Calling all cookbook-aholics! Yes, I admit it. I, Gwen Gottlieb, am a cookbook-aholic. I love collecting cookbooks. Even though I’m online plenty, searching for recipes, there’s nothing like holding a cookbook in your hands. I read them like novels. I choose most of my cookbooks these days, focusing on healthier recipes from various food/lifestyle plans, such as Keto, Mediterranean, Whole 30, Vegan, Paleo, etc. because we like everythaannnng!
And that’s just what I’ve given you here—a little bit of everything. With many of us cooking more meals at home these days, I wanted to share some of my favorite cookbooks with you – a baker’s dozen, to be exact. What is a baker’s dozen? It’s 13 instead of 12 – a little extra treat or bonus.
I have something for everyone on this list. You’ll see. From slightly complicated to quick and easy, you’ll find books I’ve featured before on Instagram, and they are perfect for a shout-out here.
I hope you enjoy reading about these favorites. Bon Appétit!
So let’s get to it. My Favorite Cookbooks – A Baker’s Dozen
Author: Jules Aron
I’m kicking off my list with a cocktail book because every good meal deserves a refreshing cocktail. And with holistic health and wellness coach Jules Aron’s book, you’ll be taking your cocktail-making game to the next level. The book Zen and Tonic features unique wholesome recipes that use ingredients from your backyard and local farmer’s market. Learn how to make simple syrups and infusions with superfoods. It’s the perfect excuse to get your drink on while you’re cooking dinner. See the full review here.
2. Easy Everyday Mediterranean Diet Cookbook: 125 Delicious Recipes from the Healthiest Lifestyle on the Planet
Author: Deanna Segrave-Daly, RD & Serena Ball, MS, RD
My go-to cookbook for quick weeknight meals that are anything but bland. All of these 125 recipes come together in 30 minutes or less using easy kitchen hacks and budget-friendly, healthy ingredients like roasted veggies, whole grains, pasta, and more. Most of the recipes are easily adaptable for gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, and vegetarian lifestyles. Greek Zucchini Pita Nachos, Broccoli-Cheese Risotto, Artichoke Cheese Strata, anyone?
Author: Jake Cohen
A modern taken on Jewish food, author Jake Cohen combines the flavors of his Ashkenazi heritage with his husband’s Persian-Iraqi traditions to create unique new flavorful dishes. With recipes like Pumpkin Spice Babka, Matzo Tiramisu, Short Rib Cholent, Iraqi Beet Kubbeh Soup, Roasted Tomato Brisket, and Jake’s Perfect Challah, you won’t be disappointed with this cookbook. Besides the yummy recipes, Jew-ish is a celebration of vibrant history, blending cultures, and the joy of family. See the full review here.
Author: Kirsten Buck
Some of you may know Kirsten as the winner of the Next Whole30 Star. She follows a mostly paleo way of eating, and her recipes follow this lifestyle. This woman knows her stuff. Because of her own health issues, Kirsten adopted a mostly paleo way of eating—gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, healthy fats, no refined sugars—and experienced dramatic weight loss. It’s loaded with delicious recipes like Summer Berry Galette and Moroccan Lamb Stew. There’s something for every taste. Whether you’re trying to kick your weight loss journey into high gear or want some delish recipes, you need this cookbook. See the full review here.
Author: Urvashi Pitre
I love my Instant Pot, and I’m always on the hunt for new recipes for it. This cookbook is a goldmine of recipes, and I love its international flair. Whether you’re in the mood for Japanese, Thai, Mexican, or Moroccan food, this cookbook has you covered. And, as described on Amazon, because these are Instant Pot recipes, dishes like Japanese Chicken Curry, Chinese Steamed Ribs, and Mexican Pulled Pork are ready in a fraction of the time they would take using traditional cooking methods. As with all of Pitre’s recipes, the focus is on whole foods instead of artificial convenience ingredients, so the recipes are delicious, easy, and healthful too. See the full review here.
6. Healthyish: A Cookbook with Seriously Satisfying, Truly Simple, Good-For-You (but not too Good-For-You) Recipes for Real Life
Author: Lindsay Maitland Hunt
Simple, good-for-you (mostly!) recipes. I love that this cookbook has a mix of healthy and a few decadent recipes because we all need to indulge once in a while. These recipes are super easy, use affordable ingredients, and you won’t have to use every pot in your kitchen. Emphasizing balanced eating rather than fad diet tricks, Hunt includes 131 guilt-free recipes, including Healthyish treats, such as her Banana–Avocado Chai Shake, Peanut Butter Granola, Salty Watermelon, Feta, Mint, and Avocado Salad, Miso–Butter Toast with a Nine-Minute Egg, and Pozole with Pinto Beans and Queso Fresco. Yum!
Author: GIGI Ashworth
A keto cookbook for the ladies (although men love it, too!). Author GIGI Ashworth’s recipes target the female’s unique nutritional needs. With more than 115 recipes to try and a 21-day meal plan, this cookbook makes it easy to follow the keto lifestyle. GIGI makes sure you get enough healthy fats in your diet, and she also explains how keto can assist with common health concerns (like PCOS and endometriosis). This book helps you get the most out of the ketogenic diet and feel fit and fabulous. We don’t follow keto, but we LOVE the recipes in this book. See the full review here.
Author: Lindsay Maitland Hunt
A gut-friendly cookbook with plant-focused recipes. Dishes emphasize plant-based ingredients like vegetables, nuts and seeds, beans and legumes, and whole grains, along with eggs, fish, and some meat and dairy, if you’re so inclined. Plus, Lindsay gives science-backed wellness advice and valuable info on your gut microbiota. Don’t be fooled by the cookbook’s theme – these recipes are fantastic. Think Seeded Almond Flour Waffles with Raspberry-Flax Smash, Garlicky Shrimp and Quinoa “Grits,” Special-Occasion Short Ribs with Olive Oil and Kefir Mashed Potatoes, and Parsley, Kale, and Pumpkin Seed Pesto. Told ya! See the full review here.
Author: Alex Snodgrass
Healthy, tasty, and easy recipes endorsed by Whole30. All of Alex’s recipes are grain-free, gluten-free, and dairy-free, and they’re absolutely delicious. Try the Chipotle Chicken Tostadas with Pineapple Salsa or the Chicken-Fried Steak with Cauliflower Gravy. You won’t be disappointed. Alex includes fab variations, too, such as using lettuce wraps instead of taco shells to ensure recipes can work for almost any diet, Whole 30 or not. There’s a reason this book was a New York Times bestseller! See the full review here.
Author: Ned Baldwin & Peter Kaminsky
I love that author Ned Baldwin is a self-taught chef, and rather than teaching you how to make complicated dishes, the authors focus on cooking one main ingredient really well. Learn how to roast the perfect chicken (bet you’ve never heard of his method!) or grill sea bass with crispy skin. Peter Kaminsky has written numerous cookbooks as well as other books. Talk about talent! This cookbook belongs on every home cook’s shelf. See the full review here.
Author: Ed Harris
Whether you’re 100% vegan or just looking to add more plant-based meals to your diet Veganish is a must-have cookbook. It’s part of a series that Chef and Author Ed Harris has put together, sharing his experiences with food over the last twenty years. Ed includes delectable recipes that will take your vegan cooking to another level. Interested in learning more about a vegan lifestyle? Read more about it in the cookbook. Ed also sells fabulous aprons, spices, and more on his site. See the full review here.
Author: Irma S. Rombauer
An absolute staple for any home kitchen. Joy of Cooking has been in print since the 1930s. The newest edition has a staggering 600 new recipes. And it has all the classics you need, like chocolate chip cookies and cornbread. Modern dishes are in here, too, like Caramelized Tamarind Tempeh and Chicago-Style Deep-Dish Pizza. See the full review here.
Bonus: How to Cook Everything―Completely Revised Twentieth Anniversary Edition: Simple Recipes for Great Food
Author: Mark Bittman
A bonus cookbook that I recommend every home cook has – How to Cook Everything. Whether you’re entertaining guests for dinner or want to master a family-favorite dish, this cookbook is a must-have. See the full review here.
My Favorite Cookbooks – A Baker’s Dozen
So there you have it. My Baker’s Dozen. Every one of these cookbooks is chock full of delicious recipes, as well as a glimpse into each of the chef’s personal stories – their journeys and how they ended up cooking, creating recipes, and publishing their ‘babies.’
Hope you enjoyed and if you purchase and whip up something from one of these gems, please let me know.
Aside from adding to your own library, any one of these cookbooks would make a beautiful gift. I have given several of these as hostess gifts (sometimes with dishtowels, coasters, or one of my bread mixes from Shopping with Gigi – shameless plug), and they always go over well.
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