3 Cookbooks That Serve up Happiness for the Stomach and Soul

Positive plates.

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  • Curated by
    Darren Elms

Just the Good Stuff

By Rachel Mansfield

Rachel Mansfield’s vibrant debut cookbook proves that living a healthy lifestyle doesn’t mean adhering to restrictive diets or giving up all the foods you crave. Using better-for-you ingredients, such as grain-free flours, collagen peptides and coconut sugar, you can indulge while still maintaining a balanced approach to eating. Perfect for those who are new to cooking or learning how to incorporate healthy ingredients into their everyday lives, Just the Good Stuff includes an entire chapter on food prep (saves money and time!), lots of confidence-building tips and inspirational advice.

$28 at Gum Tree in Manhattan Beach or Hermosa Beach  |  gumtreela.com

Love is Served

By Seizan Dreux Ellis

Before it was a fixture on the L.A. dining scene and a magnet for celebrity diners, Café Gratitude was founded in the Bay Area with the simple ethos that joy derives from loving and being grateful for food, health and good company. With Love is Served, Seizan Dreux Ellis, executive chef at Café Gratitude, brings gratitude-quality meals to your table and the soul and mission of the restaurant to your home. With unfussy methods and easy-to-access ingredients, this cookbook makes the wholesome satisfaction of the restaurant as accessible as ever for the home cook as it charms and inspires readers to change the way they look at food.

$35 at Tabula Rasa in Manhattan Beach  |  tabularasaessentials.com

Eat California: Vibrant Recipes from the West Coast

By Vivian Lui

It’s safe to say that California has a lot going for it: a laid-back lifestyle, golden beaches and a vibrant food culture. The seafood is fresh, the produce organic and plentiful and the farmers markets are a wealth of riches all year round. Thanks to the coastal state’s fertile soil and temperate climate, local produce is varied and abundant—from the famed citrus to the beloved avocado. But beyond the impressive range of produce available, the state’s cultural diversity means finding vendors hawking handmade tacos next to a bustling Korean BBQ restaurant. It is this genuine love of food—preparing it, eating it and sharing it—that fuels positive energy in kitchens and around tables and makes California truly golden.

$35 at {pages} a bookstore  |  pagesabookstore.com