On World Book Day, add a little wellness to your bookshelves
Go full vegan, cut out the gluten, or take a little guidance from a highly acclaimed medical professional, via our health-giving new list
Some books tell a tale; others change one's own life story. Vegan at Home falls into this second category. It is the kind of cookbook you’ll want by your side, whether you’re a plant-based ingenue or a seasoned animal-products refusenik. Written by the Icelandic chef, restaurateur and author Solla Eiríksdóttir (who also oversaw the acclaimed Phaidon book, Raw), Vegan at Home breaks down this style of cookery to its simplest forms, before building these culinary skills up again, enabling readers to pull of some truly impressive dishes.
Vegan at Home
The book’s basic recipes for vegan staples such as nut milks, and butter and cheese substitutes enable home cooks to gain a strong sense of vegan cookery, yet Eiríksdóttir has also included everyday breakfast and lunch staples, as well as more challenging and impressive recipes, such as a vegetable tagine, or a spicy strawberry pavlova.
The chef herself has been a vegan for decades, and knows how to put together a vegan dinner party, stock a vegan pantry, and develop new vegan versions of popular dishes. Get this book and you’ll be turning oyster mushrooms into vegan ‘scallops’, churning up oats into a great milk alternative, and making coconut yoghurt. Eiríksdóttir also imbues the book with plenty of warmth and care, by sharing her own route to veganism, her early love of vegetables and her enduring passion for good food.
The Gluten-Free Cookbook
Cristian Broglia displays the same care and attention in The Gluten-Free Cookbook. This Italian chef, author and educator has travelled wildly, and understands how plenty of delicious gluten-free dishes can be found in many parts of the world where wheat (or other gluten-rich grains) aren’t staple crops. There are no bendy pastas or limp loaves in this book. Instead, Broglia uses the prohibition of the gluten protein as a creative spur, driving him on to seek out healthy, delicious dishes such as corn roti, salmon sushi rolls, and Israeli falafels.
This new book suits anyone with a gluten intolerance or sensitivity, as well as careful dinner hosts who want to be able to cater for every dietary niche, and cooks keen to try something new. The book identifies the country of origin for each dish, and details its place within a wider food culture, before going onto list its ingredients and cooking methods, and there icons on each page, indicating whether a dish is vegetarian, dairy-free, nut-free, can be prepared in 30 minutes or less, or uses five or fewer ingredients.
The Wellness Principles
Dr Gary Deng’s debut book, The Wellness Principles, carries the same keys on its pages, though Deng digs into minutiae of health in this title. Chinese-born, New York based Dr Deng is the Medical Director of Integrative Medicine at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and also a Clinical Professor of Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College, of Cornell University. Countless, fortunate patients have benefited from his deeply knowledgeable care.
However, over the course of his illustrious career, Dr Deng has noticed that the way patients behave outside of his consulting room has great deal of influence over whether or not they return for further treatment. In The Wellness Principles, Dr Deng combines his own clinical insights into the importance of food, sleep, exercise and social contact with a great selection of health-giving recipes (as well as being a gifted physician, Dr Deng is also a talented cook).
Get this book and you can master Dr Deng’s recipes for kimchi tofu stew or pan-seared sea bass while also gaining deeper knowledge into digestive health, stress management, sound exercise regimes and good meal portions.
The Wellness Principles is never hectoring or prescriptive; Dr Deng is much more of a wellness guide than health-camp guard. In these pages he gently informs readers how to best manage their diets and regimes, drawing on both conventional western medicine, as well as complementary therapies, to avoid simple pitfalls he comes across all too often. Not everyone can snag a spot in this doctor’s diary, but, via this book, we can all benefit from his wisdom.
To find out more about all these books, take a look at them in the Phaidon store.