3 vegetable-focused cookbooks to beat the winter blues

This month's cookbook selection features vegetable-focused recipes, as well as comfort food for this final wintry month.

These cookbooks will help you freshen up your cooking until spring arrives

This month's cookbook selection features vegetable-focused recipes, as well as comfort food for this final wintry month.

These cookbooks offer healthy options and satisfying dishes that will freshen up your home cooking and help you beat the winter blues with good food and good company.

Vegetables First

This newest cookbook from chef Ricardo is an enthusiastic and colourful guide to cooking with vegetables.

Created with the modern family in mind, these recipes make vegetables stand out in exciting ways that will appeal to adults and children alike. This cookbook places vegetables at the heart of every meal, with meat and seafood playing a supporting role.

Inspired by his childhood spent eating fresh produce from his grandmother's garden and his parents' garden, Ricardo has continued the tradition with his own garden that has grown with his family. He wants readers to embrace using vegetables to enrich their cooking and strengthen their connection to the earth.

Each vegetable featured in this book is prepared using various cooking techniques to creatively transform it from humble produce into delightful food that is as vibrant and healthy as it is delicious. These original recipes range from simple and elegant starters to everyday dinners to elaborate weekend dishes for entertaining.

With sections on vegetable-based condiments, colourful cocktails, pickling, juicing, and how to make the most of vegetable scraps, Vegetables First will inspire you to incorporate vegetables into every meal of the day.

Time: A Year and a Day in the Kitchen

In Time, River Cottage chef and writer Gill Meller presents a mindful collection of recipes that explores the passage of time. The book is organized by time of day and each chapter is divided by season.

Scattered among the recipes are beautiful portraits of the different kitchens belonging to Meller's family and friends — spaces that hold memories of significant moments spent cooking, eating and living. In each of Meller's childhood homes, the kitchen was the centre of activity, where friends and family would frequently gather for a bite, the larder was always stocked with preserved goods, and fresh produce was harvested from the garden daily.

Meller presents recipes for vegetables, meat, fish, eggs, grains and dessert that are perfectly suited to every moment and are inspired by the farm-fresh produce of the English countryside. He uses the best local ingredients that each season has to offer and simple cooking techniques to create hearty food that makes you feel at home.

Time celebrates slow-living and good eating, with beautifully considered dishes that will remind you to appreciate the time spent in the kitchen and the meals shared with family and friends.

Dinner for Everyone

This is the latest cookbook from celebrated food writer Mark Bittman, author of numerous books, including the How to Cook Everything series.

Here, Bittman revisits 100 classic dishes from all over the world and offers three variations on each one for Easy, Vegan and All Out versions that will please everyone at the table. These familiar staples have been updated, offering new twists on old favourites that have been developed with every home cook in mind.

With a comprehensive assortment of dishes that are both straightforward and interesting, this cookbook is an invaluable resource that will encourage you to cook more often and to find the joy in preparing wonderful and nourishing food for the people in your life.

With easy recipes for quick and delicious weeknight meals, vegan options for a lighter and more sustainable diet, as well as more impressive dishes to make for company, Dinner for Everyone is full of inspiration that will help you decide what's for dinner.

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About the Author

Jonathan Cheung

CBC Homerun Book Columnist

Jonathan Cheung is a book columnist on CBC Homerun. Owner of the cookbook store Appetite for Books, Jonathan is a trained chef with a passion for cookbooks. He is also a judge this season on Iron Chef Canada. You can hear Jonathan on Homerun, on CBC Radio One (88.5 FM), once a month on Wednesday afternoons starting at 3 p.m.


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