3 Cookbooks I simply can’t live without

I’m a old fashioned book lover.  Ok, ok….I’ve got an E-Reader and I’m taking greener strides every day.  The thing is, I still like REAL books.  Turning actual paper pages.  Folding down corners and feeling the weight of a book in my hands.  It’s kind of like a reading version of comfort food.  As you can imagine, over the years, I collected a LOT of cookbooks.  After my most recent move, it took me 5 years to admit to my clutter filled shelves and that it was time to cast aside a big chunk of the collection.  Well, the truth is I had a number of cookbooks I didn’t use.  And, like many of you, I’ve started turning to the internet to find recipes more often.

After culling through a big stack of cookbooks I decided to keep just under half of them, sending the rest off to charity.  After all, simplifying doesn’t require parting with everything.  Books that stayed fit into one of these categories:  heirloom cookbooks, childrens’ cookbooks (kids like to feel real books, too!), and cookbooks that are aligned with how I want to eat… natural and healthy with easy to prepare recipes.

Through this exercise, I realized that there were, beyond a doubt, only 3 cookbooks I couldn’t live without:

1.  Well Fed: Paleo Recipes for People Who Love To Eat by Melissa Joulwan

Even if you aren’t on a Paleo diet, this cookbook is invaluable as it contains technique in addition to recipes.  In Well Fed, Melissa Joulwan got me to see that I could fit healthy cooking into my schedule.  Her Sunday Cook-up is brilliant.  The author grew up in restaurants and is more than willing to share tricks of the trade to make meal prep run smooth and take less time.  I use these techniques on a weekly basis.  Don’t miss out on how to make spaghetti squash perfect every time.. it works!

(Grain, Sugar, Legume and Dairy Free)

2.  It’s All Good by Gweneth Paltrow and Julia Turshen

A foolproof resource – Ms. Paltrow does not rest on laurels of fame and presents, with Julia, a very valuable edition on healthy cooking.  Basic recipes like roast chicken and  perfectly cooked brown rice reside alongside more exotic,  yet easy to prepare, recipes like grilled duck and korean tacos.  And, each recipe is marked with how it fits with specific dietary restrictions.  Be sure to read the extra notes and folklore as they contain important things to know so your food comes out just right every single time.  Yay!  Regardless of how you feel about Gweneth’s public persona, It’s All Good will make you feel like she and Julia are your best friends sharing their most prized kitchen secrets.  And, they might even get you to try new things!

(Protein Packed dishes, and Supports Elimination and Vegan Diets)

3.  My very Own Recipe Binder

I’m sure you have a way that you keep your personal recipes,  I have mine set up in a 3-ring binder with tabs for organization.  The truth is that only you know what you like best…  and I know that my recipe binder is full of my favorite things to make and my signature dishes.  It is full of well-worn recipes I’ve made through the years that are guaranteed crowd pleasers.  Handwritten changes, dates made, even reviews are peppered throughout.  This binder is also home to precious family recipes handed down through generations.  You know the ones – they call for “Oleo” (a.ka. margarine) as an ingredient.  Now, oleo can be substituted in a recipe, but my grandmother’s original handwriting can’t!

Try out Melissa’s and Gweneth’s cookbooks and let me know what you think!



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