Food & Drink

Books For Healthy Cooks: 6 New Cookbooks Packed With Nutritional Recipes

The key to healthy eating is making what you eat delicious. These books make it easy and incentivise us to swerve processed food.

Self-denial in the pursuit of health is so last decade. Diets may be proven to be big business, but, over decades and even centuries, they have shown themselves not to work, at least not in the long-term. Quick results can be motivating but, ultimately, cutting out whole food groups from our diets is not sustainable; makes us miserable; and often causes long term weight gain, rather than loss, as well as other kinds of damage.

In more recent years, scientists have begun espousing a more inclusive approach to healthy eating. Far from being about self-denial, the focus has been retrained towards both variety and whole foods. If there is a demon, it is not fat and nor is it carbohydrates. Rather, it is those highly processed foods and unnatural ingredients that can play havoc with our microbiome and our blood sugar responses, thus making us either ill or at least sub-par. The message is clear and it reframes the whole way in which we think about food: do not berate yourself about the occasional slice of cake or packet of crisps. Instead, make sure that your day-to-day diet broadly consists of food that will nourish and support your body – think grains, fruit and veg, including frozen (in other words, it need not come at an eye-watering price from a health food shop). Oh, and do eat thirty plants a week if you can, which sounds tricky but includes nuts, seeds and herbs, which instantly makes it less so.

Here are the books to line up on your kitchen shelves for inspiration.

Dr Rupy Cooks

Dr Rupy Aujla

Dr Rupy is an NHS doctor whose approach to healthy eating changed significantly when he suffered a significant heart condition. Famously, undergraduate doctors are given just half a day’s training on nutrition in their seven-year training. Dr Rupy put this right for himself by learning more about nutritional medicine, via which he helped to reverse his condition. In his book, Dr Rupy Cooks, you can expect to find dozens of really delicious ideas, from one-pot dinners to quick lunches (you can get a flavour of what’s inside from the recipes on his website, such as a simple breakfast mezze which swerves our reliance on sweet food to start the day to a super tasty chilli and lime peanut broccoli curry.) Buy it.

Bored Of Lunch: The Healthy Slow Cooker Book

Nathan Anthony

Nathan Anthony is a home cook who just happens to have just shy of a million followers on Instagram, all poised to glean tips from his prolific kitchen. The first thing to note about this is that, as the title suggest, it’s a bit of a nonstarter if you don’t have a slow cooker. However, if you do, it’s packed with recipes that the author has been making since 2020, when it became a focus for him to think up healthy ways to cook during various lockdowns. We may no longer be stuck inside our homes, but this book remains timely, notably from the perspective of said slow cooker, which saves money on energy bills. No bad thing amid a cost of living crisis. All the recipes have a focus on health, from veg-packed stews to full roast chicken dinners. Buy it.

Happy Skin Kitchen

Elisa Rossi

It is worth remembering that the end goal of healthy eating is far from solely weight loss. There is a myriad of compelling reasons to feed our bodies the good stuff – from better sleep to reduced inflammation. Another is improving the health of the largest organ in our bodies: our skin. Elisa Rossi’s new book, Happy Skin Kitchen, has a mission: to help readers achieve the most radiant skin they’ve ever had. Having battled hormonal cystic acne herself, Elisa switched to a plant-based diet and saw dramatic results. She shares what she’s learned, as well as her favourite ‘skingredients’, which will not only help with achieving excellent dewy skin, but also improve the quality of our hair and nails too. Buy it.

Nourish: The Fit Woman’s Cookbook

Lorna Jane Clarkson

Lorna Jane Clarkson, Australian fashion designer, entrepreneur and author, is a mega worldwide success story, thank to her globally stocked range of activewear. She knows her onions, then, when it comes to health. To augment her fitness knowhow, Nourish is dedicated to sharing how to establish healthy eating habits, improve digestion, aid hydration and generally achieve optimal performance. Plus, the recipes are truly delicious. Buy it.

You Can Cook This

Max La Manna

There are more ways than one to be healthy – and social media star Max La Manna’s You Can Cook This, demonstrates this by focusing on how to look after the health of our planet and thus improve our environment while also nourishing our bodies. How? By minimising food waste and sticking to a vegan diet. There are plenty of hacks as to how to get the most from your ingredients, such as tips for using the whole vegetable and using up leftovers to create new meals. Just as our ancestors once faced a global emergency, so too do we now, albeit an altogether different one. The one thing we have in common though is that not being wasteful was imperative then, and so too is it now. Buy it.

Healthier Planet, Healthier You

Annie Bell

Have you ever felt paralysed in the aisles of the supermarket, your best efforts at trying to eat healthily while simultaneously doing as little harm as possible to the planet often feeling confusing and contradictory? Allow nutritionist Annie Bell’s new book, Healthier Planet, Healthier You, to be your guide. Over one hundred recipes, she shows us how to make small changes that add up a big difference, both to our own health and that of the planet. It caters to all ways of eating, whether you're vegetarian or vegan, pescatarian or flexitarian. Buy it.

By Nancy Alsop
January 2023

Nancy Alsop


Nancy is a magpie for the best in design and culture.