The Healthnut Cookbook

Energize Your Day with Over 100 Easy, Healthy, and Delicious Meals


By Nikole Goncalves

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  1. Trade Paperback $24.99
  2. ebook $14.99

This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around September 3, 2019. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

The host of the popular YouTube healthy living and cooking channel HealthNut Nutrition shares 100+ recipes and her secrets to nutritious, quick, and delicious meals.

Nikole Goncalves’s HealthNut Nutrition brand is all about finding a balanced life that works for you. It’s about listening to your body, surrounding yourself with positive sources, and limiting stress while enjoying the foods you love. There’s no calorie counting, low fat or sugar free labels on HealthNut recipes; because she uses real, unprocessed foods–it’s as simple as that.

In The Everyday HealthNut Cookbook, each recipe is made with a combination of plant-based and meat options with easy substitutions for vegan and gluten-free diets. Nearly all of the recipes can be prepared in 30 minutes or less, and the 4-week meal prep guide provides readers with a roadmap for sustaining healthy, time-saving cooking habits. Taking readers through breakfast, nourishing drinks and snacks, salads, plates and bowls, sweets, and HealthNut staples including a wide range of Condiments and Sauces, Herbs and Spices, Nuts and Seeds, Goncalves offers everything any reader may need to incorporate healthy, enjoyable meals into their day-to-day lives.

Recipes include: Jalapeno Pumpkin Waffles, Curry Mushroom Spinach Omelet, Blueberry Basil Smoothie, Everyday Nut and Seed Loaf, Grilled Vegetable Salad with Chimichurri, Salmon Burgers with Pineapple Salsa, Spiralized Zucchini Nests with Poached Eggs, Roasted Poblano and Mushroom Fajitas, Bananas foster Caramelized Crepes, Key Lime Pie in a Jar, and more.


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I’m thrilled that you are holding this cookbook in your hands, ready to take on a new, non-restrictive, balanced way of healthy eating. A way of eating that is sustainable, because healthy living isn’t a fad diet or trend; it is a lifestyle. I can’t wait for you to flip through these pages and eat the delicious, colorful, and drool-worthy recipes I’ve created just for you.

I wasn’t always the green-smoothie-junkie, kale-chomping girl I am today. I did grow up in a pretty healthy-eating Portuguese household. My mom always bought whole wheat bread and 1% milk, and we always had a big salad at the dinner table. But as I got older and started working part-time jobs, partying on the weekends, and staying up all night—like most teenagers—I fell into a health rut.

I would often skip breakfast and run off a large coffee till noon. I was addicted to sugar and sweets, and although I was skinny, I had barely worked out a day in my life. Believe it or not, at one point I was even a smoker! The most unhealthy habit of all, though, was working 24/7. Even while going to college, I was working three part-time jobs and saying yes to everything because I just didn’t know how to say no to a good opportunity. Running off adrenaline, and not checking in with myself, quickly ran me right into a brick wall of exhaustion. I realized a change was necessary.

It was a slow process, but I steadily started adopting healthier habits, such as eating breakfast, drinking more water than coffee, joining a running club with my boyfriend, Matt, and of course I quit smoking. I didn’t know it at the time, but Matt played a huge role in influencing me to start working out, eating healthy, and enjoying life outside of work. Although I initially started eating better and exercising in order to reduce my stress and heal my anxiety, it had an overwhelmingly positive ripple effect. My brittle nails became stronger, my skin became smoother and brighter, and I just felt happier overall. You could say the proof was in the pudding (healthy Lemon Pie Chia Pudding, that is) because when I started to live a healthier lifestyle, all of the positive changes immediately hooked me onto a new way of life.

Throughout my journey I have experimented with just about every diet there is, from vegetarian, Raw Till 4, gluten-free . . . the list goes on. It took a lot of trial and error for me to find a balance that worked for me and my unique body. I quickly began to realize that the food I ate was largely connected to my emotions, stress levels, and mood. For me, food is a proactive approach to keeping my body running at its best. It’s medicine without the scary long list of side effects! And if the saying “you are what you eat” is true, then I would rather be a colorful bowl of salad than a sad plate of greasy fries.

I started my blog HealthNut Nutrition to share recipes and cooking tips as I was getting more comfortable in the kitchen. In the beginning, my audience numbered about ten people (a.k.a. my family). It wasn’t until Matt—or as he’s known on the internet, Mr. Matt—and I moved temporarily to Australia that my YouTube career was born. After a year of binge-watching YouTube videos, I finally got up the courage to hit the record button, talk to a camera, and publish my first video. Since then my audience of ten has grown to hundreds of thousands (and counting!) of “HealthNuts” all over the world. Now when I hit that record button I picture all the amazing, beautiful people I hope to inspire and connect with every week through my videos.

My Food Philosophy

People often assume that in order to be healthy and fit, their diet needs to be restricting. I personally don’t believe in counting calories, living behind labels, or feeling guilty about treating myself to a slice of cheesecake. There’s a misconception out there that because I drink green smoothies and love my veggies, (a) I must be vegan, and (b) I’ve probably never eaten a cheeseburger in my life. This couldn’t be further from the truth, and I’m going to share all my not-so-secret secrets to creating a healthy and balanced relationship with food.

HealthNut Nutrition is all about eating intuitively and consuming primarily unprocessed foods. You won’t find any calorie counting here because food doesn’t have to be your enemy! Real food is food that provides your body with the nutrients it needs to improve and sustain both your mental and your physical health.

Nowadays, regardless of how busy I am, I always make time for good food and self-care. I love discovering and playing with new foods and flavors to create my own delicious twists on everyone’s classic favorites. But to me, delicious is only part of the equation. The HealthNut in me loves to make sure that every dish I make is balanced in a way that proves healthy eating doesn’t have to be tasteless or boring. I live by the 80/20 approach; that means eating healthy 80 percent of the time, while leaving 20 percent for sweets and wine. So if you’re looking for recipes that are easy, healthy, and always tasty, you’ve found the cookbook for you.

My 10 Healthy Habits

One of the most important lessons I’ve learned over the years is that health should be approached in a holistic way. Health is not just about what you put into your body, how many minutes you work out, or shooting down wheatgrass shots. It’s also about the thoughts you think, the people you surround yourself with, connecting with nature, and listening to your body. Over the last few years, I’ve made self-care a priority in my life and, just like brushing my teeth, I spend time every day doing acts of self-care that support my health. Here are ten healthy habits that have dramatically improved my mental health, mood, relationship with myself, and overall happiness.

1. Listen to Your Body

It seems like every week there’s a new diet, food, or exercise regimen trending and, for many of us, it can create a lot of confusion about what it means to be healthy. When it comes to your health, I believe that becoming in tune with how certain foods make you feel can help you find a customized way of eating that fits you and your unique needs. Simply put, eat more of the foods that leave you feeling energized and less of the ones that leave you feeling sluggish. For example, I have learned to avoid caffeine because it triggers my anxiety and gives me excess energy I don’t need. Same goes for other common sensitivity foods like dairy, gluten, and soy. Pay attention to how you feel after you eat these foods. Just because everyone else seems to be on the gluten-free bandwagon doesn’t mean that it’s the right choice for you and that you have to stop eating gluten.

2. Follow Your Stomach

They say your gut is your second brain and that it not only helps you to digest your food but it also can affect your mental health. Ever notice when you feel nervous or anxious, your stomach is the first area you feel it? (Haven’t you said “I’ve got butterflies in my stomach” when you’re head over heels for someone or nervous about a job interview?) Since food can affect our mood, I focus on eating foods that I know will digest easily and keep both my blood sugar and mood balanced throughout the day. I also try to listen to my body about what types of foods it is craving, because cravings are often the body’s way of letting us know what it’s lacking.

3. Recognize That Calories Don’t Count

As a self-taught chef and food blogger/YouTuber in the health world, I often get asked for the nutrition data and calorie counts of the recipes I create. Truth is, I have no idea how many calories or grams of healthy fats are in my Almond Swirl Chocolate Brownies, and I’m okay with that. I focus my energy on knowing what ingredients are in my food versus how long it will take to burn them off. One hundred calories from a can of soda will react very differently in the body than 100 calories from broccoli. Instead of worrying about macros and food calculators, I focus on eating wholesome foods that my body will recognize and can easily absorb nutrients from. Besides, math was never my favorite subject in school anyway.

And forget about the concept of “cheat meals,” because last time I checked, eating isn’t a school exam. If you’d like to eat a cupcake, then eat a cupcake. If you’re at a cocktail party, enjoy the appetizers and a glass of wine (or two). In moderation, these foods are fine. The trouble starts when they become daily habits. Trust me, the stress of not eating these “bad foods” is going to do more harm to your body and mind than just treating yourself and enjoying the moment.

4. Sit Quietly and Meditate

Just like going to the gym to exercise your body, it’s important to exercise your mind through some kind of meditation that works for you. When I started, I found it extremely difficult to sit quietly even for 5 or 10 minutes—every minute felt like an eternity. After a lot of practice and patience, I have settled on a meditation practice that works for me. It’s called self-hypnosis and I do it for 30 minutes a day. This alone has been one of the biggest changes in my life for relieving negative thought patterns, anxiety, and stress. You can find a ton of free guided meditations on YouTube and via apps and podcasts, or you can just sit quietly with or without music. There is no wrong way to meditate, just one that works for you that you can consistently practice.

5. Unplug from the Digital World

As with most people, social media is a huge part of my life, but I’ve found it extremely important to find time to unplug from the world. This has been a tough one for me, but every night I try setting my phone to airplane mode and placing it in another room. I’ve also been trying to set aside one day a week (usually Sunday) where I don’t go on my phone for most of the day, so I can live mindfully with whomever I’m spending time with—even if that person is just me. You can download apps that track or disable your social media and phone usage to help you cut down. Another great trick I do, when I really need to disconnect, is to delete certain apps like Instagram and Gmail from my phone so I’m not tempted to check them every 5 minutes. The next morning it takes 2 minutes to add them back to my phone. Whichever way you choose to do it, reducing the amount of time you spend online can really increase your mental space and the creativity in your life.

6. Practice Self-Love

Loving yourself and having a positive conversation internally has a big influence on your beliefs, perspective, and attitude towards life. Throughout the day I like to say positive affirmations, such as “I release fears, anxieties, and worries and allow in peace, love, and happiness.” I’m usually doing this with sage burning while sitting on a pillow in lotus pose, but that may be too hippy-dippy for some people, so just saying them out loud in the car is perfectly acceptable too. Talking to yourself out loud may feel silly at first, but over time you will notice the difference when you actually start to believe what it is you’re telling yourself. Your mind only knows what you tell it, so if you’re constantly thinking the same negative thoughts over and over again (“I’m fat,” “I’m not good enough,” “I’ll never find the right partner”), then that is what your mind will believe. Instead, flip those thoughts! Repeat to yourself, “I love my body,” “I am enough,” “I will meet the right person when I am ready.” You’ll be amazed at how things start to shift just by changing your perspective.

7. Create Daily Routines

If you follow me on social media or my YouTube channel, then you know I am all about creating routines to help keep me grounded, focused, and calm. Every morning, no matter where I am, I try to start my day by drinking lemon water, spritzing my face with rose water, meditating, and making my bed. Some mornings I add extra things, like a yoga stretch or nature walk, but usually that’s on the weekends when I have more free time to play with. Similarly, at night I dim the lights, diffuse essential oils, turn my phone on airplane mode, and make a cup of herbal tea. Doing the same two or three things every morning and night allows your body to recognize it is time to wake up and start the day or wind down and have a restful sleep. Even when I travel I will pack essential oils and my journal and buy fresh lemons once I arrive at my destination, just to ensure I can stick to my routine as much as possible.

8. Practice Gratitude

Practicing gratitude shifts your focus away from what you don’t have and instead directs it towards the amazing things you do have. For this reason alone, gratitude can help increase your mood and overall well-being and happiness. Every day I write in my journal three things I am grateful for, and this allows me to think about small victories like finishing a new book I’m reading, or about things I take for granted, like my strong legs that get me around. Another reason I enjoy this practice is because it forces me to stop and appreciate the goals I’ve achieved rather than constantly focusing on my next step. Tomorrow morning when you wake up, reach out your arms for a good body stretch and repeat “I love my life and I am grateful.”

9. Get Grounded (Literally)

There is something so grounding and peaceful about spending time in nature. Ever notice how good you feel after a long day at the beach or after a hike in the forest? Although I live in a colder climate and work from home, I make it a priority to get outside every single day and enjoy some good old vitamin D and fresh air. It can be something as simple as walking to do an errand or eating my lunch outside on the balcony. However I do it, being out in nature helps the stress melt away and creates some mental clarity. Next time you are at the park take your shoes and socks off and feel the grass between your toes. Stop by a neighbor’s garden and smell the flowers. Or just buy a new plant for your home to bring some nature into your space.

10. Catch Your Z’s

They say “no rest for the wicked,” so unless you’re an evil villain in a Disney movie, get your beauty rest! Sleep to me is just as enjoyable as food—and I love food. Our bodies crave and thrive on consistency, so I make regular, quality sleep a top priority. Everyone is different, but I need seven to eight hours of sleep each night or I feel off the next day. Pick a time to hit the sheets and wake up the next day, and try to stick with that schedule on both weekdays and weekends. Once your body settles into a sleeping pattern, you might even find yourself waking up at the same time each day without the need for an alarm blasting in your ear. Although I don’t recommend relying on your body’s alarm clock for work or an important exam, on the weekends it can be fun to set your alarm clock 5 or 10 minutes later and see which alarm wakes you up first.

How to Use This Book: Read, Cook, Eat, Repeat!

I hope your taste buds are excited, because they’re in for a delicious menu filled with easy and healthy meals. So grab your knife and fork and let’s dig in!

The HealthNut Cookbook is designed for those of you who are looking to incorporate quick and easy healthy recipes into your busy schedules. Inside you’ll find over one hundred recipes for breakfasts, lunch or dinners (see my “Plates and Bowls” chapter), snacks, and desserts, many of which can be prepared or cooked in 30 minutes or less. Each recipe is made with a combination of plant-based and meat proteins, with easy substitutions for dairy-free and gluten-free options.

Whether you’re vegan, gluten-free, paleo, pescatarian, vegetarian, flexitarian, or any other arian, you will find something delicious in these chapters to cook up. My recipes are meant to be mixed, matched, and substituted to fit your lifestyle and diet needs. So whether you’re a “certified” HealthNut, don’t know the difference between broccoli and kale, or just looking to eat more real, plant-based food, this book is for you.

At the beginning of each recipe, you’ll find the prep and cook time to give you a sense of how long the recipe will take to complete. The recipes in this book are meant to be quick and easy to follow and most can be prepared or cooked in 30 minutes. Some recipes, such as my Peanut Butter Chocolate Cheesecake (here), have an additional chill time listed if they need some extra time to set. That being said, cooking times may vary depending on your oven and stovetop.

Also at the beginning of each recipe, you will find symbols that provide at-a-glance information about dietary accommodations and guidance on recipe prep and planning.

Gluten-Free Recipes that contain no wheat or gluten products. Always check the labels of your packaged foods to make sure they are certified gluten-free, as even products like oats, which do not contain wheat, can be cross-contaminated during processing or packaging.

Plant-Based Vegetarian or vegan recipes filled with lots of plants and containing zero meat.

Meal Prep Friendly Dishes that store well in the fridge or on the counter for several days, making them perfect for your weekly meals and snacks.

Pack and Freeze Dishes that are freezer friendly. These dishes are perfect for bulk cooking and for freezing leftovers for a busy day.

The recipes are organized into these six chapters.

Breakfast Rise and shine, it’s breakfast time! Along with brushing my teeth and not working from home in pajamas all day, my number one priority when I get up is putting together a nourishing meal to start my day on a healthy note. What I eat depends on the day of the week, the time I wake up, and what mood I’m in. I go through phases all the time and will often eat the same thing for a few days in a row before switching to something new and exciting. I love that breakfast is such a versatile meal. You can have something either sweet and dessert-like or a bit more saucy and savory—there really are no rules. It’s a meal so loved that they even made a second version, what we call “brunch.” This chapter is filled with everything from my Everyday Gluten-Free Fluffy Pancakes (here) to my Good Morning Breakfast Salad (here) to give you plenty of ideas for the most important meal of the day.

Nourishing Snacks and Drinks No matter where I am, you will always find me with a drink (usually a water bottle) in one hand and some kind of snack in the other. You might say my purse doubles as my lunch box! As someone who loves food, carrying healthy snacks with me wherever I go is a must. Whether it’s for a road trip, a picnic, or game night, snacks and drinks are everything, and I refuse to let anyone go hungry on my watch. From Lemon Herb White Bean Hummus (here), Honey-Roasted Sriracha Cashews (here), and Pink Lattes (here), to my Blueberry Basil Smoothie (here), this chapter has got you covered for everything in between breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Say goodbye to hitting up the drive-thru for a midday doughnut.

Salads In my world, there is no wrong way to make a salad. The one thing that does matter, though, is the dressing! The right mix of oils, vinegars, mustard, and spices is what brings a salad to life. Without a decent dressing, you’re just eating mixed veggies in a bowl. Every single one of these salads that I’ve created, like my Fennel Citrus Kale Salad (here) or my Beauty Glow Salad (here), has its very own mouth-watering homemade dressing. I hope this chapter changes the way you view salads, from something boring to something you actually crave and want to eat every single day. Besides, when salads look and taste this good, you are guaranteed to make friends.

Plates and Bowls For me, lunch and dinner are interchangeable, and this chapter is exactly that. These simple and healthy recipes are sure to answer the never-ending question, “What’s for dinner?” You’ll find family favorites with a twist, like my Baked Crispy Quinoa Chicken Fingers (here), Baked Mac and Cheese, Please (here), Quickie Turkey Chili (here), and one of my favorites, Mushroom Fettuccine Alfredo (here). The best part is that whether you’re vegan, paleo, gluten-free, or a devoted carnivore, there is sure to be a recipe that suits your lifestyle and cravings. Use these recipes for your weekend meal prep, quick on-the-go lunch ideas, or just to simply switch up your dinner routine. All are easy to make, all are healthified, and—more importantly—all taste delicious! Go ahead and delete your Uber Eats app because these recipes will reignite your love for cooking in the kitchen and eating good old homemade food.

Sweets Dessert—the sweet course eaten at the end of a meal . . . although I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the best is saved for last. There is just something so therapeutic about rolling out the perfect dough, scooping cake batter into muffin cups, or swirling almond butter into brownies. Living a healthy lifestyle is not just about the ingredients you use; it’s also about connecting with your food. I love baking up fun and healthier options of my childhood favorite desserts because it takes me right back to baking blueberry muffins in the kitchen with Momma HealthNut. The sweet treats in this chapter are made with simple ingredients like eggs, organic butter, spelt flour, and sprinkles (of course!). Bake up a classic, like Fudgy Peanut Butter Cookies (here), or try something new, such as my Strawberry Rhubarb Hand Pies (here). Whichever route you go, you’re in for a treat—pun intended!

HealthNut Staples This is your go-to chapter for the staples I use in my kitchen all the time, like Almond Flour Parm (here), Nacho Average Cheese Sauce (here), and my drool-worthy Coconut Butter Lemon Glaze (here). You’ll want to bookmark this chapter because it will be one you’ll be coming back to—both for recipes in the book and for your own creations. So go ahead and use these staples to drizzle, sprinkle, spread, and glaze as you please.

Ingredients and Substitutions

Most of the ingredients used in my recipes can easily be found in supermarkets. But just in case you aren’t able to find something, here are some substitutions to help you out.

Dairy-free Milk Non-dairy milks are used throughout this cookbook for things like smoothies, baked goods, and pancakes. Look for “unsweetened” on the label to avoid any extra sugar—which, in savory dishes especially, isn’t needed. Some of my favorites are almond milk, coconut milk, organic soy milk, and a recent addition to the list, oat milk. Don’t feel you have to use non-dairy milk, though, as these recipes also work with regular cow or sheep milk if you prefer those options. For baking, I like to use organic soy milk, as I find it has a creamy, thicker consistency, and for pancakes and smoothies I usually opt for almond, oat, or coconut milk. You will notice that two types of coconut milk are used in this book: canned full-fat coconut milk and unsweetened coconut milk from the carton. Make sure you use the one your recipe calls for, because they are very different from each other: the carton version is more watered down and will not firm up in recipes like my Key Lime Pie in a Jar (here).

Flours There are so many amazing flours out there, and I’m always experimenting. My recipes call for some staple flours I use all the time, as well as a few that come in handy once in a while, such as chickpea flour. Although I am not gluten intolerant, I do tend to consume low-gluten flours for easy digestion. My all-purpose flours are brown rice and spelt, and these are the ones used the most throughout the book. I am not the biggest fan of gluten-free blends that involve five different flours combined, so instead I opt for using just one or two flours in a recipe to keep things super simple.

You’ll also notice that both regular spelt flour and light spelt flour are called for in different recipes. That is because they have a different flavor and texture, but they are pretty much interchangeable. Some flours can be replaced with others, such as whole wheat for spelt, but others, such as coconut flour and chickpea flour, cannot. Substituting flours that have different absorbency will require additional changes, such as less or more flour or liquid, to make them work in a recipe.

Several of my recipes call for almond flour. Just a heads up that almond flour and almond meal may seem similar, but there are minor differences. Both are essentially ground almonds, although almond flour is blanched almonds (skins removed) with a finer texture. Almond meal, on the other hand, can be blanched or unblanched almonds (with or without skins) with a coarser texture. Although they can be used interchangeably, I prefer almond flour in most of my recipes for its consistency and color.

Fats and Oils Like flours, many different butters and oils can be used for cooking and baking. In this book you’ll see avocado oil used in high-temperature cooking because it has a higher smoke point and therefore won’t burn as quickly. It can be swapped out for grapeseed or coconut oil. For sautéing and a more buttery flavor, I use ghee, a clarified butter that can be replaced with regular organic unsalted butter. And of course there is the popular extra-virgin olive oil, which I use a lot throughout this book, in salad dressings and for sautéing, as it adds a lot of flavor to a dish.


On Sale
Sep 3, 2019
Page Count
256 pages

Nikole Goncalves

About the Author

Nikole Goncalves is the founder of Healthnut Nutrition and lives in Toronto, Canada.

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