I eat out for half my meals, and I feel I should be eating at home more. Even when I am at home I graze and never prepare a real meal. I think my husband would like a real meal every now and then but I'm completely cooking-disabled. As I'm not that skilled in the kitchen--I'd need something easy to average to understand and with uncomplicated dishes. I'm not vegetarian, but I'm not a huge meat lover either. I like tofu, fish, lots of veggies. I love ethnic. Of course I want it to be healthy, with a variety of meals, and I prefer whole grain and low sugar. I've never bought a cookbook before. Any suggestions?
One cookbook that I reach for all the time. Try How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman. I buy a lot of cookbooks and I really like this one. Most of the recipes are simple and he includes a lot of suggestions for easy variations. Though not marketed as a healthy cookbook, there are plenty of healthy recipes. He provides tips on techniques (e.g., how to cut up a chicken too) or even how to boil an egg. Very handy, easy to use, comprehensive, modern, good for beginners. You said you liked ethnic recipes and those are included as well as desserts and suggested menus for special occasions.
Another thought. To save time and money, why not go to a cooking website? Some of them allow users to rate recipes and post comments, so you can get a sense of whether it's a good recipe or not. Some have nutritional information as well as healthy, quick recipes. Try recipezaar.com for starters.
COOKING LIGHT makes. an awesome cookbook. I use it all the time. And also Jacques Pepin has a great light cookbook too - SIMPLE AND HEALTHY COOKING - his cooking in general is amazing, but in this cookbook he steers clear of the heavy sauces - my fave is the red snapper with lemon tarragon sauce
Like soy, tofu, etc?. If so, try Healthy Life Kitchen by Marilu Henner. She has some great recipes, and suggestions on what kinds of organic foods to buy. The recipes mimic some of the most popular "comfort foods," like mac and cheese, but without the heavy ingredients and extra calories.
Great Cookbooks!. I really like restaurants but I knew I needed to start cooking at home more too. The number one thing you will need to learn is how to shop and what kinds of things are best to keep on hand to make quick but healthy meals. There's nothing worse than coming home and not having enough basic things to make something yummy, so you end up ordering a pizza. I've listed a book below that can help with shopping lists (Twenty Minute Meals). Make a staples list of things you like (rice, spices, garlic, pasta, etc) and put it inside your pantry. That way you can check quickly to see what you are getting low on.
What I really recommend is getting some picture based cookbooks. They are like little kids books for grownups where they illustrate how to separate an egg or what a mixture looks like after its been whipped and of course, the end result! Also try easy, quick recipes with few ingredients with staples on hand as well as fresh produce. Here's some suggested books to try:
Betty Crocker 4-Ingredient Dinners, Cheap & Easy: A Cookbook for Girls on the Go, Twenty-Minute Menus: Time-Wise Recipes & Strategic Plans for Freshly Cooked Meals Every Day, The Quick After-Work Low-Fat Cookbook, and Fresh and Tasty Low Fat Cookbook
Another thing you might really enjoy as you get started cooking is a crockpot. The coolest thing is that you can put everything in the pot the night before, wake up and put it in the cooker on low (most recipes take around 8 hours on low, perfect for the time you're at work) and when you get home, your house smells like someone has been home all day cooking for you!
The Complete Crockery Cookbook and Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook
My husband loves the Joy of Cooking, anniversary ed., because he says everything is in there. It teaches him how to make new things, like Beef Burgundy. I don't like that kind of involved cooking -- I like to make fresh dressings and sauces for things that are lightly prepared, like pasta. However, I love Arthur Schwartz' What to Make When There's Nothing in the House. He tells how to use even those little Chinese mustard packets to make a meal! I have tried a bunch of recipes in there and they are all decent and VERY cheap and easy to make.
I really like the Volumetrics Eating Plan, by Barbara Rolls, PhD. The book talks about how to "volumize" your meals with more nutrient-dense foods (veggies, whole grains) vs. calorie-dense foods (cheese, beef, creamy sauces). There's a variety of recipes, including meatless entrees and low-fat desserts. Plus, they're all pretty easy to prepare!
I stopped buying cookbooks a long time ago. I get all of my recipes from the internet; they are free and you can generally search by ingredients that you already have at home, or are craving to include in your meal. If you really want an actual book- I find that the collections from community fundraisers are usually the best- they are tried and true enough that people will put their name to them when they include them!
Good for you for wanting more home cooking. I can recomend the cookbooks of Donna Hay. She uses 5 or fewer ingredients and can turn out some really beautiful dishes. I love her "Good Food Fast" cookbook. I found a copy on eBay for less than half the Amazon price. Good luck!
You may want to check out Cheap & Easy, A Cookbook for Girls on the Go by Sandra Bark and Alexis Kanfer. I happened upon it at the library and it may be just what you are looking for. It's designed for the novice cook with a nice combination of recipes, some vegetarian and information to help stock a kitchen with basic tools and pantry items. I also like Meals Made Easy from the people at Real Simple Magazine. It has great quick recipes and wonderful pictures which can be helpful when you are just getting started. Another great book is Learning to Cook by Marion Cunningham. She provides great detailed instructions on mastering the cooking basics.
My favorite resource lately is Everyday Food. The recipes are quick and uncomplicated fo the most part and there are a lot of healthy options every month, like this recipe for
Rosemary Beef Skewers. There are lots of options in every issue. They also offer the 'week of meals' menu and shopping list. I am always drawn to those, although I never seem to use them! It's a great idea if you're just starting out and trying to cook more at home. It takes some of the overwhelm out of
I also love How to Cook Everything. If you choose wisely, there are definitely healthy options. I also love eatingwell.com. You can search for the types of reipes you're looking for and they do a great job of keeping everything sensible and healthy.
I agree with a lot of the previous suggestions . . . and there are a lot of great cooking blogs out there, many devoted to healthy cooking. Try: deliciousbynature.com (Amy V's blog!) 101cookbooks.com kitchenparade.com laaloosh.com weightwatchers-recipes.blogspot.com
If you want to buy a book, I recommend The Best Light Recipe (from Cook's Illustrated/America's Test Kitchen), Ellie Krieger's The Food You Crave, or any of Cooking Light's cookbooks. Check for them on half.com - I know a few of these are available for less than $5. Good luck!
I have a blog that provides many quick, easy & healthy recipes. Try my Succulent Seductive Salad recipe with tofu. Its very tasty and healthy. Also, I have a e-cookbook called
'Quick & Easy Vegetarian Recipes To Heal Your Body' that can get you started on the right track. Good Luck!
My favorite source for healthy and usually quick recipes is Everyday Food. I agree with everything Lela D. said, and also love that most of the recipes only require you to buy a few ingredients, and the rest can usually be found in your every day pantry. And they're really great at releasing seasonal recipes, so you can enjoy your favorite produce while it's in peak season. I am no great cook myself and my fiance is the critic, but I actually caught him licking the bottom of his plate after I made lamb chops with celery root puree and mixed sauteed mushrooms. :) Good luck to you!
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