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I love creating—cooking included! When my daughter, Vivi, was diagnosed with several food allergies and I found the products on shelves coming up short on flavor and high-quality ingredients, it was my love of cooking and baking that led me to find the solution in my own kitchen.
When it comes to cooking, I’m always looking for the next and best inspiration for healthy, allergy-friendly + indulgent recipes. In 2020, I aim to cook more and create tasty meals that are full of nutrients and soul. These cookbooks are my current go-tos for creative ideas and meal prep. I hope they inspire you, too!
Ayesha Curry is #goals. She’s down to earth, relatable, and knows good food. This cookbook is one of my favorites, not just for the delicious recipes, but for the stories behind each recipe that give you a glimpse into her colorful life. I love the variety of cuisines that are woven together in this book, and I really appreciate that the recipes are flexible and allow for substitutes to accommodate Vivi’s allergies.
Favorite Recipe: Oven Baked Chicken Tenders
I’ve always viewed food as a way of bringing people together, so I really love that this book promotes community and encourages company when you aim to eat healthier. It’s so much easier when you don’t have to do it alone! Liz takes the comfort food we crave, puts a healthy spin on them with simple swaps for more veggies + grain-free ingredients, and turns them into nourishing meals.
Favorite Recipe: Way More Veggies Bolognese
I’m consistently looking for new ways to incorporate more vegetables into our family meals. I love the creative twists Ali puts on veggies to make them fun and enjoyable. From spiralizing carrots into noodles, to slicing sweet potatoes as a toast replacement, I continue to be amazed by how Ali transforms veggies.
Favorite Recipe: Any-Veggie Tots
As a mom of a child with food allergies, I’m always tweaking recipes to make them safe for Vivi. I love that this cookbook is full of quick and easy recipes that are consciously curated to be free of the top 8 allergens. It’s truly a lifesaver on busy days—nothing beats throwing all the ingredients into one pot and having dinner ready in minutes!
Favorite Recipe: Chili Lime Chicken Tacos with Mexican Rice
I grew up on my mother’s Korean food—from her homemade kimchi, to the spicy stews, bone broth, and porridge, it’s the ultimate comfort food. Since moving away from home, Korean food is always what I miss most. Maangchi’s recipes are easy to make and always hit the spot. Even though it’s not my mom’s cooking, the flavors are so familiar and sentimental! Korean cooking can be intimidating with the rainbow of ingredients in every dish, but Maangchi makes it accessible and covers all the basics with photos to help navigate ingredients you may have never used before.
Favorite Recipe: Kimchi Jigae
Jerrelle and I share Southern, African American roots so these recipes hold a special place in my heart. My Grandma on my Dad’s side made the best, most decadent Southern desserts. Following Jerrelle’s journey through her experiences with food is truly inspiring. Her recipes are balanced as she recreates familiar baked goods with cleaner ingredients, like whole grain flours and less refined sugar. I also love that there are so many vegan alternatives + gluten-free options, too!
Favorite Recipe: Honey Buns
I hope these cookbooks light you up as much as they do me. Having these handy makes time in the kitchen more fun, taps into heartwarming memories from my childhood, and helps me create more lasting memories with my family. I hope they do the same for you!
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