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Healthy Recipes

5 BEST Healthy winter cookbooks

Whether you’re a hostess, rushed mum or slimmer, LYDIA JONES has a hot, seasonal cookbook for every one who wants to have a healthier winter


On the inside sleeve, the Eat to Live Cookbook asks, ‘Do you want delicious food that allows you to lose weight and keep it off permanently without hunger or deprivation?’ I’m sorry, but… Is that a trick question?! This book provides ‘200 delicious nutrient-rich recipes for fast and sustained weight loss, reversing disease, and lifelong health’. Well, we’re hooked, and we haven’t even broken the spine yet.

Written by Joel Fuhrman, Eat to Live follows a nutritarian diet, which means eating mainly nutrient-dense plant foods, and cutting down or eliminating animal products and foods that are ‘empty of nutrients’ (sugars, sweetners, white flour, processed foods and fast foods). There are clear but in-depth guidelines explaining how to follow the plan, as well as testimonials and success stories. I particularly like the pages that explain how to pick the best ripe fruits, twenty-one of them listed individually. The recipes are easy to follow and involve only a few steps. Being healthy certainly doesn’t mean boring and bland food, and Eat to Live’s recipes look good for you in the right kinds of ways; full of colour, and mouth-wateringly substantial. What really got our tastebuds going was the ‘Eggplant Cannelloni with Pine Nut Romesco Sauce’. Looks delicious and ticks all the boxes for any dining occasion.



Serves 6



2 large eggplants, peeled and sliced lengthwise 1/2-inch thick

2–3 tablespoons water

2 medium red bell peppers, seeded and coarsely chopped

1 medium onion, coarsely chopped

1 cup chopped carrots

1/2 cup chopped celery

4 cloves garlic

8 ounces baby spinach

No-salt seasoning blend, adjusted to taste, or 1 tablespoon Dr. Fuhrman’s VegiZest

1 cup cooked quinoa, Kamut, barley, spelt, or brown rice

2 cups no-salt-added or low-sodium pasta sauce

3 ounces nondairy, mozzarella-type cheese, shredded


1/2 cup onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1/2 tomato, chopped

1 teaspoon ancho chili powder

1/2 cup roasted red peppers

2 tablespoons water

2 tablespoons sherry vinegar

2 tablespoons pine nuts (see Note)

2 tablespoons nutritional yeast


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly oil a nonstick baking pan. Arrange eggplant in a single layer in the pan. Bake about 20 minutes or until eggplant is flexible enough to roll up easily. Set aside.

Heat 2 tablespoons water in a large pan, add the bell pepper, onion, carrots, celery, and garlic and sauté until just tender, adding more water if needed. Add the spinach and VegiZest or other no-salt seasoning blend, and cook until spinach is wilted. Add the cooked quinoa.

Transfer to a mixing bowl. Mix in 2–3 tablespoons of the pasta sauce and all of the shredded cheese. Spread about 1/4 cup of the pasta sauce in a baking pan. Put some of the vegetable mixture on each eggplant slice, roll up, and place in the pan. Pour remaining sauce over the eggplant rolls. Bake for 20 minutes, until heated through.

To make romesco sauce, sauté the onions, garlic, and tomatoes in a little water or white wine until the onions are translucent, add chili powder, and sauté an extra minute. Put onion mixture in a high-powered blender with the remaining ingredients and puree until smooth. Serve eggplant with a drizzle of romesco sauce.

NOTE: Use Mediterranean pine nuts if available. Raw almonds may be substituted.





Eat To Live Cookbook

Joel Fuhrman, M. D.

Publisher : HarperOne

Amazon, £15.66




There’s always a difficult decision to be made when being healthy and having people over; do I blow the diet in the name of extravagant hosting, or do I drag everyone down into healthy eating with me, and risk their disappointment? We picked The Medicinal Chef as the perfect dinner party guest because it offers great tasting, healthy recipes that bring the wow-factor when it comes to presentation. Dale Pinnock’s first major publication is verging on art ‘coffee table’ book, and I’d be happy to hang any of the beautiful images from inside on my kitchen wall. Not only do they look good but, as the name suggests, Dale has devised recipes that help combat various medical conditions, from skin to the reproductive systems, and all the subcategories imaginable. The book is categorized by course, but on each page there is a key so you know which conditions the meal helps to combat.

The star recipe for me would have to be Dale’s ‘Tuna Steaks with Sweet Potato Wedges and Spring Greens’. What better way to make your guests happy than to give them chips? This dish helps those with acne, arthritis, asthma, type 2 diabetes, depression, high cholestrol and polycystic ovary syndrome, and to top it all off, it’s only got seven ingredients. I look forward to my dinner invitation. Dale’s even newer book, Healthy Every Day is out in January and you can pre-order at Amazon.

tuna steaks


This is a healthy spin-off from fish and chips – well, it is to me at least! It contains some very nutritious ingredients, and it’s fabulous for the health of many body systems.


2 large sweet potatoes

olive oil, for drizzling

and cooking

100g spring greens, shredded

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 red chilli, finely chopped

2 tuna steaks, about 150g each

sea salt and black pepper

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas mark 4.

Cut the unpeeled sweet potatoes lengthways into long, thin wedges. Drizzle the wedges with a little olive oil, season with salt and pepper and cook in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until they start to brown and the skin begins to crisp. Turn them over at least once, too.

Heat a little olive oil in a pan, add the spring greens and fry for about 5–8 minutes, or until they have turned a much brighter green colour. At this stage, add the garlic and chilli, season with salt and pepper and stir well.

Heat a non-stick frying pan or griddle with a tiny amount of olive oil. Add the tuna and sear it for 3–4 minutes on each side. If the thought of the middle of the tuna being pink really puts you off, you can of course cook it for longer, but cooking it lightly does preserve more of that vital omega 3. Slice the tuna and arrange it on top of the greens, then serve immediately.


The Medicinal Chef : Eat Your Way to Better Health

Dale Pinnock 

Publisher : Quadrille

Amazon, £12.72




In conversation with my vegetarian friend recently, she admitted that although eating a veggie diet is just as tasty, it does require a lot of effort when coming up with new things to eat. I’ve certainly noticed in the past few months that despite eating enough fruit and vegetables, I’m incredibly meat orientated. When shopping for a meal it’s always meat then carbs then veg, which is a shame because I enjoy all types of greenery, and there are just so many wonderful things to choose from. When I’ve tried to go vegetarian myself, just for a self-motivated challenge, it has been hard not to fall into the old habits, going for standard carrots and broccoli, and although they are delicious, there’s only so many Linda MacCartney sausages one person can take.

The new Martha Stewart cookbook Meatless will help you steer far, far away from ‘meat and two veg’. By the time I got to the end, I couldn’t believe I’d passed 300 pages of meat-free food… and I was still so hungry! Not only does the book provide US to UK conversion charts on the inside page (Yes! Finally!), but each dish has the nutritional information per serving, and a key telling you if it complies with a gluten-free, vegan or special diet too. When choosing one recipe for this review however, I put myself in the mind of my boyfriend, for obvious reasons that I hope every woman can comprehend. For a dish that wouldn’t make you miss meat, I think the ‘Portobello and Zucchini Tacos’ are a winner. Satisfyingly filling and fun to build, you never need to be hungry or bored with a vegetarian diet when you’ve got these beauties. A really wonderful book, thanks Martha. And my veggie friend? I’ve bought her her own copy for her birthday.

 Portabello, Zucchini Tacos


Roasted vegetables make fine fillings for meat free tacos; besides the ones used here, try corn, bell peppers, other types of mushrooms and any variety of squash or potato. Rajas is another classic option: Roast four poblano chillies (see page 364) cut into half inch wide strips and season with salt; serve with picked red onion (see page 361) and shredded cheese. Serves four. 

5 Portobello mushrooms, stemmed and sliced ½ inch thick

2 teaspoons dried oregano

2 tablespoons olive oil

¼ cup water

Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

4 zucchini cut into 2 by ½ sticks

1 red onion halved and sliced ¼ inch thick

8 corn tortillas (41/2 inch size)

6 ounces Monterey Jack, shredded (1 ½ cups)

1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered

Preheat oven to 425 F. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss mushrooms with 1 teaspoon oregano, 1 tablespoon olive oil and the water; season with salt and pepper. On another baking sheet toss zucchini and onion with remaining teaspoon oregano and tablespoon olive oil; season with salt and pepper

Roast, tossing occasionally, until vegetables are browned and fork-tender , 25-30 minutes (zucchini may cook faster than mushrooms)

Using tongs, hold each tortilla directly over a gas flame, turning, until heated through, about 5 seconds. (alternatively wrap tortillas in parchment, then foil, and warm in a 350 F oven)

To serve, fill each tortilla with mushrooms, vegetable mixture, shredded cheese and tomatoes 

Per serving:  397 calories, 22g fat (9.45 saturated fat), 37.85mg cholesterol, 35.6g carbohydrates, 18.8g protein, 5.2g fibre



Meatless: more than 200 of the very best vegetarian recipes

Martha Stewart

Publisher : Bantam Press

Amazon, £10.68




It’s been drummed into all of us over the years that the most dangerous place to carry fat is around your middle. This is because, as the new Flat Belly Cookbook For Dummies tells us, ‘Elevated levels of belly fat can cause inflammation through-out your body and increase your risk of everything from heart disease to metabolic syndrome to diabetes to cancer’. Yikes. Ways of telling if you’ve got excess belly fat could be to check your BMI, waist circumference, and even your waist-to-hip ratio, but simply looking at a figure on your scales won’t necessarily tell you the whole story.

This Dummies book gets you fully up-to-speed on the risks of belly fat, the ins and outs of the diet, and has masses of recipes to follow (and I mean masses… The index at the back is 19 pages long!). It talks about changing for good, and not to think of it as a diet, but more a lifestyle adjustment. Main tips includes ‘eat more to lose more’ (but of the right foods), and concentrating on the timings of your meals and the gaps between. In true ‘For Dummies’ style, the book is text only, but nevertheless is clearly laid out, kid-friendly and each recipe is easy to follow. Our pick for a ‘healthy eating for all the family’ recipe is the ‘Mini Spinach Cheeseburger Pizzas’. Ten minutes prep time, ten minutes cook time, and it’s a burger and a pizza rolled into one. What’s not to like?


Prep time : 10 min

Cook time : 10 min

Yield : 6 servings


2 cups spinach

1 ½ tablespoons pesto

Six 4-inch whole-wheat pita rounds

¾ cup tomato sauce

½ pound lean ground beef, cooked

½ cup part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded


1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

2. In a food processor or blender, blend the spinach and pesto together until incorporated

3. Place the pitas on a baking sheet and lightly cover with tomato sauce

4. Top each pita with spinach pesto, beef, and mozzarella cheese.

5. Bake for 10 minutes, until the cheese is melted.

Vary it! Instead of ground beef, try ground turkey breast.

Flat Belly Cookbook


Flat Belly Cookbook For Dummies

Erin Palinski-Wade, Tara Gidus, Kristina LaRue

Publisher : John Wiley and Sons

Amazon, £10.87, from 22nd November 2013



Why is it that when we come home from work, starving hungry and in need of something fast, we often think the quickest way to get a tasty meal is to call up the local Chinese? You take twenty minutes to decide, ten minutes of ‘But I thought YOU were phoning them!’, then the dreaded ‘That’ll be a thirty to forty-five minute wait please’. By the time it’s arrived you’ve been at home for an hour, they’ve usually forgotten something, and then after it’s gone you’re left with an aching stomach whilst you watch the sweet and sour sauce congeal in the Tupperware (not to mention the significant dent in your wallet). It’s absolutely crazy when you consider that a good oriental stir-fry can be ready in minutes, and packed full of healthy goodness.

He started by making women look good on the outside, now he’s working on the inside too. In his latest of five books, ‘Gok’s Wok’, Gok Wan gives us recipes for ‘fast, fresh healthy’ Asian food. Another book you’ll want to put on display, it’s almost like a dietary scrapbook with family recipes, friend’s favourites and dishes from all over Asian. What better on a blustery night than a Thai Green Curry? As Gok says, it’s such a waste to make it with a ready-made sauce, when you can easily do it from scratch. Coming to a Healthista kitchen soon, for sure.

Thai Green Curry


I am always disappointed when I flick through recipe books to see Thai curries that lazily list shop-bought pastes. Sure, there are some brilliant pastes available that are a shortcut to a quick meal, but they already have a recipe on the side of the pot! So, here’s my recipe. I’ve conjured up the flavour with readily available ingredients, so it may not be 100 per cent authentic, but it is absolutely 100 per cent delicious.

462 calories, 17.1g fat, 12.1g sat fat, 5.8g sugar, 4.1g salt


6 shallots, peeled and roughly chopped 

10 green bird’s eye chillies (reduce the number of chillies if you don’t like it too hot)

50g fresh coriander, stems and all, roughly chopped

20g fresh basil, stems and all, roughly chopped

2 stalks of lemon grass, trimmed and roughly chopped

4cm fresh galangal, peeled and roughly chopped, or 2 heaped tsp from a jar

2 tinned anchovy fillets, drained and roughly chopped

5 cloves of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped

Juice and zest of 1 lime

3 tbsp fish sauce

150g coconut cream

400g skinless chicken breast, chopped into bite-sized chunks

300g aubergine, trimmed and chopped into bite-sized chunks

250ml hot chicken or vegetable stock

500g steamed jasmine rice, to serve

1⁄4 fresh red chilli, to serve

Blitz the shallots, chillies, coriander, basil, lemon grass, galangal, anchovies, garlic, lime zest and 2 tablespoons of the fish sauce in a small food processor until you achieve a fairly smooth paste. (You can also do this with a pestle and mortar.)

Spoon the coconut cream into a wok and heat over a medium to high heat for a couple of minutes; it will melt, boil and then begin to split. When it has split, stir in the curry paste. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add the chicken and aubergine and stir gently for 2 minutes, by which time they should be well coated in the sauce.

Pour in the hot stock and simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the aubergine is so’, while still holding its shape. Serve the curry with freshly steamed jasmine rice sprinkled with chopped red chilli.

Gok's Wok Cover



Gok’s Wok : Fast, Fresh Healthy Asian Recipes

Gok Wan

Publisher : Ebury Press

Ebury Publishing, £20



Want to win ‘Eat To Live Cookbook’? Retweet and share this story to be in with a chance. Have you got a favourite healthy winter warmer?

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Lydia Jones blogs at

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