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The How Not to Die Cookbook: 100+ Recipes to Help Prevent and Reverse Disease

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  3,678 ratings  ·  173 reviews
From Michael Greger, M.D., FACLM, the physician behind the trusted and wildly popular website, and author of the New York Times bestselling book How Not to Die, comes a beautifully-designed, comprehensive cookbook complete with more than 120 recipes for delicious, life-saving, plant-based meals, snacks, and beverages.

Dr. Michael Greger’s bestselling book
Hardcover, 249 pages
Published December 5th 2017 by Flatiron Books
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Primrosebarks Cooking with whole foods and plants is not quick: it takes time to wash, scrub, peel, grate, and chop whenever you have a plant-centered diet. You nee…moreCooking with whole foods and plants is not quick: it takes time to wash, scrub, peel, grate, and chop whenever you have a plant-centered diet. You need to stay on top of what you have in your refrigerator, and plan out times for cooking the veggies that looked so fresh at the store, but are fading a day or so later. There are ways to adapt to this. Some things I do that I think work pretty well are:
1. Kitchen compost. That's my guilt-avoidance when the poor bunch of chard in my refrigerator didn't get cooked soon least it's enriching the soil in my garden!
2. Plan on cooking sessions at least twice a week. Put on some great music and spend a few hours cooking up a storm of 2 or 3 dishes that will last for several days. Make it a fun time.
3. Have a list of interesting dishes in mind when you go shopping. Remember you're shopping for several meals, not just one.
4. While I understand that high-tech, expensive gadgets in the kitchen don't work for everyone, I find both a Vitamix and an Instant Pot a HUGE time and money saver. The Vitamix produces wonderful, silken soups and dressings, and the IP saves me $$$ and time in cooking up beans and grains.

I find the recipes in this book easy to follow. I would not say that they are quick, depending on the vegetables and spices in each dish. Quick is not an attribute of vegan cooking.

Finally, I have several of Robin Robertson's cookbooks (she created the dishes in this cookbook based on Dr. Greger's guidelines). I LOVE her creativity and her excellent palate, but as J.D. mentioned, some of Robertson's directions can be simplified.


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Nichelle Crocker
Nov 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Great whole food, plant-based recipes. Overall the preparation is straightforward and there are many recipes that don't require a huge list of ingredients. I'm not a foodie and don't enjoy cooking much and this cookbook fits my style well.

Dr. Greger's humor and good-natured personality come through here as they do in everything else he touches. It's a fun read as well as a good resource.

UPDATE: half a year later and I still use this cookbook at least once a week. I love it.

There is a set of “sim
Jan 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nutrition
Ah, my review got deleted after my reread, troublesome! Anyway, really love this cookbook which incorporates Michael Greger's daily dozen principal. The recipes are easy and use ingredients that are available to me, which is not always the case with healthy cookbooks. I think the author has a fun writing style and his claims are backed up by science. Time to dive back into the Daily Dozen! ...more
Jan 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cookbooks
My husband and I were huge fans of Dr. Greger's book so I had to pre-order his accompanying cookbook. We have made about 10 recipes from it and they have all been AWESOME! I think my favorite recipe so far has been the Curried Chickpea Wraps. We also enjoyed the Black Bean Burgers, Lentil Shephard's Pie, Sweet Potato Hash, and Moroccan Lentil Soup.

The recipes are simple and delicious and each one features a full-page photo so you know how the dish should look when you're done. I also like that D
Libby Beyreis
Aug 24, 2018 rated it liked it
I was fascinated by "How Not To Die", but I found this companion cookbook a little disappointing. Many of the recipes looked kind of dull, and there were a fair number of recipes that I think of as "faking food" - foods that are pretending to be something else that has meat in it. (e.g. vegan Sloppy Joes, vegan burgers, vegan bolognese, etc.) I tend to prefer vegan recipes that don't try to be something that they're not, but instead embrace the possibilities of the actual food that's being cooke ...more
Christine (Tina)
Borrowed from library & need to purchase. Such convincing info to make necessary dietary changes.
Apr 05, 2021 rated it really liked it
This is a good collection of 100+ recipes, done with the help of Robin Robertson, author of many vegan cookbooks. There are photos for many of the recipes. There is a short introduction, a summary of the ‘how not to die’ diet, plus the daily dozen of the essential food ingredients for each day. Each recipe comes with an introduction, what daily-dozen ingredients are in it, and sometimes a box with facts and tips for further food inspirations. After recipes are sample menus for two weeks, some ki ...more
Alyson Fortowsky
Jun 11, 2018 rated it liked it
The cookbook companion to How Not to Die is less useful than the book itself; there are many better recipes out there that adhere well enough to a plant-based whole-foods oil-free diet to be very healthful. Forks Over Knives and Dr. John McDougall provide many excellent recipes for free on their website.

Greger limits himself to only his Green Light foods, which is an admirable goal but doesn't jive with the point he makes in How Not to Die about making Green Light foods more palatable with Yello
Maxine (Booklover Catlady)
I got this along with his How Not to Die book after watching the documentary What the Health? on Netflix.

I’d already been learning about how meat, dairy and processed foods really were making us sick. I have type II diabetes, osteoarthritis, chronic pain, stomach ulcers and I’m only 49!

The recipes in here are gorgeous and the full page photos made everything look so tasty. There are recipes from breakfast, dinners, snacks, sweet treats and even salad dressings. I got the paperback version and it
Claudia Turner
Apr 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Great follow-up to “How Not To Die”. It begins with a brief but thorough summary of everything in Greger’s initial book, then several recipes that I use as starting off points for my own concoctions. He teamed up with culinary expert Gene Stone and has lots of beautiful pictures (a necessity for me with cookbooks). It’s important to read his book with this and to download his FREE app Greger’s Daily Dozen. This will help you change your life to a plant-based, disease-free, energy-charged place y ...more
Dec 31, 2017 rated it liked it
2.5. Plant based vegan recipes. Nice layout and photos but to be honest some of these recipes I'd rather die than eat. Unless someone can make them for me.... ...more
Nov 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nutrician
I've made six or seven recipes from this book and they all have been very tasty and healthy. Robin Robertson is the actual creator of the recipes presumably with Dr. Greger's parameters. ...more
Mark Robison
Mar 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
In his other books and videos, Dr. Greger puts diet/nutrition claims "to the test" — randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies — to find what foods are proven healthiest. This cookbook is based on those findings. The recipes contain no added oil, sugar, and salt. They are whole foods and plant based. If you’re good with those criteria, this is a fantastic cookbook. I’ve made more than half the recipes in it, many of them dozens of times. Frankly, this is the only cookbook I use curren ...more
Jannah Cloud Child
Jul 14, 2018 rated it really liked it

Firstly. I NEED to read the actual How Not To Die book because the parts I really enjoyed were at the beginning which were very informative nutritional facts and I know more of that would be in the original.
While the recipes gave me an insight into different ways I could incorporate a plant based diet into my cooking there was a lot of ingredients included which are hard to get or really expensive where Im from or on Amazon which takes it a star down for me. Another half a star down is becaus
Laura Ralston
Jan 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is my go-to cookbook to build recipes off of. I use it more as a jumping off point and end up adding greens, grains, etc. to suit my tastes and caloric goals. After reading How Not to Die, I tried to implement the Daily Dozen on my own and found I was eating way too much food and things I didn't particularly like. Buying the cookbook was a huge help, broadening my idea of how to sneak in Daily Dozen ingredients and how to cook things well without tons of oil or salt. The recipes are approac ...more
Sep 24, 2018 rated it it was ok
Don’t get me wrong I like Doc Greger and think he does good work, but this is another not so great plant-based/vegan cookbook. I read it online through my library and the recipes involve too many ingredients and some are not always easy to come by. I prefer simpler recipes which is why Pinterest is the best option for me. I think his information on health and how diet can improve or fix many conditions (like obviously heart disease and high cholesterol) is important. However, sometimes I think p ...more
Sherry Monger
Sep 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I think I will need to buy this book - a companion cookbook to the How Not to Die non-fiction tome. I read several chapters, gleaning information on proper foods to eat to maintain good health. The cookbook builds on that information and presents recipes to support the research findings. I also downloaded the Daily Dozen app so that I can track my nutritional intake. Heart disease and Alzheimer’s are ever present in my history - cancer and heart disease in my husband’s -leaning into this diet wi ...more
Jun 06, 2020 rated it liked it
I’m glad this book was produced so people who read the original book can use this to put the principles discussed in it, into practice.
Having said that, I think the ingredients needed to be varied more and more recipes needed. Also a gluten free symbol used on appropriate recipes would have been useful.
The photographs and layout were superb.
All up I think this book is good for people new to cooking vegan.
Jonathan Mckay
It turns out I am far too lazy to cook healthy. We got a subscription to gobble instead.
Lauren Pigott
May 12, 2021 rated it liked it
Beautiful photos! Detailed and nice book overall. One recipe I tried took way too long for just a glorified rice and beans so that was a bummer.
Nov 19, 2019 rated it liked it
I didn't realize there is a book that came first.

The recipes sound great! The science behind them seems sound. Can anyone pick this up and make one of these 'easy' recipes? Not really. I had half of the ingredients on hand but would need to buy others specifically for this cookbook. Some I know would not be carried at my local grocery store.

But once you have the ingredients, this would be a great resource for nutritious and tasty meals, including sweets, sauces, and smoothies.

This is a cookbook
John Hebus
Apr 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
I haven't tried making any dessert or drinks, but from the savoury recipes, this book is a winner. One piece of advice - the whole jig on onion (red and spring) is a little bit too crazy for me. I'd put in half as much, or even less. Otherwise, great cookbook - always my go to when I feel like having a blast in the kitchen. ...more
Stephanie A
Oct 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Those looking for great tasting, easy plant-based, whole food recipes
Excellent! I was so happy to discover this cookbook after reading Michael Greger's How Not to Die book, which provides scientific evidence that avoiding processed foods and sugar-laden beverages and choosing to eat nutritious, plant-based foods can prevent and even reverse disease. Having removed sugar and refined flours and grains from my diet a few years back, it was nice to find a great resource containing delicious, nutritious plant-based recipes. This book has a nice variety of recipes from ...more
Adrian Luben
Jan 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
great cookbook! highly recommended!
Jan 02, 2020 added it
The book begins with a good overview of the excellent advice in Dr. Greger's "How Not to Die." I noticed that many of the recipes rely on miso, which I like, and nutritional yeast, which I don't, but otherwise seem worth trying. ...more
Jan 14, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Possibly the ONLY cookbook to not use salt OR oil! Awesome cookbook from an awesome team (:
Feb 01, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cookbooks
The author definitely knows cooking. These are very healthy recipes, but most, even Mac and cheese, are beyond my skill level.
The recipes are not only nutritious, but they also sound as if they would be delicious.
Mar 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
After borrowing this book from the library and marking almost every page, I decided to buy my own copy. Super easy, delicious recipes with appetizing pictures, perfect for everyday cooking.
Taunie Peterson
Nov 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I love this cookbook. I do not normally like to cook but these recipes are easy to make. I just finished reading the book How Not To Die. We have been eating like this for two weeks now and I feel great. I don’t miss sugar, meat or processed foods. If you are interested in becoming healthier, I highly recommend these books.
Dec 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: health, cookbook, death
Great recipes in here, even if the title should be "How Not to Die Young" or "How to Resist Disease and Die Old." ...more
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A founding member of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, Michael Greger, MD, is a physician, author, and internationally recognized speaker on nutrition, food safety, and public health issues. He has lectured at the Conference on World Affairs, testified before Congress, appeared on The Dr. Oz Show and The Colbert Report, and was invited as an expert witness in the defense of Oprah Winfrey ...more

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66 likes · 5 comments
“Dear Doc, You won’t believe this. My diabetes is GONE. I beat it, doc! How Not to Die really did save my life! Guess what else? My wife has had problems with her weight since she was a teenager. We went on a plant-based diet together, and she has, for the first time in years, gotten to a normal weight! We are both so happy, we feel like teenagers again. (Did I tell you we were high school sweethearts? That was a very long time ago, but it doesn’t feel so long ago anymore!)” 0 likes
“I prefer the term whole-food, plant-based nutrition. The best available balance of evidence suggests the healthiest diet is one that minimizes the intake of meat, eggs, dairy, and processed junk, and maximizes the intake of fruits, vegetables, legumes (beans, split peas, chickpeas, and lentils), whole grains, nuts and seeds, mushrooms, and herbs and spices—basically, real food that grows out of the ground. Those are our healthiest choices. What do I mean by whole food? I mean a food that is not overly processed. In other words, nothing bad has been added, and nothing good has been taken away.” 0 likes
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