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  • Writer's pictureNicole Leonetti

Cookbook Update

Now that the year is halfway over, I wanted to give you an update of my current favorite cookbooks that I have been using to create amazing meals this summer. These cookbooks have given me such joy at a time that is what can be kindly referred to as: completely insane! This list provides you with great versatility for cooking, and each book brings its own unique point of view to recipes. While these cookbooks may not be the newest, hottest books on the market, they really capture what I love most about cooking - the stories behind the food.

Casa Marcela by Marcela Valladolid.

If you have ever watched any of my Sunday night dinner Instagram stories you know that I appreciate photos of the food in cookbooks. This cookbook does not have as many photos as I would like, but everything we have made from it has been seriously delicious – so all is forgiven! I always enjoyed Chef Marcela on The Kitchen, which is my favorite Food Network show. Since she is no longer on the show and I can’t get my weekly Marcela fix - I enjoy making her amazing recipes. Everything has been fantastic, but I particularly loved the Jalapeno Roasted Chicken, the Salsa de Molcajete, and the Grilled Steak and Cheese Tostadas!

Jalapeno Roasted Chicken

Do What Feels Good by Hannah Bronfman

I have only heard of Hannah Bronfman in the last few months and I am sad that I didn’t know about her sooner. She is a wellness entrepreneur who has so many wonderful tips on how to be healthier while focusing on self-acceptance – I love it! This book is so much more than a cookbook. It has sections on body, skin, and life as well as food, of course. There are recipes for breakfast, soups, bowls, entrees, tonics, cocktails, and desserts. I am excited to cook my way through the book. So far, I have loved the Braised Lemon Chicken and I devoured the Spicy Vegan Bowl with the Asian-Style Dressing!

Spicy Vegan Bowl

I first discovered Ella on the Rhitrition Podcast a few years back and I am so grateful that I did! She focuses on vegan recipes, which I typically wouldn’t be drawn too, but she makes vegan food look and taste so delicious. I guess that’s where the name Deliciously Ella came from! There are so many options for amazing vegan food that have become fun to explore while I’ve been trying to stick to going meatless on Mondays. My favorites from this cookbook include the Almond Butter Quinoa (I could eat bowls and bowls of this) as well as the Buddha Bowl (I DID eat bowls and bowls of this!).

Almond Butter Quinoa

Provisions: The Roots of Caribbean Cooking by Michelle Rousseau & Suzanne Rousseau

I must admit that I didn’t realize all of the recipes were vegetarian when I ordered this book! It turned out to be a happy accident since I have been doing my Meatless Monday dinners. The book was written by two sisters who share such interesting stories about their family in the introduction. It really goes into detail of the ingredient-focused, vegetarian food that you can find in the Caribbean. A few of the ingredients in these recipes haven’t been easy to find at the grocery store, but the book does a great job of listing substitutions – which have all worked out perfectly. The desserts in this book look magical. I’ve made a few delicious meals from this cookbook, but my favorite has been the Lentil Salad with Feta, Orange, and Hazelnuts! All my favorite things on one plate!

Lentil Salad

Soul Food Love by Alice Randall & Caroline Randall Williams

This cookbook is written by Alice Randall (author and songwriter) and her daughter, Caroline Randall Williams (poet, author, and academic). It is a beautiful book that begins with a family tree and shares stories of each of the woman who inspired the recipes. Each recipe has a lovely story about the background of the recipe and let me tell you – the food is fantastic! We especially loved the Chicken Roasted with Lemon & Onion, the Turkey Burgers and, last but not least, the Black-Eyed Peas Hummus – which blew me away!

Roasted Chicken with Lemon & Onion


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