply Sweet One-Pot Treats.

3-Bean Southwest Cornbread Pie from “Weeknight One-Pot Vegan Cooking” (Photo by Amy Phelps)

Eat Your Veggies includes dishes such as Crispy Black Bean Chilaquiles, Portobello “Pot Roast” and Panfried Polenta Puttanesca.

Eat With Your Hands ha wraps and such like Street Corn Pita Pockets, Samosa Summer Rolls and 15-Minute Falafel with Tahnini-Lemon Dipping Sauce

Crowd-Pleasing Comfort Food has comforting dishes with a vegan twist like Penne with Mushroom Bolognese, Firey Red Curry Noodles and Greek-Style Zucchini-Tomato Orzo.

Incredible Grains offers dishes like Cuban Lentil Picadillo, Indian-Spiced Sweet Potato Stew and Balsamic Strawberry and Avocado Quinoa.

Bowls of Deliciousness have soups and stews like 15-Minute Curried Noodle Soup, African Peanut Stew and Smoky White Bean Chili.

Rise and Shine has breakfast dishes such as Vanilla-Maple French Toast Bake, Crispy Breakfast Hash and Strawberry-Ginger Biscuit Pie.

Things end with Simply Sweet One-Pot Treats like Boozy Coconut Bananas Foster, Gingered Carrot Halwa and Baked Apples with Whipped Coconut Cream.

I made 3-Bean Southwest Cornbread Pie for myself and my husband one night. This uses black beans, kidney beans and cannellini beans with spices to give it a curry-Southwest twist. I really liked the flavors of the beans and the cornbread topping was really good. I did use regular milk instead of almond milk, so it wasn’t vegan, but vegetarian.

This is a great collection of plant-based meals for people who are wanting to give vegan (or vegetarian) a try.

“Weeknight One-Pot Vegan Cooking” is published by Page Street Publishing. It is $21.99.


Mediterrarnean cooking has gotten a bit of a comeback since it is supposed to help with anti-inflammtory foods. I have tried eating that way off and on for a while now. To get readers more variety is “The Everything Healthy Mediterranean Cookbook” by Peter Minaki.

Minaki is the creator of the food blog Kalofagas, as well as teaches cooking classes in Toronto. In this book, he curates 300 recipes that will get you eating a bit healthier!

There are 11 chapters of recipes in this book: Breakfast; Appetizers and Dips; Soups and Stews; Salads and Dressings; Pasta and Rice; Vegetable Main Dishes; Beef, Pork and Lamb; Poultry; Fish and Seafood; Sides, Sauces and Accompaniments; and Sweets, Desserts and Beverages.

Breakfast has dishes like Mediterranean Omelet and Breakfast Baklava French Toast. Appetizers and Dips has Spicy Chicken Wings and Sfougato. Soups and Stews include Greek Gazpacho and Hearty Winter Vegetable Soup. Salads and Dressings includes Politiki Cabbage Salad and Grilled Halloumi Salad. Pasta and Rice has Mediterranean Shrimp and Pasta and Baked Rice with Red Peppers. Vegetable Main Dishes includes Greek Pita and Zucchini Parmesan. Beef, Pork and Lamb includes dishes like Steak Sandwiches with Mushrooms and Cheese, Slow-Cooked Pork HCops in Wine and Ginger Tomato Lamb. Poultry has Spicy Olive Chicken and Turkey Breast Piccata. Fish and Seafood includes Olive Oil-Poached Cod and Scallops Saganaki. Sides, Sauces and Accompaniments has Steamed Cauliflower and Parsley and Walnut Pesto. Sweets, Desserts and Beverages ends things with Tiramisu, Date Almond Pie and Greek Summer Sangria.

I tricked the family one night and made Chicken in Lemon Sauce. This cooks in the slow cooker and uses green beans with chicken and potatoes that cooks in a lemon sauce. And after it cooks, you take the chicken and potatoes/green beans out and serve, then pour the sauce over so if someone doesn’t want a lot of sauce, they don’t have to have it. Myself and the picky youngest loved the sauce (will wonders never cease) while others weren’t too keen on it. But no one but me knew we were eating my “diet” food.

This has a lot of variety that is sure to help cooks wanting to try this diet.

“Everything Healthy Mediterranean Cookbook” is published by Simon and Schuster.


Contact Amy Phelps at aphelps@newsandsentinel.com.


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