The Cookbook Looker
January 17, 2012
I'm not a cookbook collector. Although, I do have a stack of old canning manuals and revered tomes like The Joy of Cooking—I don't relish digging through dusty flea market finds for the perfect cookbook. I am, however, a cookbook looker. I love the new library books with the awesome photographs, even imagining myself as a food stylist, gleaning tips for my own portfolio of sparkling holiday meals.
My favorite cookbook right now is Tosca Reno's The Eat Clean Diet Cookbook 2. Everything looks and tastes so good. Who can resist a fizzy lime spritzer nestled in crisp white paper with a veggie burger and sweet potato fries on the side? I love her recipe for black bean tostados (with black bean Pico de Gallo). I have eaten black beans 'til I can eat no more—but I know I will. Sautéed with red onions, lots of lime juice and served with yogurt cheese (I use plain yogurt) and a dollop of avocado, these crispy tostados are a treat. My son asks for the ones with the meat in them, and then we give him another black bean tostado! And, of course, Reno is a beauty of Dutch descent, over 50, and married to Oxygen magazine publisher Robert Kennedy. So there's a lot to admire. She creates the best healthy recipes ever.
Another fresh tasting and looking cookbook is Diana Stobow's Get Naked Fast. With her peace sign earrings and pigtails, Stobow is too cute. I want to be her. As a person who once was overweight and unhealthy, Stobow has found her way to feeling good and sure knows how to use a juicer. I do have a juicer (which will go down in history as the worst Christmas present ever because I wanted jewelry) but don't use it often enough. The recipes in this book look easy and green, and when I can afford all that fruit, I'm resolving to do the juice cleanse thing. For now, Stobow has inspired me to load up the flax tortillas with sprouts and onion pickles. I'll add some healthy Swiss cheese if there is such a thing!
I also like the look of Chicken and Egg, a memoir with recipes and lots of pretty speckled birds, but I've had one too many scrambled egg dinners. Mark Bittman's The Food Matters Cookbook has gotten lots of press. It may be green, but it's very gray. Translation: there are no pictures. Try this one instead: Alicia Silverstone's The Kind Diet. She's youthful with an old soul and likes to bake bread with her husband. And, I feel bad even mentioning this after all these healthy choices, but one of the loveliest cookbooks I've looked at lately is Tricia Yearwood's Georgia Cooking in an Oklahoma Kitchen. The recipes may not be so skinny, but her chicken broccoli casserole is to die for (eat it cold), and the food styling is excellent. I can't get enough of the pretty vintage napkins, aprons, and colorful bean pots. Happy cookbook looking!