Celebs Encourage Family Dinners with New Cookbooks

What’s inspiring Hollywood celebrities – famous for their work behind cameras and mics, not stoves – to release a slew of family-friendly, health-oriented cookbooks? We’re not sure, but we’re thrilled nonetheless! In the last two months, we’ve noticed a trend that can only be good news for the push to get families cooking, eating and sharing together. From Oscar and Grammy winners to vetted fitness experts, people in the public eye want to get you into the kitchen, and they’re cracking open their family recipe stores to make it happen. Check out the following new releases:

If It Makes You Healthy: More Than 100 Delicious Recipes Inspired by the Seasons by Sheryl Crow and Chuck White with Mary Goodbody (St. Martin’s Press, March 2011, $17.47). After battling breast cancer, Sheryl Crow knows all too well the value of fresh, nutrient-packed, seasonal food — like basil and apple marinated chicken. The book is divided into recipes for the four seasons and features meals for occasions ranging from large gatherings to intimate family meals. Together with her personal chef Chuck White, If It Makes You Healthy presents 125 recipes designed to be easy enough to get anyone cooking seasonally.

Eva’s Kitchen: Cooking with Love for Family and Friends by Eva Longoria and Marah Stets (Clarkson Potter, April 2011, $17.44). Who knew this Hollywood starlet was more comfortable in the kitchen than on the red carpet? Drawing on her family background of cooking Mexican-style food with fresh ingredients from her family’s ranch in Texas, Longoria shares 100 of her favorite recipes in this book. Readers will find recipes for traditional Tex-Mex staples like tamales and Spanish rice, but also look out for upscale dishes like lemon sole, inspired by Longoria’s travels to Europe and beyond.

My Father’s Daughter: Delicious, Easy Recipes Celebrating Family & Togetherness by Gwyneth Paltrow (Grand Central Life & Style, April 2011, $15.42). She acts, she sings, she cooks…is there anything Gwyneth Paltrow can’t do? Apparently not, but we’re thrilled that this leading lady is giving us a peak into her kitchen. Paltrow learned to cook from her father, Bruce, and she describes how his influence has inspired her make time around the table with her family a priority, no matter how busy her schedule gets. We love that the book includes down-to-earth food like soups and sandwiches, perfect for getting a healthy dinner on the table in no time.

Extra Lean Family by Mario Lopez with Jimmy Peña (Celebra, May 3, 2011, $16.10). From teen star to fitness guru, and now in his new role as a father, Mario Lopez knows the importance of healthy eating in all stages of life. With another cookbook, 2010’s Extra Lean, already under his belt, Lopez now brings his fitness expertise to the family dinner table. Recognizing that hectic schedules are often the culprit behind quick stops at the drive through, Extra Lean Family includes 40 healthy recipes that can all be ready to serve in an astounding 20 minutes! Also look out for convenient tools like weekly grocery lists and low calorie snack options to keep your family’s eating plan on the right track.

We hope that at least one of these celebs will inspire you to whip up something healthy and wholesome in the kitchen. As a bonus, if you purchase any of the books listed above via the special links we’ve provided in this post, a small portion of your purchase will support Spoons programming to encourage and equip families to make healthy eating habits. Rock on!

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