I have been trying really hard to not label my food or eating habits. Good food, bad food, junk food, super food, treat meals, vegetarian, omnivore, plant-based. Eating is eating. I find that by labeling my foods – particularly good and bad – creates a sense of guilt, of negative connotation.
I’ve written on here before how I’m trying to eat more plant-based. Am I living that perfect plant-based life? No. Have I eaten meat or fast food in the past week? You bet I have. To me, having a healthy mindset when it comes to food has been key in feeling good about fueling my body.
That being said, I am still looking for yummy recipes to eat that meet all my dietary needs. These five cookbooks are some of the ones which have helped me on my journey of eating healthy and feeling good while maintaining my ethical beliefs.
This has quickly become my favourite cookbook on my quest to eat less meat. Not only are the author’s recipes super yummy and super easy to make, she’s also a Canadian which makes my red and white heart smile.
I’ve made a ton of recipes from her book, but my current go-to is the Maple-Cinnamon Apple & Pear Baked Oatmeal. I have made three batches over the last couple of weeks (which was perfect as I had so many apples left from apple picking!) It cooks up great and made for easy breakfasts in the morning. Just heat and eat!
Another fave of mine is the Soul-Soothing African Peanut Stew. Living in Canada means we get about eight months of colder weather (I’m only slightly exaggerating), leaving me wanting to fill my belly with warming soups, stews, and chilis. This one was definitely a hit in my house. I omitted the peppers, cause I’m not a fan, and it was still delish! Likely I will add a handful of cauliflower to the mix next time to bulk up on the veggie content
You better believe I searched my local library’s catalog for vegetarian athlete books. I hit the jackpot with this title (and number three on the list). This is my budget friendly way to expand my recipe base when I’m feeling stuck in a food rut. (Also I’m a library employee, so obviously yay libraries! Support your local library!)
As with Oh She Glows, this book was jam-packed with super easy vegetarian friendly recipes. I loved the Chili Roasted Sweet Potato & Black Bean Tacos – served up with a Cilantro Lime Cream which tastes like heaven. This was easy to pack for work lunches – all you have to do is heat up the filling, stuff the tacos, and drizzle with the cream. Yummers!
If I could run like Shalane Flanagan just by eating her diet, I would already be a faster runner! Alas, ya know, genetics, training, and motivation MAY hold me back a bit, that doesn’t mean her recipes aren’t super tasty.
While not a vegetarian/vegan cookbook like most of the others on my list, there are tons of tasty taste recipes that don’t require animal products. Some of the ones that call for meat can be adapted to be just as yummy without. I’m excited to dive into some of her dessert recipes, which seem perfect for fall, like the Ginger-Molasses Quick Bread and Baked Mount Hood Apples.
I have about a million flags in this one – marking the recipes I can’t wait to try. Because if one the best running magazine/website ever says they are good, I obviously need to try them. The Pasta Bean Toss is a super easy favourite of mine – veggies, pasta, beans. Easy peasy – with tons of leftovers to boot! Another easy fave is the Roasted Pink Grapefruit with Honey Yogurt. Enough said. If you haven’t broiled a grapefruit, you’re missing out.
While this is the second book on my list that isn’t strictly vegetarian, I can’t wait to try out everything. All the vegetarian and vegan recipes are flagged and some of the others can easily be made vegetarian (the pasta recipe above is an easy sub by taking out the Worcestershire sauce). I’m excited to try out all the salad dressing recipes on my garden veg next summer.
Rounding out my top five is this one – fittingly written by Anita Bean. There are tons of options for energy and granola bars packed in this one, but I’m partial to the Super Oat Bars. Veggie burger recipes and fun breakfast ideas abound.
I also dig all the nutritional information at the beginning, focusing on what to eat to get your required daily nutrients like iron, omega-3, and B12. You know you can trust the information cause Ms. Bean is a registered dietitian.
What are your favourite cookbooks? Are you partial to Oh She Glows like I am? I’m always looking for new ideas, so hit me up here on the blog or on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. I’d love to hear from you!
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