With the holidays upon us, I know I’m not the only one spending a ton of time in the kitchen. I love not just making old favorites but also trying out new recipes. Giada De Laurentis, Food Network star, has a new cookbook out, Feel Good Food that also helps us achieve some of those New Year resolutions to eat more healthfully.
This cookbook focuses on healthy recipes, but yet you aren’t deprived when making or eating them. Giada De Laurentis is skinny, and no doubt good genes are a part of this, but her book opens with the explanation that she doesn’t believe in diets because of their restrictions. Instead, she focuses on eating a balanced diet on a daily basis that doesn’t involve deprivations. Her philosophy of “eat a little of everything, but not a lot of anything” really resonates with me.
Having a child with a dairy allergy, I appreciate that so many of the recipes in this cookbook are also allergy friendly. Many are gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian, and/or vegan – along with nut free, of course, though this is not called out unfortunately – and include icons to call out which recipes fit those criteria. There is also nutritional information for each recipes to go along with the gorgeous photography.
The recipes are – as always with Giada (I’m not the only one on a first name basis with her, right?) – extremely creative. I would never have thought to make a strawberry-mint omelette, but yet it sounds and looks amazing. The cinnamon kettle corn? It’s dairy-free and sounds like the perfect treat to make for Little Miss as an extra special twist to our popcorn for Movie Night With Mommy. I’m a huge fan of quinoa, but I’m always searching for new ways to use and make it beyond my old-standbys. There are four tasty recipes with quinoa (easily searchable in the index) from grilled scallops with orange-scented quinoa to quinoa with black beans and hominy.
As the book tries to focus on a healthy lifestyle, using the cookbook as a basis for recipes, Giada has also included a month of feel good meals with breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack, and dessert ideas. I like the format, but I would love if this chart had the page number for each recipe included so that I didn’t have to go search the index each time I want to follow the meal plan she’s set up. It’s a minor quibble but would make the cookbook easier to use.
In general, I love the setup and the ideas behind it, along with the recipes. I love seeing the focus on balance in this cookbook that includes 120 different recipes. It doesn’t espouse a particular eating plan but yet has so many delicious and creative foods that will satisfy you, regardless of your eating goals. So go ahead, pass that avocado-chocolate mousse with raspberries. It’s 326 calories and dairy-free.
Written by Michelle who is thrilled to ad to her cookbook collection (ok, fetish). See what she’s cooking up in her kitchen as she posts new recipes regularly on her blog Honest & Truly! or follow along with her on Twitter where she is also @HonestAndTruly.