I need some cookbook recommendations for healthy omnivores!

Posted by
ref=dp_image_0Hey Homies! After 10 years of being a vegetarian, I have a good collection of veggie cookbooks. Three years after moving in with my very-soon-to-be-husband, I have also added “I Know How to Cook” to my library.

While it is totally awesome, and the dude loves how a lot of the recipes call for bacon and/or butter, I would like to get a couple more meat-containing cookbooks that are full of tasty recipes, with a bit more emphasis on healthy.

Thanks for your recommendations in advance! -Sarah

We’ve talked about offbeat cookbooks, but about healthy meat cookbooks? Anyone have favorite cook books for omnivorous recipes?

Comments on I need some cookbook recommendations for healthy omnivores!

  1. I have tried a few of the Weight Watcher’s recipes that I found online- most are full of healthy stuff & DH (meat & potato guy) loves mst of the ones I have made. The recipes have user ratings and reviews on them & that helps immensely.

    • Seconded. Any English-speaker who needs g and oz can go to allrecipes.co.uk; a few of the recipes are translated from .com anyway. What I love is the fact that you can search by ingredient, so it’s great for looking for ways to use up whatever is in the fridge and well as for browsing.

  2. I have a couple South Beach Diet cookbooks, and the food is really really yummy.

    There are different ‘phases’ so, it’s not really ‘diet food’, just healthy food (the diet was started as a diet for cardiology patients to fix their blood levels of things like insulin resistance, etc etc, the weight loss was just an added perk.)

    • I LOVE the South Beach cookbooks! I tend to over-rely on simple carbs (I’d eat buttered noodles every meal, if it were nutritionally defensible), and the South Beach recipes are generally easy, quick, reliable, and chock full of veggies and protein that I’d ordinarily be too lazy to plan into a meal.

  3. BBC Good Food magazines, and their website. You can tailor the search to anything you want and save your faves in a folder. They’ve been running a special feature on making over favourite dishes in a much healthier way for the last year or so now too.

    The River Cottage Everyday cookbook by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. Again, emphasis is on healthy, enjoyable food from breakfast through to baking and he’s a great guy for using up leftovers from dish A in dish B.

    Main Dishes from the new healthy kitchen range. It’s sorted by vegetable colour so you get to eat the rainbow and they’re really about the veg in the dish, the meat is just like an added bonus so it’d be great for transitioning from vegetarian to omnivore.

    Also, Jamie Oliver is the bomb so I’d recommend all of his books. Ministry of Food is good if you’re just getting into cooking, Jamie at Home for eating seasonally and how-to-grow guides and Jamie’s Kitchen for more restaurant-style fare.

  4. Bittman, yes.

    Also, whenever I think “Hmm, I’d like to make X,” my first stop is simplyrecipes.com. There’s no special emphasis on health, but her recipes are easy to follow and always very reliable. Reliable is important, and sometimes allrecipes fails me on that count.

    • Love these and anything from the Cooks Illustrated family of stuff. They explain why things work and why they don’t – like how a really hot pan gets you fluffier scrambled eggs. They also offer lots of lighter versions of their recipes that substitute lower fat ingredients – and then adjust the flavor profiles because so much flavor comes from fat.

      Their website is pretty great too.

    • I second this! The America’s Test Kitchen books are super user-friendly and you can get their standard version as well as a ‘healthy’ version – I have both, they have completely different recipes. I also love that they explain WHY something is healthier, and how they made the decisions regarding substitutions.

  5. I love my “Modern Flavors of Arabia“, they have a lot of both meat and meat free recipes that are both delicious and healthy.

    I also fell in love with my “A Feast of Ice and Fire” cookbook. While not totally healthy (lots of wheat and potatoes), you can modify a lot of the recipes to make them super healthy with tons of veg (The Sister Stew is fantastic!)… and nearly every other recipe calls for meatage of some kind.

    • Slightly off topic, but a pet issue of mine. Potatoes are not unhealthy, in fact they’re considered a super-food. Among other things they’re very high in potassium and vitamin C. (It’s actually possible to gain all the nutrients you need by eating nothing but potatoes, but probably not very exciting.)
      What’s unhealthy (but delicious) is when they’re deep fried or smothered in butter, sour cream, cheese, etc. Yes they’re high in starch, but it’s far from empty carbs. Assuming you’re not eating them three times a day they’re much healthier than most other starchy food like rice.

      (*this post brought to you by the Potato Anti-Defamation League. ;))

      • …It’s actually possible to gain all the nutrients you need by eating nothing but potatoes, but probably not very exciting…

        Also, it leaves you prone to potato blight and famine.

        Sincerely, Your Friendly Neighbourhood Paddy.

        • You can get blight resistant potatoes now. 😉

          The funny thing is, as I was writing this, I could almost hear (in my mind’s ear) my English mum saying – as she often does – “you really are very Irish.” lmao

  6. I tend to make stuff up more than I use recipes, so I thought I’d share my favorite healthy omnivore creation:

    The Turkey BLT Pasta Salad

    For 1 serving:

    1. Cook 1 cup pasta (shells, spirals, elbows, whatever) according to directions. Strain under cold water when finished.

    2. Fry 2 strips of turkey bacon. Chop when finished.

    3. Chop 1 small tomato, or half a large tomato.

    4. Chop about 1 cup of lettuce.

    5. Mix all ingredients with ranch dressing.

  7. i like Real Simple magazine, they have lots of different recipes on there from vegetarian to gluten free to deep fried!

    also, and this is how we eat, i recommend Practical Paleo. this is a life style that promotes the hunter/gatherer lifestyle of eating that our ancestors used to eat, so while it may not match today’s current standard of “healthy eating” it takes biology into account.

  8. I work at a library, so I see and audition new cookbooks on a regular basis. I am also a former vegetarian turned meat cooker. As noted above, just about anything Mark Bittman does is awesome. It sounds weird, but the “Cook This, Not That” cookbooks (there are two) are amazing. Everything is healthy and easy to make, and most importantly, the results are consistent. 400 calorie cheese fries! Really. A lot of the meals in our regular rotation originated there. Almost Meatless by Joy Manning is good, as is Double Take and The Meat Lover’s Meatless Cookbook.

  9. I love “Simply in Season” — it’s got great recipes, most of which use a fair number of veggies, and it’s organized by season — so in the “Spring” section, you’ll find a lot of recipes for asparagus, strawberries, baby greens, peas, and so on, whereas “Summer” has lots of recipes using tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, and other summer vegetables. It’s got a good variety of veg and meat-containing recipes, and most of them are pretty healthy, I think.

    Extending the Table” is good if you’re happy to try food from around the world — again, a mix of veg and meat-containing recipes, and it has a “country of origin” index as well as the more typical indexes. Certainly not ALL healthy stuff, but a lot of the recipes are pretty healthy.

  10. Alton Brown and Gordon Ramsey are my go-to sources for learning how to cook anything (thank you Youtube!). And I second the recommendation for anything from America’s Test Kitchen.

    You might look for Paleo/ Primal cookbooks (Paleo Comfort Foods and Everyday Paleo are my go-to books). These are folks who are serious about both meat and veggies (although it’s a high-fat-low-carb diet so depending on your definition of ‘healthy food’ it might not be appropriate for you)

    • Oh man, Alton Brown is amazing. I remember just watching Good Eats on youtube for awhile and the detail he goes into about how to cook and the science of what’s happening is amazing! Plus, he’s fun to watch.

  11. Just curious, are there books that go over the processes in cooking and how to determine if a recipe is healthy? Maybe not a collection of recipes, but ways to edit existing recipes for better health.

Read more comments

Join the Conversation