Gift Guide 2014: Five NYC-Based Healthy Cookbooks


New Year’s is quickly approaching, which means lofty resolutions are about to commence. After months of indulging on baked goods and booze, chances are there’s someone in your life who’s going to attempt to turn over a nutritious new leaf starting on January 1 — and you probably already know who it’s going to be. Push them ahead with the gift of nutritious recipes. Here are the five best new healthy cookbooks, from NYC-based authors.

The Greek Diet: Look and Feel Like a Greek God or Goddess and Lose up to Ten Pounds in Two Weeks by Maria Loi and Sarah Toland

America’s ambassador of everything Greek, Thermo native Maria Loi is obsessed with her homeland (in a good way). In her latest tome, she explores the beneficial bounty of Greek fare and ingredients with a two-week kick-start plan and over 100 recipes. Similar to the tenets of the Mediterranean diet, The Greek Diet is based on the 12 pillars of traditional Grecian sustenance: olive oil, yogurt, vegetables, beans, seafood, whole grains, wine, spices and herbs, fruit, coffee and tea, nuts and seeds, chicken and eggs. There’s no starving, and you don’t have to abstain from wine, carbs, or caffeine — it’s more about a healthy lifestyle change.

Eating in Color: Delicious, Healthy Recipes for You and Your Family by Frances Largeman-Roth

Dietician and bestselling author Frances Largeman-Roth brings the color spectrum to the plate in her latest volume. The book incorporates a wide scope of ingredients (star fruit, Meyer lemon, chia seed, pomegranate, rhubarb, and more) in simple, salubrious recipes. Stunning photography sits next to the collection of over 90 instructions for dishes ranging from caramelized red onion and fig pizza to golden beets with parsley pesto and fregola to cran-apple tarte tatin.

Organic Avenue: Recipes for Life, Made with LOVE by Denise Mari

Denise Mari went from peddling her juices from a backpack through the Lower East Side to owning one of the city’s most popular plant-based brands. Organic Avenue tells the tale of the company’s expansion and offers the nutrient-rich, organic, and raw recipes for juices, elixirs, soups, smoothies, mylks, salads, entrees, snacks, and sweets. It’s ideal for jump-starting resolutions with a cleanse program or an overall health-giving lifestyle change.

Olives, Lemons & Za’atar: The Best Middle Eastern Home Cooking by Rawia Bishara

It’s not billed as a diet or even a book on nutrition; Olives, Lemon & Za’atar explores the stories and fare of author Rawia Bishara’s childhood and life as chef of Michelin-rated Tanoreen in Brooklyn. Focused on serving authentic Middle Eastern fare, most of Bishara’s recipes are inherently wholesome. She grew up in a family that picked and pressed its own olive oil. Her mother distilled her own vinegar and sun-dried her own fruit and herbs. With a good selection of vegetarian, vegan, as well as dairy- and gluten-free recipes, the book includes tips on making perfect hummus and tabouleh and the best way to season lamb. It includes classic nourishing recipes such as fattoush (a leafy green bread salad), brussels sprouts with panko, and eggplant Napoleon (baba ghanouj layered between crisp eggplant and topped with basil and tomatoes).

Marcus Off Duty: The Recipes I Cook at Home by Marcus Samuelsson

Another volume that doesn’t focus solely on physical wellness, Marcus Samuelsson’s latest title is more about nutriment for the mind, body, and soul. Not everything is low-calorie; however, it aims to get readers to be more mindful in the kitchen. The five-time James Beard Award recipient, winner of Top Chef Masters, and Chopped judge doles out a wide selection of instructions from across the globe: Ethiopia, Sweden, the Caribbean, Mexico, Italy, the American South. Many recipes are vegetarian and many are light (though the fried Swede Doggy Dogs with shrimp salad are neither). This book is great for those who eat well but like to splurge from time to time.