Recently a friend (thanks, Andrea!) gave me the cookbook Power Foods: 150 Delicious Recipes with the 38 Healthiest Ingredients. I enjoy cooking, and in the last few months, I’ve really fallen in love with preparing fresh, nutritious clean meals (I credit Trader Joe’s for much of it). Nothing overly complicated. Nothing stressful. Just good ingredients put together in a way that is healthy, delicious and—for lack of sounding totally corny—beautiful. Goodbye processed foods, and hello fresh tomatoes from the garden. See you later, boring iceberg salads. Hola, hearty shredded kale. And this book pretty much took my current love affair with fresh food and launched it to the next level.
Power Foods is part nutrition book, part cookbook. From the editors of Whole Living magazine, it lists 150 “power foods,” along with why they’re healthy, how to store them and how to prepare them. Most of these power foods you already know about—asparagus, Swiss chard, almonds, quinoa, broccoli—but it’s a good reminder, and the tips are beyond the gee-whiz-I’ve-read-that-a-million-times variety. Not to mention that each page has a beautiful color photo. Yeah, you shouldn’t judge a cookbook by its art, but it certainly doesn’t hurt when you have those nomtastic tomatoes staring at you on the cover.
Then you get into the best part…the recipes. I’ve had the Power Foods cookbook for about a month now, and have tried three recipes that have all been awesome. The photo on the cover of the tomatoes? Yep, made that.
Simply sliced tomatoes, fresh herbs, and a spread made from blending tofu, oil and spices, on top of good whole-wheat bread, the Open Faced Tomato Sandwiches with Herbs and Creamy Tofu Spread on page 122 is perhaps the most perfect (yes, most perfect) summer snack EVER, especially if you have a garden.
I also tried the Chicken Breasts with Fennel, Carrots and Couscous—also delicious and simple to make. And, seriously, who knew that dried apricots could be so tasty? What really took the Power Foods cake for me though was the Kale Slaw with Peanut Dressing on page 310. It’s straight-up veggie heaven. If the fact that I’ve already made it three times in a month isn’t enough to convince you of its awesomeness, consider that it’s a fabulous way to eat kale raw without even realizing you’re eating kale (the peanut dressing is simply amazing). See?
If you’re looking for a way to jazz up your meals to be a little healthier and a lot more beautiful, I highly recommend Power Foods. While I can’t vouch for every recipe in the book, the three I’ve tried have been stellar enough to put it on my cookbook shelf for keeps, yo.
What’s your favorite healthy eating cookbook? Favorite healthy power foods? Do tell! —Jenn