6 Cookbooks for Easy, Clean Meals

clean eating mason jar meals

Do you ever find yourself getting tired of cooking the same recipes? It can feel overwhelming to search for new recipes online and in cookbooks, and most of them seem complicated and too long to make. But before throwing in the towel and going back to your staples, know there are easy-to-follow and delicious recipes out there.

Whether you have a specific medical condition or are looking to improve your health, the answer begins in the kitchen. Vibrant health is built on food that is:

  • Clean
  • Unprocessed
  • Homemade
  • Nutrient-dense
  • Real

With a fast-paced modern lifestyle, it becomes easy to stray further away from traditional cooking and to spend less time around the kitchen table for family meals. Even if you want to change your habits, you may run into some challenges along the way. Here are some common complaints:

  • It takes too long
  • My food tastes bland and boring
  • Healthy food is expensive
  • I’m tired of cooking the same foods
  • It’s easier to eat at restaurants

As with any endeavor in life, if something is important to you, you will dedicate time and resources to it. The truth is that cooking a healthy meal does take time and healthy ingredients can be more expensive than processed foods. However, as you might already have learned, the hidden costs of eating unhealthy food far outweighs the time and money that it takes to eat nourishing meals. Being sick is much more expensive and time consuming than putting a healthy meal on the table. Not to mention the value of getting family and friends together around a dinner table.

If you approach cooking healthy meals with a Beginner’s Mind (marked by non-judgment and curiosity), it can make the process that much more enjoyable. Here are a few ways you can make the cooking process more fun:

  • Turn on some music (you can even dance a little while you cook!)
  • Listen to a podcast or book on tape
  • Ask your kids and/or partner to help
  • Do a recipe exchange with friends

To make things less overwhelming, the following six cookbooks can help cut down your time spent searching for recipes. Additionally, by selecting a few recipes at the beginning of the week, you will save time in the grocery store and avoid wasting ingredients.

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Eat Taste Heal: An Ayruvedic Cookbook for Modern Living by Dr. Thomas Yarema, Daniel Rhoda and Chef Johnny Brannigan

This cookbook was written by multiple authors: a medical doctor, a patient, and an acclaimed Ayruvedic chef. It includes over 150 cross-cultural recipes with a variety of different flavor profiles. The goal of this cookbook is to “create harmony within through using common healthy lifestyle practices as medicine.” This book is much more than a cookbook; it’s a great introductory guide to Ayruveda.

Try these recipes:

  • Gnocchi with Pumpkin Sauce
  • Seared Sesame Trout with Coconut Curry Sauce
  • Mango and Passion Fruit Cheesecake

Click here to purchase Eat Taste Heal.

Meals Made Simple by Danielle Walker from Against All Grains

Danielle’s personal battle with a severe auto-immune disease led her to a whole new way of eating. Addressing her medical condition, she adapted her diet to:

  • Paleo
  • Gluten-free
  • Dairy-free
  • Sugar-free

In order to heal herself and to help others, Danielle began developing recipes for delicious comfort foods that could be enjoyed on a restricted diet. In her third cookbook, Meals Made Simple, she addresses a challenge that many people have when it comes to cooking, which is how much time it takes to cook a healthy meal. All of the recipes are designed to take less than 30 minutes.

This book also includes an eight-week guide of meal plans using simple weeknight recipes. She even includes the shopping list for the recipes.

Try these recipes:

  • Warm Taco Salad
  • Spaghetti Squash with Meat Sauce
  • Lemon-Roasted Asparagus and Brussels Sprouts

Click here to purchase Meals Made Simple.

Eating Purely by Elizabeth Stein

This stunning cookbook was written by the founder of Purely Elizabeth, a natural food product line that you can find in most health food stores. Elizabeth creates delicious recipes with a focus on plant-based and nutrient-rich ingredients that are:

  • Organic
  • Gluten-free
  • Refined sugar-free
  • Diabetes friendly

Try these recipes:

  • Roasted Beet Hummus
  • Grilled Eggplant with Feta, Romesco and Mint
  • Cashew Cheese Mushroom Ravioli

Click here to purchase Eating Purely.

Clean Food: A Seasonal Guide to Eating Close to the Source (Revised Edition) by Terry Walters

This delicious cookbook is based on fresh produce and simple recipes. The title represents an approach with naturally grown, unprocessed ingredients. As a holistic health coach and food educator, Terry is passionate about providing simple and healthy plant-based recipes to her readers. Clean Food takes a unique approach, providing recipes with seasonal ingredients from spring, winter, fall, and summer. Eating seasonally ensures nutrient-dense fresh ingredients at lower prices.

Try these recipes:

  • Cucumber Noodles with Bok Choy and Peanut Sauce
  • Sweet Potato, Corn, and Kale Chowder
  • Maple Poached Pears

Click here to purchase Clean Food.

The Everyday Ayurveda Cookbook: A Seasonal Guide To Living and Eating Well by Kate O’Donnell

The Everyday Ayurveda Cookbook is an inspiration to get in the kitchen and explore seasonal cooking according to your dosha. This book explores how the changing weather and qualities in your environment “mirror and influence your body and appetite.” It includes tools to help with meal planning and self-care regimens to ensure that you stay healthy from season to season.

Try these recipes:

  • Sprouted Mung Dal with Yogurt
  • Collard Wraps with Red Lentil Paste
  • Almond Ginger Macaroons

Click here to purchase The Everyday Ayurveda Cookbook

The Clean Eating Slow Cooker by Linda Larsen

If you are looking for an easy and hassle-free way to cook, the slow cooker is the way to go. These one-pot meals give you the ability to “set it and forget it.” With less than 20 minutes of prep time, you can get these recipes started. This cookbook includes a three-week meal plan as well as over 130 recipes with options for:

  • Vegan
  • Vegetarian
  • Gluten-free
  • Nut-free

Try these recipes:

  • Thai Roasted Veggies
  • Moroccan Beef Tagine
  • Spiced Carrot Pudding

Click here to purchase The Clean Eating Slow Cooker.

If you are new to using healthy ingredients, it may take some time to stock up on pantry items. What you will find is that a lot of these recipes use similar cooking oils and spices so there might be some overlap.

Once you have purchased a cookbook, flip through the pages and “tag” the recipes that you would like to try. Each week, pick one or two new recipes to cook. Remember that the first time you make a recipe it will most likely take longer. Once you get familiar with the recipe, it will take less time to cook and you may not even need to follow the recipe exactly from the cookbook.

This time instead of buying a cookbook and letting it sit on your shelf, commit to incorporating the recipes that you have selected into your weekly routine.


Discover the best foods and lifestyle practices to create mind-body balance for your unique constitution at Perfect Health, our six-day Ayurvedic cleanse retreat. Learn More.


 

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About the Author
Amy Krasner

Amy Krasner

Holistic Nutritionist and Natural Chef
Amy Krasner is the founder of a San Diego-based nutrition practice Nourished Balance . She works one-on-one with clients to improve their health through science-based nutrition and holistic health coaching. Amy supports her clients with customized nutrition plans for health concerns including: thyroid imbalances, high cholesterol, weight loss, impaired digestion, and auto-immune conditions. Amy also works with several local companies to provide nutrition education and services as part of the employee wellness programs.Read more