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Vegetarian Cooking for Healthy Living

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Vegetarian Cooking for Healthy Living
Jamie Gates Galeana, MS, RDN
Mary Ter Meer, BS

  A Benjamin Franklin (National Book Award) ~ 

~ BEST NEW VOICE ~ Award Recipient!

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An Ultra Low-fat Nutrition Guide for Living Well

This beautiful cookbook features over 130 creative, easy-to-follow recipes that are ultra low-fat (4 gms of fat or less) and follow the heart prevention and heart disease reversal guidelines advocated by Dean Ornish, M.D.and Caldwell B. Esselstyn Jr, MD, FACS(Cleveland Clinic).  The recipes emphasize a whole-foods, plant-based eating pattern. 


Here's what Dr. Esselstyn (from the Cleveland Clinic) has to say about this ultra low-fat, plant-based diet program in an interview...
How is your approach to treating heart disease unique?

"My program is a nutrition-based therapy that has been scientifically-proven to reverse heart disease. I advocate an aggressive plant based nutrition program to arrest and reverse the disease and to avoid all surgery. There is no other treatment plan backed by a study as long as the one I conducted, or a study that has produced such dramatic, visible results. Coronary angiograms (X-Rays) of the patients in my study show an actual reversal of the disease. To experience these benefits, my patients must stick to my plant-based diet program strictly, but the effects are more than worth the effort. My approach is not another stop-gap solution, it prevents heart disease from occurring in those who don't yet have the disease, and it heals the body and reverses the disease when symptoms are present.

      VegI-Hummus    Best of all, over time the benefits endure and continue to improve. I am always excited when I see arrest and reversal in patient after patient and their joy and relief when they are free of the disease that was destroying them."    --Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, Cleveland Clinic

Softcover, 262 pages, color photos of select recipes.


~ Culinary Special! ~

"We don't offer never-ending restrictions. Instead, we present lots of realistic suggestions for what yo CAN do." Jamie is a registered dietitian and is licensed in the state
of Florida.  She received a Master's Degree in Nutrition from Boston University and a Bachelor's Degree in Dietetics and Nutrition from Florida International University in Miami.

Jamie is self-employed as an independent nutrition consultant in Fort Myers, Florida and is a nutrition/health writer who specializes in cardiovascular nutrition, wellness and sports nutrition.  Jamie is versatile in a variety of topics including heart healthy eating, eating to reduce cancer risk, weight management, sports nutrition, label reading, vegetarian cooking and shopping smart. Jamie resides in Ft. Myers, Florida with her husband and two children.

"Learning to cook low-fat vegetarian foods has been pure enjoyment and real adventure.  With the simple addition of a few new items to your pantry and a couple of cooking techniques, low fat vegetarian cooking can be so easy."

Mary Ter Meer, co-author of Vegetarian Cooking for Healthy Living, has taught home economics classes in Grand Rapids, Michigan and founded and directed the Community Pantry in Jackson County.  In 1983, she received the Volunteer of the Year award for her efforts by President Reagan.

Mary learned the importance of a low-fat vegetarian diet after her husband Dave suffered two near-fatal heart attacks.  Prior to the heart attacks the Ter Meers carefully followed the American Heart Association's dietary recommendations for the past ten years.   That wasn't enough to prevent Dave from his many blockages in his coronary artery, or his second heart attack that elevated the risk that Dave would never lead a normal life again.

This tragedy turned into a success story through the help of cardiac rehabilitation and a heart disease reversal program advocated by Dr. Dean Ornish, M.D., President, Preventative Medicine Research Institute.  The ultra lowfat diet actually helps to reverse coronary artery blockage. Over a period of five years, Mary developed many delicious yet nutritious low-fat, low-cholesterol vegetarian recipes that she and her husband could enjoy.

Mary was inspired to share her success with others through this book, with the help of co-author Jamie Gates Galeana.  In Vegetarian Cooking for Healthy Living only about 10 percent of the calories come from fat. 

Vegetarian Cooking for Healthy Living, recipient of the Benjamin Franklin Award for Excellence, gives practical healthy eating suggestions and reliable nutrition information to prevent heart disease or to reverse heart disease through a vegetarian lifestyle. Whether you're struggling to lower your cholesterol level, drop a few pounds or simply make the most of your health, the health benefits of a vegetarian lifestyle are significant.

Cooking strictly vegetarian is a lifestyle change and for many, change does not come easily.  Vegetarian Cooking for Healthy Living is the ideal, to-the-point guide describing how to remain healthy without eating red meat, fish or poultry.  This book is endorsed and highly recommended by Dean Ornish, M.D., President, Preventative Medicine Research Institute and meets Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn's diet guidelines to reverse heart disease.  In fact all 130+ recipes are creative and easy-to-follow, are ultra low-fat (4 gms of fat or less per serving), require no exotic ingredients and follow the heart disease prevention guidelines advocated by Ornish.

Vegetarian Cooking for Healthy Living was awarded the 1998 Benjamin Franklin "Best New Voice" Award for Excellence in a competition with more than 1500 entries.  One judge commented, "Wow!  What a great argument and incentive for becoming a healthier vegetarian eater.  I was pleasantly surprised that this was not just a cookbook.  I found it informative and fascinating.  The charts, graphs and tables added a lot and the total product shows a great deal of thought, effort and research.  I love this book!"

Vegetarian Cooking for Healthy Living covers the basics of successful fat-free cooking: shopping right, stocking the vegetarian kitchen, cooking smart and choosing the best fat-free products available.

The recipe section features:

  • Over 130 delicious, ultra low-fat vegetarian recipes
  • Nutrient Analysis and Diabetic Exchanges along with the recipe
  • Fabulously Fit Main Dishes: Beans & Legumes, Grains & Pasta & Vegetable
  • Substantial Sandwiches, Soups, Stews, Chili & Chowder, Salads, Breads & Muffins
  • Energizing Breakfasts and Desserts to Live For



Being vegetarian can mean different things to different people.  Vegetarian diets range from one that includes eating fish to one that eliminates dairy and most desserts.  The reasons why people choose to become full-time or part-time vegetarians also vary.  Some choose to focus on improving their health while others are concerned with animal welfare issues.

Four kinds of vegetarianism are:

  • Semi- and demi-vegetarianism where adherents eat fish as well as broad-based plant foods.
  • Lacto-ovo vegetarianism adherents do not eat red meat, poultry, fish or seafood.  Instead, their diet consists of broad-based plant foods, milk, cheese, yogurt and eggs.
  • Lacto-vegetarianism adherents also eat broad-based plant foods, milk, cheese and yogurt; however, they do not consume eggs.
  • Vegan-vegetariansm are strict vegetarians who eat broad-based plant foods but exclude all dairy products and eggs from their diet.  Essentially, all commercial snack foods, pastries and desserts are restricted.

When lowfat vegetarian diets are created in accordance with the Recommended Daily Allowance for protein and vitamins, they offer great health benefits.  They can be preventative measures against high cholesterol and heart disease as well as a method to shed unwanted pounds.

While the American Heart Association and other health organizations recommend that only 30 percent of our daily calories come from fat, that isn't always enough to prevent health risks such as heart disease and some types of cancer. An ultra low-fat diet is essentially, a low-fat vegetarian diet.

The health benefits of a low-fat vegetarian diet are significant.  Research indicates that abstaining from animal products is in the best interest of the human body.  A 1993 Position Paper of the American Dietetic Association states:

        A considerable body of scientific data suggests positive relationships between vegetarian diets and risk reduction for several chronic degenerative diseases and conditions, including obesity, coronary artery disease, hypertension, diabetes mellitus and some types of cancer.   It is the position of the American Dietetic Association that vegetarian diets are healthful and nutritionally adequate when appropriately planned.

By reducing the amount of fat and cholesterol in your diet you can reduce the lipids that circulate in your bloodstream, thus reducing the buildup of arterial plaques and decreasing your risk of heart attack or stroke.  

A vegetarian diet offers an endless variety of fresh, flavorful foods.  By removing fat from meals, you begin to taste the food itself.  Recipes from Vegetarian Cooking for Healthy Living and Vegetarian Homestyle Cooking are proof that low-fat vegetarian food is delicious.

"Vegetarian Cooking for Healthy Living is an exceptional resource for individuals who want a user-friendly guide to ultra low-fat eating.  I give this book my highest recommendation!"

Ellen Coleman, RD, MA, MPH
Sports Nutritionist, Author of Eating for Endurance

"Highly Recommended."

Dean Ornish, M.D. President
Prevention Medicine Research Institute

"Practical, nutritionally sound and tasty – all describe this approach to the ultra low-fat eating/cooking challenge.  It is testimony to what can happen when a caring and creative wife committed to her husband's health and a knowledgeable dietitian combine forces to share their experiences."

Helen A. Guthrie, PhD., RD
Professor Emerita Nutrition, Penn State University
Former Editor, Nutrition Today

"Not only is this an excellent ultra-low fat cookbook, it is also an outstanding source of valid nutrition information.  The recipes are enticing and the sheer number of them provides something for everyone."

Ginger Patterson, PhD., RD, LD
Wellness dietitian, National speaker on nutrition & fitness

"It's packed with tips for healthy eating that are useful, whether you're vegetarian or not."

Linda Barth, Managing Editor University of Texas Lifetime Health Letter

"The book shows how one can be inspired at any age to make life-saving changes that work."

Gordon M. Quarnstrom, Messenger Press Service

"Vegetarians and people who simply want to lower their cholesterol and lead a healthy life-style will love the informative introductory chapters written by Jamie Gates Galeana.  These chapters offer solid advice to anyone who wants to eat well, manage their weight, cook healthy meat-free meals and reduce build-up of cardiovascular plaque."

Art Wenzel, Features Editor, The Citizen

"Meat eaters--don't let the name fool you!  This wonderful cookbook is for anyone who is struggling to lower his or her cholesterol level and lead a healthier lifestyle."

Lisa Folsom, Food Editor
The Daily Tribune News

"I couldn't put this cookbook down.  It's chock full of appealing heart-healthy recipes, tips on how to reduce the fat and cholesterol in your diet and information on the advantages of following a vegetarian diet."

Evelyn Cairns, The News-Herald Newspapers