Simply Julia: June’s Cookbook Club

By Becky LeJeune

Julia Turshen has a massive following. People are passionate about her cookbooks, which is why we’ve picked her latest, Simply Julia: 110 Easy Recipes for Healthy Comfort Food as our June Cookbook Club pick!

Healthy and comfort food are not things that have historically gone together. But we reach for comfort foods time and again for various reasons. Whether it’s a dish you grew up eating or a dish that reminds you of a happy memory, these are the dishes that we reach for when we crave comfort. And they’re usually fatty, cheesy, salty, and/or sugary. But definitely not healthy. 

This is something Turshen aims to change in her latest. Some are simple twists—swapping turkey in place of beef to make a leaner, meatball version of Turshen’s father’s Tex-Mex meatloaf—while others, like the Almond Chicken Cutlets for Grace, aim to make a favorite lower in carbs or calories. Any way you look at it, though, Turshen has put her own elevated spin on the kinds of foods we all crave. And she’s done it while keeping them easy on the home cook, stating “…I will forever champion the belief that no one is required to spend a lot of money, time, or effort to make a good dinner.”

The book is divided into chapters like: Eleven Weeknight Go-Tos and Eleven Make-Ahead mains and each recipe has a little story to accompany it and suggestions for serving ideas. Turshe also includes helpful reference lists for gluten-free recipes, vegan recipes, and dairy or egg free recipes, amongst others. 

All in all, this is a fantastic book for any home cook and it’s one that Turshe herself lives by, given that it’s mostly inspired by the low-carb eating she and her wife do at home. 

Recipe I’m most looking forward to trying: Breakfast Nachos! I love anything nachos and I especially love when someone includes a recipe for them in their cookbook!

If I could recommend one book to read while you use this cookbook: THE GUNCLE by Steven Rowley, which finds a former sitcom star suddenly taking care of his niece and nephew for the summer. Gay Uncle Patrick (aka GUP) isn’t used to being guardian to two children. But that’s exactly what happens when tragedy strikes. This book is comfort food in book form! A feel-good read perfect for anyone who needs a pick-me-up this summer!