Cookbook Gift Ideas: Plant-Strong and Forks Over Knives Family


Do you have people on your gift list who seem interested or curious about changing the way they eat? Maybe they have said something like, "I really should eat more veggies, but..." Or you've watched them try diet after diet and only get frustrated. Or they told you they want to start cooking but don't know how to get started. Well, you're in luck then: I've put together this little Cookbook Gift Guide with them in mind.  These are books that have inspired me because they are full of really delicious recipes that are easy to make.  They show very clearly that eating lots of whole, plant-based food can be so satisfying, yet not so difficult or even time-consuming.   These are the books I turn to regularly knowing that the chances of pleasing the crowd is high, and the way I feel after eating their food is really good. An ideal holiday gift, the recipient can just open the book and get started right away, trying a recipe that sounds good to them without having to follow a long, complicated process. And the results can be unexpectedly awesome to someone new to plant-based eating.

Plant-Strong, by Rip Esselstyn

Rip is the guy behind The Engine 2 Diet. He's been a top pro triathlete and firefighter, successfully setting up a whole food, plant-based diet (WFPB) at his firehouse.  He's the son of Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, who has established a WFPB program for preventing and reversing heart disease. The thing is, the recipes are truly tasty, full of flavor and often hearty (after all, he's been feeding firefighters!). 

A few of our favorite recipes from the book:

  • Garlicky Tahini Dressing:  Last night, we enjoyed a salad with this dressing, and we ate bigger bowls of salad because of how much we loved this dressing. I have been known to be picky about salad dressings, typically disliking each store-bought version we try. This is so delish. I'm sure glad the recipe made enough to now have a jar on-hand for the next few days. 
  • J.R.'s Pizza and Flatbread Dough: On Pizza Night (most Sundays), we usually use this foolproof recipe.  I've tried many pizza dough recipes; this is the one we keep going back to.
  • Damn Good Cookies: This is really raw chocolate chip cookie dough - safe to eat without the egg! What could be better? The kids love them.

There's so much more, from chili, burgers and fries to Split Figs with Cashew Cream and Caramelized Onions. He's got you covered year round.

Forks Over Knives Family

It can be very challenging to introduce kids to eating more plants, especially if they have been used to lots of junk food. This book really helps. While there are recipes for nachos and fries, sure, it's not really a "kid-food" book - parents love the variety and flavors, too. Included is helpful information on important topics like introducing this way of eating to kids, handling kids parties, and how kids can get the nutrition they need.

Some of our favorites:

  • Cornbread: Sweetened with date paste (there's a recipe for it) or maple syrup, with almond flour, whole corn kernels, chives - it's a winner.
  • Chocolate Bliss Balls: These are ideal for a lunchbox and tend to go fast!
  • Mexican Bowls: A very satisfying alternative to Taco Tuesday.

Both of these books are full of filling recipes without relying on oil.  They have recipes that work for most people's health issues, and most of all take the mystic out of eating plant-based. Plenty of alternatives to dairy and meat can be found.  You might want to tell Santa you would like them, too!

More cookbooks I love can be found in the Bookstore.