I never liked cookbooks. Well, it’s only fair, since I never liked cooking. I have several dessert cookbooks, but as for regular cookbooks, I couldn’t be bothered.
I started my cookbook addiction when I first went vegetarian. Like most people, before I knew better, I assumed that vegetarian meant that I would be eating an endless variety of salads. So, when I decided I was really going to do this, I started buying cookbooks and opened my eyes to whole other worlds.
Like anything else, I got into a rut with my cooking, making increasingly more boring foods that even I didn’t want to eat. Even though I wasn’t eating meat, I had fallen back into a lot of my less healthy habits because they were easier.
I was re-inspired on my mission to better health when my husband and I recently went to a hibachi restaurant. I could go on with raptures about how good the fried rice and hibachi vegetables were. As I watched the chef, I thought, “That’s not so hard. I can do that!” So, I did, with a few modifications so that it was brown rice instead of white and I skipped the butter. And the results were delish.
After that experiment, I realized that I’ve grown bored with my current collection of cookbooks, so I went to Amazon and pulled up Japanese, Mexican, and Thai vegetarian cookbooks. I’m very excited to explore new flavors. I even bought a Raw Foods “cookbook” that’s highly rated. My goal is to add lots more variety to my diet and actually enjoy what I’m eating. Because healthy eating doesn’t have to mean boring or eating just one type of thing.
After only a few days of going back to eating mostly fruits, veggies, and whole grains/ beans, and skipping so many of the processed stuff (oh tortilla chips… how I love you… pita chips… I miss you!), I already have more energy and feel better. I get hungry and full faster. Yes, it’s a pain to eat 6-7 times a day because the high fiber stuff fills me up so fast, but I’m eating far less calories.
So, once I get my cookbooks, I will review them for you. Currently my favorite cookbooks are:
The Happy Herbivore by Lindsay S. Nixon- It’s a vegan cookbook with a lot of great “starter” recipes. I tend to like vegan cookbooks because they’re naturally lower in fat, but if you’re creative, the recipes can be modified. The macaroni and “cheese” recipe is out of this world.
The Vegan Dad Cookbook- This is one of my favorite cookbooks. It’s got tons of kid friendly foods and through vegan dad, I finally learned how to make “sausage,” which is great with breakfast. It’s currently unavailable on Amazon, but all his recipes are available on his blog.
Chocolate Covered Katie- Okay, this isn’t a cookbook, but her website has tons of great recipes, both dessert-wise and meal/ snack-wise. It’s definitely worth checking out, if for nothing other than her healthy milkshakes! And the cookie dough! And… I could go on and on… Just click here!
Food Inc.: A Participant Guide: How industrial food is making us sicker, fatter, and poorer- and what you can do about it, by Participant Media and Karl Weber – While this isn’t actually a cookbook, I am taking the time to recommend it, as it gives a lot of reasons why vegetarian eating is good for you and the environment, even if you only do it one day a week! The veggie police won’t come and get you if you only try it once in awhile. I promise. If you’re not interested in the book or the movie, but want to learn more, you can check out their website.
Do you use cookbooks? If so, what’s your favorite cookbook (veggie or omni)?