Food Talk And Fabulous Finds - Your favorite cookbook?

View Full Version : Your favorite cookbook?

05-04-2010, 01:08 PM
So I've been looking for good cookbooks with healthy, low calorie foods. I'm very much interested in alternative versions of high calorie foods and the tips and tricks that go along with it. (Ingredient substitution, alternative cooking methods, etc.)

I've been finding quite a few but I'm overwhelmed and I can't buy them all!

So.... If you were being shipped off to a desert island :beach: (with a fully equipped kitchen of course) and you could only take ONE cookbook which one would it be and why?

So okay, you can also try to bargain to take a couple more so if you want to include a few in your list that is fine. :p

05-04-2010, 01:37 PM
The two cookbooks I use most often are "How to cook everything vegetarian" by Mark Bittman and the "King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking Book". Both are excellent, and although the focus isn't low fat or low carb, I can adapt the recipes to suit my taste.

How to cook everything vegetarian is nice because it illustrates lots of dishes to make that are vegetarian with a near infinite number of variations. I like experimenting with food, and this has gotten me into a broader variety of grains and beans. The recipes are also pretty simple and don't require too many things that are fancy. He also starts from scratch, giving recipes for spice mixes and seitan. I also like that he gives instructions on how to make things vegan. I have vegan friends and like to have them over for dinner, and they like being able to come over and not worry.

The whole grain baking book is most definitely not exclusively diet food, although they do give calorie counts. I like that they address grains I don't use very often. I have found a number of bread recipes and pancake recipes that aren't too bad, calorie-wise, and get me into different whole grains like spelt.

Other than that, I'd need the internet on this island, because the internet is my third favorite cooking resource and where I learn about substitutions for reducing fats and such.

Oh, and it's not a cookbook, but "On food and cooking" by Harold McGee is also really good. But maybe I think that because I'm a chemist who loves to eat, and he talks about food science a lot.

05-04-2010, 02:18 PM
Eat Shrink and Be Merry (
I can not live without this cookbook! I cook from it all the time. You can sample their recipes online here (

A lot of the recipes on the website are simply different version then what is in the cookbook.

Few beefs with it - it uses a lot of the same ingredients (spices, sauces, etc) in a lot of recipes. This can be good or bad. Good that once you cook a few recipes you have the stuff for most of them - minus the odd thing. So one night you make dill chicken and the next night a spicy chicken. Same ingredients but one uses maple syrup and dill and the other uses BBQ sauce and chilli powder. I don't mind, I love everything I have made out of the book and I have made a lot - but for some people it could be disappointing. They have a lot of "fun" foods turn healthy, like beef macaroni and cheese, pizza dip (so good!), faux hot wings, lemon loaf, banana brand, mexician lasagna - I could go on and on (I have reviewed lots of recipes on my blog)

I like this book because it doesn't use anything weird that I can't find at most stores. It doesn't use any processed foods like tofu noodles and most recipes are simple to make. There is also fun jokes and cool tips. One year for Christmas I bought everyone a copy of this book and marked all my favourite recipes!

Other then that, I have other cookbooks - including more from the same authors but I never open them. I do all my cooking from that book or online. Usually from or from weightwatchers online. Sometimes other sites, but mostly those two.

05-04-2010, 02:40 PM
My favorite cookbook of all time is Vegan with a Vengeance. I bought it when I first wanted to learn how to cook veggie based meals. It has been there through the years :)

My newest favorite is Vive Vegan. Tons of central/south american recipes.

05-05-2010, 07:37 AM
I'm going to second Vegan with a Vengeance. Followed closely by Vegan Fire & Spice and Veganomicon.

The best cookbook I've ever owned is called Rice & Beans & Things, it was given to me as a gift by the woman who taught me to cook when I moved back to Indiana from Puerto Rico. It's certainly not diet, carb, weight, or veg*n friendly, but it reminds me of happy times. Plus, I can flip through it and almost taste the food from my childhood.

05-05-2010, 10:55 PM
Thanks for the suggestions! Does anyone else want to chime in?

05-06-2010, 01:46 AM
I do not have it yet but I am going to go get it this week it is The Betty Crocker 300 Calorie cookbook it says it has 400 pages of recipes and some of the recipes are under 200 calories. I have a friend that has it and she loves it. I think it will be great for me because I am running out of low calorie ideas and these seem like lower calorie versions of the foods I would normally eat.

Some of the recipes included are:

Honey Glazed chicken breasts
Baked Oregano Chicken (one at only 180 calories)
Smothered Cajun Pork Chops
Cheese Enchiladas
Philly Steak Casserole
Cheese Filled Tortellini Soup
Black Bean Taco Salad
Baked Chicken and Rice with Autumn Veggies
Country French Beef Stew
Chicken and Dumplings
Creamy Crabmeat Au Gratin
Tex Mex Scrambled Eggs
Cajun Oven Fried Trout
Grilled Pizza
Tex Mex Meat Loaf

Sounds good to me!!!

05-06-2010, 01:53 AM
I collect cookbooks. I don't think I could pick just one (I guess I'd just have to grab my biggest).

I'm on a tight budget, so my strategy is to buy my books used. Garage sales, thrift stores and

05-06-2010, 11:54 AM
My favorite cookbook is still growing. It's a 3-ring binder filled with healthy recipes that I've gleaned from the internet, newspapers and magazines, or received from friends. I include a photo of the recipe when one is given, so I know what it's supposed to look like at the end. (sometime is does not, lol)

05-09-2010, 03:45 PM
I love all the Hungry Girl cookbooks! Sooo yummy and healthy!

05-09-2010, 04:01 PM
Evelyn Tribole takes some traditional recipes and modifies them for lower fat and calories and gives comparisons. The one I like by her is Healthy Homestyle Cooking.

I also like Anne Lindsay's books. They are Canadian, but I think they are available on Amazon.