Can winter faves such as stew and chowder be healthy as well as hearty? Yes! Many guides to indulging in comfort food without sabotaging your health have recently landed on my desk at Carolina Woman.


These cookbooks strike a nice balance between lusciousness and wellness in their skinny takes on your most-craved chow. Durham chef Amanda Cushman offers delicious, clean dishes in "Simple Real Food." Lifestyle blogger Niomi Smart explains how to use everyday ingredients to make nutritious meals in "Eat Smart." Professor Frank Ardito provides a holistic approach to cooking, eat and living in "The Self-Care Cookbook." And Michelle Tam and Henry Fong provide 150 plus recipes to suit the paleo diet in "Ready or Not."


Here are more titles and recipes to gratify your palate with healthy eats.


The Moosewood Restaurant Table
250 brand-new recipes from the natural foods restaurant that revolutionized eating in America
By The Moosewood Collective
Published by St. Martin's Griffin




Thai Corn Chowder

Ithaca has been carrying on a hot love affair with elegant Thai cuisine for almost 30 years. It's inspired some of our most popular dishes, but we attempt to emulate Thai-style dishes with great humility. This simple, naturally vegan and gluten-free chowder features classic ingredients like potatoes and sweet corn, but simmered with coconut milk, fresh ginger and aromatic Thai basil, and sparked with jalapeño. This soup is good without the cilantro or mint garnishes, but with them, it's divine.


1 tablespoon coconut oil or vegetable oil
1-1/2 cups chopped onions
1 fresh hot pepper, minced and seeded for a milder "hot," or 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup chopped red bell peppers
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more as needed
2 tablespoons peeled and grated fresh ginger
2-1/2 cups diced potatoes
3 cups vegetable stock
3-1/2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels (one 1-pound bag frozen)
1 (14-ounce) can unsweetened coconut milk
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil (Thai basil is best, but Italian basil is fine, too)
Hot pepper sauce or Chinese chili paste (optional)
Chopped fresh cilantro and/or mint, for garnish (optional)


Warm the oil in a soup pot on medium heat. Add the onions and hot pepper, and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the bell peppers and salt, and cook, stirring often, until the vegetables soften, about 6 minutes. Add the ginger, potatoes and stock. Cover and bring to a boil.


Reduce the heat and simmer until the potatoes are almost tender, about 5 minutes. Add the corn and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the coconut milk, lime juice and basil, and remove from the heat. Using a blender or an immersion blender, purée about half the soup. Stir the purée back into the pot.


Season with salt to taste, and, if you want it spicier, add some hot pepper sauce or Chinese chili paste. Garnish with lime, fresh cilantro and/or mint, if desired.


Yields about 8 cups



White Bean Stew with Rosemary on Orecchiette with Goat Cheese Toast

This is a stew full of flavor and texture: mellow cannellini beans, chewy bursts of sun-dried tomatoes, pungent rosemary. Served on al dente orecchiette and topped with the crusty baguette pieces spread with creamy goat cheese, it's a complete meal.


Time the prepping of the pasta and toasts to fit with when you'll serve the meal.


The stew is great both freshly cooked and made ahead and reheated.


3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups coarsely chopped onions
4 to 6 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 teaspoon salt, plus more as needed
2 or 3 celery stalks, coarsely chopped (about 1 cup)
2 large carrots, coarsely chopped (about 1 cup)
1/4 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1-1/2 cups vegetable stock
1-1/2 cups water
1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes or 3 cups chopped fresh tomatoes
1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans or other white beans, drained and rinsed
1-1/2 cups trimmed and cut green beans (1-inch lengths)
1 cup chopped kale leaves
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley


Goat Cheese Toasts
1 baguette
1/2 to 3/4 cup chèvre or other soft mild goat cheese


1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups orecchiette
Olive oil


In a soup pot, heat the oil, add the onions and cook for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and salt. When the onions have softened, add the celery and carrots and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add a splash of water or stock if needed to prevent sticking. Stir in the sun-dried tomatoes, rosemary, red pepper flakes, stock, water, tomatoes and white beans. Simmer for about 20 minutes.


During the last 5 minutes of cooking, add the green beans and kale. Cook until the green beans are tender-crisp and the kale is tender and limp but still bright green. Remove from the heat and stir in the parsley. Season with salt to taste.


About 30 minutes before the meal will be served, prepare the goat cheese toasts: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Split the baguette in half lengthwise and then cut it (on a diagonal is nice) into the number of slices that will give each diner at least a couple of pieces.


Arrange, cut side up, on a baking sheet. Bake until crisp, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.


When you're ready to serve the stew, spread the chèvre on the toasted baguette slices.


Start the pasta about 20 minutes before you're ready to serve the meal: Salt 1 quart water and bring to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain. In a bowl, toss the pasta with a little olive oil and set aside.


To serve the stew, divide the cooked pasta among large, individual bowls, ladle the stew over the pasta and serve topped with Goat Cheese Toasts.


Serves 6



The Healthy Jewish Kitchen
Fresh, contemporary recipes for every occasion
By Paula Shoyer
Published by Sterling Epicure




Cream of Broccoli Soup

I started making vegetable purée soups back when I was practicing law many years ago. I would cook soups at home, take them into work, and then reheat and eat them at my desk so that I could get right back to work.


Soup is definitely the hardest category of recipe writing for me because I simply never measure anything when I make soup. Most of my vegetable soups are made with whatever I happen to find in the fridge.


So, feel free to substitute the broccoli in this recipe with 2 pounds of any vegetable (or vegetables) you already have, and use this base recipe to clean out your fridge, like I do.


1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 medium onions, halved and sliced
2 stalks celery, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger
2 pounds broccoli
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon plus teaspoon white pepper, divided
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
4 cloves garlic, crushed and divided
6 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1 cup packed large basil leaves, almost 1 large bunch (reserve some leaves, for garnish)
1/2 cup canned coconut milk
Kosher salt to taste


Pour the oil into a large saucepan or soup pot over medium heat. Add the onions, celery and ginger, and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. While the onions are cooking, cut the crowns off the top of the broccoli (the greenest parts), and measure 1 1/2 cups of crowns. (If you like, reserve a few broccoli florets to garnish the soup before serving.) Set them aside and cut up the remaining broccoli into 2-inch pieces.


Add the turmeric, 1/4 teaspoon white pepper, ground coriander, large pieces of broccoli, 2 cloves crushed garlic, water and 1/4 teaspoon salt, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low, and cook the mixture for 20 minutes, or until the broccoli is fork-tender. Turn off the heat.


Add the broccoli crowns, remaining 2 cloves crushed garlic, basil, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and remaining 1/8 teaspoon white pepper, then cover and let sit for 10 minutes.


Use an immersion blender to purée or use a food processor to blend the mixture in atches, for 3 whole minutes each, until it is very smooth. Add the coconut milk and a little kosher salt to taste and purée for another minute.


Serves 8-10




Bouillabaisse is a fish stew that is popular in the south of France and is typically made with shellfish. I have always wanted to develop a kosher version and created a soup, rather than a stew, that is just as filling. It has all the flavors of the original as well - fennel, orange, tomato and anise. Purple potatoes mimic the black mussels, and red peppers mimic the shrimp in the stew.


2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 leeks, white and light green parts only, sliced
1 large onion, halved and sliced
6 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
2 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 fennel bulb, trimmed, halved and sliced
2 bay leaves
Peel of 1 small orange, scraped off with a vegetable peeler in large pieces
1 teaspoon saffron threads
3 tablespoons pastis or Pernod (licorice-flavored liqueur), divided
3 ounces skinless flounder fillets
5 cups water
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice, from peeled orange
1/4 teaspoon salt
teaspoon black pepper
Pinch cayenne pepper
2 red bell peppers, cut into 1-1/2-inch pieces
4 fresh artichoke hearts cut into 2-inch pieces
8 small purple or red potatoes, cut into quarters
About 1 pound fish: a combination of tuna, salmon and a white fish, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil to drizzle on top
Fennel fronds, for garnish (optional)


To make the soup, heat the oil in a large saucepan or soup pot over medium heat and add the leeks, onions, garlic, tomatoes and fennel, and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add bay leaves, orange peel, saffron, 2 tablespoons pastis, flounder and water, and bring to a boil.


Reduce the heat to low and cook, covered, for 20 minutes, or until vegetables are soft. Remove bay leaves. Let cool for 10 minutes and then purée soup with an immersion blender for a full 3 minutes, or blend in batches in a food processor until very smooth.


Add the orange juice, the remaining 1 tablespoon pastis, salt and pepper to taste. Add cayenne. Taste to correct seasonings. (May be made 2 days in advance.)


Preheat oven to broil. Place the bell peppers, artichokes, potato wedges and fish on a foil-lined jelly roll pan. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil and use your hands to coat.


Roast for 10 minutes, or until peppers are black on the edges and the fish is cooked.


To serve, reheat the soup and ladle it into bowls. Place some of the pieces of the artichoke and peppers, along with the potatoes and at least one of each type of the fish chunks on top of the soup and garnish with a frond of fennel, if you like.


Serves 8-10




Sugar Detox Me
100+ recipes to curb cravings and take back your health
By Summer Rayne Oaks
Published by Sterling Epicure




Coconut-Curry Shrimp Soup

When I first decided to do a sugar cleanse, I let all my friends know why I was doing it and invited everyone to have dinner at my house over the course of the next few weeks. Who can say no to that!


That's when I first concocted this recipe for an all-ladies' get-together. I wanted something that I could make in a big batch that was light and mouth-wateringly flavorful. Using fresh spices and herbs is particularly appealing when you're removing sugar from your diet because it gives real flavor to food and reorients your taste buds to what real food tastes like.


Everyone said, "Wow, what's this recipe!?!" Goal achieved!


1 shallot, diced
1 tablespoon extra
virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons ginger
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cumin
Two 13.5-ounce cans coconut milk
2 cups vegetable broth
1 cauliflower, finely chopped
1 pound shrimp
Pinch of sea salt, to taste
2 tablespoons cilantro (optional)
1 ounce microgreens (optional)


Sauté the shallot in a pan with the olive oil until it's translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the ginger to the mix and continue until the shallot is caramelized. Once the shallot is caramelized, add the curry powder, turmeric and cumin.


Add the coconut milk and vegetable broth to the mixture and bring to a simmer. Then add the cauliflower and shrimp and cook for another 2 minutes, or until the shrimp is pink. Add salt to taste.


Take the pan off the stove and add some cilantro and microgreens as a garnish.


Makes 16 servings



Cabbage and Ham Soup

Growing up with a Polish great-grandmother and grandmother, you'd be hard-pressed not to find cabbage growing in the garden or on the dinner table. Cabbage and ham soup is a popular meal in my family.


"You just toss in any leftover parts–bones, meat and all into the soup stock," my grandmother said, offering her thoughts on the re-creation of the recipe.


"And you can use the ham bone for several times afterwards"–a testament to scrappier times when a person could appreciate the mileage to be had from one item of food.


2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 small cabbage, stem removed and chopped
4 carrots, chopped
16 ounces sauerkraut
1 pound cooked ham, cubed
10 cups vegetable broth
2 bay leaves
Pinch of black pepper, to taste


Heat the olive oil in a deep pot over medium-high heat. Saute the onion for 3 minutes. Saute the garlic for another 2 minutes. Add the cabbage, carrots, sauerkraut and ham to the pot. Cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently.


Pour the broth into the pot. Add the bay leaves. Allow the broth to come to a simmer partially covered for about 40 minutes. Season the soup to taste with some black pepper. Remove the bay leaves and serve.


Serves 5




Reprinted with permission from "SugarDetoxMe" © 2017 by Summer Rayne Oakes, Sterling Epicure. Photography by Summer Rayne Oakes.