Good Reads by Joy Bauer/Baked Tilapia with Tomato and Pineapple Relish

You wouldn't ordinarily expect cookbooks to be bedtime page-turners, but when I received my two new Joy Bauer books in the mail a few weeks ago, I couldn't put them down. Since then, summer's allowed me to become engrossed in a variety of great reads (I kept delaying officially finishing Kathryn Stockett's The Help, it's so good, obscenely stretching it out by switching over to triathlon  World Champion Macca's  autobiography, I'm Here to Win, for a bit). Yet, I keep coming back to the Today show nutrition expert's latest bestsellers, alternating between them to browse the sage food and healthy advice and fresh, beautiful recipes. Food Cures is something of an imposing tome at first, a guide to treating common health concerns, from high cholesterol to poor skin and hair loss, through food. But venture beyond the cover, and it's quickly clear from the organization alone that this is not just great reference material for those suffering from specific conditions, it's a life-enhancing resource for everyone, with tips for achieving clearer skin, sharpening memory, and staving off arthritis, among other things, through wholesome nutrition. Although weight loss is addressed from the get-go, this is not a weight loss book, which makes me like it all the more. For each condition/goal addressed, Joy provides a wealth of knowledge, a 4-step nutrition plan, suggested grocery lists, and sample recipes.

Slim and Scrumptious is your typical cookbook format, sharing over 75 beautifully photographed, fresh, healthy, delicious dishes that are affordable and easy-to-prepare to boot. Kid and adult tested by Joy's own family, what I love is that they are designed to satisfy the gamut of taste buds. In the first week, I tried and loved the ratatouille lentil stew (which was transformed into a cold salad), the tofu tomato soup, and, my favorite of the bunch, the baked tilapia with spicy tomato-pineapple relish.  You don't really even need  recipe for this easily adaptable recipe. Here's all you need to do:

Joy Bauer's Baked Tilapia with Spicy Tomato-Pineapple Relish

Season tilapia fillets with a little kosher salt (I added a dash pepper).

Combine well-drained crushed pineapple and seeded, diced plum tomatoes with a little hot chili paste to taste (for 4 fillets, the recipe states 1/2 cup pineapple to 1 plum tomato, but I did use a bit more of each).

Top tilapia fillets evenly with tomato-pineapple mixture and bake on a prepared sheet at 375 F for 12-15 minutes, or until the fish flakes easily with a  fork.  (I added a sprinkle of fresh chopped cilantro to the tops).

We had these with roasted sweet potato fries and a green salad. Super fast and fresh!