New cookbooks with inspiration for spring

With spring just around the corner, these cookbooks offer great ideas for fresh and achievable meals every day of the week.

Nothing says spring in your kitchen like simple recipes with fresh ingredients

These 3 new cookbooks feature straightforward recipes with fresh ingredients that are easy to find. (Jonathan Cheung)

With spring just around the corner, these cookbooks offer great ideas for fresh and achievable meals every day of the week.

Vietnamese Food any day

This sixth cookbook by writer Andrea Nguyen makes it easier than ever to incorporate authentic Vietnamese food into your home cooking.

The variety of Vietnamese ingredients offered in supermarkets today presents a drastic change from the culinary scene of 1975, when Andrea and her family first arrived in America as Vietnamese refugees.

At that time, Asian staples could only be found in distant Chinatown, so Andrea's mother learned to expertly adapt local supermarket ingredients to recreate the comforting dishes of Vietnam. This way of cooking, which both celebrated Viet food traditions and embraced the culture of this new home, instilled in Andrea an adventurous culinary spirit.

In Vietnamese Food any day, she shares her thoughtful and creative approach to preparing Vietnamese food that is delicious and accessible. These recipes are straightforward and do not require special equipment or ingredients that are hard to find.

This cookbook will introduce you to the inventive food of Vietnam, with modern dishes and adapted classics that will inspire you to make this dynamic cuisine at home.

Modern Lunch

Allison Day is on a mission to reinvent the midday meal with Modern Lunch, a cookbook that presents an exciting and healthy approach to homemade lunch. Allison's concept of the "modern lunch" is entirely adaptable to your palate and your lifestyle.

She provides recipes for days spent working from home, picnics on the weekend and weekday lunches to go, reinventing this underrated meal that is so important for getting through the day.

There are more than 100 creative recipes for healthy and satisfying lunches that are easily assembled, cost-effective and will leave you feeling good and energized. Allison's make-ahead dishes allow you to mix and match ingredients so that you have a number of interesting and delicious options to choose from throughout the week.

She offers tips on how to store produce, protein and grains to maintain freshness, how to pack lunches so that they travel well, and includes a chapter of meal prep staples to have on hand.

Modern Lunch is the essential guide to mastering this new way of eating and serves as a reminder to take some time every day to enjoy your lunch.

Double Awesome Chinese Food

Double Awesome Chinese Food is written by Andrew, Margaret and Irene Li, who are siblings as well as business partners. The food of their restaurant Mei Mei is contemporary and unconventional, drawing inspiration from their Chinese-American upbringing and the rich produce of New-England to create standout dishes that are imaginative, comforting and delicious.

This is a family-style cookbook that emphasizes the importance of communal eating, offering a wide variety of recipes that are perfect for sharing.

The trio's concept of family extends beyond their parents and many aunts, uncles and cousins, to include their dedicated restaurant team, partner farmers and other restaurants, forming a supportive food-based community. They are committed to sourcing local seasonal produce and are passionate about making quality food that contributes to a sustainable food system.

Double Awesome Chinese Food welcomes you into the Mei Mei family with this collection of unique recipes for flavourful meals to share together.

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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 was also a judge 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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