Get — or give — some recipe inspiration.
Say goodbye to 2020 (finally!), but all the cooking we have been doing is here to stay. If you’re looking to give some new recipe inspiration to your loved ones or just get some new ideas for your own kitchen, I’ve got you covered with 10 of my favorite cookbooks from nutritionists that were released this year — plus two of my own.
‘How to Cook Vegetables: Essential Skills and 90 Foolproof Recipes’
With only 1 in 10 Americans meeting the recommended daily vegetable intake, we could all use some extra veggies in our dishes.
“How to Cook Vegetables” (Rockridge Press) by registered dietitian Kim Hoban makes it easy to do so with over 90 delicious recipes, indispensable tips and plenty of creative ideas. In addition, the cookbook provides tips for how to select, store, prep, pair and substitute for 30 essential vegetables.
‘The Healthy Vegan Air Fryer Cookbook: 100 Plant-Based Recipes with Fewer Calories and Less Fat’
If an air fryer is in your holiday gift future, you probably want to accompany it with this healthy cookbook (Alpha) by Dana Angelo White. With most Americans not meeting the recommended daily amount of plants in their diet, you don’t have to be a vegan to enjoy these scrumptious recipes. As an added bonus, the recipes can also be easily modified for a conventional oven.
‘Instant Pot Cookbook for Dummies’
If an Instant Pot is on your gift-giving list, pair it with this beginner book (For Dummies) by Wendy Jo Peterson and Elizabeth Shaw. Inside, you’ll get the lowdown on getting to know the pot and all its features. It will also provide insight to all the Instant Pot can achieve — from cooking fluffy rice, roasts, soups and vegetarian, Mediterranean, Keto and Indian dishes to making homemade yogurt, baby food and decadent desserts.
‘Bread Making for Dummies’
The pandemic has highlighted the love of bread, especially when it was nowhere to be found! Bread making took center stage for many folks stuck at home and craving comfort food. This newly found love of bread baking has left many folks craving simple recipes and step-by-step instructions for bread making.
“Bread Making for Dummies” (For Dummies) by Wendy Jo Peterson explores the science behind the art of bread making and our cultural connection to wild and commercial yeasts. Using a kitchen scale and favorite wholesome grains, enjoy the journey — from classic German pretzels (brezeln) to warm salted pecan rolls to rustic sourdough.
‘Healthy, Quick & Easy Juicing: 100 No-Fuss Recipes Under 300 Calories You Can Make With 5 Ingredients or Less’
If a juicer is on your holiday gift list, pair it with this simple juicing cookbook using five ingredients or less. “Healthy, Quick & Easy Juicing” (Alpha) by Dana Angelo White contains 100 recipes that are all super simple to prepare, and every recipe can be made in less than 10 minutes.
All the recipes make about two servings, so any waste is minimal, and every recipe is under 300 calories per serving. Each of the 100 recipes have complete nutrition information, calories and prep times. In addition, this book is perfect for beginners or experienced juicers and gives simple instructions to help you prepare your juices with ease and in minimal time, with tips for buying the right produce, storing your juices and adjusting the ingredients to suit any taste.
‘The Mediterranean Diet Made Easy: Fresh, Vibrant Recipes for Better Health’
This collection of 75 mouthwatering recipes can be used to create Mediterranean-inspired dishes in your own home. The goal of “The Mediterranean Diet Made Easy” (Page Street Publishing) by Brynn McDowell is to not only gain the health benefits from a Mediterranean-style diet, but to also find the joy of eating good food with family and friends. The author shares some practical information and realistic tips about the Mediterranean diet and lifestyle and how to apply them to fit into a healthy life.
‘Easy Everyday Mediterranean Diet Cookbook: 125 Delicious Recipes from the Healthiest Lifestyle on the Planet’
The Mediterranean diet has become quite popular and was ranked as the No. 1 diet overall by U.S. News & World Report for 2020. As such, numerous Mediterranean cookbooks have been released throughout the year.
This is another favorite cookbook of mine from food-loving dietitians Deanna Segrave-Daly and Serena Ball (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt). Filled with vibrant and mouthwatering photographs and recipes like skillet shrimp with feta and tomatoes to tahini brownies, this book makes the Mediterranean way of eating quick, affordable and flavorful. The book also includes gluten-free, vegetarian and seafood-forward meal plans.
‘The Everything Plant-Based Meal Prep Cookbook: 200 Easy, Make-Ahead Recipes Featuring Plant-Based Ingredients’
Trying to squeeze in plant-based cooking with a busy schedule is difficult, but meal prepping makes it easier to stick with this healthy diet. “The Everything Plant-Based Meal Prep Cookbook” (Everything) by Diane K. Smith helps you prepare your plant-based dishes in advance so you always have everything you need to stay on track with your diet.
The book includes 200 delicious, plant-based recipes and easy explanations for combining the plant-based diet with a meal prep schedule. From the butternut squash and apple soup to the chickpea “crab” cakes, you’ll have perfect meals to eat throughout the week or freeze for later in the month.
‘The 30-Minute Clean Eating Cookbook: 115 Easy Whole-Food Recipes’
Eating well is made simple with healthy whole-food dishes even novice cooks can whip up in a flash.
“The 30-Minute Clean Eating Cookbook” (Rockridge Press) by Kathy Siegel offers wholesome dishes for every meal that are simple-to-cook and family-friendly. In addition, Kathy shares her tips for choosing more fresh, nutrient-packed ingredients to add to your family-favorite dishes to make mealtimes fun and exciting.
‘Super Simple Cooking for Kids: Learn to Cook with 50 Fun and Easy Recipes for Breakfast, Snacks, Dinner, and More!’
If you’re looking for a cookbook for the younger chefs in your life, this cookbook has you covered. “Super Simple Cooking for Kids” (Rockridge Press) by Jodi Danen gives kids a taste for kitchen independence (and their own delicious food). With 50 simple recipes designed specifically for beginners, this kids cookbook requires no previous experience, pricey ingredients or specialized equipment.
Kids will start with the basics by learning how to follow a recipe, kitchen safety essentials, and when to ask for help. Then, pint-size chefs can try simple, delicious recipes for every meal, including pumpkin pancakes, chicken taquitos and baked ravioli — many of which they can accomplish all on their own. Handy indicators of the recipe’s level of difficulty make it easy to pick dishes that best work for their age and cooking skill level.
‘The Best 3-Ingredient Cookbook: 100 Fast & Easy Recipes for Everyone’
You can create healthy and delicious dishes with only three ingredients. This is my latest cookbook (Robert Rose) released in October 2020, and perfect for beginner home cooks or more experienced cooks who just want very simple recipes and a much shorter shopping list. Some of my favorite recipes from this cookbook include creamy cheddar mac and cheese, maple soy salmon, peanut butter banana cookies and creamy broccoli soup.
‘The Best Rotisserie Chicken Cookbook: Over 100 Tasty Recipes Using a Store-Bought Bird’
If you’ve been buying lots of rotisserie chicken lately, there’s more you can do with it then just dip it in ketchup or barbecue sauce. I wrote “The Best Rotisserie Cookbook” (Robert Rose) to provide recipes using a store-bought rotisserie chicken with quick and easy sides and creative dips you can whip up.
Recipes include sweet potato chicken chili, BBQ chicken sliders, huevos rancheros and chicken and spinach stuffed shells. The recipes include easy to find ingredients and easy instructions to cook the dish quickly and efficiently.
12 healthy cookbooks to inspire your cooking:
— How to Cook Vegetables.
— The Healthy Vegan Air Fryer Cookbook: 100 Plant-Based Recipes with Fewer Calories and Less Fat.
— Instant Pot Cookbook for Dummies.
— Bread Making for Dummies.
— Healthy, Quick & Easy Juicing: 100 No-Fuss Recipes Under 300 Calories You Can Make With 5 Ingredients or Less.
— The Mediterranean Diet Made Easy: Fresh, Vibrant Recipes for Better Health.
— Easy Everyday Mediterranean Diet Cookbook: 125 Delicious Recipes from the Healthiest Lifestyle on the Planet.
— The Everything Plant-Based Meal Prep Cookbook: 200 Easy, Make-Ahead Recipes Featuring Plant-Based Ingredients.
— The 30-Minute Clean Eating Cookbook: 115 Easy Whole-Food Recipes.
— Super Simple Cooking for Kids: Learn to Cook with 50 Fun and Easy Recipes for Breakfast, Snacks, Dinner, and More!
— The Best 3-Ingredient Cookbook: 100 Fast & Easy Recipes for Everyone.
— The Best Rotisserie Chicken Cookbook: Over 100 Tasty Recipes Using a Store-Bought Bird.
More from U.S. News
Correction 12/16/20: A previous version of this story did not include both authors of “Instant Pot Cooking for Dummies.”