May is National Salad Month


The Association for Dressings & Sauces (ADS) launched National Salad Month in May 1992 in response to a 1991 Gallup Poll that revealed that three out of four people eat a tossed salad at least every other day.

Salad is generally a mixture of cold foods such as vegetables or fruits.  It is usually topped with dressing, nuts, croutons and sometimes meat, fish, pasta, cheese or whole grains are added.  It is often served as an appetizer, sometimes as a meal, and some people serve it after the meal.

Eating a salad is great all year round, but now that the warm weather is here, take a look at what the Cheshire Library has to offer with these selections of salad cookbooks.  It’s a great time to come up with some new ideas for salads!

saladWilliams-Sonoma Salad  – Salads bring out the best in fresh seasonal ingredients, whether they are delicate spring lettuces paired with soft goat cheese or crisp autumn apples tossed with toasted pecans. Williams-Sonoma Collection Salad offers more than 40 easy-to-follow recipes, including both classic favorites and fresh new ideas. In these pages, you’ll find inspiring salads designed to suit occasions throughout the year — from an informal summer picnic to an elegant dinner with friends. This vividly photographed, full-color recipe collection, appealing to both novice and experienced cooks, will become an essential addition to your kitchen bookshelf.

foodFood Made Fast – Salad – A collection of illustrated cookbooks for the busy home cook utilizes a straightforward approach to preparing tasty, healthful, and time-saving dishes for every night of the week, with easy-to-follow recipes and tips on keeping a well-stocked pantry, planning ahead, and using fresh ingredients.


mealSalad as a Meal – A collection of recipes for more than one hundred salads that can be served as a main dish, featuring salads for each season as well as recipes for soup sides and breads.



daySalad of the Day – A year’s worth of salad ideas features seasonally inspired options for every month and includes suggestions for special occasions, providing instructions for such dishes as chickpea salad with mint and spicy crab salad.


salad-daysSalad Days – The author of Death by Chocolate and Desserts to Die For brings his creative approach to main-course salads, with such creations as Penne Pasta and Spinach with Oven-Roasted Plum Tomatoes, Toasted Walnuts, Curly Endive, and Cracked Black Pepper Vinaigrette.


bib-bookCooking Light Big Book of Salads – Showcases salads, from simple side salads to giant, meal-size creations, featuring recipes centered around pasta and grains, poultry and meats, and fish.



subSubstantial Salads – Salads are often considered an appetizer or a summertime meal. When the weather is too hot, lightly tossed greens with seasonal fruits and veggies are perfect for cooling the body and filling the stomach. But with rich, filling ingredients and heartier flavors, salads can be served as main courses even in spring, autumn, and winter. Substantial Salads offers one hundred healthy and delicious recipes for green salads, whole-grain salads, and dressings.

May is quite the foody month.  Here is a link to a blog post I did in 2014 on National Barbecue Month and National Hamburger Month.

Solving the Meal or Snacktime Blues

If you are anything like me, you spent the start of the school year determined to pack healthy lunches and have healthier snack options available for the kids, and most likely yourself. Even if you do not have kids, at some point you have had the urge to jazz up your own meals, make cooler appetizers for some function, or just eat better. Maybe you want to sneak some extra vegetables into dinner, or even dessert, or new dietary restrictions have you trying new combinations and ways to make everything taste great while still being reasonably good for you. snack

I started off the school year with fresh baked muffins (with pureed vegetables hidden inside), plenty of fruit and whole grains in the snazzy bento box style containers for each of my kiddos. I had a snack box in the refrigerator and one in the pantry with pre portioned healthy snacks to fulfill requests. And now? Well, lets just say that the lunches are not nearly as well planned and motivation to keep everything healthy and organized is waning.

I have one young picky eater in the house, and a husband that dislikes casseroles, crock pot cooking, and vegetables in general. It is easy to fall into a rut of making the same the few meals over and over, and picking meals that seem to be the easiest to make even when there are better options. I have found that I regularly need motivation, ideas, and more to keep things healthy and tasty- as well as eaten by the whole crew. Getting everyone involved in the meal planning, shopping, or cooking is a big help. If they get to pick the food, or help in preparing it, they are all much more likely to eat, or at least try, what is on their plate.

Here are some books that I have recently found (some just moved into the Parenting section in the children’s room) to help inspire and re motivate myself and anyone else struggling with healthy meals, healthy snacks, and fun foods that are tasty and healthy.

lunchbox2Stealth Health Lunches Kids Love: Irresistible and Nutritious Gluten-Free Sandwiches, Wraps and Other Easy Eats by Tracy Griffith

So Easy: Luscious, Healthy Recipes for Every Meal of the Week by Ellie Krieger

lunchbox1Best Lunch Box Ever: Ideas and Recipes for School Lunches Kids Will Love by Katie Sullivan Morford

Weelicious Lunches: Think Outside the Lunchbox with More than 160 Happier Meals by Catherine McCord


lunchbox3ChopChop: the Kids’ Guide to Cooking Real Food with your Family by Sally Sampson

The Sneaky Chef: Simple Strategies for Hiding Healthy Foods in Kids’ Favorite Meals by Missy Chase Lapine

lunchbox4Regular readers know by now that I can never stop with just a few recommended books. So, if those listed above are already checked out or you are looking for more you might want to try: Beating the Lunch Box Blues: Fresh Ideas for Lunches on the Go! by J. M. Hirsch, Insanewiches: 101 Ways to Think Outside the Lunchbox by Adrian Fiorino,Deceptively Delicious: Simple Secrets to Get your Kids Eating Good Food by Jessica Seinfeld, The Cleaner Plate Club by Beth Bader & Ali Benjamin, Double Delicious! : Good, Simple Food for Busy, Complicated Lives by Jessica Seinfeld, and The Dinnertime Survival Cookbook: Delicious, Inspiring Meals for Busy Families by Debra Ponzek.

National Eating Disorder Awareness Week

February 22 through 28th is National Eating Disorder Awareness Week. While many of us are still focused on New Years resolutions about health and weight, it is a good time to stop and think about the ramifications of the focus on being perfect that seems so prevalent in today’s world. Making changes is great, but it is important that we all do so in a smart and healthy manner.

There are far too many young adults and adults out there suffering from eating disorders and other self image problems. to make matters works these concerns are becoming more of an issue with younger and younger children each year. thankfully there are many resources out there, and many fantastic books, to help. Here is a selection of related books that I would recommend for anyone that suffers from one of these disorders, knows someone that does, worries that someone close to you (or you yourself) might be heading in that direction, or just wants to educate themselves in order to understand and help others.

I have broken the list down into fiction featuring characters dealing with eating disorders and nonfiction books that can help answer specific questions with research and medical information. this is far from a comprehensive list, so if you have found a resource or book that I have forgotten please mention it in a comment to share with others.

For more immediate help, information, and support please visit the National Eating Disorder Association‘s or the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders website.

1. Skin & Bones by Sherry Shahan
2. Butter by Erin Jade Lange
3. Purge by Sarah Darer Littman
4. Zero by Diane Tullson
5. Faded Denim: Color me Trapped by Melody Carlson
6. Healing Waters by Nancy Rue & Stephen Arterburn.

More quality adult and young adult fiction that deals with eating disorders include: Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson, Massive by Julia Bell, Just Listen by Sarah Dessen, Perfect by Natasha Friend, Skinny by Ibi Kaslik, Saving Ruth by Zoe Fishman, Skin by Adrienne Maria Vrettos, and Hunger by Jackie Morse Kessler.

Non Fiction:
1. If Your Adolescent has an Eating Disorder: an Essential Resource for Parents by B. Timothy Walsh and V. L. Cameron
2. Take Charge of your Child’s Eating Disorder: a Physician’s Step-by-Step Guide to Defeating Anorexia and Bulimia by Pamela Carlton, and Deborah Ashin
3.Surviving an Eating Disorder: Strategies for Family and Friends by Michele Seigel, Judith Brisman, Margot Weinshel
4.Regaining your Self: Breaking Free from the Eating Disorder Identity: a Bold New Approach by Ira M. Saker and Sheila Buff
5.Gaining: the Truth about Life after Eating Disorders by Aimee Liu
6.Eating Disorders: the Facts by Suzanne Abraham and Derek Llewellyn-Jones
7.Going Hungry: Writers on Desire, Self-denial, and Overcoming Anorexia edited by Kate Taylor.

I would also suggest checking out The Eating Disorder Sourcebook by Carolyn Costin, Next to Nothing: a Firsthand Account of one Teenager’s Experience with an Eating Disorder by Carrie Arnold with B. Timothy Walsh, Life Beyond your Eating Disorder: Reclaim Yourself, Regain your Health, Recover for Good by Johanna S. Kandel, Treatment Plans and Interventions for Bulimia and Binge-eating Disorder by Rene D. Zweig, Robert L. Leahy, Goodbye Ed, Hello Me : Recover from your Eating Disorder and Fall in Love with Life by Jenni Schaefer, Anatomy of Anorexia by Steven Levenkron and When Dieting Becomes Dangerous: a Guide to Understanding and Treating Anorexia and Bulimia by Deborah Marcontell Michel, Susan G. Willard.

New Year’s Resolutions: How Are You Doing?

new yearsWe’re three months into the New Year and those resolutions are looking a little old and tired.  Need some help to get back on track?  The Cheshire Library has a great selection of books on health and fitness.  Here are a few titles to get you motivated.

The Spark: The revolutionary 3-week fitness plan that changes everything you know about exercise by Glenn Gaesser

Why We Get Fat and What To Do About It by Gary Taubes

Eat Move Sleep:  How small choices lead to big changes by Tom Rath

Making habits, breaking habits: why we do things, why we don’t, and how to make any change stick by Jeremy Dean

Perfect Health Diet: regain health and lose weight by eating the way you were meant to by Paul Jaminet

Culinary Intelligence: the art of eating healthy by Peter Kaminsky

7 Years Younger: the revolutionary 7 week anti-aging plan 

Thinner This Year:  a younger next year book 

The 4-hour body: An uncommon guide to rapid fat-loss, incredible sex and becoming superhuman by Timothy Ferriss

20 Years Younger by Bob Greene

The 12 second sequence: shrink your waist in 2 weeks by Jorge Cruise

Core Performance Essentials by Mark Verstegen

Come visit the library and peruse our collection of health, fitness, exercise and diet books.