Tried and True: Go-to Cookbooks

Spirituality & Health Magazine
reviewed by S&H Editors

We pulled out our cookbooks, and turned to the most dog-eared and sauce-stained pages to find our favorite recipes.

Mexican Kitchen: Capturing the Vibrant Flavors of a World-Class Cuisine, by Rick Bayless. The recipe: Arroz Verde al Poblano. It’s slightly time consuming, but it’s everyone’s favorite side dish with grilled fajitas. I make it only when I have the time to fuss all day in the kitchen preparing the whole meal, so it’s kind of a meditative, luxurious recipe for me. —Sandra Salamony, art director

I love, love, love A Taste of Heaven and Earth: A Zen Approach to Cooking and Eating with 150 Satisfying Vegetarian Recipes, by Bettina Vitell. The illustrations are as much fun as the recipes themselves. One of my favorites: Curry Vegetable Stew. —Geri Larkin, Close to the Ground

How It All Vegan! Irresistible Recipes for an Animal-Free Diet, by Tanya Barnard and Sarah Kramer. The Rustic Tomato Lentil Soup—a superbasic tomato-based veggie lentil stew with a bit of pasta and a kick of cayenne. Simple meal-in-a-single-pot dishes are a must for this noncook household, and without fail, ingredients for any recipe in this book are easy to find and often something I have on hand. —Brittany Shoot, writer

I adore a good wrap, with a flavorful sauce for dipping. Asian Wraps: Deliciously Easy Hand-Held Bundles to Stuff, Wrap, and Relish, by Nina Simonds, is my favorite place for both.  The book falls open to Curried Coconut Chicken, which my whole family loves, since they can pick and choose what to put in their wrap.  I often easily make it vegetarian, and the photographs inspire me every time. —Kalia Kelmenson, reviews editor

The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook: Recipes and Wisdom from an Obsessive Home Cook, by Deb Perelman. Kale and Cherry Salad:  I make it for pretty much every special occasion. —Jessica Girdwain, writer

I love The America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook: A New, Healthier Way to Cook Everything from America’s Most Trusted Test Kitchen because the recipes really do turn out exactly right the first time and every time. Their team of test cooks and kitchen scientists also comes up with nifty tips and tricks to make classic recipes quicker, easier, and tastier. My go-to recipe, Emergency Chocolate Cake, takes just 10 minutes to get in the oven, and it’s so moist and chocolaty, no one has ever guessed the secret ingredient. —Ilima Loomis, managing editor

Since my husband went paleo he lost 30 pounds and got his cholesterol in a great place. I’ve been referring to Primal Cuisine: Cooking for the Paleo Diet, by Pauli Halstead, for inspiration. My favorite is the Mahi-Mahi Fish Tacos with Butter Lettuce Tortillas. It’s great to get away from manmade, processed foods and get back to nature. —Laura Benko, writer

Sometimes, I just gotta put aside my Moosewood collection and have a Chocolate Twinkie Pie fix from The Redneck Cookbook: 165 Mighty Fine Fixin’s and Other Things to Get Down Your Gullet, by Lo’retta Love. —Jennifer Haupt, writer

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