A great cookbook can transform an ambitious New Years resolution into a real-world action plan, it can stand in for international travel with exotic flavors, and it can keep a health-minded eater on track with upgraded options of nostalgic favorites that hit the spot (without going off the rails). We've rounded up 11 of our favorite cookbooks published in 2014 for fans of clean eating of all stripes—paleo, vegan, ancestral, fermented, or just plain un-messed-around-with. These healthy and delicious cookbooks are gorgeous enough that they double as art in the kitchen—especially when they get a few colorful splatters of beet juice or cilantro oil.
Oregon-based food writers Kirsten and Christopher Shockey’s Fermented Vegetables is a hefty guide to the reemerging art of fermentation. The book covers the broad range of possibilities offered by lactic-acid fermentation, the centuries-old practice that has brought us such cultural staples as sauerkraut and kimchi. This book is perfect for the fledgling fermentista, with recipes for every vegetable, A to Z.
The Blender Girl: Super-Easy, Super-Healthy Meals, Snacks, Desserts, and Drinks by Tess Masters
offers lightning-fast, fresh eating that goes way beyond green smoothies. The Vitamix guru shows eaters how to make DIY salad dressings, soups, pasta sauces, condiments, desserts, sauces, and non-dairy milks in seconds flat—and all of the recipes are vegan and gluten free.
Rawia Bishara's Brooklyn restaurant Tanoreen is a home cooking hub of explosive flavors with a serious cult following. In Olives, Lemons & Za’atar: The Best Middle Eastern Home Cooking, the Nazareth native shares her Palestinian family recipes (and stories) with cooks around the country, from Tanoreen's Specialty Fava Beans and cauliflower salad to flourless tangerine apricot cake.
With 600 recipes in 700 pages, Margarita Carrillo Arronte's Mexico: The Cookbook is the definitive guide to the healthy, colorful, diverse, and fresh world of regional Mexican cooking. Dive into potato and chorizo tacos, poblano chile soup, an entire chapter dedicated to Mexican egg dishes, and 40 different salsas!
Caterer and Paleo blogger Simone Miller brings The Zenbelly Cookbook: An Epicurean's Guide to Paleo Cuisine, full of weeknight meals and professional multi-course dinner parties stemming from her gourmet menu-crafting years. We love how every recipe features a photo of all the ingredients in a dish, offering a before-and-after glimpse at real food magic.
Afro-Vegan: Farm-Fresh African, Caribbean, and Southern Flavors Remixed: With this dazzling tome of delicious, healthful twists on recipes steeped in African, Caribbean, and Southern cultures, food justice activist Bryant Terry takes aim at diet-preventable diseases like hypertension and type 2 diabetes with big flavors from pomegranate-peach barbecue sauce to stewed tomatoes and black-eyed peas with cornbread croutons.
Whole Grain Mornings: New Breakfast Recipes to Span the Seasons will add comforting new favorites to your morning menu, from blueberry breakfast bars and zucchini farro cakes to apricot pistachio granola. In addition to releasing her recently published book, Gordon has been churning out small batch granola with her Seattle based Marge Granola since 2010. Powell's Books has a sample recipe for making your own "signature" granola.
Kimberly Hasselbrink, photographer and blogger behind The Year in Food, presents Vibrant Food: Celebrating the Ingredients, Recipes, and Colors of Each Season. This gorgeous collection of seasonal recipes—with 180 full-color photos that bring the plant-focused freshness to life—will help anyone navigate the changing waves of farmers market fare.
Terry Hope Romano’s Salad Samurai proves that salad, long lamented as limp diet food or the token vegan offering, should instead be celebrated as a vibrant, nourishing and filling meal for all appetites. The celebrated chef behind Veganomicon provides plenty of suggestions for any season, from a summery Coconut Samosa Potato Salad to autumnal Curry Pumpkin Collard Wraps to a hearty winter Beet Balls & Fries Salad. Also included (and much appreciated) are myriad creamy dressings, crunchy toppings, and protein-packed additions like maple orange tempeh and ginger beer tofu.
Steeped in the foodways of the ancestral health focused Weston A. Price Foundation, which emphasizes traditional preparations of grains, raw dairy, pastures meats, bone broths, fermented foods, and soulful connection to our dinner table, The Nourished Kitchen: Farm-To-Table Recipes for the Traditional Foods Lifestyle by Jennifer McGruther is a book from the heart.
From the award winning author of Plenty and Jerusalem: A Cookbook comes Yotam Ottolenghi's Plenty More, with 150 savory new vegetarian recipes organized by cooking method—grilled, baked, simmered, cracked, braised or raw—for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, along with the chef and author's signature flare (think Alphonso mango and curried chickpea salad, membrillo and stilton quiche, and buttermilk-crusted okra).