Practicing good wellness entails more than just exercising and mindfulness — food is the best medicine. We all have guilty food pleasures, but mindfulness of how our meals affect us is the most beneficial practice for health. We are all different, and we can only learn what food fuels us optimally by paying attention.
Here’s a chance to add new recipes to your cooking repertoire via these exceptional wellness cookbooks. This 21 for 2021 Series post provides a list of cookbooks with recipes that focus on nourishing the body and soul. Learning to prepare new meals is especially useful when physical distancing is still the norm, and we may be stuck in our homes bored with nothing else exciting to do. Bon appétit!
1 | Afro-Vegan: Farm-Fresh African, Caribbean, and Southern Flavors Remixed by Bryant Terry
Bryant Terry, a renowned chef and food justice activist, reworks and remixes the classic dishes of the African Diaspora to present a book with over 100 wholly new, creative culinary combinations. This unique blend of African, Caribbean, and southern cuisines will take you on an international food journey that will impress vegans, vegetarians, and omnivores alike!
2 | Aphrodite: A Memoir of the Senses by Isabel Allende
New York Times bestselling author Isabel Allende celebrates the pleasures of the sensual life in this rich and humorous memoir that combines personal narrative with the treasury of erotic lore. As an authority on aphrodisiacs, Allende covers everything from food and drink to amorous performance and foreign literature that will stimulate your libido as much as your appetite.
This cooking guide showcases 80 recipes for the world’s most popular vegetables — tailored to accommodate gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian, and vegan eaters everywhere. These vegetables, belonging to the family group brassicas, have grown in popularity the past few years due to their “superfood” status. When prepared properly, you’ll never complain about eating vegetables ever again!
4 | Cannelle et Vanille: Nourishing, Gluten-Free Recipes for Every Meal and Mood by Aran Goyoaga
From the creator of the famous eponymous blog Cannelle et Vanille comes the cookbook with 100 recipes that shows us how to bring more joy and mindfulness in the kitchen. Filled with Aran Goyoaga’s beautiful photography, you will find more than just recipes in this book: there is also advice on how to arrange your dining table, decorate your kitchen, and infuse welcomeness in other domestic spaces.
5 | The Clean Plate: Eat, Reset, Heal by Gwyneth Paltrow
Released in January 2019, this cookbook from Gwyneth Paltrow is excellent. With totally doable recipes and inspirational images, you’ll find lots that will entice you. Cassandra’s favorite part is the Q&A section at the back of the book, where six wellness practitioners discuss their expertise and how eating can maximize our health (complete with meal plans).
6 | Cook Beautiful by Athena Calderone
In her debut cookbook, Athena Calderone reveals the secrets to preparing and presenting unforgettable meals — in both the visual and gustatory sense. Included are 100 seasonal recipes with step-by-step advice on everything from prep to presentation, and each section closes with a tablescape inspired by nature. In other words, you have a book where culinary tradition meets style and design.
Otherwise known as the “bean bible,” Joe Yonan’s food guide offers the reader 125 different ways to innovatively cook beans, chickpeas, lentils, pulses, and more. This delicious, versatile, and environmentally friendly protein is now in the spotlight, chances are you’ll never view dishes, snacks, soups, or desserts with beans the same ever again!
Tal Ronnen is dedicated to reinventing plant-based eating at his Los Angeles restaurant, Crossroads. Together with his chefs Scot Jones and Serafina Magnussen, Tal has created a delectable menu that anyone — not just the typical vegan hipster — can enjoy. And in this book, he has shared his sumptuous secrets for all those mindful eaters out there.
9 | Eat.Taste.Heal: An Ayurvedic Cookbook for Modern Living by Thomas Yarema, MD, Daniel Rhoda D.A.S., & Chef Johnny Brannigan
This collaborative cookbook written by a doctor, patient, and chef provides groundbreaking work in holistic health and nutrition. This combined guidebook and cookbook aims to demystify the ancient healing science of Ayurveda through cross-cultural recipes and practical dietary programs.
10 | Eat With Intention: Recipes and Meditations for a Life that Lights You Up by Cassandra Bodzak
Instead of your traditional cookbook with fad diets, cleanses, and eating kale every day, this cookbook teaches you step-by-step how to eat with intention by properly listening to your body. Wellness teacher Cassandra Bodzak shares her wisdom through a blend of meditations and plant-based recipes so that you can live your best life with a clear head and nourished body.
11 | Everyday Fresh: Meals in Minutes by Donna Hay
Some days, you don’t have the time or energy to cook a well-balanced meal. That’s where Donna Hay comes in: true to its title, her cookbook lays out flexible recipes that can be made in one bowl and are quick to prepare, yet still contain health benefits and taste utterly delicious. Very popular in Australia, she creates recipes that are spectacularly influenced by Asian cuisine.
12 | Food: What the Heck Should I Cook? by Mark Hyman, MD
Dr. Hyman’s previous book, Food: What the Heck Should I Eat? revolutionized the way we view food by dispelling myths around nutrition that have kept us from consuming tasty foods. In this companion book, Dr. Hyman highlights the benefits of good fats and legumes and includes them in mouthwatering dishes. Whether you follow a vegan, Paleo, Pegan, grain-free, or dairy-free diet, you can adapt the recipes here to whichever eating style appeals!
13 | Food52 Vegan: 60 Vegetable-Driven Recipes for Any Kitchen by Gena Hamshaw
In this handy cookbook, Gena Hamshaw dives into the health benefits of vegan meals and inspires readers to incorporate plant-based recipes into their everyday routine. Cook from this book just a few times, and you’ll find yourself blending your own nut milks, stocking up on coconut oil, and looking forward to eating your next plant-based dish!
14 | In Bibi’s Kitchen: The Recipes and Stories of Grandmothers from the Eight African Countries that Touch the Indian Ocean by Hawa Hassan & Julia Turshen
In this inspiring volume, Somali chef Hawa Hassan and food writer Julia Turshen present 75 recipes and stories compiled by bibis (grandmothers) from eight African countries: Eritrea, Somalia, Kenya, Tanzania, Comoros, Madagascar, Mozambique, and South Africa. Much more than just a cookbook, In Bibi’s Kitchen uses food to teach us about families, war, loss, migration, sanctuary, and refuge.
15 | Mediterranean: Naturally Nutritious Recipes from the World’s Healthiest Diet by Susie Theodorou
Raised by Greek-Cypriot parents on a freshly picked diet, Susie Theodorou knows firsthand the benefits of eating traditional Mediterranean cuisine. From fish and hummus to olives and white cheese, the recipes in this book do not primarily promote weight loss or weight gain, but instead they encourage a healthier and happier way of life.
16 | Mostly Plants: 101 Delicious Flexitarian Recipes from the Pollan Family by The Pollan Family
Sometimes, practicing a strict vegetarian or vegan diet isn’t practical for some of us. It’s hard and requires a lot of effort, but that doesn’t mean your intentions are void. Being a “flexitarian” is still something of which to be proud. The Pollan family’s cookbook embraces the flexitarian diet through dishes that you can adapt to any omnivore, vegetarian, or vegan!
17 | Ottolenghi Flavor: A Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi & Ixta Belfrage
In this groundbreaking cookbook, Yotam Ottolenghi and Ixta Belfrage offer next-level approaches to preparing vegetables in a variety of different ways. Infuse any meal with vegetables, including main courses, sides, desserts, and more. Your pantry will become a “flavor bomb” of goodness!
18 | The Perfect Blending Cookbook by Williams-Sonoma Test Kitchen
From the Williams-Sonoma Test Kitchen comes this all-inclusive, recipe-packed guide to mastering any high-power blender. There are over 30 recipes in this cookbook, which include using a Vitamix® Professional Series™ blender. The best part? The recipes are versatile! From breakfast to dinner, including snacks, desserts, and smoothies, you will enhance your palate and discover a new way of eating.
19 | Real Food Heals: Eat to Feel Younger and Stronger Every Day by Seamus Mullen
After a near-death experience brought on by an autoimmune disease, he’d struggled with for years, Seamus Mullen radically changed the way he cooked, both at restaurants and at home. He reinvents healthy cooking in this cookbook and includes over 125 Paleo-inspired recipes that will let your body feel younger, stronger, and more energized by the day.
20 | Roots: The Definitive Compendium with more than 225 Recipes by Diane Morgan
This comprehensive guide privileges the usage of root vegetables in meal preparation. Discover the fascinating history and lore of 29 major roots, their nutritional content, how to buy and store them, and of course, cooking them in your dishes. This culinary encyclopedia allows dedicated home cooks to achieve a new level of sophistication in their daily cooking of yams and yuca to Andean tubers and burdock.
21 | Well+Good Cookbook: 100 Healthy Recipes + Expert Advice for Better Living by Alexia Brue & Melisse Gelula
Authors Alexia Brue and Melisse Gelula have curated a collection of 100 easy-to-make recipes that can improve all facets of your life. Whether you want to transform your eating habits, clear up your skin, add more nutrients to your cooking repertoire, or sleep more soundly, this wellness cookbook can provide you with a solution to all of your health needs.
Cooking is more than just about the end product and eating tasty meals (although it’s a significant part of it!). Cooking is a deliberate and sometimes lengthy process, a science that demands dedication and commitment.
Besides being a healthy hobby and useful skill, meal preparation can bring friends and family together. Remember to practice good eating habits, and enjoy the flavors!
If you’re busy cooking at home and not quite ready to plan a getaway, abroad or closer to home, I have all sorts of resources for you to enjoy an escape from the comfort of your own home.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases. Don’t worry, it doesn’t cost you a penny! Thanks for your support!