The Good Carbs Cookbook

Author: Dr Alan Barclay, Kate McGhie ad Philippa Sandall

Available from: all good bookshops or online at Booktopia

Despite all the current focus on low-carb diets, carbs are not the enemy. In fact, eating the right carbs is important for our health and energy levels.  But what are the ‘right’ carbs?

This book, written by Australian authors, including a dietitian and chef, explains which carbs we should be eating, why they are a valuable part of our diet and how to incorporate them into tasty and nutritious meals.

The first chapter is an introduction, explaining exactly which foods are ‘good’ carbs and the benefits they provide.

This is followed by four sections covering the main ‘good carb’ groups – vegetables, legumes, grains and fruit.

Within each of these chapters is an overview of the food group, how much of them we should be aiming for each day and more detailed information on specific vegetables, legumes, grains and fruit including what to look for, how to store them, their nutritional information and recipes.

At the back is a chapter on understanding carbs, explaining exactly what they are and the impact they have on our health.  This is followed by a comprehensive nutritional analysis for each recipe and an index.

There are recipes to appeal to all tastes, with ideas for breakfast through to dessert.

Roasted pumpkin soup with harissa, Pan roasted sweet potato and beetroot with grapefruit glaze, Smoked paprika, potato and chickpea salad, Mixed grains salad with marinated zucchini and Banana and peanut ice-cream are just a few of the yummy-looking recipes on offer.  There are over 100 recipes in total, many with full colour photographs.

If you want to understand more about the benefits of eating ‘good carbs’ and need some inspiration for incorporating them into your meals, this book is a great place to start.



Website Review: Healthy Food Guide

The companion website for Australian Healthy Food Guide magazine, the Healthy Food Guide website aims to make healthy eating easy and delicious. It provides accurate and evidence-based information from nutrition experts on a range of nutrition topics from A(dditives) to Z(inc).

The site features some great tools for judging portion sizes and reading food labels, menu and exercise planners, and product reviews to keep you up to date with new foods as they hit the shelf.

There are hundreds of recipes which have been developed in consultation with dietitians and nutritionists so you can be sure that they deliver on their healthy promise, without compromising on taste. The recipes cover different meals and occasions, seasons, and special diets from dairy and gluten-free to diabetes-friendly to low sodium.  They also have a number of recipe ‘collections’ including ‘5pm panic’ (healthy meals in under 30 mins), ‘homemade takeaways’ (healthy homemade versions of your favourites) and ‘meals for one‘ (for those who cook for themselves and don’t want to eat the same meal 4 nights in a row!).

You can sign up for their e-newsletter and even get 5pm Panic! recipes sent straight to your inbox.

For nutrition information you can trust and help with within delicious healthy meal ideas, this website is worth checking out.

Book Review: Food as Medicine

Written by fellow Sydney-based dietitian Sue Radd, this beautiful cookbook offers 150 delicious plant-based recipes designed to optimise your health and reduce disease risk.

Sue runs popular monthly ‘Cookshops’ in her practice at Castle Hill and many NND clients have enjoyed attending these.  She has incorporated her favourite recipes from these classes into her new book, making them available to anyone looking to build more healthy plant-based meals into their diet.

At almost 400 pages, this book is packed not only with recipes but also plenty of information on the role of diet in reducing disease risk, setting up your pantry, food storage and cookware, kitchen equipment and shopping tips.  For those who like more structure Sue outlines her top ten ‘food rules to live by’ and provides four seasonal menu plans.

Spiced Celeriac Wedges, Roasted Vegetable Salad with Creamy Orange Tahini Dressing, Black Bean Burgers with Fresh Salsa, Walnut & Mushroom Meatballs in Tomato Sauce and Freekeh with Aromatic Spices & Pine Nuts are just a few of the tasty-sounding recipes on offer.  Those with a sweet tooth might like to try the Smooth Vanilla Bean Tofu Cheesecake and Chocolate Brownies with Walnuts (made from black beans).  All recipes are entirely plant-based.

There are sections for Salads & Vegie Sides; Wholegrains & Healthy Carb Sides; Lighter Plates;  Main Plates;  Soups; Dips, Spreads and Pastes; Sweet Endings; Snacks, Nibbles & Sweet Morsels; and Drinks.

If you’re looking for some inspiration for incorporating more plant-foods into your diet, this book is well worth adding to your Christmas wish list!

Available in all good bookstores or online at Booktopia.

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