The Cooking Cure

Cooking is straight up good for us

It’s been a year of unprecedented change, so it likely won’t surprise anyone that people have been baking and cooking more since the start of the global pandemic. An American survey found baking up 46 percent, and cooking up 54 percent. Could be the added time at home, but the joy of the task–a reprieve from bad news?–seems a significant factor too.

This is unsurprising. A number of therapists have long used cooking classes as means to treat anxiety and depression.

That’s the mental side. On the physical side, home cooks eat fewer calories, and simply healthier, more nutritious food on the whole.

Cooking is straight up good for us, mind, body and soul. It can also help us better connect to the place we live. Food is, after all, a massive component of culture. To that effect, here are 8 Atlantic Canadian cookbooks. Here’s to your health!

From Codfish to Kippers
Roger Pickavance
Boulder Books

Newfoundland’s codfish and kippers—but also halibut, mackerel, monkfish, salmon, trout, turbot and more—are the stars of these recipes. Here is a wide variety of creative recipes, including smoked cod lasagna, cured salmon with beetroot, blackened halibut and salt turbot cakes. Following up on the success of From Rum to Rhubarb, Pickavance once again delivers a collection of modern recipes that showcase the best of Newfoundland and Labrador ingredients.

Bonita’s Kitchen
Bonita Hussey
Boulder Books

Bonita’s Kitchen collects more than 50 of the most loved baking recipes from her hit YouTube channel, straight from her Upper Island Cove kitchen to yours. Toutons and sweet molasses raisin bread, baked puddings and blueberry sticky buns, lemon crumbles and maple butter tarts … these are traditional recipes updated for today’s baker. With clear directions, full-colour photographs and easy-to-find ingredients, Bonita brings her own flair to beloved recipes, delivering a collection to nourish body and soul.

The Forager’s Dinner
Shawn Dawson
Boulder Books

Learn to identify more than 50 edible plants—including trees, weeds, berries and fruit—and how and when to harvest them sustainably. A must-have book for anyone interested in food security, eating locally and cooking with the freshest possible ingredients. Hundreds of full-colour photographs make Forager’s Dinner a gorgeous and insightful journey into the natural bounty that surrounds us. And of course: recipes for locally sourced wild food, from more than a dozen expert chefs.

Rock Recipes 3
Barry C Parsons
Breakwater Books

Easy baking recipes take centre stage as well with straightforward, old-fashioned recipes, including those heavenly desserts that have made Rock Recipes famous the world over. And as always, every recipe is accompanied by one of Barry’s amazing full-colour photographs to help guide you from preparation to presentation. With helpful cooking tips and a recipe for every possibility, Rock Recipes makes mealtime as easy as 1, 2, 3!

Some Good Sweet Treats
Jessica Mitton
Breakwater Books

Jessica Mitton follows the success of her first cookbook, Some Good, with the course that everyone’s been waiting for—dessert! Made in ways that are healthier and more nutritious, these decadent chocolate delights, oat-based goodies, muffins, cakes, squares and cookies will satisfy every sweet tooth without the guilt. Includes gluten and dairy-free recipes, incorporating healthier ingredients that will make everyone feel some good.

The Chowder Trail Cookbook
Elaine Elliot
Formac Publishing

Cookbook authors Elaine Elliot and Virginia Lee have selected the best of the recipes from restaurants, diners and food trucks in Nova Scotia, adapted them for home use and brought them together in one collection, filled with great ideas for fresh Atlantic seafood, delicious any time of year.

Out of New Nova Scotia Kitchens
Craig Flinn
Formac Publishing

Craig Flinn’s passion is to seek out, taste, cook and share the very best locally sourced foods. Starting with traditional dishes, he has developed amazing contemporary versions, organized by season. Based on fresh, local, plentiful produce, these are dishes that Maritimers and visitors alike will love.

Grandma’s Cookies, Cakes, Pies and Sweets
Alice Burdick
Formac Publishing

Some lucky cooks have treasured heirloom recipes, preserved and handed down to them, but many have been lost or forgotten along the way. Among the recipes in this book are a few traditional classics that remain favourites — like blueberry grunt and Scottish shortbread. But most of these recipes are almost forgotten, yet they offer tempting and delicious ideas that home cooks will want to try. Recipes like old-fashioned molasses candy, sweet black cherry pudding and Acadian lemon buttermilk pie.

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