Since I’ve fallen madly in love with cooking as a late teenager, I have collected a decent number of books which I either bought or were gifted to me by my friends who know me too well. Yes, you can call me old school, but I do love flipping through a book, especially when it comes to some of my favorite topics: food & travel.
Over the years, I have made it a point to lead a healthy, balanced & active life. I care about knowing where the ingredients come from as well as how dishes are made. I also enjoy infusing flavors from other cultures into my traditional dishes and create harmonious, nutritious meals. More importantly, it brings me so much joy to share that with the people I love. This is why it was important to me to share this section, I wanted to give you a glimpse of my inspiration & my way of life.
- Home Remedies by Meredith Hale: I absolutely love this book. It is my go to book whenever someone isn’t feeling well. I personally don’t like taking medication and would rather try the natural route first. Thankfully, no matter the problem, Hale always has multiple suggestions to help soothe the situation. This has come in handy time and time again.
- The Gluten, Wheat & Dairy Free cookbook by Nicola Graimes: I bought this book back in 2008. I had gained weight at the time, was overworked and was consuming a lot of gluten, wheat & dairy. All of these ingredients are typical in an Arab diet & none of which sit that well in my stomach, especially the dairy. I don’t believe in eliminating ingredients from my diet, but this book helped me adjust the ingredients & the quantities I consumed.
- Eat Right 4 Your Type by Dr. Peter D’Adamo: Although I haven’t read this book, but I found out about the charts that highlight which foods to eat or avoid according to your blood type around the same time I bought the previous book. This doesn’t work on everyone, but it worked miracles for me. I’m an O-blood type and the chart was my savior!! By amending what I ate, I quickly felt lighter & more energetic. To me, the chart made sense; I already knew that my body responded better to some foods versus others. By having the list on paper, it helped me shop smarter at the grocery store & eat better at home. I still apply the chart till this day.
- Eat by Nigel Slater: I cannot even begin to express how much I love this book. It stole my heart from the moment I received it as a gift from a dear friend. It’s filled with such beautiful recipes that get you hungrier with every page. I still haven’t had a chance to try out all the recipes (it’s quite a thick book), but I’ve loved what I’ve tried so far & it definitely is a source of inspiration.
- Abundance Mediterranean Cuisine compiled by WAAUB (Worldwide Alumni Association of the American University of Beirut): Alright, let me be honest for a second, I have contributed several of my recipes to this book so I may be biased. But honestly, these Mediterranean recipes are mouthwatering! One thing I truly respect about this effort, is that sale proceeds of the book go toward the student aids & scholarship programs at AUB. Support education & buy your copy today on Amazon.com or at Malik’s Bookstores in Lebanon.
- Bread by Paul Hollywood: This guy is amazing! I had the opportunity to meet him in Dubai at one of the events and I loved his approach. This book covers basic bread recipes including flat breads & loafs then looks into a few variations of how he make or present them in different cuisines.
Food & Travel Books
- Food Lover’s Guide To The World by Lonely Planet: Before I travel anywhere the first thing I do is reach out to this book. It gives me a summary of the country’s food culture, highlights must try restaurants in specific regions or cities, it also shares authentic recipes of traditional local dishes & sometimes also goes in depth with explaining the origins of the ingredients or how they’ve been used.
Documentaries, Movies & TV Series
- Supersize me
- Julie & Julia
- The hundred foot journey
- In Search of Perfection by Chef Heston Blumenthal
I hope my collection has inspired you one way or another. Please do share your favorite food & travel related books & resources with me. I’m always on the lookout for something new & exciting to read or watch!
In the meantime, here are some gluten free, low carb, fruits and grain & legumes based recipes to inspire you to lead a healthy life.