I’ve been quite under the radar for the past few months… wow is it April already… but with good reason, my husband and I are currently enjoying the sleepless wonderment of our new baby boy, born (we had a natural, home birth) in February of this year. While life with a baby is so many things, joy, bliss, tiredness, presence and a huge oxytocin enriched dosage of LOVE; it has also made me obsessed with food and eating better than ever before. As a breastfeeding mama, I am amazed that what I produce can feed a growing human being and eating well does take on a whole new meaning when you consider that what you eat is what your baby eats. I want food that ranks high on the Prana Meter as described by Yogi/ Blissologist Eoin Finn. With the added challenge of not having a lot of time on my hands, I’ve been on the hunt for nourishing, whole food recipes that are also quick to prepare.
Which brings me to my inspiration for today’s blog. How often are you at a loss to figure out what to make for dinner? Especially when you want it to be healthy, delicious and easy? I ask myself that question almost every day and I’ve found myself scouring through trusted cookbooks as well as looking to some exciting food blogs on the web for inspiration.
Here are my favorites in no particular order.
Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison
This is my tried and true cookbook, I love that it’s organized both by type of vegetable as well as an additional section on soups, salads, desserts etc. The recipes are healthy, flavourful and offer many practical tips, suggestions and variations. Former owner of Greens, vegetarian restaurant in San Francisco; Deborah Madison is an inventive cook and reaches far and wide into Asian, French, Mediterranean, Indian and latin cooking for influences. The result a book that serves as both an excellent reference book to broaden your world and a daily use cookbook, I absolutely love this one.
Hollyhock Cooks by Moreka Johar + Linda Solomon
Hollyhock is the Esalen of Canada. Situated above a stunning bay on Cortes Island off the east coast of Vancouver Island, Hollyhock boasts some lovingly tended, flourishing gardens that grow some of the most beautiful veggies I have seen. The cookbook focuses on seasonal, local produce with a north-western flavour as well as a wealth of healthy dishes from other cuisines. The recipes are easy to follow and most are quick. I’m in the midst of trying out their black bean soup with chipotle + orange, oh yes and cornbread too.
The Modern Vegetarian Kitchen by Peter Berley
Fresh, focusing on technique and healthy food made from scratch – e.g. he recommends crushing your own grains for warm breakfast cereal – and teaches you how to make a sourdough starter for bread, this book is both an excellent manual for recipe inspiration as well as a Sunday afternoon read on eating sustainably. Berley was the chef at the excellent macrobiotic and vegetarian restaurant Angelica Kitchen in NYC. This book is fast becoming one of my go-to cookbooks.
The Yogi Kitchen
Founded by ashtanga yogi’s Adam Keen and Theresa who lived and ran the Purple Valley Yoga centre in Goa, India for many years, and are now in Tarifa, Spain via Vancouver, Canada (whew, and i though I lived a nomadic life :-)) – this is a great blog for those who want some wonderful Indian vegetarian and vegan recipes. Filled with videos and helpful tips, the recipes do require your stocking up on the necessary spices, but once you have those you are set to try some flavour explosions and infuse your week nights with a touch of the faraway.
A site of recipes and blog posts about life and travel, this site is managed by Heidi Swanson, a writer, natural food afficionado and photographer who has penned at least two cookbooks including SuperNatural Cooking. I love the photographs on the site as well as recipes that are easy to follow and perfect for a weeknight. I tried this cauliflower with sesame a few weeks ago and it was delicious – the best part like all good Indian food, it tasted even better the day after.
Goop by Gwnyth Paltrow
Focusing on travel, food and lifestyle, the multi-talented Paltrow’s recipe section does delight, especially because she happens to be chummy with some of the best chefs in the world. Make ricotta cheese from scratch, osso buco, or get a simple banana bread recipe, there is a gamut of ideas here. Check back often. She also has a new cookbook out, which I haven’t heard much about as yet.
What are some of your favorite natural food blogs or cookbooks?
Danagh McDonell says
Thank you for sharing your favourites! Like you, I often find myself at a loss for lunch and dinner ideas that are healthy, but also meet the needs of my family. We’re a varied group with two vegans and two hardcore French Canandians who would rather sustain on meat, sugar, carbs and cheese. Definitely a challenge! You’ve given me new inspiration!
Lately I’ve been working my way through Skinny Bitch by Kim Bardoin.Her recipes are very easy and I love her sassy attitude.
A local favourite of mine is The Green Door Cookbook. Put together by the Ottawa restaurant of the same name. This was my first inspiration to vegetarian and ultimately much more healthy cooking. My kids know without question that it’s where we’ll be eatng on any of our “date days” in the city. If you’re ever in Ottawa, it’s a very family friendly place in that it’s cafeteira style. This means no monster size portions that end up being thrown away.
So happy to have found your blog, thanks again for your wonderful ideas,
wow your family’s eating preferences sound like it would definitely allow you lots of room to get creative! 🙂 we’ve actually visited ottawa before to teach yoga and we ate at the Green Door – i was pleasantly surprised that ottawa had a good veg restaurant… wonder if Harper ever eats there… :-)!!! , didn’t know they had a cookbook. thanks for sharing – i will post some vegan indian recipes up soon! ciao for now.
Even though I’m an adult, my friends and I are hooked on the kids’ food at Weelicious for the low-sugar, healthy, simple and quick to make recipes. The cook, Catherine McCord, is just as easy on the eyes as Gwyneth and makes recipes that are gluten/dairy free and vegan/vegetarian. There’s a section on healthy recipes for baby’s first food, too. http://weelicious.com/quick-introduction-to-weelicious/