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The Best Sustainable Cookbooks

By Camille Danielich
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Photo By Six Seasons: A New Way with Vegetables
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Photo By Cooking with Scraps
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Photo By The Modern Cook's Year

If you’re one of those people who’s constantly thinking of their next meal, but is trying to cut down on money spent on takeaway and waste associated with eating out at restaurants, you may want to consider home-cooked meals, although this can be a difficult place to start. How do you even choose a recipe? How do you decide what to make that’s kitchen and planet-friendly? Here’s a good place to start. We’ve wrapped up a couple of the best sustainable cookbooks on the market so that you can start meal prepping in a sustainable way.

As if the James Beard Foundation hasn’t spread enough wisdom. Waste Not: How to Get the Most From Your Foodis the latest installment and resource for those looking to avoid wasting any food they buy. Far from a cookbook meant to hastily use up the tidbits leftover, Waste Not is a celebration of sustainability, a cleverly crafted set of recipes designed to turn ingredients that “often end up in the trash” to “delicious dishes and exciting takes on tried-and-true recipes.” Consider recipes like Asparagus Bottom Aioli, Squash-seed Tahini, Fruit-Skin-Crusted Mahi — and much, much more. The James Beard Foundation promises that the cookbook will change “what —and how— you eat.”

In continuing the spirit of sustainability and reuse, Cooking With Scraps: Turn Your Peels, Cores, Rinds, and Stems Into Delicious Meals is a gorgeous manual for “scrumptious and zero-waste cooking.” With over 85 recipes written by Lindsay-Jean Hard, the “Cooking with Scraps” columnist for Food52, that utilizes the best of seeds, tops, rinds and stems, cooks will whip up delicacies like Carrot Green Pesto or Canned Bean Mayonnaise. Or consider even, Broccoli Stems Poached in Olive Oil and served on Lemon Ricotta Toast. So… to eat well or to eat sustainably? With this book, you don’t have to choose between the two.

As it’s been said, Joshua McFadden of Ava Gene’s Restaurant in Portland is a “vegetable whisperer.” We’re listening. McFadden worked his way through the ranks at Momofuku and even sustainability tycoon Blue Hill and ended up at Four Season Farm in Maine, where he learned to work with vegetables at each stage of their growth — thus, Six Seasons: A New Way with Vegetables was born. Partially written from a chef’s perspective and partially from a farmer’s, McFadden chronicles vegetable growing seasons and includes recipes featuring these seasonal choices. With over 200 recipes that include grilling, steaming, braising and stewing, you’re sure to build up a repertoire of delicious, vegetable-based dishes that will keep you shopping locally and sustainably.

Perhaps you’ve mastered the art of home cooking and are now looking to branch into sustainable entertaining and menu making. We’ve got your back, and The Modern Cook’s Year is the perfect domestic companion. Authored by acclaimed British writer Anna Jones, the book is segmented into six seasons with 250 corresponding recipes and tips and tricks about entertaining, including seasonal flowers and playlists. Want a taste of what’s inside? Whet your appetite with gorgeous descriptions of Jones’ favorites, like Blood Orange Freezer Cake, Elderflower dressed Broad Beans with Burrata and Chickpea Farinata with Courgettes. The best part? This book is a perfect companion for year-round delicacies.



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