My Favourite Healthy Cookbooks

A stack of healthy cookbooks on a white table

A little while ago – ok, a really long time ago – a reader reached out to me and asked if I’d consider writing a post about my favourite healthy cookbooks. (‘Sup, Christine! Sorry it’s taken me so long to do this!) I thought it was a great idea and promptly filed it on my never ending to-do list, and it somehow got lost in the ether between then and now. 

Better late than never, right?! 

In my kitchen there is a fairly small built-in cookbook shelf, and due to the limited space only my favourites get to live there. I love exploring new titles, and there are old favourites that are always in rotation. Here’s a quick list of (what I think are) the best healthy cookbooks on my shelf. 

My favourite healthy cookbooks

1. The New Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone

Deborah Maddison’s epic tome of a vegetarian cookbook got an update a few years back, and despite having no pictures it’s still one of my favourite cookbooks and gets pulled out frequently on the weekends. 

2. River Cottage Veg

A few years ago my sister handed me this vegetarian cookbook right off of her own shelf, and I’ve loved it from the start. It’s packed with tasty, simple, everyday recipes that are vegetable-forward and easy to make. The Macaroni Peas is particularly good! 

3. Food 52 Mighty Salads

If you are a lover of salads or a salad skeptic, you need this book. From basic everyday salads to substantial meal salads, there’s something in here for everyone.

Some of the recipes are a bit spendy – like the smoked lentil salad that instructs you to construct a smoker in your kitchen and literally smoke your lentils (I cheated and used liquid smoke because, c’mon, I’ve got other things to do) but many others are simple and straightforward. I highly recommend this one. 

4. Rebar

Rebar is a hippy food cafe in Victoria, BC, where I lived for three years when I was “studying” creative writing. Their cookbook of the same name features some of the restaurant favourites and a whole lot more. It’s a healthy cookbook I turn to for inspiration time and time again. 

5. Good to the Grain 

Kim Boyce’s whole grain baking book Good to the Grain is hands down my favourite baking book. I love this book to the point that I own two copies, as when I was splitting my time between Stockholm and Vancouver I couldn’t bear to be separated from it.

I was sad to learn recently that Good to the Grain is now out of print  (the Kindle version is still available, or you can try to find a used copy) so I thought I’d let you know that Martha Stewart’s whole grain baking book A New Way to Bake is also pretty darn good in the healthy baking department. 

6. True Food

The True Food cookbook stems from the restaurant of the same name, founded by Dr. Andrew Weil on the simple principle that food should make you feel better, not worse. The recipes in this book are simple, seasonal, and suitable for just about every way of eating. This has to be one of the best healthy cookbooks that I own. 

7. Vegetarian Flavour Bible 

If you’re new to vegetarianism and are worried your food might end up tasting boring, look no further than to the Vegetarian Flavour Bible. This isn’t a cookbook, per se, but if you wanted to know what flavours pair well with turmeric or what in the heck you should do to flavour tofu, this is an incredible resource.  

8. Plenty + Plenty More

Plenty and Plenty More are two incredible vegetarian cookbooks by culinary superstar Yotam Ottolenghi. I have all of Ottolenghi’s cookbooks, and while none of them are simple (yet… see below!) all of them are worthy of space on your shelf. I love his approach to cooking with vegetables and vegetarian foods, and always learn new techniques and new parings when I venture to cook one of his recipes. 

9. Power Plates

Power Plates was written by my friend Gena Hamshaw with the idea that each recipe should reflect a full meal. This healthy cookbook is 100% vegan, and the recipes are simple, everyday recipes that will nourish your body and your soul. 

Cookbooks on my wish list

I do a cookbook order a few times a year, and the next one is coming up soon! Here’s what’s on the list this time:

Ottolenghi Simple

Smitten Kitchen Everyday

Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat

The Nordic Baking Book

The Noma Guide to Fermentation 

I’d love to know what your vote for best healthy cookbook is, or what cookbooks you simply can’t live without. Please let me know in the comments so I can add them to my list! 


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  1. Sandra Lea says

    Some of my favorites are on your list and will definitely try some of your other recommendations. I love Deborah Maddison but to me there is nothing worse than a cookbook without pictures. It’s just a pet peeve of mine.

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