When a group of Haredi women in Jerusalem asked the Hadassah Medical Center’s Linda Joy Pollin Cardiovascular Wellness Center for Women to help them find inexpensive and tasty ways to eat healthfully, the Pollin Center team created a cookbook especially for them.

As Pollin Center Director Dr. Donna Zfat-Zwas notes, “Nowadays, most of us can get recipes from the internet, but these women cannot. They have either no access or limited access to this resource.”

Titled The Praiseworthy Kitchen: Simple, Healthy, and Tasty Recipes, the colorful, hardcover book includes nearly 100 recipes and photos of healthy, low-cost dishes made with simple ingredients that can be found in neighborhood grocery stores.

Every recipe underwent rigorous testing by a nutritionist and the Pollin Center staff, including taste-testing and evaluation for ease of preparation, high nutritional value, and aesthetic appeal. While some recipes were contributed by community members who participated in a community cooking contest, most of the recipes came from chefs in Israel and abroad.

Filled with affordable recipes that will help them feed their families in a way that promotes heart health, the cookbook also provides encouragement and tips to “healthify” a recipe. For example, the book discusses how to make an informed choice regarding sweeteners. In addition, the book offers ways to pre-plan meals to streamline healthy cooking throughout the week.

As Pollin Center staff explain, “The Praiseworthy Kitchen is more than a cookbook. It is a tool to promote sustainable, healthy nutrition for generations.”

The book is the final component of the Pollin Center’s pioneering, community-wide health promotion project, which includes community leadership training, school-based programs, health newsletters, walking projects with pedometers, workshops to enhance skills and motivation, cooking workshops, culinary presentations, and cooking competitions. Plans are to distribute the cookbook to all 1,000 community participants.