1. I Quit Sugar by Sarah Wilson
I love this book! Sarah Wilson’s recipes are simple and delicious. You’ll never have to march through the market looking for obscure ingredients. She dedicates a section to pestos. I had no idea I could use cashews as a substitute for cheese! Plus I’ve learned to think of pesto as more than basil and pine nuts. Buy here.
2. True Food by Dr. Andrew Weil & Sam Fox with Michael Stebner
“People like to think that chefs are superhuman, that it’s their extraordinary, rarefied technique that makes some restaurant meals taste so much better than home cooking. Actually, based on what I’ve seen–and, I must admit, done–during my career, a professional’s “amazing skill” is often just excessive use of four ingredients: Heavy cream, butter, sugar, and salt.” – Michael Stebner
In case you didn’t know, Andrew Weil has a restaurant in Arizona called True Food. It’s healthy food without the sprout-loving, Birkenstock wearing hippie vibe. First of all hooray for a restaurant that isn’t trying to kill us with huge amounts of cream and sugar. Second of all, this book shares some of the recipes from the restaurant. Things to try: Halibut with Fingerling Potatoes & Umami Sauce, Asian Cauliflower and Curried Cauliflower Soup. Buy here.
3. Giada’s Feel Good Food by Giada De Laurentiis
I love this book because Giada took a lot of hearty classics and lighted them with fresh sauces and tons of vegetables. The breakfast section is probaby my favorite. I tend to stick to green smoothies or tofu scramble wraps in the morning. She inspired me to mix up my breakfast menu. Throughout the recipes there are little sections dedicated to peeks into Giada’s daily life; her weekly manucure ritual, acupuncture treatments, early morning yoga and more. Does anyone else get insanely curious about the lifestyles of the successful? Buy here.
4. Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker by Robin Robertson
I love this book because a) I’m busy and crockpotting is the number one way that I feed Kimo and I healthy week night meals and b) it’s vegan — so I know we’re eating enough veggies. Unfortunately there are no pictures in the book, regardless I’ve tried several of the recipes and they were delicious. If you’re cooking for two, half the recipes. We don’t have a big freezer; and I can only eat leftovers so many days in a row. #NoFoodWaste goals. Buy here.
5. Cravings by Chrissy Teigen
I know. I know. It’s probably the most publicized, celebrified cook book to come out in ages. Although it was on my list to buy, my parents got it for me for my birthday. This cook book is 110% indulgent, stunning and hilarious. Chrissy writes an intro to each recipe and I giggled through all of them. My boyfriend, Kimo, is half Thai and white, like Chrissy. I found it really cool how she gave a fair mix of American and Thai inspired recipes. It reminds me of eating at the in-laws’. Take note: the weirdest ingredient you’ll have to buy is fish sauce and green papaya. In Hawaii, that’s readily available at the regular grocery store & the farmers markets (respectively). If you don’t want to wander to Chinatown, you can get fish sauce on Amazon and sub the green papaya for green beans. Buy here.