DIABETES ESSENTIALS: everyday basics (Robert Rose, 2020, 192 pages, ISBN 978-0-7788-0631-8 $27.95 CAD softbound) is an oversized paperback created by Karen Graham, RD of British Columbia, and Mansur Shomali, MD, MedStar Union Memorial Hospital in Baltimore. It's a book in the series Health & Wellness, basically meant for "new" type 2 diabetics. Every topic has been reduced to lists of ten points for beginning learners: prediabetes, morning blood sugar, stress, lab tests, medical terms, mindful eating, and more. It all begins on pages 12 and 13 with "Diabetes First Ten Days" and leads to strategies of management through nutrition, exercise, and medication. Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of equivalents.
Audience and level of use: mostly pre-diabetics
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: the recipe section has about ten preps for each of tasty soups, salads, dinners, desserts, snacks, and then meal planning.
The downside to this book: the oversized nature of the book (8.5 x 11 inches) makes it awkward, although the size does allow for larger typefaces.
The upside to this book: lots of great illustrations and checklist-quizzes to keep you on point.
Quality/Price Rating: 90.
4.THE HEALTHSPAN SOLUTION: how and what to eat to add life to your years (DK Books, 2019, 256 pages, ISBN 978-1-4654-9007-0, $25 USD hardbound) is by Julienna Hever, MS Nutrition, and author of four other plant-based books, and Ray Cronise, co-founder of Efferos. They propose that a single lifestyle modification can dramatically improve one's quality of life and promote sustainable health benefits: a plant-based diet. Here are 100 easy but quality recipes, arranged by courses (soups, salads, sides, sweets, sauces). I do not like the grey-toned background on the recipe pages because it makes the text difficult to read. The typeface for the chef notes are a goodly size, but the rest of the page with more important content such as instructions and ingredients is very hard to read. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents.
Audience and level of use: those contemplating life/health style changes
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: fiesta corn stew; green apple and brussels sprout slaw; eggplant rollatini; lime-mint papaya and jicama bowl; new year's collard greens.
The downside to this book: one really doesn't know how effective this all is for oneself until the end is nigh. Has the nigh been long enough?
The upside to this book: the proof is in the (plant-based) pudding.
Quality/Price Rating: 85.
5.THE DELICIOUS BOOK OF DHAL: comforting vegan and vegetarian recipes made with lentils, peas and beans (Ryland Peters & Small, 2019, 128 pages, ISBN 978-1-78879-150-2 $14.95 USD hardbound) is by Nitisha Patel, a UK food consultant and chef specializing in recipe development. Call it "dhal", "dal" or "daal" – it's all about that important staple: the dried, split pulses of South Asian countries. The 40 preps ere show how diversified the pulses are; dhal can refer to the pulses themselves and to the resulting dishes. So dhal can be a medium-thin soup, a curry, a pakora, dosa, burgers, or dessert. Chapters in this book are divided along those lines. The book could have been improved if it had also used more metric in the recipes, or at least had a metric conversion chart.
Audience and level of use: plant-based aficionados
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: kaali urad dhal; coconut and kale toor dhal; brussels sprouts and carrot sambharo; moong dhal, kale and coconut salad; spiced lentil trail mix; vindaloo burger relish.
Quality/Price Rating: 85
6.CAULIFLOWER POWER: 75 feel-good, gluten-free recipes made with the world's most versatile vegetable (Artisan, 2019, 240 pages, ISBN 978-1-57965-901-1 $19.95 USD hardbound) is by Lindsay Grimes Freedman, who begins with the five key ways to prepare cauliflower: whole head, steaks, florets, riced, and mealed. The range is all-day, from breakfasts through lunches, happy hours, dinners and sides, and desserts. She has a resources list with websites for pantry products such as tamari or almond flour. The book could have been improved if it had also used more metric in the recipes, or at least had a metric conversion chart. Quality/price rating:
Audience and level of use: vegetarians, for the most part.
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: shepherd's pie; California roll; turmeric roasted vegetable Buddha bowl; fettuccine alfredo; strawberry ice cream.
Quality/Price Rating: 87
May we all have 2020 vision.