This holiday season, there are plenty of opportunities to gather with family or friends and cook up something amazing to share. With regular, traditional holiday food front and center, some of the lesser known dishes may get ignored. Many people who may not enjoy foods served on Thanksgiving or Christmas may like some of these alternative meals. Check out some of the best cookbooks this holiday season; they’re perfect for gifting to a friend, yourself or a loved one.
The One-Pot Gourmet Gardener by Cinead McTernan and Jason Ingram
Delicious container recipes to grow together and cook together.
This title is unique because it takes a bit longer to enjoy your creations since you’ll be growing the ingredients straight from the pot. “Picking a home-grown tomato straight off the vine or unearthing a carrot is not just for those who have acres of space and very green fingers.” It’s empowering to be able to take control of your own food production and intake and this book makes it easy. Laid out in perfectly simple selections, novice and experienced gardeners and chefs will be able to enjoy this special “farm to table” fare. Grow and cook your own recipes, including:
- Sage and Broad Bean Custards
- Hummus, Three Ways
- Baba Ganoush
- Simple Ratatouille
- Salsa Verde
- Spicy Tomato Juice
Learn more about The One-Pot Gourmet Gardener here.
Recipes from My Persian Kitchen by Nasreen Z. Zereshki
Persian cuisine, among the oldest and best in the world, is often misunderstood. Zereshki’s new cookbook aims to remedy this. Packed with tips for eating healthy while still enjoying some of the most classic Middle Eastern fare, Recipes from My Persian Kitchen brings a comfortable, home cooking feel. Recipes include:
- Pomegranate Soup
- Rice with Eggplant and Saffron-Yogurt Sauce
- Lamb Kebab
- Salmon with Tamarind Sauce
- Stuffed Eggplant
- Persian-Style Ice Cream
Learn more about Recipes from My Persian Kitchen here.
The Gator Queen Liz Cookbook by Elizabeth Choate
Looking for something a little more exotic? Gator Queen Liz, from the History Channel’s Swamp People, has published a cookbook aimed at making delicious sense of swamp finds like alligator, duck, turtle, nutria, squirrel, deer, chicken, seafood and more. Those interested in Homestyle Southern cooking will not be disappointed. Learn the perfect searing and seasoning techniques for:
- Venison and Pork Chili
- Fried Shrimp
- Crawfish Fettucine
- Crab Au Gratin
- Shrimp Omelet
- Fried Alligator Nuggets
- Turtle Fricassee
Learn more about The Gator Queen Liz Cookbook here.
The Essential Ayurvedic Cookbook by Lois A. Leonhardi
The ancient practice of Ayurveda is about finding the natural balance that’s right for you. It varies at each moment, based on internal and external influences. Leonhardi’s purpose for creating the book is to create an awareness of the constantly shifting state of balance and how to impact this through how you live and what you eat. Rather than dictating a list of dos and don’ts to follow, the book helps one recognize how each principal of Ayurveda applies to their particular circumstance.
Packed with more than 200 recipes designed to increase your health, wellness and spiritual balance, this new title has incredible recipes including:
- Lavender Essence Tea Bread
- Lemon Rosemary Turkey Sausages
- Minted Fingerling Potato Frittata
- Cool Coconut Chutney
- Stuffed Grape Leaves
- Cardamom Almond Balls
Learn more about The Essential Ayurvedic Cookbook here.
Greatest Ever Potato by Parragon Publishing
The humble potato would not be something you’d imagine as a main course, but potatoes are one of the most versatile, cost-efficient and easy-to-cook items out there. From French fries to baked gratin, potatoes can be delicious in almost any form. Great for college students or those who are not used to being very adventurous in the kitchen, the potato is a great place to start. Recipes include:
- Spinach and Ginger Soup
- Vegetable Samosas
- Fritters in Garlic Sauce
- Potatoes in Coconut Cream
- Potato and Turkey Pie
- Sweet Potato Bread
- Potato-Topped Lentils
Learn more about Greatest Ever Potato here.
The Essential Vegetarian Cookbook by Bay Books
Those meat-free in your life will love this comprehensive food bible featuring vegetable-heavy and vegetarian recipes. In addition to a food guide that walks you through the essential nutrients of a vegetarian diet including tips on balancing grains and proteins, this book has creative recipes that differ from traditional veggie fare. You’ll learn how to cook:
- Silverbeet (Swiss Chard) Pie
- Potato Gnocchi with Tomato Sauce
- Focaccia Bread
- Thai Coconut Vegetables
- Brown Rice Tart with Fresh Tomato Filling
- Beetroot Soup
- Banana Cake
Learn more about The Essential Vegetarian Cookbook here.
No-Churn Ice Cream by Leslie Bilderback
Have you ever whipped up a batch of homemade ice cream? Usually the process involved rock salt, churning for hours and waiting as the delicious creamy treat sets and becomes ready to eat. Leslie Bilderback’s new technique shows that churning is not a necessary part of making homemade ice cream. All you need are a few ingredients, a bowl and some time to create these delicious flavors:
- Coffee Ice Cream
- Strawberry-Rhubarb Ice Cream
- Pineapple-Pepper Ice Cream
- Sweet Potato Marshmallow Swirl Ice Cream
- Poached Pear Sherbet
Learn more about No-Churn Ice Cream here.
Do you have a favorite cookbook this year?
Elizabeth Adan is a Freelance Writer, Publicist and Explorer. Aquaberry Bliss is a unique outdoor lifestyle site dedicated to expanding your world and inspiring your creativity. When Elizabeth isn’t traveling, you’ll find her writing, hiking or gardening. Find Elizabeth on Twitter @stillaporcupine and on LinkedIn.