Out of all the cookbooks circulating kitchens across the globe, there are many that emphasize local foods and healthy eating. Our goal is to help you learn to emphasize vegetables and fruits in your diet because they are foundation of nutritionally balanced, wholesome diet. As sustainability expert Michael Pollan famously put it: "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants."
The following cookbooks will help you create delicious, healthy meals from local, seasonal produce. Many of our favorite cookbooks happen to vegetarian simply because they have the best recipes for the produce we grow!:
Mark Bittman: One of the most influential food writers of our time, Mark Bittman is on a quest to change the way America eats. He writes for the New York Times (The Minimalist and Bitten) and has created several award winning cookbooks. Bittman is an unwavering omnivore, but his cookbooks plead for an American diet that is centered less on meat and animal products and more on fresh produce.
From Publisher's Weekly: Bittman, New York Times columnist and bestselling author (How to Cook Everything) provides a rational approach to eating that not only improves health but also helps the environment. Extolling the benefits of a plant-heavy diet, Bittman offers more than 500 healthful recipes that feature unprocessed fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and whole grains and reduce all types of meat to backup players. In addition, he shares five basic principles for sane eating that are easy to implement and understand as well as an unusually helpful pantry section and handy charts for substituting produce and seafood by season. Recipes focus on flavor, such as lemony zucchini risotto, which uses brown rice, and curried chickpeas and cauliflower with chicken. His chapter on beans offers a particularly varied selection, like a lentil stir-fry with mushrooms and caramelized onions, white beans and shrimp burgers, and beer-glazed black beans with chorizo and orange. Bittman also provides a resourceful index of dishes that can be made quickly as well as meals that can be made ahead of time. Practical and balanced, this collection will shape the way we cook at home for years to come.
From Publisher's Weekly: Marking how mainstream vegetarian cooking has become, the next must-have for the vegetarian cook's shelf comes from New York Times Minimalist chef Bittman, an avowed meat eater. And that ensures one of this massive compendium's many attractions: a wealth of recipes that don't scream vegetarian and plentiful guidelines to make cooking vegetarian as intuitive as cooking with meat. Like his now classic How to Cook Everything, this book opens with terrifically useful, straightforward discussions of essential ingredients, appliances and techniques, which Bittman builds on throughout in to-the-point sidebars and illustrated boxes. The recipes flow thick and fast in his theme-and-variations style: Green Tea with Udon Noodles is followed by concise instructions for making it 17 different ways, while Coconut Rice gets five additional takes and Kidney Beans with Apples and Sherry four; other lists (six Great Spreads for Bruschetta or Crostini, 10 Garnishes for Pozole with Mole) abound and inspire. New vegetarians and vegetarians cooking for omnivores will appreciate Bittman's avoidance of faux meat products in favor of flavorful high-protein dishes like Braised Tofu in Caramel Sauce and Bechamel Burgers with Nuts. Even owners of the original book will find much new to savor while benefiting from Bittman's remarkable ability to teach foundational skills and encourage innovation with them, which will help even longtime vegetarians freshen their repertory.
Heidi Swanson: My personal culinary muse, Heidi Swanson has a fresh, simple, creative and elegant approach to preparing wholesome plant-based meals. She is the creator of the 101cookbooks blog: an amazing resource for locavores and seasonal eaters. With her website and two amazingly successful cookbooks, Heidi has established herself as the authority on natural eating.
Description: Everyone knows that whole foods are much healthier than refined ingredients, but few know how to cook with them in uncomplicated, delicious ways. Using a palette of natural ingredients now widely available in supermarkets, SUPER NATURAL COOKING offers globally inspired, nutritionally packed cuisine that is both gratifying and flavorful. With her weeknight-friendly dishes, real-foodie Heidi Swanson teaches home cooks how to become confident in a whole-foods kitchen by experimenting with alternative flours, fats, grains, sweeteners, and more. Including innovative twists on familiar dishes from polenta to chocolate chip cookies, SUPER NATURAL COOKING is the new wholesome way to eat, using real-world ingredients to get out-of-this-world results.
Description: In Super Natural Every Day, Heidi helps us make nutritionally packed meals part of our daily repertoire by sharing a sumptuous collection of nearly 100 of her go-to recipes. These are the dishes that Heidi returns to again and again because they’re approachable, good for the body, and just plain delicious. This stylish cookbook is equal parts inspiration and instruction, showing us how to create a welcoming table filled with nourishing food for friends and family.
The seductively flavorful vegetarian recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, treats, and drinks are quick to the table but tasty enough to linger over. Grab a Millet Muffin or some flaky Yogurt Biscuits for breakfast on the go, or settle into a lazy Sunday morning with a stack of Multi-grain Pancakes and a steaming cup of Ginger Tea. A bowl of Summer Squash Soup or a couple of Chanterelle Tacos make for a light and healthy lunch, and for dinner, there’s Black Sesame Otsu, Pomegranate-Glazed Eggplant with Tempeh, or the aptly named Weeknight Curry. Heidi’s Rose Geranium Prosecco is the perfect start to a celebratory meal, and the Buttermilk Cake with fresh plums or Sweet Panzanella will satisfy even the most stubborn sweet tooth.
Gorgeously illustrated with over 100 photos that showcase the engaging rhythms of Heidi’s culinary life and travels, Super Natural Every Day reveals the beauty of uncomplicated food prepared well and reflects a realistic yet gourmet approach to a healthy and sophisticated natural foods lifestyle.
Louisa Shafia: Louisa is not only an excellent cook, but also an authority on all things sustainable. Follow her fascinating blog here.
Description: Words like "organic," "seasonal," and "local" are on everyone's mind, but how do we integrate food politics into a daily practice that is convenient, affordable, and delicious? Sustainable chef and caterer Louisa Shafia shows eco-conscious home cooks how to green their cuisine by making earth-friendly food choices, sourcing animal products ethically and responsibly, supporting local food, and reducing one's carbon footprint through urban gardening, preserving, composting, and more. Promoting simple, delicious meals and green lifestyle ideas, LUCID FOOD celebrates the pleasures of in-season cooking that is healthy, honest, pure, free of additives, and transparently made, from farm to table.
Deborah Madison: A cook, writer, and teacher whose specialty is creating seasonal recipes with fresh, local produce. Madison is passionate about farming and preserving heritage varieties of fruits and vegetables.
About: The elegant simplicity and exquisite flavor of Deborah Madison's food make her one of America's leading cooks. In Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, she offers more than great food: her book includes comprehensive information about ingredients and techniques, plus more than 800 recipes. The recipes range from dishes as familiar as Guacamole to those as distinctive as Green Lentils with Roasted Beets and Preserved Lemons, and Cashew Curry. The 124-page chapter titled "Vegetables: The Heart of the Matter" is a virtual book of culinary revelations; you could use it as a manual on buying and preparing vegetables. Madison provides equally inspired recipes and guidance for everything from grains and soy to dairy foods and desserts.
About: The book offers chapters deftly arranged by fruit and vegetable families as they appear in the markets, such as "The Vegetable Fruits of Summer: Eggplants, Tomatoes, and Peppers" and "A Cool Weather Miscellany," which includes recipes such as Sautéed Artichokes with Potatoes and Garlic Chives and a marvelous "essence-of" soup, Elixir of Fresh Peas. Madison also treats unfamiliar fruits and vegetables, presenting the likes of lamb quarters in a soup made with Sonoma Teleme cheese, and sugar loaf chicory simply grilled and dressed with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Recipes for delightful salads like Melon Salad with Thai Basil also appear, as do a selection of pastas and risotto, such as Winter Squash Risotto with Seared Radicchio, and sweets like White Peaches in Lemon Verbena Syrup and Date, Dried Cherry, and Chocolate Nut Torte. With sidebars like Atlanta's All-Organic Market: Late October and color photos throughout of vendors, produce, and many of the dishes, the book offers the perfect match of Madison and the markets.
Liana Krissoff: Liana Krissoff, a freelance recipe tester, editor, and writer, is the author of STC’s Secrets of Slow Cooking and Hot Drinks for Cold Nights. Krissoff lives with her husband and daughter in rural Carlton, Georgia.
About: “When I was growing up, canning was for old folks and cranks and separatists,” writes Liana Krissoff in her introduction to Canning for a New Generation. But not anymore. With soaring food prices and the increasing popularity of all things domestic and DIY, there’s never been a better time to revisit the centuries-old techniques of preserving food at home.
This hip, modern handbook is filled with fresh and new ways to preserve nature’s bounty throughout the year. Organized by season and illustrated with beautiful photographs, it offers detailed instructions and recipes for making more than 150 canned, pickled, dried, and frozen foods, as well as 50 inventive recipes for dishes using these foods. Basic information on canning techniques and lively sidebars round out this refreshing take on a classic cooking tradition.