A New Year, a new you

These 5 cookbooks will help you get and stay healthy.

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.

In a few days we’ll be wrapping up another year and beginning all over.

These five books from 2016 are my top picks for falling in love again with fresh food and getting into a routine of healthy eating. Beautiful, nutritious food is one of the necessary fuels for a life of joy, passion and adventure.

No. 1: "Breakfast Love: Perfect Little Bowls of Quick, Healthy Breakfasts" by David Bez; 192 pages, $22.95. Published by Quadrille, 2016.

What's to love: This collection of 150 recipes covers sweet and savory options for breakfast. Plus, there's a terrific diagram of "Anatomy of a Breakfast." Bez shows how to put a breakfast bowl together with these ingredients: 1. fruit or vegetable, 2. another fruit or vegetable, 3. cereal (oats, cornflakes, quinoa), 4. protein (meat, eggs, yogurt, cheese, lentils, nuts and seeds), 5. toppings (herbs, dried fruit, etc.) and 6. "dressing." (juices, dairy and non-dairy milks).

“I made it my mission to uncover what’s generally considered healthy, what the current top nutritionists believe (which might change in a few years …), and I tried to create a common sense, or common ground, that feels true and right and not just trendy.” — David Bez

No. 2: "Skinny Suppers: 125 Lightened-Up, Healthier Meals for Your Family" by Brooke Griffin; 308 pages, $29.99. Published by William Morrow, 2016.

What's to love: In addition to this collection of dinner recipes, Griffin, a former Cincinnati Bengals cheerleader, includes an introduction on why family suppertime matters, tips for building a pantry and strategies for creating balanced meals.

“’Skinny Suppers’ was created with you in mind — the busy person who juggles so much… The goal is for you to learn how to pull your family back to the supper table for healthy, balanced meals and more quality time.” —Brooke Griffin

No. 3: "Lean in 15: 15-minutes Meals and Workouts to Keep You Lean and Healthy" by Joe Wicks; 222 pages, $24.99. Published by William Morrow Cookbooks, 2016.

What's to love: The recipes call for only simple ingredients, and the exercises require minimal equipment.

“No matter how busy you are, you can take control and find a quarter of an hour to cook your meals and stay lean. This isn’t a strict diet — it’s a lifestyle that will transform your body and the way you eat forever.” — Joe Wicks

No. 4: "The Vegetable Butcher: How to Select, Prep, Slice, Dice an Masterfully Cook Vegetables from Artichokes to Zucchini" by Cara Mangini; 346 pages, $29.95. Published by Workman, 2016.

What's to love: A guide to butchery basics and cuts, plus sections on more than 50 vegetables, including best cooking methods and recipes, make this an invaluable reference guide.

“This book is the product of my years devoted to working exclusively with produce, and it includes all of the notes and lessons I have gathered along the way.” — Cara Mangini

No. 5: "Nutrition Stripped: 100 Whole-Food Recipes Made Deliciously Simple" by McKel Hill, MS, RDN; 296 pages, $23.99. Published by William Morrow, 2016.

What's to love: This collection of planted-based recipes are gluten-free, dairy-free and free of processed food.

“My philosophy about living whole and eating well extends far beyond that of eating or dieting and has everything to do with the entire framework of your lifestyle and well-being. It’s about cultivating balance, happiness and inner strength; managing stress; nourishing relationships; engaging in supportive communities; and taking care of your physical body as well as your mental, emotional, spiritual body… Nourishing your cells with fuel from beautiful whole food is the catalyst.” — McKel Hill


From “Breakfast Love: Perfect Little Bowls of Quick, Healthy Breakfasts” by David Bez


handful of blackberries

handful of red grapes

2 slices of Parma or coppa ham, torn into strips

1 slice of rye bread, cut into strips

1 teaspoon pine nuts, toasted


1/3 cup oats, soaked overnight in 1/3 cup apple juice

handful of strawberries, chopped

1 kiwi, chopped

1½ tablespoon almonds, chopped


1/3 cup oats, soaked overnight in 1/3 cup apple juice

handful of blackberries

1 wedge of melon, chopped

1 teaspoon chia seeds

couple of fresh mint leaves


¼ cup buckwheat, cooked

½ avocado, chopped

1 cup brown mushrooms, sliced and fried

1 hard-boiled egg, halved

1 teaspoon black sesame seeds

a drizzle of extra virgin cold-pressed olive oil


¼ cup black quinoa, cooked

1 red pepper, sliced and roasted

½ avocado, chopped

1 small omelette

handful of fresh tarragon

a drizzle of extra virgin cold-pressed olive oil


1/3 cup natural yogurt

1 small wedge of pineapple, chopped

handful of strawberries, chopped

1/3 buckwheat, cooked

1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds

handful of fresh mint, torn


1/3 cup bran flakes

2 tablespoon milk

1 nectarine, chopped

handful of blackberries

handful of walnuts


1 avocado, chopped

handful of blueberries

¼ cup chopped goat cheese

1 slice of rye bread, cut into strips

From “Skinny Suppers: 125 Lightened-Up, Healthier Meals for Your Family” by Brooke Griffin


Thai-Style Slaw

½ cucumber, halved lengthwise and sliced crosswise

½ cup shredded carrots

½ (10-ounce) bag shredded red cabbage

3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped

1 tablespoon sesame oil

2 teaspoons less-sodium soy sauce

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

2 tablespoons Thai red chili sauce

Peanut Sauce

2 tablespoons creamy natural peanut butter

2 tablespoons sesame oil

1 tablespoon sugar-free maple-flavor syrup

1½ teaspoons less-sodium soy sauce

For serving:

6 all-beef kosher hot dogs

6 whole wheat hot dog buns

¼ cup raw unsalted peanuts, coarsely chopped

6 teaspoons sesame seeds


1. To make the slaw: In a large bowl, combine the cucumber, carrots, red cabbage and cilantro. In a small bowl, whisk together the sesame oil, soy sauce, vinegar and Thai red chili sauce. Pour this over the vegetables and toss to evenly cover. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

2. To make the peanut sauce: In a small bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, sesame oil, syrup and soy sauce. Set aside until ready to serve.

3. To assemble: Preheat an indoor grill, grill pan, or outdoor grill to medium-high heat. Coat the indoor grill or grill pan with cooking spray. Grill the hot dogs for 2 to 3 minutes on all sides.

4. Place one grilled hot dog in a bun, top with 2 tablespoons slaw, ¾ tablespoon peanut sauce, a heaping ½ tablespoon peanuts, and 1 teaspoon sesame seeds.

5. Refrigerate any leftover slaw or serve it as a side dish.

From “Lean in 15: 15-minutes Meals and Workouts to Keep You Lean and Healthy” by Joe Wicks


4 slices Canadian bacon

1 ripe avocado

2 eggs

salt and pepper

1 red chile, finely sliced — remove the seeds if you don’t like it hot

Preheat the broiler to high, then lay the bacon on the broiler pan or a baking sheet and slide underneath. Broil for 3 minutes on each side.

Meanwhile, cut your avocado in half, remove the pit and scoop out a generous tablespoon of flesh from each half to create a hole big enough for the egg. No need to waste the leftover avocado — you can save it to make some guacamole or just eat it on the spot!

Crack an egg into each avocado half, season with a little salt and pepper and place on a microwaveable plate. Microwave the eggs in 30-second bursts for 2 minutes — this should ensure firm whites, but runny yolks.

Serve up the baked eggs and avocado with the bacon and a scattering of chile.

Top tip: To stop the avocados rocking on the plate, slice off a little bit underneath to make a flat base.

From “The Vegetable Butcher: How to Select, Prep, Slice, Dice an Masterfully Cook Vegetables from Artichokes to Zucchini” by Cara Mangini


3 tablespoons sherry vinegar

¼ teaspoon fine sea salt, plus extra as needed

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus extra as needed

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

½ teaspoon pure maple syrup

2 garlic cloves, smashed

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

4 cups cooked chickpeas (canned is fine)

4 large celery stalks, trimmed and sliced on a diagonal about 1/4-inch thick

2 large scallions, thinly sliced on a diagonal

Leaves from at least 6 celery stalks, coarsely chopped

1 pint cherry, grape or Sun Gold tomatoes, halved

¼ cup packed fresh basil leaves, chopped

1 ½ cups Hand-Torn Toasted Bread (optional, recipe below)

2 ounces Parmesan cheese, freshly shaved with a vegetable peeler (about ½ cup)

½ medium head romaine lettuce, trimmed down to white ribs and lighter green crisp leaves, chopped or torn into 1-inch pieces (optional)

1. Whisk together the sherry vinegar, salt, pepper, Dijon mustard, and maple syrup in a large bowl. Add the garlic and let the mixture stand briefly to infuse with the garlic flavor. Gradually stream in the oil, whisking quickly and constantly, until the mixture emulsifies.

2. Add the chickpeas, chopped celery and scallions, and toss them to evenly coat with the vinaigrette. Cover and refrigerate until the flavors meld, at least 2 hours and ideally overnight.

3. Remove the garlic cloves. Just before serving, add the celery leaves, tomatoes, basil and bread, if using, and toss gently to combine. Adjust salt and pepper to taste. Top with freshly shaved Parmesan. Serve over or tossed with romaine, if you wish.

Note: Look for full bunches of celery with plenty of leaves still attached. Use up to 2 cups of leaves if your bunch yields it. If you can’t find celery with the leaves attached, add ¼ cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped, for color and a bit more flavor.

From “Nutrition Stripped: 100 Whole-Food Recipes Made Deliciously Simple” by McKel Hill, MS, RDN


Rawlnut Filling

1 cup raw walnuts

½ cup raw almonds

2 tablespoons almonds

2 tablespoons olive oil

¼ cup minced red onion

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro


4 large romaine lettuce leaves

Pico de Gallo (recipe follows)

For the rawlnut filling: In a food processor, combine the walnuts, almonds, oil, onion, garlic, tomato paste, cumin, cayenne, salt and black pepper to taste. Pulse to combine, then taste and adjust seasonings. Gently pulse in the cilantro. The rawlnut filling may be stored in an airtight glass container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Enjoy leftovers with salads or sandwiches.

For the assembly: Fill each romaine lettuce leaf with about ½ cup rawlnut filling, as much pico de gallo as you like, and other fillings, if desired. Roll up like a burrito and enjoy!

Pico De Gallo

Makes about 1 cup

3 large tomatoes, diced

1 medium red onion, diced

1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro

2 jalapeno peppers, chopped

Juice of 1 lemon

Juice of 1 lime

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1 teaspoon sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

In a small bowl, stir together all the ingredients. Adjust the salt and black pepper as desired. The pico de gallo may be stored in an airtight glass container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

About the Author