At Food Republic, January is Healthy Living Month. Maybe you are following the program, too? But let's be honest: You cannot take it on without a couple excellent cookbooks to help you out along the way. Or else, you'll find yourself with a fridge full of beautiful produce and lean proteins…and no idea what to do with them. For this reason, we've compiled our favorite recently published healthy cookbooks — the ones we've actually been cooking from ourselves. From dozens of uses for that bunch of kale sitting in your crisper to Mediterranean-influenced vegetable recipes and bone broth, you'd be hard-pressed to find a book that won't inspire you to get your green on.
1. The Nourished Kitchen: Farm-To-Table Recipes by Jennifer McGruther
From Jennifer McGruther, author of the popular blog Nourished Kitchen, comes The Nourished Kitchen: Farm-To-Table Recipes. A proponent of the traditional foods movement, McGruther's recipes shun all things processed while welcoming animal and dairy fats, naturally fermented foods like kefir and sauerkraut, and ushering in delicious seasonal desserts like maple balsamic roasted pears. Now is not the season to be subsisting on salad. Let the traditional foods movement get you through the winter nourished and healthy.
2. Plenty More by Yotam Ottolenghi
Plenty More is hands-down our favorite vegetarian cookbook of the year, and no roundup of healthy cookbooks would be complete without it. Israeli chef Yotam Ottolenghi's follow-up to 2011's Plenty is packed with vibrant, inventive recipes for vegetables you've never enjoyed this much. A particular favorite is the sweet and sour leeks with goat yogurt, but don't miss the flavor-infused rice dishes, sweet and savory soups and salads, and delicious spins on healthy grains. You guys, vegetables are extremely exciting. Just wait and see.
3. Olives, Lemons and Za'atar: The Best Middle Eastern Home Cooking by Rawia Bishara
We regularly make the trip to Bay Ridge (wayyy out in Brooklyn) for a superb meal at chef Rawia Bishara's Middle Eastern restaurant, Tanoreen, and we were delighted when her book was published. Now we recreate delicious, light and nutritious dishes like her rice-stuffed vegetables and tangy, hearty lentil noodle soup in our own kitchens. If you're looking for cuisine that's inherently healthy, don't forget about home-cooked Middle Eastern and don't pass over this beautifully photographed, absolutely loaded cookbook.
4. Kale, Glorious Kale by Catherine Walthers
Hey! You there, under that rock! Kale is healthy, popular and definitely a Thing! Bestselling cookbook author Catherine Walthers' totally kale-centric new volume is your best friend in the fight to finish that huge bunch of kale you picked up before its leaves turn yellow and dry out. Don't let that happen to your huge bunch of kale, not when Walthers' book sports the likes of kale and goat cheese tarts and our runaway favorite, potato-kale latkes.
5. Healthy Latin Eating by Angie Martinez and Angelo Sosa
Radio/television personality Angie Martinez and chef/television personality Angelo Sosa might seem like an unlikely pair to team-up for a cookbook. But paging through their new book, it’s clear that this is no forced vanity project. As it turns out, they’ve known each other for years. Martinez, who is known as the “Voice of New York” from her time on Hot 97, is passionate about healthy cooking and these days can be found more often at the farmers market than the radio booth. Though, the book’s Argentinian skirt steak, sourced from the kitchen of rapper Fat Joe, represents a celebrity packed Rolodex. Sosa, who appeared on Top Chef, has been known to tap into his unique Dominican-Italian heritage when preparing his fresh, flavorful dishes.
6. A Good Food Day by Marco Canora and Tammy Walker
As of late everybody might be talking about the Hearth chef-owner’s bone broth business, but Marco Canora has long been an advocate for healthy cooking. His new book, A Good Food Day, serves as both a recipe guide and a treatise for following simple rules about healthy living. Rules like eating breakfast is crucial; probiotic-rich fermented foods add both bold flavors and good bacteria to your diet; and it's recommended to eat fish, fish and more fish. But hardly lip service, the book is packed with photos and short, no-nonsense essays — as well as 125 recipes, including a few of those bone broths.
7. Farm, Fork, Food: A Year of Spectacular Recipes by Eric Skokan
The Denver Post has called chef Eric Skokan “the most ambitious do-it-all-yourself chef and restaurateur in Colorado” and a leader in the state’s blooming locavore movement. At his 130-acre farm, which also houses a bistro, the chef grows a mind-boggling 250 varieties of vegetables and fruits. In his book, Farm, Fork, Food, he highlights many of the restaurant’s favorite seasonal dishes like latkes with smoked trout, winter watercress and horseradish, and basil ice cream with summer berries.
8. The Green City Market Cookbook
Founded in 1998 by chef Abby Mandel, Chicago’s Green City Market is a year-round farmers market held in Lincoln Park. This book, which features many of the city’s favorite chefs and the market’s regular customers, offers recipes prepared in four distinct seasons. Participating chefs include Rick Bayless, Stephanie Izard, Gale Gand, Jason Hammel and many others.
9. America: Farm to Table by Mario Batali and Jim Webster
It's pretty hard to find someone who doesn't love Mario Batali's Italian cooking, so it's a bit of a mystery as to why his new cookbook doesn't have the word Italian in the title — or a steaming bowl of pasta and meatballs on the cover. But this book is, instead, a celebration of local farmers around the country. In the book, readers travel from coast to coast to see how the chef uses local fare to everyone's advantage, many times with health on the mind (though not always). Think carrot fritters, lamb shank sloppy Joes and fava bean guacamole.