Check It Out: Quick, easy and healthy recipes from the library

Getting a healthy meal on the table can often be challenging.

Sometimes it's just easier to order pizza, make a quick stop at the drive-thru, or throw something into the microwave. Even though these are not the healthiest of options, they do sometimes make our already demanding lives a little more manageable.

But, with a little more effort and some pre-weekly meal planning, there is a much healthier option. Instead of consuming the extra calories and spending lots of money on eating out, get educated on the preparation of nutritious and easy meals by reading the following books available at the Newport Beach Public Library:

"Cooking with All Things Trader Joe's" by Deanna Gunn is an excellent resource for regular Trader Joe's shoppers. This cookbook has simple recipes that use products found within your local Trader Joe's market.

The recipes in this book use many of the grocery chain's specialty products to create tasty meals that are flavorful and filling. Listed beneath each recipe is the nutritional information for one serving portion size, which makes it easy to track the calories consumed in one meal. Some favorite dishes include Arugula Pesto Pasta, Fish Tacos, and the ever tasty Low Fat Wide Awake Coffee Shake.

Today show nutritionist, Joy Bauer, details the importance of healthy eating in her book, "Slim & Scrumptious: More than 75 Delicious, Healthy Meals your Family will Love." Bauer shows that eating at home no longer means boring, bland food. She develops more than 75 easy recipes that pack taste and nutrition with the ultimate goal of having a delicious meal on the table for the whole family to enjoy together. She stresses the importance of sharing a family meal, and how it creates a time for bonding and connecting as a family, which is sometimes so limited in our fast-paced busy lives.

Eating well should not mean breaking the bank. "The $5 Dinner Mom Cookbook: 200 Recipes for Quick, Delicious, and Nourishing Meals that are Easy," by Erin Chase, offers budget friendly meal ideas for $5 or less. With more than 200 recipes made for under $5, moms and dads will be sure to gain a lot of praise from the kids at the dinner table. A popular website created by Chase also lists some excellent meal ideas. Visit for more information.

Tracy Seaman, in "Real Food for Healthy Kids: 200+ Easy, Wholesome Recipes," provides healthy nutritional options for the pickiest eaters in your life. If it were up to kids to make meals, you'd be eating macaroni and cheese for breakfast, lunch and dinner. With this book, readers will find tasty recipes that include vegetables and fruits with meals to ensure that little ones are getting vitamins and minerals needed for their growing minds and bodies.

Tackling childhood obesity, "The Sneaky Chef to the Rescue: 101 All-New Recipes and "Sneaky" Tricks for Creating Healthy Meals Kids will Love" by Missy Chase Lapine, touches on the importance of developing healthy eating habits as an entire family. By "sneaking in" fruits and vegetables where kids will least expect them, Lapine has created delicious recipes for everyone. This book is also great for parents of children who suffer from food allergies, and has many menu options where substitutions can be made to avoid the allergen.

CHECK IT OUT is written by the staff of the Newport Beach Public Library. All titles may be reserved from home or office computers by accessing the catalog at For more information on the Central Library or any of the branches, please contact the Newport Beach Public Library at (949) 717-3800, option 2.

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