egetarian diets have become the holy grail of health, and thefastestgrowing category of cookbooks. In reality, some vegetarian diets I’ve seen are the unhealthiest, andlack actualvegetables. Especiallyif swapping out meat for processed vegetarian substitutes, andcheese and white flour products are dietary staples.
My New Roots- Sarah Britton
This book is a solid guide to eating healthy seasonal whole foods, written by nutritionist Sarah Britton. Sarah’s popular blog has inspired many to improve their health through eatinga plant-based diet. She describes how working on an organic farm transformed her health, having previously lived on a diet of processed foods and fruit and vegetables that had travelled thousands of miles. The book is laid out according to seasonsmaking it easier to eat locally grown fruit and vegetables.
Ok so this book has a lotof meat in it, but I’m talking plant-based here not vegetarian. So whilst the majority of my diet is vegetarian, if I’m going to eat meat, then my first choice is Ottolenghi. I think you can’t put a foot wrong with any of his books, but this one is great as it at least tries to be simple. He mocks himself for this, jokingabout ‘just popping out to the local shop to buy the papers, milk, black garlic and sumac’. Although, living in Manchester means there are lots of halal supermarkets where middle-eastern products are easily found. He uses the acronym SIMPLE to outline how simple each recipe is, in terms of time and ingredients.
I’ve made the Spiced Apple Cake many times:it’s cosy, warming and very autumnal,althoughthis doesn’t stop me making it all year round. The lamb recipes are perfect as I think lamb always tastes great cooked in a middle-eastern style. But there’s also tons of great ways to cook vegetables and pulses for plant-based options.
Bowls of Goodness- Nina Olsson
If you’re looking for a cookbook to improve your health, then Nina Olsson has you covered. All the recipes are vegetarian or vegan, and full of nutritious ingredients. They are fairly simple to make, with lots of power bowls and influences from around the world. The photography is gorgeous too.
These recipes have never failed to impress both my vegan/vegetarian friends and die-hard meat-eaters too. Her Loyal Lentil Chilli is a particular favourite. You can check out her blog for many of the recipes here:
The Green Kitchen- David Frenkiel and Luise Vindahl
This book transports you into the lifestyle of its authors with beautifully shot family scenes, alongside delicious looking food. Natural, rustic and surrounded by woodland, this is just as much about a way of life as it is a source of meal inspiration. Admittedly, I find the blog recipes more accessible than the book, and have made many of them. But I would definitely turn to this if I were looking to impress and cook for entertaining guests. Alternatively, sitting down with a cup of tea and escaping into this book is enough to inspire me to live more naturally and healthily.
Super Slaw- Jill Greenwood
Written by personal trainer, Jill Greenwood, this is the latest edition to my collection and quite different from all the other books I own. I met Jill when she came to one of my Pilates classes, and I totally connected with her approach to both diet and exercise. The basis of this book is to throweverything in a food processor, making eating healthily easier and cutting down on the prep time. What I love about this book is that many of the recipes are raw without feeling like a ‘raw food diet’, and more substantial than salad. I want to continue to eat raw food in the colder months, but not necessarily salad. So this presents a new way of eating vegetables I would normally cook e.g. broccoli, green beans, mange tout. Purple Power Slaw tasted great with salmon and brown rice, and easily hit the ‘five a day’ quota in one meal.