While Pinterest will obviously always have a place in our hearts and kitchens (by the way, you should be following Hello Glow on Pinterest!), there’s just something satisfying about old-fashioned cookbooks. Whether you skim them from time to time, or you tend to read them cover to cover, having healthy cookbooks in your collection is one of the easiest ways to make meal planning easy—and even kind of fun. Plus, they’re so pretty! Here are 12 that we recommend adding to your bookshelf, stat:
12 Best Healthy Eating Cookbooks
1. The Oh She Glows Cookbook: Over 100 Recipes to Glow from the Inside Out by Angela Liddon
If you’re looking to shift toward a plant-based diet, Oh She Glows is a great place to start. And Angela’s book is, too! Not only are the recipes beautifully photographed, they’re mainly gluten- and soy-free, and plant-based without relying on faux meats or cheeses. Must-try recipes: Thai Peanut Empowered Noodle Bowl, Lentil-Walnut Loaf.
2. Isa Does It: Amazingly Easy, Wildly Delicious Vegan Recipes for Every Day of the Week by Isa Chandra Moskowitz
Isa is pretty much the queen of vegan recipes, so it’s no surprise that this book is fantastic. Especially if you’re dairy-free or vegan and miss savory comfort foods, this is a great one to work your way through. Just about every recipe is a winner! Must-try recipes: White Wine Risotto with Peas and Shiitake Bacon, Chimichurri Pumpkin Bowl.
3. The Homemade Vegan Pantry: The Art of Making Your Own Staples by Miyoko Schinner
Love vegan staples like nut milks and faux cheeses? Bypass all the additives and preservatives in store-bought versions by making your own! This super helpful guide will help you save money—and control what’s in your food—by showing you how to make staples such as cashew cream, pasta sauce, jam, mustard and more. Must-try recipes: Flax Seed Meringue, Almond “Feta.”
4. Inspiralized: Turn Vegetables into Healthy, Creative, Satisfying Meals by Ali Maffucci
Bought a spiralizer and now have no clue what to do with it? Ali of Inspiralized has your back. You’ll be creating oodles of zoodles (and noodles made from just about any veggie) to make healthy meals every day of the week. Must-try recipes: Collard Hummus Wraps with Golden Beets and Sprouts, Zucchini Pesto Spaghetti.
If you’re anything like me, making Indian food at home sounds pretty intimidating to you. But eating out isn’t always the healthiest option. Richa (who runs the Vegan Richa blog) breaks it down to the basics—including a detailed shopping guide—and will have you crafting better-for-you Indian food in your own kitchen in no time. Must-try recipes: Mango Curry Tofu, Gluten-Free Chia Flatbreads.
6. Big Bowl of Love: Delight Family and Friends with More than 150 Simple, Fabulous Recipes by Cristina Ferrare
Big Bowl of Love isn’t a “healthy” cookbook per se, but the recipes are so fresh and simple that many are inherently healthy. Best of all, they’re so easy. There’s probably not a recipe in here with more than 10 ingredients, and veggies and healthy fats feature prominently! I’ve adapted many of the recipes to be dairy-free and have had good luck. Must-try recipes: Pozole, Short Ribs with Creamy Polenta.
7. Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans by Michelle Tam and Henry Fong
Whether or not you’ve decided to go completely paleo, there’s no doubt that most of us are trying to minimize carbs and processed foods. Nom Nom Paleo is a great entry into simple, paleo cooking that isn’t all pork belly and guacamole. There’s a helpful guide to stocking your pantry, and plenty of “building block” recipes (like ghee, macadamia nut “ricotta” and paleo Sriracha) that ensure you won’t spend the rest of your life reading labels. And yes, like many Paleo cookbooks, there’s a lot of bacon and eggs. But there are also a ton of veggies! Must-try recipes: Spicy Coconut Shrimp, Slow Cooker Korean Short Ribs.
8. Everyday Detox: 100 Recipes to Remove Toxins, Promote Gut Health, and Lose Weight Naturally by Megan Gilmore
This book has basically been my food bible since I gave up gluten and most dairy products, and generally started eating healthier. Megan is the brains behind the Detoxinista blog, and her recipes are amazing in that they really do taste like “normal” food, but they’re full of nutritious, detox-friendly ingredients. Must-try recipes: Almond Butter Freezer Fudge, Zucchini Lasagna.
9. Superfood Snacks: 100 Delicious, Energizing & Nutrient-Dense Recipes by Julie Morris
Snacking does not always have to mean chips and dip—but when it does, it can be kale chips and cauliflower ranch. Julie’s snack-centric cookbook is full of nutritious versions of your favorite junk foods, as well as new snacking ideas using superfoods like goji berries and hemp seed. Must-try recipes: Coconut Curried Kale Chips, Pumpkin Cheesecake Squares.
10. The Spoonriver Cookbook by Brenda Langton and Margaret Stuart
Restaurateur Brenda Langton is a pioneer of healthy dining in Minneapolis; her commitment to local, organic, healthy eating (with plenty of vegetarian options) culminated in her 2012 cookbook, named after her Spoonriver restaurant. It’s full of super simple—but restaurant-quality—meals that require minimal fuss and short shopping lists. Must-try recipes: Lamb Spoonburger, Roasted Eggplant Salsa.
11. Enchanted Broccoli Forest by Mollie Katzen
Mollie is also the author of Moosewood Cookbook and Still Life with Menu, but Enchanted Broccoli Forest is my favorite of all her books. (It was given to me by my ex-boyfriend’s mom, who is a chef, and I trust her judgement!) The original came out in 1982, but a second edition was released in 2000. (You can still buy the first edition but it’s pretty expensive.) Mollie’s veggie-heavy cookbooks are a must-own for any vegetarian or vegan home cook, or even those who just cook that way occasionally. Each recipe is hand-lettered by Mollie, and they read informally—like notes from a friend. Must-try recipes: Sweet Potato Pie with Poppy Seed-Cheddar Crust, Enchanted Broccoli Forest (it’s a casserole).
12. Eating for Life: Recipes to Help Heal and Prevent Diseases by Better Homes and Gardens
This book is a little dated (it came out in 2001), but it was way ahead of its time. I picked it up at a used bookstore about 10 years ago and have cooked my way through it more than once. Seriously, every page is dog-eared, and there are at least 5 or 6 recipes in it that have become staples in my kitchen! There’s a great selection of meat and veggie recipes, different courses and cuisines. It includes a helpful foreword on nutrition, and each recipe denotes the health benefits of the ingredients. If you want a great beginner’s guide to healthy recipes, this is it. And it’s only 39 cents on Amazon—a hidden gem! Must-try recipes: Vegetable Polenta Lasagna; Kale, Lentil and Chicken Soup.
What’s your favorite healthy cookbook? Tell us in the comments!1