5 new healthy cookbooks

Pick up one of these new cookbooks to add more healthy recipes to your repertoire

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I don't have much time to cook on weekdays, so I was excited to try out the recipes in Mark Bittman's Kitchen Express. This new book by the renowned New York Times columnist and author of the best-selling How to Cook Everything features 404 seasonal recipes that Bittman claims can all be made in 20 minutes or less. Perfect for my hectic schedule.

Mark Bittman's Kitchen Express

Kitchen Express is divided into seasons, each with 101recipes. I loved the use of seasonal ingredients in each section, but I was a bit thrown by the 100-word recipe format. I like a lot of instruction when cooking from a recipe and Bittman doesn't really provide that here. Instead of the usual list of ingredients and measurements, he writes things like "some minced ginger" or "a few cloves of garlic." I prefer a more traditional  format, however, I can see how this unformal writing style would appeal to someone who doesn't like to be restricted by stringent instructions.

I did appreciate the Simple Substitutions table provided in the book's introduction-it's a great way to adapt Bittman's recipes to ingredients you have on hand.  - Jennifer Goldberg, associate web editor

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bittman

Mark Bittman's Kitchen Express

I don't have much time to cook on weekdays, so I was excited to try out the recipes in Mark Bittman's Kitchen Express. This new book by the renowned New York Times columnist and author of the best-selling How to Cook Everything features 404 seasonal recipes that Bittman claims can all be made in 20 minutes or less. Perfect for my hectic schedule.

Kitchen Express is divided into seasons, each with 101recipes. I loved the use of seasonal ingredients in each section, but I was a bit thrown by the 100-word recipe format. I like a lot of instruction when cooking from a recipe and Bittman doesn't really provide that here. Instead of the usual list of ingredients and measurements, he writes things like "some minced ginger" or "a few cloves of garlic." I prefer a more traditional  format, however, I can see how this unformal writing style would appeal to someone who doesn't like to be restricted by stringent instructions.

I did appreciate the Simple Substitutions table provided in the book's introduction-it's a great way to adapt Bittman's recipes to ingredients you have on hand.  - Jennifer Goldberg, associate web editor

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soup

Soup

I love a good soup in the winter, and I'm always looking for new recipes, so when a whole cookbook of soup recipes showed up in the office it moved straight to my to-read pile.

Soup contains 200 recipes for all kinds of soups, categorized by main ingredient: summer vegetables; winter vegetables; legumes and nuts; fish and shellfish; and poultry, game and meat. But it's more than just a collection of recipes-recipe planners at the front of the book contain categorical listings of recipes (e.g., vegetarian, healthy or spicy) with preparation times for easy organizing. And a preparation section includes detailed and illustrated instructions for making various kinds of stock as well as preparing herbs and spices, pureeing, thickening and even how to rescue a too-thin, too-thick, lumpy or too-salty soup.
-Kat Tancock, web editor

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earth to table

Earth to Table

I don't always buy organic, but admire the Slow Food and organic movements for making us think more critically about what we eat. In Earth to Table, chef Jeff Crump, a pioneer in Canadian Slow Food, and pastry chef Bettina Schormann (both of the Ancaster Old Mill restaurant near Hamilton, Ont.) provide recipes that use the best of each season, profiles of some of the world's innovative chefs, and discussions on foraging, composting and preserving.

Despite the book's subtitle, "Seasonal recipes from an organic farm," Crump isn't obsessive-his "10 things worth the food miles" include fair-trade coffee, vanilla, lemons and chocolate. And he suggests "slow shopping" at farmers' markets-paying attention to what's in season and local specialty producers-rather than a strict adherence to buying organic. My long list of the book's fall recipes worth trying includes Apple Cider Muffins, Braised Lamb Shanks and Roasted Fennel Gratin.
-Margaret Nearing, senior editor

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lucy waverman

A Year in Lucy's Kitchen: Seasonal Recipes and Memorable Meals

I wasn't very familiar with Lucy Waverman's cookbooks, but I really like her approachable style. (I love that she extols the virtues of carbs in January. Who doesn't want comforting pasta at that time of year?) Because my kids and husband are picky eaters, a cookbook has to have lots of recipes that I think they'll like or it's not a good investment for me. This one meets the criteria.

A Year in Lucy's Kitchen is broken into months, and each month has a menu using seasonal ingredients and features a theme or a specific occasion. (Examples of themes include "For Foodie Friends".) I tried the "Sicilian Pasta with Roasted Cauliflower" recipe from January and it was a hit with my whole family.

Waverman made the cookbook a family affair by including wine suggestions by her lawyer (and wine aficionado) husband for every month's menu. It's a nice touch and you can feel how much they clearly adore each other. You can just imagine what it's like to have a meal at their house with a mutual appreciation for food and drink.
-Jennifer Walker, senior content editor

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Living Raw Food

Living Raw Food

Raw food-vegan and never cooked over 118 degrees Fahrenheit-is hot these days, and as the owner of hip (and apparently amazing) New York raw restaurant Pure Food & Wine, Sarma Melngailis is one of its hottest celebrities. So when her new cookbook, Living Raw Food, crossed my desk, I was thrilled to be able to try out some of the recipes that have made her restaurant so popular.

Truth? A lot of the recipes in this book are a lot of work, and require appliances that most of us don't have on hand (like the Excalibur dehydrator that I've got on my personal wish list). But I love that Melngailis separated the everyday recipes from the special ones, and I've made several recipes from the book already, and gotten inspired by her musings on the raw lifestyle and love for simple salads and smoothies. My favourite recipe, so far? The chocolate almond and peppermint "cookies" that are rich and flavourful enough for even the toughest chocolate craving. (Just eat them after your giant salad.)
-Kat Tancock, web editor