Sometimes I tire of eating, and all the work that goes into it. I don’t want to think about what to make, I don’t want to buy it, I don’t want to cook it and I don’t want to clean it up. I am also tired of eating what often becomes the same old thing. I makes me realize why people choose to go out for dinner. That is until we go out and realize I can make it at home better and cheaper.

So when DK Books suggested I pick up a couple of books, I choose two cookbooks – Super Clean Super Foods and Cook Healthy and Quick – to hopefully get me out of the blah eating routine.

My eight-year-old son pulled Super Clean Super Foods out of the package, and began reading me the information found within its pages. I learned barley, cooked hulled barley as opposed to pearl barley, has 125 per cent of your daily intake of selenium, which, according to national surveys, most people are missing from their diets. Selenium, research shows, may help reduce the risk of cancer.

Like all great DK Books, Super Clean Super Foods is full of information. Each section – grains, nuts and seeds, fish, meat, dairy and eggs, vegetables and fruits, among others – offers information about various items within the category including what’s in it, where is it from, how to prepare it and quick ways to use it. So for lemons, for example, we learn that women who eat citrus fruits regularly have a 19 per cent lower risk of heart disease than women who don’t; that there is 11 per cent Vitamin B6 in the juice of one medium lemon and the original tree is thought to originate in Oceania or Southeast Asia. The book suggests you make lemonade, preserved lemons or lemon sorbet, which sounds pretty delicious.

Each section also has one or two recipes, which includes a list of super foods found within the recipe and a coloured photo. While the recipes sound really good, and I have already made the super seed granola and am making the brown rice power bowl – my son’s request – tonight, the mini recipes sound really good and look really easy to make. I plan to make the apple, pecan and oat energy bites and the frozen treats – cherries dipped in yogurt and frozen.

There is also a meal guide for each section, offering suggestions on breakfast, snacks, lunch and dinner. And you have respect a cookbook that suggests good-quality dark chocolate as a snack. You are my kind of book, Super Clean Super Foods.


I consider Clean Super Foods an information book about eating well with some recipes thrown in, whereas Cook Healthy & Quick is a true cookbook, complete with glossy pages, which make the recipe photo pop.

Each recipe offers nutritional information along with the ways it’s healthy (low carb, low saturated, dairy free for example). I also love the way it’s laid out.

While there is a content section, breaking down the pages you turn to for breakfast, lunch, mains, sides and desserts, there is also an index offering a variety of recipes that are, for example, cheap and healthy. Within that two-page spread there is a number recipes broken down into how long they take to make anywhere from 20 to 35 minutes.

People can go to a vegetarian section to find a variety of recipes, and their pictures, and see how long it will take the suggested meal.

It’s a pretty neat feature, making searching for a recipe easier then looking through the index.

The other great thing about this cookbook is the variety of recipes. If you are looking to break monotony, this cookbook may be it. The recipes are varied – tabbouleh and cacik; cured mackerel sashimi with salad; harissa-spiced lamb chops; and watermelon salad with feta and pumpkin seeds – are some of the many delicious-looking recipes found within the pages.

Yet, it’s the variety that makes me hesitate about this cookbook. I am also not a planner when it comes to meals, although I have heard lots of reasons why you should be. I think if you were to get the most out of this cookbook, you would have to plan your meals to some degree because although Spicy Asian Chicken Salad and a Millet Cashew stir-fry look delicious, I wouldn’t have a number of the key ingredients on hand, which means it wouldn’t be the go-to cookbook when you get home and think what’s for dinner?