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My Favorite Cookbooks!

FACT: It is important to me that my family eats well at home. Whatever they eat, anywhere else, is fine by me because at the end of the day I know that 80% of what they consume is good for them. Balance, right?

FACT: I read cookbooks like novels, cover to cover. I mean, if the pictures aren't enough to get you excited about getting in the kitchen, I don't know what is!

FACT: Cooking with good, clean food and real ingredients makes me happy. Period.

FACT: Teaching my kids that food is fuel is IMPORTANT for creating a healthy relationship with food. Seriously, how many people do you know have a f-ed up relationship with it?!


I post a lot of recipes. I'm big on making dinner at home most nights of the week BUT, I like to keep it easy and simple and show others they can do the same. I was not always a cook and that's mainly because there were just too many cooks in the kitchen in my house growing up. When I had my own family I realized cooking at home not only showed my kids what a healthy dinner was made of (real, whole ingredients, from the earth), but it showed them proper portions and encouraged them to try new things. There are a few rules to meals in our house - you don't have to clear your plate but you DO have to try at least a bite of everything. And here's the important thing - you don't like cooking or you think you're no good at it? The more you do it, the better you get! The other day I was asked what my go-to recipe sources were so I thought I'd make it easy and write a blog post on it. The cookbooks below are the ones that have been earmarked and flagged the most and none of them subscribe to a particular way of eating or diet (paleo, keto, vegan, etc). Check them out from the library, search the recipes online, or get them on Amazon if you think you will refer back to them a lot (I've linked them below)!

I have all of Lisa Leake's cookbooks and truth be told, these cookbooks are what got me started on my clean eating journey. Everything in this one really is fast and fabulous and some notable favorites around these parts include: Overnight Oats, White Chicken Chili, Easy Slow Cooker Steak Chili, Arugula-Walnut Pesto Pasta, and Simple Roasted Pork Tenderloin.

Like many, the last person I wanted to buy a cookbook from was Gwyneth (what does she know about cooking?!) but seriously, her cookbooks are good! If you are into healthier cooking with flavor, these books are for you. I have three of her books but this one I have used the most. Some recipe favorites: Anchovy & Lemon Dressing, Spicy Sweet Potato Soup with Chipotle & Coriander, Thai Style Chicken Burgers, Roasted Cauliflower & Chickpeas with Mustard & Parsley, and Go-To Black Beans.

I don't even know where to start with recipes I love from this cookbook because I've made so many. Unsurprisingly, my favorite chapters in this one are One-Bowl Meals and Taco Night. I favorite things right there. Here are some true winners: Slow Cooker Chicken Taco Chili, Egg Roll Bowls, Slow Cooker Beef Ragu, Slow Cooker Salsa Verde Chicken Taquitos, Slow Cooker Korean-Style Beef Tacos, Slow Cooker Indian Chicken & Peas.

I'm not a vegetarian but I would say that I try to make all our meals plant-based, meaning plants are the main and what I add to it is the side. So if I'm making a taco salad, the salad is the focus, with a little bit of beef on top. This is a great vegetarian cookbook but all the meals are easy to adjust and add protein to, which we do frequently. Favorites include: Mango Lassi Smoothie Bowl, Blueberry Maple Muffins, Tahini Kale Caesar Salad, Lemony Tahini Dressing, Colorful Weeknight Burrito Bowls, Peanut Dipping Sauce, Strawberry Rose Sangria, and Strawberry Balsamic Sauce. One that I'm still dying to make is the West African Peanut Soup! I think her second cookbook is coming out this year which I will definitely be scooping up!

If you are trying to cook more meals at home, start by making one to two meals a week. Once you nail those recipes down, try another new one and slowly add to your repertoire. You'll be chef-ing it up in no time!


Simply Sarah is about making simple changes in our habits to live a happier, healthier life. Food and fitness go hand-in-hand and my goal is to help you find that balance. I strongly believe you are what you continually do and never so much as with how you take care of your body both inside and out. I want to show you that there is a difference between having a diet and being on a diet (clearly you know the one I support!). Want a more personalized food plan and workout schedule? Drop me a message for information on my monthly challenge groups!

Need something more? In addition to my coaching services, I also offer pantry clean-outs, personal market tours and custom meal planning. Reach out to me with your requests!

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