5 great cookbooks to help with healthy eating

The holidays are over and reality is sinking in.

Here are five cookbooks to help you improve your health and lose those extra pounds from too much of a good thing.

No. 1: “Salad Love: 260 Crunchy, Savory, and Filling Meals You Can Make Every Day” by David Bez. 304 pages, $25. Published by Clarkson Potter, 2015.

What’s to love: Most of the salads, which are designed to pack for lunch, can be made with only a cutting board and knife and assembled in minutes. There’s also a section on how to construct a salad out of a base of greens, a layer of vegetables and fruit, a layer of protein, toppings and fresh herbs, and dressing and spices.

“I’m a dad, I care about the future of my son, and, yes, I know it sounds grandiose, but together, simply by changing our dietary habits, we can all make an impact, and our choices can give us a better world.” — David Bez

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No. 2: “Cut the Carbs! 100 Recipes to Help You Ditch White Carbs and Feel Great” by Tori Haschka. 176 pages, $24.95. Published by Countryman, 2015.

What’s to love: To enhance health and shed extra pounds, this collection of recipes offers creative alternatives to some of the carb-heavy dishes we all love.

“What you’ll find is not really a diet at all. It’s just a new way of looking at what you eat. There are some new ingredients to fall in love with and some makeovers for old friends.” — Tori Haschka

No. 3: “Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook: Eat Up and Slim Down with More Than 350 Healthy Recipes” by Pearl Barrett and Serene Allison. 512 pages, $27.99. Published by Harmony Books, 2015.

What’s to love: You won’t feel deprived cooking out of this collection of quick and easy, delicious dishes. Plus there’s a handy section on power foods full of nutrients and that will help you slim down.

“We want you to have successful recipe outcomes, but we also want what is easiest and most doable for you — and what can work within your budget, no matter how tight. Our greatest desire is for you to feel that you can do this, that it is not something too hard to keep up for life.” — Pearl Barrett and Serene Allison

No. 4: “The New Health Rules: Simple Changes to Achieve Whole-Body Wellness” by Frank Lipman, M.D., and Danielle Claro. 224 pages, $19.95; published by Artisan Books, 2015.

What’s to love: This slender volume contains nearly 100 tips, divided into chapters titled Eating, Moving, Boosting, Healing and Living. An easy read to help you make many tiny decisions every day that add up and have a big impact on our well-being.

“If you’ve been waiting for a clear message — been thinking, ‘Just tell me what to do’ — this is it. Here’s what to do. Change by change, you’ll build a healthy lifestyle that sticks. There’s no ruch. Be patient, and enjoy the ride.” —Frank Lipman, M.D. And Danielle Claro.

No. 5: “Practically Raw: Flexible Raw Recipes Anyone Can Make” by Amber Shea Crawley. 240 pages, $19.99. Published by Andrews McMeel, 2014.

What’s to love: Adopting a lifestyle of raw foodism is made a little easier. Most recipes include an option for cooking. Plus, the recipes include easy substitutions.

“The recipes in this book are designed to allow you to choose the degree to which you incorporate raw foods into your life. You can dip your toes into the world of raw, or you can dive in headfirst — the choice is yours.” — Amber Shea Crawley

CHOCOLATE, BLACK BEAN AND CHERRY CAKE

“Cut the Carbs! 100 Recipes to Help You Ditch White Carbs and Feel Great” by Tori Haschka; 176 pages, $24.95. Published by Countryman, 2015.

14-ounce can of black beans, rinsed

3 eggs

½ cup superfine sugar

1 shot (1 ounce) of espresso or tablespoon strong filter coffee (you can use decaf if you prefer)

3 tablespoons unsweetened coca

1 teaspoon baking powder (check it is gluten-free if cooking for a celiac crowd)

Scant 1 cup cherries, pitted (can be frozen, and you can also substitute other berries), plus extra to serve

Confectioners’ sugar, yogurt, creme fraiche or fresh cherries, to serve (optional)

Equipment:

8-by-5-inch loaf pan, greased and lined with parchment

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Using a stick blender and mixing bowl, blender or food processor, combine all the ingredients except the cherries and blitz until smooth. The batter will appear quite liquidy but don’t worry. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and scatter the cherries over the top.

Bake the loaf in the preheated oven for 35 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out with a few fudgy crumbs on it.

Let cool in the pan for 4 minutes, then turn it out. Dust with confections’ sugar and serve warm with more cherries, yogurt or creme fraiche for dessert, or let it cool and enjoy it with a cup of tea or coffee.

PINK GRAPEFRUIT, BROCCOLI, KALE & CAPERS SALAD

Salad Love: 260 Crunchy, Savory, and Filling Meals You Can Make Every Day” by David Bez; 304 pages, $25. Published by Clarkson Potter, 2015.

For the salad, assemble:

½ cup chopped kale (discard the stems)

3½ ounces purple broccolini, chopped

1 pink grapefruit, chopped

1 tablespoon capers,

Handful of almonds, chopped

For the dressing, mix:

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon lemon juice

Pinch of salt and pepper

SARDINE AND SPINACH FRITTATA WITH BUFFALO MOZZARELLA

Recipe by Connie Post, inspired by “The New Health Rules: Simple Changes to Achieve Whole-Body Wellness” by Frank Lipman, M.D., and Danielle Claro (224 pages, $19.95; published by Artisan Books, 2015).

6-8 servings

3 tablespoons coconut oil

1 clove garlic, diced

¼ cup red bell pepper, diced

2-3 green onions, diced

½ cup baby bella mushrooms, diced

4 cups fresh baby spinach

1 4.4-ounce can sardines in olive oil, rinsed and drained

9 whole eggs, slightly beaten

1 Roma tomato, thinly sliced

½ cup buffalo mozzarella

Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. In a 10-inch cast iron skillet, melt the coconut oil over medium heat. Add diced garlic and pepper, and stir for 1 minute. Add diced green onions and mushrooms, and stir for 1 minute. Add spinach and stir until wilted, about 2 minutes. Crumble sardines over the vegetables. Carefully pour eggs over the vegetables and sardines.

Arrange tomato slices and sprinkle mozzarella all over. Cook on medium heat until the frittata looks somewhat set on the edges but fairly liquidy on top. Remove skillet from burner and place it in the oven for 10-15 minutes, or until the center is set. Cut into wedges. Salt and pepper to taste.

PUMPKIN PIE SIP

“Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook: Eat Up and Slim Down with More Than 350 Healthy Recipes” by Pearl Barrett and Serene Allison; 512 pages, $27.99. Published by Harmony Books, 2015.

2 rooibos tea bags

1 mug boiling water, plus more for the jar

1 tablespoon pumpkin puree (not pie filling)

¼ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1 to 2 dashes vanilla extract

1 to 2 generous pinches Mineral Salt

2 to 4 doonks Pure Stevia Extract, or 2 to 3 teaspoons Super Sweet blend, or to taste

½ teaspoon coconut oil, or 1 teaspoon MCT (medium chain triglycerides) oil

1 teaspoon Pristine Whey Protein (see note)

1. Steep the rooibos tea bags in a mug of boiled water for several minutes. Discard the tea bags and pour the tea into blender with all the remaining ingredients except the ice (if using). Blend until smooth and frothy. This is your sipper concentrate.

2. For a chilled sip, pour the concentrate into a quart jar. Fill to the brim with ice cubes, then pour in the concentrate and top off with cold water. Stir, taste and adjust the flavors until it rocks your holiday world. For a hot sip, pour the concentrate into a quart jar and add enough boiling water to reach the top. Taste and adjust as necessary.

Note: If you don’t have whey protein, or coconut or MCT oil, just use ¼ cup unsweetened almond or cashew milk.

CANTONESE VEGGIE STIR-FRY

“Practically Raw: Flexible Raw Recipes Anyone Can Make” by Amber Shea Crawley; 240 pages, $19.99. Published by Andrews McMeel, 2014.

For the veggies:

1 large or 2 small heads broccoli, stemmed and broken into florets

1 large or 2 small carrots, peeled if desired and thinly sliced

½ large red pepper, stemmed, seeded and sliced

6 to 8 shiitake mushrooms, cleaned, stemmed and sliced

1 cup snow peas, ends trimmed, halved diagonally

1 small clove garlic, minced

½ teaspoon minced fresh ginger or ¼ teaspoon ground ginger

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons tamari

1 tablespoon agave or coconut nectar

1 teaspoon lime juice

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1 teaspoon Sriracha hot sauce (optional)

To serve:

1 batch Cauliflower “Rice” Pilaf (P. 168)

2 green onions, white and light green parts thinly sliced

4 teaspoons sesame seeds, divided

For the veggies: In a medium bowl, combine the broccoli, carrots, red pepper, mushrooms and snow peas. In a small bowl, whisk together the garlic, ginger, olive oil, tamari, agave nectar, lime juice, sesame oil and Sriracha, if using. Pour the sauce over the vegetables and toss to coat well. Add a splash of water if the mixture looks dry.

Make it raw: Transfer the mixture to a shallow glass pan. Cover and place in the dehydrator to let marinate and warm for 1 to 2 hours before serving. Alternatively, place the bowl of veggies in the fridge overnight to allow the mixture to marinate; serve cold the next day, like leftovers.

Make it cooked: Transfer the mixture to a large skillet over medium heat. Cook, stirring often, until the mixture is heated thoroughly.

To serve: Spoon the stir-fry onto mounds of Cauliflower “Rice” Pilaf. Sprinkle each portion with ¼ of the sliced green onion and 1 teaspoon sesame seeds.

CAULIFLOWER “RICE” PILAF

½ large head cauliflower, separated into florets (about 2½ cups)

¼ cup dry almonds

½ teaspoon sea salt

¼ cup finely diced carrot (optional)

2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro (optional)

1 teaspoon lemon juice

Place the cauliflower in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until it breaks down into rice-size pieces, then transfer to a bowl. Add the almonds and salt to the food processor and pulse until finely ground. Add the crushed almond mixture, carrot and cilantro to the cauliflower in the bowl. Drizzle on the lemon juice and toss well to combine.

ABOUT THIS FEATURENew cookbooks flood the market every week. This feature will help you make sense of what’s new and what’s worth trying out. Email your questions and ideas to connie.post@coxinc.com

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