First of all, HAPPY FRIDAY! Woooo!
Friday at my house means pay day, which means meal planning and groceries. I figure: what better time to talk cookbooks and all the other places I love to find awesome recipes? Yes? Yes. Let’s do it!
So, let me be upfront: I have a bit of a thing for cookbooks.
I have a few of the classics–Julia Child, The Joy of Cooking. I used to have the old red checkered Better Homes & Gardens, but I found that I preferred the America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook to it, and really I wasn’t using the BHG much anymore anyway. Clearly, I have an Ina obsession, and Williams-Sonoma isn’t far behind. There’s a pasta cookbook, an ice cream cookbook, a bread cookbook, and one that’s all about comfort food. You’ll note, though, that there’s not a whole lot there that exactly screams…well, healthy.
That’s where my digital cookbook collection comes in. Right around the time I shifted to cooking a little differently, I also started collecting recipes digitally and cooking from my phone or Kindle. So now, I have this lovely little collection:
It’s just the beginning of what I hope will one day be a collection that rivals my hardbacks.
I don’t know how much I’ve talked about my philosophy on cooking, but here it is: I’m a fan of big flavors, bright colors, fresh ingredients, and real, whole food. When I was heavy, I got that way because I love food. I love the beauty and texture and surprise and comfort that can be all wrapped up in food, and I’m so not willing to sacrifice that love just because I’m trying to eat healthily! Instead, I’m just going to find a better way to love food.
Andie Mitchell has been one of my favorites for years. Her site, originally called Can You Stay for Dinner, was a Pinterest sensation–and rightly so! Her recipes are always chock-full of flavor, and because she’s lost major weight and spent years examining her own relationship with food, she just gets it. She’s also warm and funny and open and a lovely human being. I had high hopes for her cookbook, and it is everything I hoped it could be! A good third of the cookbook fits in to eating for insulin resistance without requiring adaptation, which is so rare! Instant awesome recipes! Even the breakfast section is full of high-protein things I can make (Breakfast Egg Salad kind of blew my mind). Eating in the Middle is my favorite cookbook right now, and if you’re not following her site, you should.
Happy Cooking just makes dinnertime sound cheerful, right? Everyone knows Giada, but I feel like this cookbook is a little bit of a nice departure for her. In Happy Cooking, she takes on eating clean, finding balance in eating and with body image, and making meals as a single, working parent (I am neither of these, but sometimes I am busy, so I appreciate some of her ideas!). She also marks which of the 200 recipes are vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free. Her recipes can sometimes trend toward being fussy, but I’ve found that they’re always worth it!
Gina Homolka of Skinnytaste is kind of an alchemist. I really don’t know how she comes up with some of the recipes she does, or manages to make things lighter and still keep all that flavor, but her recipes make me so happy. That shrimp and grits on the cover? Fabulous. Waffle crusted chicken? Amazing. Moroccan pork loin? Holy flavor. Actually, I’m not cooking from The Skinnytaste Cookbook enough. Guess I know where to start today!
So, I think I’ve mentioned before that Sara of Our Best Bites lives in the same city I do, and that I’ve seen her in Costco a few times. It was Sara’s post about how she started heavy lifting that got me started lifting, myself, so in a weird way, I feel like I owe her HUGE for a piece of my own wellness, and sometimes it’s all I can do not to rush over and give her a big ol’ hug and thank her! That said, she’s usually by herself and I get the sanctity of alone time, even if it’s at Costco, so go in peace, girlfriend. 😉 Um. What was I saying?
The girls at OBB are so fabulous and I love that their recipes are family friendly and not in a way that means cream-of-gloppy-casseroles. The 400-Calories or Less book is amazing, because it follows their usual aesthetic, but those bright harmonious flavors are all waistline-friendly, too! Can’t beat it. We’ve tried Kalua Pork Sliders, Banh Mi Tacos, Hawaiian Sloppy Joes, Burrito Pie, and the Black Bean Sweet Potato Turkey Chili and my kids loved allll of them. Better yet, so did I. The recipes are all easy to make, and I love that the macros are listed for you, which makes sticking to your goals even simpler.
Other food blogs I adore:
- Budget Bytes
- Cooking Classy
- Creme de la Crumb
- Damn Delicious
- Gimme Some Oven
- Kitchen Vignettes
These can be hit-or-miss as far as being exactly the kind of “healthy” I want them to be, but they are always delicious, and worth checking!
What about you? What cookbooks and sites do you love?