You don’t have to be a doctor, nutritionist or chef to study the effects of food on health and diet. You just have to be an avid reader, researcher and practitioner. Today, there are books, websites and blogs containing many ready to use examples to help solve a specific diet problem. But, there are also recipes for a healthy diet tucked inside many of your celebrated in-print, out-of-print and digital cookbooks. The best cookbooks provide recipes from all the food groups with plans for excellent nutrition. Cookbooks that teach offer many clues to diet and food. Observe the recipes and the advice. Take an interest in nutrition A-Z. Pay attention to serving size. And always buy “fresh” foods. That’s probably one of the smartest things you can do. Cookbooks for “low calorie dishes” and “quick and easy dishes” are okay, but the best cookbooks offer lots of clues to diet and food.
Joy of Cooking
Aside from being one of the most popular chef and family owned cookbooks, Joy of Cooking, written by Irma Rombauer tells you to remember the importance of amino acids in proteins, take charge of calories and servings and get to know your ingredients. This all-purpose cookbook has facts, charts and pointers for all of your favorite foods and the ones missing from your diet.
Illustration – P is for protein. But too much protein you say comes from animal sources, as in meat, poultry, fish, eggs, milk and cheese and your doctor says you must decrease your bad (LDL) cholesterol. P is also for pinto. Pinto beans are a second source of protein and lower Bad (LDL) cholesterol. Just add one-half cup daily of pintos to improve your diet and cholesterol.
Recipe – Pinto Beans and Rice Recipe – Joy of Cooking, pages 288-289 under “Vegetables”.
French Trivia – Julia Child, known for teaching key techniques of French cooking, advice on white beans, “Slower is better and beans are on the nutritional list as being good for one.” Her recipe from Julia and Jacques, Cooking at Home, “Beans Simmered with Garlic and Olive Oil” goes good with salmon or pork.
The Good Housekeeping Illustrated Cookbook
Well-known brand name cookbooks, you know, the ones you keep going back to, like The Good Housekeeping Illustrated Cookbook, are abundant with recipes and tell you how important it is to use food groups, cook vegetables the nutritional way, buy “live” shellfish and enjoy the “remarkable egg”. There’s also a handy calorie guide and easy to use index.
Illustration – E is for egg. Eggs are an excellent source of protein. Eggs are healthier than eating one large bagel in the morning. Most experts agree if you must watch your cholesterol, eat only 1 egg a day and then only three per week on a basic diet.
Recipe – Fried Eggs (1 egg “sunny side up”) The Good Housekeeping Illustrated Cookbook, page 143.
Recipe – Eggplant Parmigiana (uses 2 eggs) The Good Housekeeping Illustrated Cookbook, pages 299 under “Vegetables”.
French Trivia – Julia Child uses leeks in her Spanish omelet. Leeks have the same properties associated with onions as being good for heart and blood. – Julia and Jacques, Cooking at Home cookbook.
The Fireside Cook Book
James Beard, The Fireside Cook Book is a complete guide to cooking. “A Word of Advice” insists you eat the very best foods. “The Calorie Question” invokes the balanced diet. Important food facts can be found in the intros and the author added a chapter on “wines” inside this comprehensive cookbook.
Illustration – Fruits, meats and eggs have a place in the normal diet. M is for meat, another source of protein and the daily allowance for meat is around 4 oz. Remember also to trim the fat and try to add a light accompaniment like a salad to your meal.
Recipe – Chef’s Salad Variations #10 is on page 200. You can also add cooked vegetables, an excellent source of vitamins and minerals to the salad.- The Fireside Cook Book
Recipe – Make Basic French Dressing fresh every time from recipe on page 198. – The Fireside Cook Book
French Trivia – Julia Child’s always made a “fresh” dressing. – Julia and Jacques, Cooking at Home.
Mastering the Art of French Cooking
If you fancy French food, get this book by Julia Child, Louisette Bertholle and Simone Beck. The spotlight is on French cooking techniques and author Julia, maintains you must shop for “fresh” food, but she also delights in simple dishes like soups.
Illustration – V is for vegetable. Everyone knows vegetables are good for you and the skill of a good cook lies in cooking vegetables to retain their valuable nutrients. A rice bowl, soup or salad made with vegetables makes a nice supper for the watchful dieter.
Recipe – Riz A L’Orinetale (Vegetarian Rice Bowl) page 531, Mastering the Art of French Cooking
Recipe – Salade Nicoise (Mediterranean Combination Salad) page 542, Mastering the Art of French Cooking
Recipe – Potage Parmentier (Leek or Onion and Potato Soup) page 37. Mastering the Art of French Cooking
French Trivia – There’s more than one way to cook green beans. -Julia’s and Jacques Cooking at Home.
Weight Watchers great cooking every day
Interviews with famous chefs reveal they have favorite cookbooks just like me and you and also agree most sought after recipes are those we revisit again and again for aroma, flavor and ingredients. But only after we measures favorite recipes for calories, fat and cholesterol can we eat healthier. WEIGHT WATCHERS great cooking every day cookbook helps you prepare delicious, healthful dishes with a nutritional value note on every page of the book.
Illustration – V is for vegetable. F is for fruit. Try a dressing you can substitute as a dip and liven up your vegetables, a sweet potato soup that doesn’t have to wait till Thanksgiving or hot spaghetti with some cheese and figs.
Recipe – horseradish and apple cream dressing page 51, Weight Watchers great cooking every day
Recipe – sweet potato soup, page 59, Weight Watchers great cooking every day
Recipe – spaghetti with creamy gorgonzola sauce, pages 100-101, Weight Watchers great cooking every day
French Trivia – Enjoy tomatoes in season with a dash of salt and pepper, a drop of oil and vinegar. – Julia’s and Jacques Cooking at Home.