Book Review: Five Easy Steps to Healthy Cooking

Like many people, I love to eat but I'm always looking for ways to eat well but stay on a healthy diet.  Camilla V. Saulsbury's book Five Steps to Healthy Cooking fits the bill.  The author's public relations representatives sent me an evaluation of this cookbook and I've been rifling through the pages enjoying the pictures, tips, nutritional informational and even storage tips provided by the author.  As a busy working woman, I don't always cook as much as I would like to at home. But when I put the effort into cooking, I want it to be good and easy.  With the exception of a few vegetarian recipes for making veggie or chickpea burgers, the majority of these recipes don't take long to throw together.   Everything is laid out in easy steps and helpful tips. Information on the food ingredients is provided via call out boxes and sidebars throughout the book.  When you're busy, it's easy to glance at the 500 recipes in this book and pick out a few that are appealing for the ingredients and the nutritional value, and then decide which ones you want to make.  There are no "hidden calories" here as everything is disclosed in the nutritional information boxes including calories, fat, cholesterol, carbs, fiber and protein. With the incidence of childhood and adult obesity on the rise, the time has never been better for a book like this. The book lets you understand what is in the food you are preparing and provides valuable education to those striving for a healthy lifestyle. This is a book first lady Michelle Obama should have on her radar. It's perfect for the Let's Move campaign for a healthier America.

There are a few salad recipes in this book that I highly recommend for summer.  Both the Fennel, Orange and Olive Salad and the Arugula, Watermelon and Feta Salad are simply amazing and unique.  You can bring these to any gathering and not run the risk of someone else turning up with the same dish.   If you're a vegetarian cook, there are many wonderful dishes in this book that will be appealing to you.
Here's a tempting excerpt from the book, Five Easy Steps to Healthy Cooking, to literally give you a taste of the recipe collection: the Fennel, Orange and Olive Salad recipe.

Pictured: Orange Fennel Salad, Image credit: Colin Erricson /

Makes 6 side-dish servings


  • 2 large oranges
  • 1 large bulb fennel, halved lengthwise, cored and very thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1/2 cup very thinly sliced red onion
  • 1/3 cup packed fresh mint leaves, torn
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup pitted brine-cured black olives (such as kalamata), quartered


  1. Using a sharp knife, cut peel and pith from oranges. Working over a large bowl, cut between membranes to release segments. Squeeze the membranes to release any remaining juice into the bowl.
  2. To the oranges, add fennel, red onion, mint, salt, pepper and oil, gently tossing to combine. Sprinkle with olives.

To prepare the fennel bulb, trim off the tough stalks from the top and the bottom root end before cutting the bulb in half. Chop any feathery fronds from the stalks and
sprinkle on top of the salad with the olives, if desired. If the outer
layers of the bulb are tough and stringy, you can discard them or peel
off the outer layer with a sharp vegetable peeler.

Nutrients per serving

Calories 100

Total fat 6 grams

Saturated fat 1 grams

Cholesterol 0 milligrams

Sodium 151 milligrams

Carbohydrate 12 grams

Fiber 3 grams

Protein 1 gram

Calcium 60 milligrams

Iron 0.8 milligrams

Excerpted from 5 Easy Steps to Healthy Cooking (page 116) by Camilla V. Saulsbury © 2012 Robert Rose Inc. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

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