For as long as I can remember I have loved to create with food. Each day I used to come home from school and watch Giada De Laurentiis and the Barefoot Contessa, in that order. If I missed Giada, it was always a huge let down. I was always fascinated by how simple they made cooking look and their creations were always so beautiful.
I’ve always loved food and I was blessed to have parents that let me try my own thing and help them out in the kitchen. I still love Giada’s awesome pasta dishes and she makes cooking so sexy. I also love Ina Garten’s classics and her brownie recipe is simply the best and never gets old.
But, my love for food has changed and evolved and as I have begun to explore what we eat and the impact it has on our bodies. I have been influenced to eat less meat and have discovered some amazing benefits of a broad spectrum of foods. And while I still have a variety of cookbooks in my kitchen at any given time, here are my four favourites, right now:
1. Superfoods by David Wolfe – David Wolfe is the superfood master. I saw him speak one time and he is just so energetic and passionate about the impact of food on our bodies. He gets right down to the nitty-gritty of what makes up super foods that make them so good for us. This book is more of an educational tool and is focused on foods as medicine which is so so important for me. In the book, he includes some awesome recipes to incorporate his superfood wisdom into your everyday cooking. Each time he talks about a new superfood and explains the benefits, he includes a few recipes so you are able to use what you have just learned. Try the sweet Guaca-Maca Collard Wraps.
2. The Vegetarian Student Cook Book – This cook book was an indispensable resource during my university days and one that I still use today. It also came in handy for my roommates. We were all on a budget and it offers some great tips for getting the full flavour while still being very cost effective. There is an abundance of photos so you are able to tell what some of the recipes are supposed to look like. I love a lot of the pasta recipes that I have tried and I would highly recommend this cookbook to students and non-students alike who are looking for recipes that aren’t meat focused. P.S. the feta, tomato and herb omelette, yum!
3. Joyous Health by Joy McCarthy – This book is great for learning about the importance of clean eating and un-dieting. Joy is a Canadian RHN from Toronto and her book is very inspiring. I leave this book on my coffee table and I’ve had a few people flip though it and then immediately as where they can find it. It is great because it provides you with the tools to eat healthily and gives you an example of a meal plan to follow. Her pesto is amazing and it can be used on anything from wraps to pastas and sandwiches. I also really like that she includes a section on smoothies and juices.
4. Against All Grain by Danielle Walker – I had followed Danielle Walker on Instagram for some time but it wasn’t until my good friend at northofbloom.com told me that this was her favourite cookbook and that every recipe she had made she’d loved. I am not on a gluten-free, dairy-free or paleo diet by any means but if someone recommends a good cookbook, I thought it would give me some great alternatives and perhaps expand my repertoire. I’ve only made one recipe in here so far, the smokey roasted sweet potatoes, but they were really good. I love how the book is laid out with all the great photos. She also includes some quick smoothie recipes which is awesome. It’s not just a focus on gluten-free, dairy-free and paleo, it’s a focus on healthy, whole-foods, which I love. I can’t wait to try the poached cod recipe! FYI: Because it is a paleo cook-book there are a lot of meat dishes.