Monday, 3 March 2014

Feeding Our Families: some favourite cookbooks

For this month's Feeding Our Families post, I thought I would share with you some of my most used, favourite cookbooks. I own many cookbooks and I use them all the time. I would much rather splurge on a new cookbook than a meal out. I think a cookbook is a good investment, it can be used over and over, opened often or once in a while and always provide some kind of inspiration in the kitchen. I have learned a lot about different foods and nutrition thanks to my cookbooks. They help me plan and vary my family's meals. I also enjoy following recipes (I mention this because I know some people don't like to follow recipes). 

Here are some of the books that I have been using for many years now on a daily or weekly basis.

A book I often go to for simple and very nutritious whole food snacks or meals is The Vegetarian Mother's Cookbook by Cathe Olson. This book is full of ideas, suggestions, menu plans and recipes for pregnant or breastfeeding mothers and for feeding a family as well.     

My favourite cookbook author is most definitely Dreena Burton. She is a Mama herself (of three young girls) and knows that most parents don't have hours to spend in the kitchen trying tricky recipes. Her recipes are very creative yet uncomplicated. I love all of her books. So many of her recipes have become our everyday family favourites. I always have a jar of one of her homemade hummus recipes on hand in the fridge. I also make so many of her soups, salads, main and side dishes (using lots of different grains, beans, vegetables, seeds and nuts, tofu…), sauces, muffins, cookies and desserts! Some of her recipes can also be found on her website.

Black Bean and Orange Hummus from Eat, Drink & Be Vegan

Another book that I use on a regular basis is Feeding The Whole Family by Cynthia Lair. I make her granola recipe every two weeks (that's how long it lasts in our house) and her nut burger recipe is the best one that we have ever tried (the only one that everyone in our family loves unanimously!). 

 granola from Feeding the Whole Family with creamy, frothy almond milk from Ani's Raw 

For cooking simple, comforting, warming snacks or meals, with or for children, I love to use The Waldorf School Book of Soups and The Waldorf Kindergarten Snack Book. We regularly prepare many of the soup and muffin recipes in these books. We also use these books to prepare foods for celebrations, special occasions or a weekend treat. Some of our favourite cake recipes (carob or applesauce-honey) are from the Snack Book.

I would love to know what your best-loved cookbooks are for feeding your family… Please share by leaving a comment. 

More Feeding Our Families posts can be found on these wonderfully inspiring blogs:

Melanie from Our Ash Grove

Jules from A Little Crafty Nest

Melody from Bespoke

Tonya from Joyful Living

Taisa from Small Wonders

Heather from Shivaya Naturals

Renee from Heirloom Seasons


  1. The Vegetarian Mother's Cookbook looks great - what an interesting cover illustration. Wish I had that when I was pregnant! We received Feeding The Whole Family as a Christmas gift last year - there are some good recipes in there. A cookbook that I reference frequently is Simply in Season.
    I really like it because it is divided by season, so a recipe that calls for butternut squash wouldn't also call for asparagus, because they are not typically available at the same time (if you are eating seasonally and locally).

    1. Sarah, I am with you on the idea of buying a new cookbook rather than spending that money eating out. My favourite cookbook is a Canadian one, The Rebar Cookbook from the Victoria, BC restaurant of the same name. Everything in there is good!!!! And then my other go-to book is The Joy of Cooking. Yes, it is. I switch out some of the ingredients for homemade, but the basics are there and I tend to be a basic kind of cook, I think.
      And, yes, I agree Katie, that Vegetarian Mother's Cookbook looks so appealing...I am a real sucker for nice cover art! But the concept, too, is a good one. And the cookbook you mention sounds great, too. I will be keeping my eye open for that one.
      xo Jules

    2. Thank you Katie and Jules for the book suggestions. I do have Rebar but have not looked at it in a while… How can that be? I must make something out of it soon!

  2. Hi Sarah!
    I also love the whole family one, and the kindergarten snack book. I have wondered and thought about getting the soups one.
    Such pretty pictures, and your little fella is so cute eating his healthy food! I think my Sun would love a divider plate like that, where is that one from?

    1. Hi Melanie,

      I love the soup book for inspiration, we eat soup so often! I got the divider plate (along with some handy tin containers) at a health food store and I love it (so does Sacha)! I found the company website for you:

  3. I'm imagining the Black Bean and Orange hummus and how good that must taste! Thanks for sharing your favorite recipe books. Even though we eat meat, I try to make many of our foods vegetarian.

    1. Yes, I think these books are all great whether vegetarian or not.

  4. I love cookbooks (especially vegetarian ones) and don't have any of these! ...(adding them to my booklist now!) ;)

    Thanks for sharing!

  5. I have wondered about the soup book too, and also that bread baking book, because I have the other waldorf bread baking book.
    We have the waldorf snack book and the whole family one too, maybe we will try the nut burger recipe.
    (I am not good at following recipes, but sometimes I pretend to try really hard…)
    Too bad I already passed along our whole vegan cookbook collection a few years ago, I could have sent them to you! For sentimental reasons I kept our New Farm Vegetarian Cookbook and Vegan Vittles... (those are practically vintage by now!)

    1. I could have added the New Farm Vegetarian Cookbook to my list as I am also quite attached to it! Thank you again so much Renee for inviting me to participate in this series of posts. Such fun!

  6. Vegetarian Mother's Cookbook is my favorite!