All Posts In Cookbooks

Q&A with Chef Virginia Willis, Author of Lighten Up, Y’all

by in Cookbooks, October 16, 2016

Think Southern food can’t be lightened up? Think again! I had the opportunity to speak with Chef Virginia Willis about her James Beard Award-winning cookbook Lighten Up, Y’all. She was kind enough to share her tips for lightening up traditional Southern foods like biscuits, as well as her recipe for Vegetable Corn Bread.

Can traditional Southern foods be lightened up and still taste good?
Virginia Willis: Yes and yes! First, and foremost, I want to say that all traditional Southern foods aren’t unhealthy. We’re a vegetable-based cuisine and have a 12-month growing season. And, yes, I admit we’re most famous for fried chicken, cornbread and overcooked vegetables. My answer to that is: When you have fried chicken, have really good fried chicken, hold out for the good stuff  — and take a walk afterwards. There are tons of great vegetable recipes, and whole-grain cornbread isn’t unhealthy. I suggest backing off on the fat and amping up the nutrition.

What are three of your top tips for lightening up Southern fare?
VW: 1) I have a squirt bottle of canola oil at the side of my cooktop. I know that three squirts are 1 teaspoon, and that helps me be accountable. Bacon fat, butter or canola oil, all oil is around 120 calories a tablespoon. I try to use heart-healthy oil for general cooking and only use more-indulgent oils when their flavor really makes a difference.
2) It doesn’t matter if it’s Southern food or Italian food or Mexican food — the real key is portion control.
3) Eat your vegetables! Make vegetables the main place on the plate, and the starch and protein the secondary piece. Read more

Are You Vegan Curious?

by in Cookbooks, September 13, 2016

In her new book, The Book of Veganish (Pam Krauss Books/Avery, 2016), Kathy Freston shares her own journey from omnivore to vegan — including many stops along the way. “I’d always been an animal lover, and one day after seeing a pamphlet depicting animals being led to slaughter, I realized that I wanted to be someone who loved animals, not ate them,” she recalls. That was 12 years ago, but she didn’t go cold turkey on burgers, ice cream, cheese and eggs. Instead, she gradually started leaning toward a more plant-based diet. “I didn’t give up anything until I’d found an alternative I liked as much or more, so it never felt like I was depriving myself,” she says.

So what exactly does it mean to be “veganish?”
Kathy Freston: I’m all about the -ish. I get upset with the ‘vegan police’ who insist on purity and a strict regime. Too many people will reject that message because it’s just too hard. It’s OK to give yourself a little wiggle room as you investigate plant-based eating and move away from eating animals. But it should be a joyful process done in your own way at your own pace. ‘Veganish’ is about individual choice and not putting too much pressure on yourself to do it perfectly.

What do you suggest as a starting point for someone who wants to be veganish but doesn’t really know where to begin?
KF: When I started eating this way, I didn’t have the benefit of social media to help me out. Now, the best thing you can do is check out Instagram, type in #VeganFood or #VeganRecipes and you’ll get tons of amazing ideas. It’s really inspiring. And once you see all of the options, it doesn’t feel so daunting to eat this way. Read more

Healthy Coloring Books for Adults

by in Cookbooks, March 16, 2016

Part of living a healthy lifestyle is minimizing stress. One of the latest trends that help do so are coloring books for grownups. Even better, some of these coloring books double as cookbooks. Here’s a look into this latest trend and where you can pick them up.

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Ellie Krieger’s New Cookbook: You Have It Made

by in Cookbooks, January 13, 2016

The queen of healthy cooking, Ellie Krieger, is back; her new cookbook is filled with delicious, healthy make-ahead meals. I had the pleasure of talking with Ellie about her new cookbook (released Jan. 5, 2016) and even got a peek at one of her newest casserole recipes.

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Talking with Samantha Heller, Author of The Only Cleanse: A 14-Day Natural Detox Plan to Jump-Start a Lifetime of Health

by in Cookbooks, November 30, 2015

Samantha Heller, M.S., R.D., CDN, is a nutrition expert who truly gets it! I was very excited to contribute some of my recipes to her new book and even more excited to sit down and ask her some questions about the concept behind The Only Cleanse.

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Kristin Cavallari’s Chicken Enchiladas Verdes

by in Cookbooks, November 14, 2015

The former reality TV show star has been busy. The mother of two boys (and a baby girl on the way) has a book coming out in March 2016, Balancing in Heels, that gives a peek into how she juggles it all. We spoke with her about the inspiration for her new book, her typical way of eating and a recipe for her Chicken Enchiladas Verdes.

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School-Year Cookbooks for Kids

by in Cookbooks, October 7, 2015

No Whine With Dinner

Now that you’ve got the schedule down and have stocked up on lunchbox goodies, it’s time to get down and dirty in the kitchen. Finding healthy, tasty, kid-friendly meals isn’t always as easy as it seems. Here are six healthy cookbooks geared toward children and family meals. Read more

Anything Is Possible: Just Ask Chef Robert Irvine  

by in Cookbooks, September 15, 2015

Chef Robert Irvine has built a career on helping people achieve things they thought couldn’t be done. On his Food Network shows “Dinner: Impossible” and “Restaurant: Impossible” he routinely turns around seemingly doomed situations — challenging both himself and the others involved to dig deep in order to succeed. Read more

How to Eat Well on $4 a Day: A Q&A with Cookbook Author Leanne Brown

by in Cookbooks, August 13, 2015

Canadian-born Leanne Brown was working on her master’s in food studies at New York University when she became interested in finding a way to get people more engaged in food and cooking — especially those who don’t have a lot of money to spend on it. “I wanted to show people that good food can actually be had for very little,” she said. So she created a collection of recipes geared to the $4 a day food budget of those who rely on SNAP (the government food assistance program formerly called food stamps) and posted it on her website as a free PDF. Several hundred thousand downloads later, she produced an expanded, print version of Good and Cheap: Eat well on $4/Day (Workman, 2015). Here she talks with Healthy Eats about creating delicious food on a budget: Read more

Real Sweet: Bonfire Toffee Lollipops

by in Cookbooks, July 3, 2015

“Primarily this is a book about flavor,” says Shauna Sever, author of Real Sweet, a cookbook that features over 80 treats made with natural sugars like coconut sugar, muscovado, turbinado, honey, maple syrup, agave nectar and more. Read more