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Cookbook review: The Everyday DASH Diet Cookbook 

The Everyday DASH Diet Cookbook: Over 150 Fresh and Delicious Recipes to Speed Weight Loss, Lower Blood Pressure and Prevent Diabetes, by Marla Heller, MS, RD, with Rick Rodgers, is a delightful cookbook that shows healthy eating can be easy and delicious, particularly if you’re following the DASH diet.

Cookbook review: The Everyday DASH Diet Cookbook

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More than a dash of goodness

The DASH — or Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension — diet plan was developed by the National Institutes of Health to lower blood pressure without medication. Not only that, but studies show that following the diet reduces the risk of many diseases, including some types of cancer, stroke, heart disease, heart failure, kidney stones and diabetes.

If you think that cooking and eating according to the DASH diet is boring, bland or otherwise blah, cookbooks like The Everyday DASH Diet Cookbook will change your mind. Marla Heller is a registered dietician and nutrition expert and has also written The DASH Diet Action Plan and The DASH Diet Weight Loss Solution.

Marla’s cookbook with Rick Rodgers gives readers meal options made with food direct from your pantry, ingredients that are easy to find at your grocery store and favorite comfort foods made in new ways. The cookbook is designed to “make living a DASH lifestyle as simple and delicious as possible.” In the book Marla assures, “The easier the dish is to make, the more likely you are to make it a part of your regular rotation of favorite recipes.”

Reach for these recipes

The book includes 150 recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner (including vegetarian main courses), smoothies, simple sides and dessert, too. Marla also provides the nutritional analysis for each recipe. The diet and this cookbook focus on plant-based foods like fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds, whole grains and heart-healthy vegetable fats. You’ll also eat low-fat and nonfat dairy and protein (fish, lean beef, pork and poultry).

To help you along, you’ll find a section in the book titled General Guidelines for the DASH Diet, a resource guide and an overview of Cooking the DASH Way with suggestions to help you spice up your seasonings, fill up your cabinets and freezer, considerations for equipment and more.

If you have lingering doubts, consider that the book includes recipes like Tartine with Cream Cheese and Strawberries, Filet Mignon au Poivre with Bourbon-Shallot Sauce, Shrimp with Corn Hash, and Buttermilk Panna Cotta with Fresh Berries

Try a recipe from The Everyday DASH Diet Cookbook:

Cauliflower macaroni and cheese

Cauliflower macaroni and cheese

Serves 8


  • 1 head cauliflower, trimmed and broken into bite-size florets
  • 1-1/4 cups elbow macaroni
  • Canola oil in a pump sprayer
  • 2 cups low-fat (1%) milk
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard powder
  • 4 ounces (1 cup) shredded reduced-sodium mild Cheddar cheese
  • 4 ounces (1 cup) shredded Swiss cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup panko (Japanese-style breadcrumbs), preferably whole-wheat panko


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the cauliflower and cook just until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Using a wire sieve or a skimmer, transfer the cauliflower to a colander; leave the water boiling. Drain well. Pat the cauliflower dry with paper towels.
  2. Add the macaroni to the boiling water and cook according to the package directions until it is almost tender, about 7 minutes. Drain well.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with oil.
  4. Pour the milk into a medium saucepan. Sprinkle in the cornstarch and mustard and whisk to dissolve the cornstarch. Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking often to avoid scorching; the sauce will thicken when it comes to a boil. Remove from the heat, add the cheeses and pepper, and whisk until smooth. Add the cauliflower and macaroni and mix well. Spread in the baking dish and sprinkle with the panko.
  5. Bake until the sauce is bubbling, about 20 minutes. Let stand at room temperature for 5 minutes, then serve hot.

Nutritional Analysis (1 serving): 234 calories, 13 g protein, 23 g carbohydrates, 10 g fat, 2 g fiber, 30 mg cholesterol, 88 mg sodium, 405 mg potassium. Food groups: 1 grain, 1 dairy, 1 vegetable.

About the Authors

Marla Heller is a registered dietician, and holds a Master of Science in Human Nutrition and Dietetics from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She was trained in DASH by one of the original architects of the original NIH research and has been working for more than 15 years to help her patients put DASH into practice. Marla has been the featured nutrition expert for the Chicago Tribune and Washington Post, and she is a spokesperson for the Greater Midwest affiliate of the American Heart Association. She is the author of the New York Times best-seller The DASH Diet Action Plan and The DASH Diet Weight Loss Solution. Visit Marla at

Rick Rodgers is the author of more than 40 cookbooks on a variety of subjects and is a well-known culinary teacher. His work has appeared in Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, Fine Cooking and on, and he has been guest chef on many television and radio shows.

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