Life in Balance: A Fresher Approach to Eating

Donna Hay (editor-in-chief of Donna Hay magazine and author of numerous cookbooks) is "not a diet kind of girl." But, as she writes in the introduction to Life in Balance: A Fresher Approach to Eating, she loves the way food can make her feel: "Uplifted, refreshed, cosy or indulgent--the secret, of course, is to find balance." And that's what she does here, with deceptively simple recipes that highlight ingredients that not only satisfy cravings but also nourish bodies.

The cookbook is organized somewhat oddly: some chapters are grouped by meal (breakfasts and snacks), some as collections of recipes based on key ingredients (Super Greens, Power Proteins, Good Grains) and some based on dish type (Clean + Lean, Better Baking + Treats). But with limited narrative text through the recipes and rich, stunning photography on every page, Life in Balance is as much a work of art as it is instructional manual--and so the scattered structure proves less of a detractor than it otherwise might (a thorough index helps, as well).

Then there are the recipes themselves, written with clear, concise instructions and highlighting "super food" ingredients in ways that promise both flavor and satisfaction: Baked Spinach and Parmesan Egg White Souffles; Harissa Lentils with Pickled Onions; Chicken, Zucchini and Feta Meatballs; and Orange and Chia Seed Syrup Cake. Hay's ability to transform good-for-your-body ingredients into good-for-your-tastebuds dishes will appeal to anyone interested in fresh, clean food that doesn't skimp on flavor. --Kerry McHugh, blogger at Entomology of a Bookworm

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