"There are so many hands in this cookbook," says Carolyn Nichols, explaining why the Church Health Center's 40 Days to Better Living Cookbook goes sans author on its cover.
Indeed, countless Church Health Center staff and volunteers as well as some 70 recipe testers worked on the project, led by Nichols, nutrition education coordinator for the center. A signing for the book at the Booksellers at Laurelwood will feature a group doing the autographing.
40 Days to Better Living Cookbook is not a start here/end there guide. Instead, it's part of a series of "40 Days to Better Living" series, which includes books on hypertension and diabetes, presented by the center.
The cookbook grew out of the cooking classes held at its Wellness facility. When the classes started several years ago, the recipes used came from sources like Cooking Light. Then, Nichols began using her own recipes, which led to the idea for the cookbook.
Recipes range from a Mediterranean shrimp and pasta salad and strawberry basil scones to chicken curry and jambalaya. Parameters were set on the calories, fat, and sodium each dish contains. The recipes were also designed to be user-friendly. That means no exotic ingredients like jicama, and dishes like the garden paella omit the pricey saffron.
"The dishes are very simple," Nichols says. "We want people to go home and actually make them."
40 Days to Better Living Cookbook booksigning at the Booksellers at Laurelwood, Tuesday, April 9th, 6-7 p.m.