Thursday, January 29, 2015

Best Healthy Cookbooks On My Kitchen Shelf (or what I got for Christmas)

One of my goals for the year is to cook more delicious AND healthy meals. And I have three new cookbooks to help. (thanks, Dave) 

1. Celebrating the Midwestern Table: Real Food for Real Times by Abby Mandel

I gave this cookbook a trial run by checking it out at the library. Then found a beautiful used copy for $1.

Abby, a longtime Chicago resident, "pays due respect to modern taste and concerns for health, with less fat, less meat and more wonderful vegetables and grains than our grandmothers' versions would have done."

2. The Pollan Family Table: The Best Recipes and Kitchen Wisdom for Delicious, Healthy Family Meals by Corky, Lori, Dana and Tracy Pollan 

This cookbook is full of gorgeous pictures that celebrate the family table and makes you want to host a big delicious family meal immediately.  

This fun family includes Michael Pollan, author of In Defense of Food: an Eater's Manifesto and his sister, Tracy Pollan, who is married to Michael J. Fox.

3. The Daniel Plan Cookbook: Healthy Eating for Life by Rick Warren, Daniel Amen and Mark Hyman

I have two rules for buying a cookbook:

    *it must contain mostly recipes that I would enjoy making for dinner ... tonight.

     *it must not contain crazy unknown ingredients. 

I could not find a recipe that I would not make for tonight's dinner in The Daniel Plan Cookbook. It passes my second test, too.

Here is our favorite meal, so far. ("I would happily eat this once a week" ~Dave)

Asian-Style Curried Coconut Chicken
1 14 ounce can coconut milk
1 tablespoon sweet curry powder 
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 teaspoons raw honey
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
3 tablespoons coconut oil 
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts,
     cut into thin strips
1 red bell pepper, cut in strips
16 - 20 spears fresh asparagus, cut into 1" pieces
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1/4 cup fresh basil, cut into thin ribbons
4 tablespoons slivered almonds, toasted
3 - 4 cups cooked brown rice
3 tablespoons chopped green onion
2 tablespoons coconut
hot sauce, as desired

1. In a small bowl, whisk together coconut milk, curry powder, cornstarch, lime juice, honey and salt. Set aside.

2. Heat a wok or a large stainless steel saute or frying pan over medium-high heat, until a few drops of water evaporate immediately. Swirl 2 tablespoons 
of the coconut oil in the pan to coat. Add chicken strips, and cook 2-3 minutes on each side, until golden. Remove chicken from the pan, and keep warm.

3. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in same pan over medium-high heat. Add bell pepper, asparagus, and ginger; cook for 4 minutes. Stir often.

4. Whisk sauce, and add to the vegetables. Cook until sauce thickens (1-2 minutes.) Stir in basil, chicken and nuts. Serve over hot rice. Garnish with green onions, hot sauce and coconut.

*my adaptations: I do not use cornstarch, did not toast the almonds and doubled the curry powder.

For more great recipes, check out all three of these cookbooks. Bon and healthy appetit.


  1. Glenda, thank you for
    your discerning reviews : )
    I am going to see if I can
    get these from our local
    library and test drive a few
    recipes, myself. The one
    you feature sounds excellent!

    xo Suzanne

    PS: I never made the connection
    between Michael and Tracy!

  2. These books sound fantastic, Glenda, and how great to find the first one at such a great price. I get you on the crazy unknown ingredients, but sometimes I'm put off by ingredients I don't normally have or are familiar with, like coconut products. Not that I wouldn't try something new,,,just not something I have at the ready. I want to look for the first book. Thanks for the info!

    Jane x

  3. Thanks for sharing your new cookbooks. I'm going to check my library to see if I can test drive these - what a great idea!

  4. My husband and I both love curry. We will have to try this recipe soon!

  5. I love a good cookbook but these days I get most of my recipes on line ~ love pinterest and it was my saving grace when I did my cooking challenge 2 years ago. I tend to stay away from recipes that have ingredients that I do not have on hand or I am not sure if I will ever use again.

  6. Hi Glenda! Hope you're doing well, sounds like you're eating deliciously! Your cookbooks look like such fun!

  7. The recipe you shared sounds delicious! I love cookbooks :) Another one that may pass your test is "The Food You Crave" by Ellie Krieger. It's not new, so you may be able to pick it up for little or no $$. Thanks for sharing these!

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