Menopause App

Digital Packs Banner Digital Packs Banner


10 BEST healthy cookbooks

Tired of chicken salad? We’ve handpicked the best healthy cookbooks for all lifestyles and tastes. Best news? Read on to find out how you could win them all


paleo9780600629320This book is great for paleo virgins such as myself. Having never really dabbled in paleo  myself, this cookbook made me less afraid to delve in to eating caveman-style. Paleo is mainly a diet rich in foods such as meat, fish, vegetables, fruits, eggs, nuts and seeds. I wrongly assumed that it would be quite a restrictive way of eating but this book features some jazzy recipes for every time of day and nothing is boring. The book is concise but informative, providing not just recipes but how the paleo way of eating works, how it does your body good and tips for beginners. One of my personal favourites out of the recipes is the coconut and banana pancakes because it would fill that sweet gap nicely.

STAR RECIPE: Coconut and Banana Pancakes

  • 2 Bananas
  • 45g ground almonds
  • 15g dessicated coconut
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1-2 tbsp non-dairy milk
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp chopped pecan nuts
  • 1 tbsp honey
  1. Mash one of the bananas in a bowl and stir in the almonds and coconut.
  2. Beat in the egg and enough milk to make a thick batter.
  3. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and spoon four spoonfuls of the batter in to the pan.
  4. Cook for 3-4 mins until golden underneath and then flip over and cook for a further 3-4 minutes on the other side.
  5. Slice the remaining banana and serve on top of the pancakes, sprinkled with the chopped pecans and a drizzle of honey.

 BUY: The Paleo Diet Made Easy Cookbook by Joy Skipper £9.09


2. EAT WELL AND STAY SLIM by Michel Guerard 

Eat Well and Stay slim

Food for slimming doesn’t have to be bland when you have your mitts on this book. Three-Michelin-starred chef Michel Guerard has put together a slimming toolkit using his knowledge of Nouvelle cuisine and years of experience. The result is a mix of wonderfully light recipes, all low in calories but without sacrificing the taste. You don’t even need a Michelin star to prepare these dishes as they’re all clearly explained and not too much technical jargon is used. Cooking-phobes don’t fret. The recipes each have a calorie count but are substantial enough to feel like real food. The  Italian-style beefburgers with basil jumped out at me and at 215 calories each, you can’t go wrong.

STAR RECIPE: Italian-style Beefburgers with Basil

  • 360g rumpsteak, trimmed of fat and connective tissue
  • 1 egg white
  • 30g fresh Parmesan, grated
  • 6 basil leaves, finely snapped
  • 5-6 tbsp good-quality beef jus, such as the degreased juices left over from a roast, or 5-6 tbsp beef stock, either home-made or from a cube
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper of your choice
  1. Cut the steak in to 1/2cm dice. In a large mixing bowl, beat the egg white lightly until it foams, then stir in the grated Parmesan, the basil and the beef stock. Add the diced steak, season to taste with salt and papper, then mix gently with a fork to distribute the ingredients evenly.
  2. Select a small baking sheet or tray that will fit in to the refrigerator. Line it with greaseproof or parchment paper and add the food rings. Spoon the steak mixture into the rings and tap the surface lightly with the back of the spoon to settle the contents. Transfer to the refrigerator for 1 hour.
  3. When you are ready to cook the beefburgers, heat the olive oil in a non-stick frying pan (skillet). When the oil is hot, transfer each beefburger to the pan using a wide flexible spatula and carefully lifting away the food ring once the beefburger has slipped into the pan. Cook the beefburgers for 2 minutes on each side, turning them carefully with the spatula.

BUY: Eat Well and Stay Slim: The Essential Cuisine Minceur by Michel Guérard £17 




Processed food no more – this cookbook was made with health in mind as well as slimming. Inflammation is a common symptom of chronic illness and this way of eating is designed to cleanse the body using a combination of superfood recipes and scientific information that helps you to understand how diet can be linked to inflammation. There are recipes for most food allergy sufferers such as dairy, gluten, eggs, nuts and a guide to the GI index of the food. 

STAR RECIPE: Butter Me Chicken

  • 2lbs of boneless skinless chicken breast or thighs, cut to bite size pieces


  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1tbsp grated fresh ginger root
  • Pinch pink rock salt or gray sea salt

Butter Chicken Sauce:

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups thinly sliced yellow onion
  • 2 gloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp powdered ginger
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1/8 tsp cloves
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 28-oz can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp pink rock salt or gray sea salt
  • 2 tbsp coconut sugar or honet
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  1. Combine marinade ingredients in a glass bowl. Place chicken in marinade and refridgerate for 1 to 8 hours.
  2. Mix all dry spices in to a small mixing bowl and put aside. Once chicken has finished marinating, prepare sauce by sautéing oil, onion, garlic and spices in a large saucepan over medium heat for 3 minutes, until onion is translucent. Add chicken with marinade and stir. Cook for 5 minutes until chicken has started to cook.
  3. Add tomatoes, lemon juice, salt and sweetener. Boil for 5 minutes. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes uncovered until chicken is cooked through. Add coconut milk and taste to adjust seasoning.
  4. Garnish with minced fresh coriander.

BUY: Slimming Meals That Heal: Lose Weight Without Dieting, Using Anti-inflammatory Superfoods by Julie Daniluk £15.73 


4. HEALTHY EVERY DAY By Dale Pinnock

healthy every day

If you LOVE food, Dale’s gorgeous recipes will not disappoint. This is a great collection of tasty and nutrient dense recipes from a chef who is fast becoming the wellbeing world’s answer to Jamie Oliver. Dale teaches you to make better choices rather than to restrict you of the things you love to eat. Each recipe has a note at the top which explains the ailments the recipe can help with and the ingredients he uses are quite accessible. 

STAR RECIPE: Tuna steak with herbed bean salad

  • 1 x 400 tin mixed beans, drained
  • Small bunch fresh coriander
  • 1 tsp capers
  • 1/2 tsp white wine vinegar
  • olive oil, for cooking
  • 1 tuna steak
  • 1 lime cut in to wedges
  • 1 red chilli, seeded and finely chopped
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  1. Rinse the beans under cold running water. Drain off as much water as possible and transfer them to a bowl. Tear in most of the coriander, add the capers and the vinegar, and season with salt and pepper. Stir well.
  2. Drizzle about 1 teaspoon olive oil over each side of the tuna steak and season with salt and pepper. Heat a ridged grill pan until hot, add the tuna and cook for around 3 minutes on each side. Don’t move it around, the edges should be cooked and middle should remain pink.
  3. To serve, place bean salad in centre of a plate and top with the tuna steak. Sprinkle with chilli and coriander and serve with lime wedges.

BUY: The Medicinal Chef: Healthy Every Day by Dale Pinnock £12.91 


5. EAT YOUR WAY TO LOWER CHOLESTEROL by Ian Marber and Dr Laura Corr

Eat Your Way to Lower Cholesterol jacket image

Suffering from high cholesterol usually means sacrificing red meats, eggs and shellfish but that needn’t be the case with this book. Two experts, nutritional therapist and health writer Ian Marber and consultant cardiologist Dr Laura Corr have teamed up to educate people on the six food groups which can help you to achieve lower cholesterol, and they’ve incorporated this in the recipes which takes the stress out of trying to decide whether it will help with cholesterol. 



STAR RECIPE: Red pepper and goat’s cheese muffins

  • 300g wholemeal flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • Pinch salt
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 red pepper, deseeded and diced
  • 150g soya goat’s style cheese, diced
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 270ml unsweetened soya milk
  • 100ml rapeseed or olive oil
  1. Preheat the oven to 190c/Gas mark 5. Sift flour, baking powder, bicarb soda, salt and cayenne pepper in to a bowl, adding the bran pieces left in the sieve to the bowl.
  2. Add the red pepper and cheese and  mix thoroughly using a wooden spoon and then make a well in the centre. Mix together the beaten egg, soya milk and oil in a measuring jug and pour gradually in to the flour mixture, stirring with a wooden spoon until combined.
  3. Spoon evenly in to a non-stick 12 hole muffin tin or in to 12 paper cases arranged on a baking tray. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes until golden brown and a skewer inserted in to the centre of a muffin comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

BUY: Eat Your Way To Lower Cholesterol by Ian Marber and Dr Laura Corr £9 



Slimming World's Fakeaways front cover

According to a survey, more than half of slimmers worry that they won’t stick  to healthy eating plans because of having to give up takeaways. Slimming World have compiled takeaway-esque recipes to satisfy Slimming World’s Food Optimising plan, without a horrendous amount of ‘Syns’ (Slimming World’s answer to calories). From kebabs, burgers and chips to Chinese, Indian and Thai, the recipes look positively mouthwatering. Thai food can be surprisingly low in syns if done the Slimming World way and the Thai Green Chicken Curry is just fabulous.

STAR RECIPE: Thai Green Chicken Curry

  • Low cal cooking spray
  • 2 level tbsp Thai Green curry paste
  • 8 skinless and boneless chicken thighs, cut in to large pieces
  • 600ml boiling chicken stock
  • 100ml light coconut milk
  • 400g frozen mixed veg
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Small handful of finely chopped fresh coriander
  1. Spray a large non stick wok or frying pan with low cal cooking spray and place over a medium high heat. Add the curry paste and chicken and stir fry for 2-3 minutes. Add the stock and coconut milk and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 10 mins or until chicken is cooked through.
  2. Add the veg to the wok, bring back to a simmer and cook for 6-8 mins or until just tender. Remove from the heat, stir in the soy sauce and season to taste.
  3. Ladle the curry in to bowls and scatter over the coriander. This is delicious served with Thai fragrant or jasmine rice.

BUY: SLIMMING WORLD’S FAKEAWAYS by Slimming World £4.95 


7. THE ART OF EATING WELL by Jasmine and Melissa Hemsley 

hemsley hemsley

Simply put, this book is wonderful. The Hemsley sisters have a knack of making me hungry with the way they talk about food and their passion comes through in every recipe. Think of this as a food bible. There’s no faddiness about it, they  know what people like to eat and how to be sensible about it. One recipe that really did it for me was the Blueberry Chia Jam. The simplicity of using jam and incorporating the alchemy of the chia seeds was such a novelty to me and gorgeous on toast. 


STAR RECIPE: Instant Blueberry Chia Jam

  • 180g fresh blueberries
  • 2 1/2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1-2 1/2 tsp raw honey
  1. Mash the berries or blend them in a food processor
  2. Mix in the chia seeds, 1tbsp warm water and 1 teaspoon of the honey. Stir well to stop clumps forming or make it straight in the jar and shake to mix.
  3. Keep the chia jam sealed in a jar in the fridge to set for at least an hour or until needed.
  4. Taste and stir in more honey if needed.

BUY: The Art of Eating Well by Hemsley + Hemsley £12 

8. VEGAN FINGER FOODS by Celine Steen and Tamasin Noyes

Vegan Finger Foods

Despite not being a vegan myself, this book amazed me. When I think vegan, I automatically panic as I imagine that’s most of my favourite foods off the menu. But the sheer range of choice in this book is eye-opening. Catering for vegans should no longer be a chore as even the biggest meat eater would find it difficult to say no to a lot of these recipes. The reason I stopped being a vegetarian was purely bacon-related so the fact that this book had bacon made out of mushrooms was enough reason for me to recommend it.

STAR RECIPE: Vegan Bacon

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp tamari
  • 1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1/4 ground black pepper
  • 1 package or 100g of shiitake mushrooms
  1. Preheat oven to 180c or gas mark 4.
  2. Mix the olive oil, tamari, sesame oil, liquid smoke, salt and pepper in a medium bowl.
  3. Remove stems from the mushrooms and slice the caps in to 3mm strips.
  4. Add mushrooms to the liquid mixture and toss to coat completely.
  5. Spread in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until nicely browned.
  6. The bacon will crisp as it cools.

BUY: Vegan Finger Foods by Celine Steen and Tamasin Noyes £14.99 

9. THE ALKALINE CURE By Dr Stephen Domenig

The Alkaline Cure cover

If you’re not one for gimmicks and want a simple solution to a better diet, then this is the book for you. With clients such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Uma Thurman, Dr Stephan Domenig’s first book lays out the basic principles of a way of eating which bases itself on alkaline-based foods. The diet claims to increase energy, slow down ageing, encourage weight loss and decrease bloating. It has a day by day eating plan to get you started which is great for those scared to try an alkaline diet. Who would have thought spicy meatballs could be alkaline? Paired with tzatziki, it can be.

STAR RECIPE: Spicy meatballs with tzatziki

  • 1 onion, diced
  • Coconut oil
  • 85g organic minced beef
  • 1 egg
  • 1 slice of bread, made to breadcrumbs
  • Paprika
  • Parsley, chopped
  • 120ml yogurt
  • 75g cucumber slices
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • Mint, chopped
  1. Fry the onion in coconut oil until translucent
  2. Mix the meat with the egg, breadcrumbs, paprika and parsley
  3. Add the onion to the meat mixture and roll in to small balls
  4. Put them in a frying pan to cook slowly
  5. To make the tzatziki, mix the yogurt with the cucumber slices, as much crushed garlic as you like. and a generous handful of chopped mint. Serve with meatballs.

BUY: The Alkaline Cure by Dr Stephan Domenig £10.49 



Eat Yourself Pregnant

With celebrity clients such as Cate Blanchett, Stella McCartney and Kate Winslet, high profile fertility guru Zita West has collated a great book of tips, and recipes to regain hormonal balance for women who are struggling with conception. Zita makes it easy to understand and has laid out a fertility detox with affordable ingredients and simple, easy to prepare recipes. The first section of the book covers details such as what nutrients are important and what they can do for you, and foods that are unhealthy to consume during pregnancy. The second section uses the vitamins and nutrients explained in the first section inrecipes. 

STAR RECIPE: Spiced Chicken Patties with Mango and Coriander Salsa

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, chopped
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp peeled and grated root ginger
  • 1 garlic clove crushed
  • A pinch of sea salt
  • A pinch of smoked paprika
  • 100g polenta
  • Olive or coconut oil for frying
  • Leafy green salad to serve

Mango and coriander salsa

  • 1 small red chilli, deseeded and finely diced
  • 1/2 red onion, finely diced
  • 1 small ripe mango, peeled, pitted and finely diced
  • Juice of two limes
  • 1 handful of coriander leaves, chopped
  • Sea salt and ground black pepper
  1. To make the mango and coriander salsa, combine all the ingredients in a non-reactive bowl.
  2. Put the chicken breasts in a food processor and pulse to break up slightly. Add all the remaining ingredients except the polenta and process to combine.
  3. Sprinkle the polenta on a plate. Scoop out walnut-sized pieces of the chicken mixture and shape in to small, round cakes. Press the cakes in to the polenta all over to coat.
  4. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Brown the patties for about 2-3 minutes on each side until cooked through, then drain on kitchen paper. Serve with the salsa and leafy green salad.

BUY: Eat Yourself Pregnant by Zita West £10.49

Cookbooks trailerWant a chance to win all these cookbooks worth £168? Just tell us in the comments what’s your favourite go-to cookbook for healthy recipes for a chance to win.

Like this article? Sign up to our newsletter to get more articles like this delivered straight to your inbox.

More Healthista Content