New Cookbooks for a Healthy Summer


Carrot Almond pancakes, which are featured in Gail and Laura Piazza’s new book, “Recipes for Repair: A 10-week Program to Combat Chronic Inflammation and Identify Food Sensitivities.”

By Natalie Brooks

During the summer it can be difficult to stay healthy as you try to balance work with warm weather activities and cocktail parties. Many people don’t have time to plan home cooked meals and instead find themselves eating out frequently. With three new local cookbooks, dinner at home is made easy with recipes that specialize in maintaining health and restoring bodily imbalances that occur with an active lifestyle.

Recipes for Repair: A 10-week Program to Combat Chronic Inflammation and Identify Food Sensitivities

By Gail Piazza and Laura Piazza

Graphic designer and photographer Laura Piazza lived with unexplained chronic symptoms for years until finally being diagnosed with Lyme disease in 2009. That’s when she discovered the Lyme Inflammation Diet, developed by Dr. Kenneth Singleton, and partnered with her mother Gail, a professional recipe developer and food stylist, to develop recipes that complied with the diet’s guidelines while being delicious at the same time. This diet eventually proved to reduce and eliminate a number of Piazza’s chronic symptoms. A new revised and updated second edition of “Recipes for Repair” offers a comprehensive 10-week guideline for adopting the Lyme Inflammation Diet in order to reverse or eliminate chronic inflammation from any inflammatory or autoimmune condition. This book features over 180 recipes that are free of cane sugar, refined and artificial ingredients, and includes vegetarian, dairy-free, egg-free and Paleo options.

Carrot Almond Pancakes from “Recipes for Repair”

Dairy-free, Gluten-free, Vegetarian, Paleo

“These pancakes may look a little different than what you’re used to, but they taste sweet and nutty and are very satisfying. Top them with a teaspoon of raw honey and some blueberries for a complete breakfast treat.” – Laura Piazza

Makes: 4 pancakes

1 cup peeled and grated carrots (2-3 large carrots)

¼ cup almonds

1 slice fresh ginger (1/8-inch thick)

1 tsp. flaxseed meal

2 Tbsp. unsweetened shredded coconut

½ tsp. ground cinnamon

1 egg

¼ tsp. sea salt

½ tsp. vanilla

1-2 Tbsp. ghee* or extra virgin coconut oil

1 teaspoon raw honey

Blueberries (optional)

   *For dairy-free use the oil in place of the ghee

Place the grated carrots in a medium-sized bowl. Place the almonds, ginger and flaxseed in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse 5 to 6 times until the almonds are finely ground. Add the almond mixture and all of the remaining ingredients, except for the ghee, honey and blueberries, to the grated carrots. Heat the ghee in a small frying pan over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes, or until hot. Spoon 4 ¼-cup portions of the mixture into the frying pan, and cook for about 1 to 2 minutes per side, or until lightly browned.

Top with honey and blueberries if desired, and serve hot.

The Simple, Healing Cleanse

By Kimberly Larson

Most cleanses promise things like clear skin and zero belly fat, but one thing missing from many of these far-reaching claims is true nourishment, says Kimberly Larsen. Derived from Ayurveda, an ancient medicine from India that focuses on maintaining balance within the body, “The Simple, Healing Cleanse,” written by Larson, offers a guide to a four-week cleanse. Larsen developed this cleanse in response to her many clients trying to be healthy but having difficulty finding the best way to eat, exercise and cleanse for their body. She wrote this book as a guide to “simplify the practices I find helpful along with recipes to make it practical.” Including 50 basic, cleansing recipes and meal-planning tips, this cleanse is also easy to follow with a busy schedule. You will learn how to incorporate your Ayurvedic type, or dosha, to build a foundation for healthy, life-long dietary choices, bring balance to the mind, and cultivate health.


Sweet Green Goodness Soup with Cucumber Raita from “The Simple, Healing Cleanse”

“This soup is so creamy and sweet that I made it for my daughter as one of her first solid foods and for a friend receiving cancer treatment when nothing else was palatable. The recipe has had many variations throughout the years, but it remains a cooling, soothing staple for me. This version adds raita, a cooling side dish from traditional Indian cuisine, and a garnish of raw foods.” – Kimberly Larsen

Sweet Green Goodness Soup with Cucumber Raita from “The Simple, Healing Cleanse.”

Yields four 1-cup servings

2 large zucchini, chopped into 1-inch (2.5 cm) cubes

1⁄2 cup (75 g) peas

1 large potato, chopped into 1-inch (2.5 cm) cubes

1⁄4 cup (4 g) chopped cilantro, stems and leaves

1⁄4 tsp. (2 g) salt

1 cup (235 ml) water

1 tsp. (5g) ghee

1⁄2 lemon or lime, squeezed

For raita:

1 tsp. (2g) whole cumin seed

1⁄2 tsp. (3g) ghee

1⁄2 cup (115g) unsweetened yogurt

1⁄2 cucumber, peeled and diced

1 1⁄2 Tbsp. (6g) chopped dill

Pinch of black pepper

Pinch of mineral salt

For garnish:

5–10 zucchini strips, thinly sliced

Pinch of sprouts (alfalfa, sunflower, mung, or pea shoots are all good choices)

1 tsp. (2g) ground pumpkin seeds

Combine all ingredients for the soup in a medium stockpot, cover with a lid, and cook on medium heat for 20 minutes. At first, the solid chunks of vegetables will not be immersed in the water. Stir every 5 minutes, and as it cooks down, the vegetables will soften and sink into the water. The soup is done when all of the chunks are immersed in the water and soft. Transfer to a blender and puree. If you prefer chunky soup, puree half of the vegetables with all of the liquid and pour over the remaining chunks.

Caution: Leave the blender lid ajar or remove the round center insert when blending hot items. The heat will create expansion and pressure inside the blender and could cause the lid to pop off while blending. You can also blend smaller portions to ensure your safety.

For raita: Roast the cumin seeds with ghee in a small pan on medium heat for a few minutes until the seeds start to smell nutty and turn slightly brown. Remove from heat and spoon seeds into a blender with the yogurt, half of the cucumber, and the dill. Blend on low for 30 seconds, then transfer to a small bowl, mixing gently with the remaining cucumber, black pepper, and salt. To serve, pour a tablespoon of raita on each bowl of soup, then garnish with zucchini strips, sprouts, and ground pumpkin seeds.

Signs & Seasons

By Amy Zerner and Monty Farber

Discover how to eat for your sign and nourish your soul with Signs & Seasons, by local best-selling astrology authors Amy Zerner and Monte Farber, along with Chef John Okas. Inspired by their knowledge of astrological studies, Amy and Monte sought to link the characteristics of the individual sun signs to different types of food. Monte comments that creating the cookbook was like “creating the most wonderfully magical soup composed of our individual gifts and talents. Each of us added our secret spice, flavors and editorial and astrological knowledge.” The cookbook is comprised of seasonal recipes formulated to correspond with the characteristics of the individual sun signs. These specialized recipes follow the belief that our tastes, moods and desires are a result of astrological movements and the corresponding seasonal order on earth. Inspired by Mediterranean cuisine, this book includes over 95 recipes with starters, meat, seafood, and vegetarian main courses, side dishes, and desserts for each sign.

Cucumber Pistachio Soup with Rock Shrimp, Feta and Radish

“All summer long, cuke’s clean flavor works to refresh and restore – a great food to eat on a hot day. Because they are “cool”, astrological lore has cucumbers under the influence of the moon, which links them to the sign Cancer.” – Amy Zerner and Monte Farber

Cucumber pistachio soup from “Signs & Seasons.”

1¼ cups shelled, roasted, salted pistachios

3 cups vegetable juice

2 seedless cucumbers, chopped

6 scallions, chopped

½ cup baby arugula

2 ounces feta cheese

1 Tbsp. lemon juice

½ tsp. black pepper

½ tsp. onion salt

2 Tbsp. olive oil

⅛ tsp. cayenne

½ pound rock shrimp

1 garlic clove, minced or pressed

1 Tbsp. butter

2 radishes, grated

½ tsp. lemon zest

Note: Rock shrimp are small prawns. Tasting more like lobster than shrimp, they sweeten this somewhat salty soup. If using other shrimp, chop them into ½-inch pieces.

Place 1 cup of the pistachios (or cashews) and the vegetable broth into the bowl of a food processor and puree. Add the cucumbers, 4 scallions, arugula, feta, lemon juice, black pepper, onion salt, half the olive oil and half the cayenne. Process until smooth.

Let it chill before serving.

Meanwhile, let it rock. Prepare the shrimp. On high, heat the butter and remaining olive oil in a skillet. Add the garlic. Stir to infuse. Add the shrimp. Stir-fry 15 seconds, or until they are cooked through. Chop the remaining pistachios and scallions and place in a mixing bowl with the shrimp. Add the grated radishes, lemon zest and remaining cayenne. Mix.

Ladle the soup into bowls and top with equal portions of the rock shrimp salad.

(Recipe excerpted from Signs & Seasons: An Astrology Cookbook. Copyright © 2017 by Monte Farber and Amy Zerner. Reprinted with permission by Harper Elixir, a line of Harper One, a division of Harper Collins Publishers. Photo by Monte Farber)

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