Start a Cookbook Club For Healthy Eating

Looking to switch up your weeknight cooking, but in need of some new ideas? Look no further because the latest food trend could be exactly what you’ll need to pump creativity onto your dinner table. This “cookbook club” craze — basically a book club and potluck hybrid — is on the rise in Canada, and encourages us to bring friends and family together through collaborative meals.

In this fresh new take on shared meals, the idea is to select one cookbook to inspire cohesive or themed dishes that push people outside their cooking comfort zones. Guests then gather to taste and share. Similar to how Becel inspires us to try a variety of recipes due to its versatility for cooking, baking and spreading, cookbook clubs help bring exciting ideas to mealtime. No need to be experienced cooks, but enthusiasm is key as the aim is to try something new while enjoying delicious meals. Some cookbook clubs may even decide to cook together for a more collaborative experience. You can even use your favourite recipe blogs for inspiration if a cookbook isn’t handy.

How to get started:

  • Agree on a theme like a timely event, a popular style of cooking or a specific cookbook that you want to explore.
  • Take a field trip to a local farmers’ market or grocery store for fresh ingredients.
  • Explore heart healthy options and get creative — try replacing butter 1:1 with margarine, which has 80% less saturated fat than butter.
  • Schedule a set meeting date (i.e. monthly or bi-monthly) and take turns hosting.
  • To help you ease into this trend, start with any recipe using Becel margarine with simpler ingredients made from blends of plant and seed oils with no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives.

Try this tasty recipe developed by healthy living expert Rose Reisman at your next (or first!) cookbook club.

“Fried” Quinoa with Shrimp

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

Makes: 6 servings


  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp margarine
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 3 cups eggplant, diced and unpeeled
  • 1 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 tsp fresh ginger, minced and peeled
  • 12 oz peeled and deveined shrimp, diced
  • 1 cup shelled edamame
  • 1 cup grated carrots
  • 3 tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 cup green onions, sliced


  1. In a large saucepan, combine the quinoa and water and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes until the quinoa is light and fluffy and the water has been absorbed.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the margarine. Add the onion and eggplant and sauté for about 10 minutes, just until the eggplant is tender. Stir in the garlic, ginger and shrimp and sauté for 3 minutes, just until the shrimp is opaque and cooked through.
  3. Add the edamame, carrot, soy sauce, sesame oil, cooked quinoa and green onions. Stir to combine. Serve.


COURTESY: News Canada