Healthy Recipes: Four Cookbooks You’ll Want in Your Kitchen

Our top picks for the best cookbooks to have at home for healthy - and tasty - meals

Credit: Flickr/Wendi Dunlap

Healthy recipes can taste good, it’s true!

If you want to stick to a healthy diet, it’s essential that your meals taste good

Why else would you stick to a nutritious diet?

No one will maintain healthy eating in the long term if all they get to eat is bland food. Eating is more than just getting the nutrients we need to survive. It is an important social function as well as pleasurable to our senses.

The good news is that you don’t have to give up taste to eat healthy.

Fresh Ingredients Key to a Great Meal

I’ll admit that I love to watch food porn.

The Food Network is one of my favourite channels to watch. Almost all the top chefs on the network’s shows agree the key to a great meal is to use fresh ingredients.

I’ve taken this advice to heart and we try to use a lot of fresh veggies and fruits in our meals.

For most of our produce we try to shop at small, local stores and markets like the Home Grow-In Grocer. Luckily for us, the store is only a few blocks from our house and they carry delicious, locally grown food. The field tomatoes they had this summer took me back to my youth when I would eat big, juicy tomatoes right off the vine from our garden.

In addition to fresh ingredients, I also think learning how to use spices and herbs to season your food will help you bring out the best flavours.

My Favourite Healthy Cookbooks

I’m definitely not the best cook in the world. But from time to time I do like to try new gourmet recipes. Sometimes I’ve succeeded spectacularly and sometimes I’ve failed just as much.

We have many cookbooks in our kitchen bookshelf but there are a few that I like to refer to more often so I thought I’d share them with you.

Jamie at Home

Jamie At Home CookbookThis was one of the first cookbooks I bought. It’s based on Jamie Oliver’s show, Jamie At Home.

I’m a big fan of Jamie Oliver as he’s a vocal proponent of eating healthy and delicious meals using fresh, local produce. The recipes in this book emphasize this philosophy. And they rock!

The crispy and sticky chicken thighs with squashed new potatoes and tomatoes dish is one of my wife’s favourite meals that I cook. Using free range chicken thighs, fresh colourful tomatoes and small local potatoes, this is pure comfort food.

If you get a chance to see any repeats of the show I recommend it.

Weber’s Way to Grill

Weber's Way to Grill Cookbook

Yes it’s a barbeque cookbook. I’m a guy so of course I love to barbeque whenever I can.

This book is by far the best barbeque book I’ve seen. Not only does it have great recipes, it also teaches you good barbeque techniques.

Ladies, if you’re looking for a fantastic Christmas present for a guy, get them this book. Add a six pack of beer and you’ll bring tears to his eyes.

My wife loves it too because it means she doesn’t have to cook as much.

Cook with Jamie

Cook with Jamie CookbookI told you I’m a big Jamie Oliver fan.

This is one of his earlier cookbooks, I really like it because in it he teaches you proper cooking and food preparation techniques. Maybe not all of the recipes in it are truly healthy but there are still plenty that are.

A side benefit is that all profits from the book go toward the Fifteen Foundation, an organization that helps disadvantaged youth get into an apprenticeship program in one of the restaurants run by the Jamie Oliver Foundation charity.  

Gourmet Nutrition

Gourmet Nutrition CookbookThis is truly a healthy nutrition book as it was written by Dr. John Berardi, a world authority on nutrition, and B.C. chef Michael Williams. 

Many of the meals in it are quick to make and each recipe gives you a nutritional breakdown of fats, protein and carbohydrates.

The pecan crusted salmon recipe is one of our favourite weeknight dinners.

There are plenty more healthy cookbooks available. Just remember, every recipe starts with the ingredients. Look for fresh, ideally local, produce, free range or wild meat and fish, and minimal processed foods. Sprinkle with the right herbs and spices and you’ll have yourself a nutritious and delicious meal.