Healthy, budget recipe books?!: Can anyone... - Weight Loss NHS

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Healthy, budget recipe books?!


Can anyone recommend any relevant cook books?

My cooking contains to much calories / fat / sugar / salt - hence my need to lose weight - so I think I will probably need a few good cook books to learn to cook healthy food!


24 Replies

I have to say that I have long since stopped using cook books and now solely use the web.

I love that I can google "healthy pork stir fry" or "low carb breakfasts" and be given a multitude of options within seconds. I narrow my search to Australia only if I want to ignore American recipes which show ozs not grams etc. The BBC Good Food website is actually a good one.

I must admit, being a bit of a cook, that I DID used to really enjoy cooking from a cookbook but these days it's me cooking from a Samsung Galaxy tablet :)

And before I decide on a recipe I always import it into Myfitnesspal (which takes no time) so I can confirm the calories and macro nutrients *before* I start cooking or decide to put it in my menu plan for the week.

Hi, like Dave suggests the web is brilliant.

Have clearout of you cupboards then start a fresh.

It will soon be soup weather: you can beat home made soup for being low cal and healthy. Just so simple pop it all in slow cooker or a pressure cooker and you have fantastic food, freeze the rest and you have ready meals! Just mind the bread for cals.

Good luck


Public libraries are a good place to look to see which authors appeal to you (and they need your support) From there I've borrowed Hairy Bikers healthy eating/weight loss books.

Abel & Cole have an appealing website with lots of recipes and a focus on vegetables.

Gonti10 kg
in reply to GoogleMe

I'll second that. I have been trying to educate myself around food issues and following some advice from Lowcal found loads in the library.

in reply to GoogleMe

The thought of the library hadn't even crossed my mind - how mad is that!?


ZestHealthy BMI
in reply to NiCherry

Hi NiCherry,

I would definitely recommend the public library - I usually get quite a few books out that way. They keep up to date with most of the latest books, so it's great!

Lowcal :-)

I've been getting cookery books out of the library too. I haven't actually followed any of the recipes though, just gleaned ideas and tips. One great tip I got from an Ottolenghi book was to stir veg and olive oil (with herbs, salt and pepper etc) altogether in a bowl before spreading them onto a tray to roast. That way the oil you measure out, e.g. 1 tablespoon, goes a long way and gets evenly spread through all the veg (which can then by divided into 2 or more portions). I like gathering all these different ideas, and looking for the healthy tips within recipes, rather than following a recipe to the letter.

I get books from the library, and I don't know if this is just because I'm in a big city, but my local library can also get books from neighbouring libraries sent over free of charge. Like Ruth I rarely follow them exactly. The trick is remembering to write down what you did if it's successful! It's worth looking online to see what books you might be interested in and seeing if your library can get them ordered in so you don't have to buy.

Re writing down - if you find a good online recipe it's good to print it out as it may not be easy to find again in the future, I have a few of these printouts lying around, they're often simple but favourite recipes. I do sort of 'shop' online for my library books too, then see if the library can order them in from neighbouring libraries. You can wait a few weeks sometimes, but it's worth it and a nice surprise when they come in :)

I have the hairy bikers cookbooks, they are titled the hairy dieters. Gives you the calories in each dish. There are 3 books. All the best on your weight loss journey.

Got some good ideas from this post...thanks Nicherry

This is one of the things I like about this site - we can learn from each other!!!

The Internet will provide you with recipes, print them off if you wish!


If you like a cookery book to browse rather than the web, then the Hairy Bikers book called Hairy Dieters has some good recipes, normal portions and all calorie counted.

I like the medicinal chef cookbooks by dale Pinnock-they however don't contain calorie values, and are not necessarily low fat. Also some of the portions are quite large, and can be halved.

A lot of healthy ingredients-it tells you what benefits they have - , tasty and mostly vegetarian. Ingredients usually quite easy to get and not too complicated to cook.


I predominantly use BBC Good Food - they have a healthy section and I've rarely had a bad meal from there! I read people's comments on the recipes as tweaks are suggested which I find helpful.

I hear that Jamie Oliver is/has released a healthy eating cookbook too. I'm watching out for this one - I do like Jamie recipes!

Join the British heart foundation.

There are hundreds of recipes on sit and sent via their magazine all aimed at healthy heart and thereby healthy weight.

Hi, I have just bought River Cottage Light & easy it has lovely recipes which are healthy.

ShellieLRestart Sept 2019

Hi NiCherry. I am an avid collector of cookbooks, have been for more than 30 years. My oldest is from the late 1700s, I tend to not buy many modern ones as I really do not rate them at all. I do have 4 of the HairyBiker books though. I read cookbooks like most would do a novel. In my own experience I have found that the cookbooks of the 1920s - 1950s are both full of economical, tasty and natural recipes. They are surprisingly healthy on the whole, and can be adapted quite easily when not so.

As many have said, the internet is full of wonderful recipes available at the touch of a button. All calorie, fat, carb, etc.... counted if that is what you seek. I hope you find something that suits you hun. Have fun experimenting. 😊

There are MANY low cal, low sodium and low fat cookbooks out in the market. Weight Watchers has some wonderful recipe books chock full of fat substitutes, such as applesauce instead of oil! If you follow portion sizes, you can safely lose about 50 pounds per year. When I was a member of Weight Watchers, I spent my Sundays cooking and dividing things like Potato chips and other snacks into correct serving sizes with their point value written on the containers. Their veggie soup recipe is wonderful and of course you can add more veggies to suit your taste.

Best of luck to you!

I tend to go onto the supermarket websites and view there recipes and most of them have the cals, fat sugar and salt, they also have budget normal and deluxe when you are checking the ingredients so you can get an average price too.

Hope this helps.

Slimming World books are also good. You might find that you can pick up copies in good condition of any cookbooks that you want in your local charity shops. Also a good place to do your clothes swapping as you lose weight. Good luck.

Go tr local library they always have cookbooks.....

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