Rainy Day Reading List

October 19, 2012

The weather outside of my window looks increasingly gloomy today. Lots of rain and grey clouds. My father was just kind enough to tell me that in Arizona is it 85 and perfectly sunny. Must be nice to be a retired snowbird!

On gross days like today my favorite activity is to sit at my kitchen counter with a stack of cookbooks, post-its (for page flagging) and a notebook. I love reading cookbooks cover to cover, devouring each idea and recipe. While I rarely follow a recipe exactly I love getting inspiration from chefs and their creations. Many of my own recipe roadblocks have been solved by cookbook reading sessions.

Friends and clients often ask me what my favorite cookbooks are. The truth is I have such a large collection that it is often hard to recommend just one. I do not know of one single book that encapsulates everything I think food, cooking and eating should be. One day I will write that book!

While I have yet to find the holy grail of cookbooks these four are my current favorites. All of them have inspired me in one way or another. All of them have many dog-eared and post-it marked pages!

The Candle Cafe Cookbook 

I grew up very close to the original Candle Cafe on the Upper East Side. In many ways it was probably my introduction to “health food.” Candle Cafe is a New York City institution and rightly so. Their food is delicious, comforting and hearty. The Candle Cafe Cookbook has some great basic vegan recipes including some of my favorite soups and salad dressings.

Big Vegan 

This hefty book is loaded with easy, plant-based recipes. I often turn to this book when I have an ingredient in my fridge and need some inspiration on how to use it.

Cornelia Guest’s Simple Pleasures 

Organized by season this is not only a cookbook, but also a helpful entertaining guide. Each section is peppered with ideas for different gatherings and parties, easy entertaining tips and notes on seasonal flowers and produce. I especially love the “Notes From My Friends” sections where various health experts give snippets of advice.

The Fresh Energy Cookbook

Natalia Rose has been a huge influence on my lifestyle and how I eat. I have read all of her books many times, studied with her in person, and taken a cooking intensive with her incredibly talented chef Doris Choi. Her intelligent detox principles truly influence the way I treat by body each day. This brand new cookbook from Natalia and Doris is an incredible resource. Packed with detox friendly, plant based, easy to prepare, incredibly delicious recipes this book is a must read!

By Sara