Right about now you're probably thinking about those resolutions vowing to eat better, cook more and shed the holiday pounds.
To help you get started — and spend that gift card from your mother-in-law — here's the latest healthy-eating, better-living cookbooks.
• Moosewood Restaurant Cooking For Health, the most recent installment from the Moosewood Collective, offers more than 200 creative, easy-to-prepare vegetarian and vegan recipes. Greek-tomato yogurt soup delivers a tasty, tangy take on ordinary tomato soup and packs a big calcium and lycopene punch in just 30 minutes. Four stove-top tofus — including pomegranate-glazed and tropical lime — make creative use of the potentially boring staple. Love the information on calories, carbs, protein and other nutrients with each recipe.
• Eating Well: 500-Calorie Dinners screams "New Year's resolution." Part cookbook, part cheerleader, the book combines a seven-step weight-loss plan with meals that clock in at 500 calories or less. Dishes such as broccoli and goat cheese souffle and mini-meat loaf take the guesswork out of portion control by being prepared in individual servings.
Recipes abound for shrimp and scallops. There's also lamb chops, steak with Gorgonzola and caramelized onions, and mozzarella-stuffed turkey burgers. And who knew hot fudge pudding cake could have only 142 calories?
• In The Kind Diet, actor Alicia Silverstone promises to help you feel great, lose weight and save the planet. Silverstone pairs arguments for veganism with pictures of cute chicks (the poultry sort) and piggies, and wraps up with recipes for dishes such as radicchio pizza with truffle oil, pecan-crusted seitan and egg salad sandwiches made of tofu. (See one of her dessert recipes in the story above.)
• Clean Food by Terry Walters is designed to help you adjust your lifestyle, changing not just what you eat, but also how and when you eat, and the way you think about it. More than 200 recipes organized according to season make use of whole grains, legumes, sea vegetables, nuts, seeds and seasonal produce in healthful and innovative ways.
Spring features Swiss chard with roasted golden beets and seared fennel with Meyer lemon. Winter brings roasted kabocha squash with kale, seitan bourguignon and chestnut cream pie made with rice milk. Achievable, appealing recipes with very few funky ingredients.