Love to Eat

75 Easy, Craveworthy Recipes for Healthy, Intuitive Eating [A Cookbook]

About the Book

A balanced relationship with your food is within reach! These 75+ recipes offer the freedom to eat the foods you love, without guilt, and to live your damn life once and for all.
“Nicole’s focus on wholesome recipes that fill your body and soul is such a balanced way to approach cooking, and will help encourage a healthy, loving relationship to food and your body.”—Rachel Conners, author of Bakerita

In Love to Eat, Nicole Keshishian Modic teaches you how to listen to your body’s cues around food, discover a more flexible relationship to your diet, and nourish your body with real, whole-foods recipes that celebrate flavor.
Growing up in Los Angeles, Nicole was surrounded by society’s complicated views on women’s bodies and countless diet crazes, but her Armenian father instilled his deep passion for food and flavor within her. Years of quietly suffering from an eating disorder led Nicole to find healing in the most unlikely place for her at the time—the kitchen—as she turned former binge foods into healthy but indulgent standards on her wildly popular blog, KaleJunkie.  
This inspirational cookbook is filled with recipes and inspirational stories to keep you feeling satisfied in body and mind. Nicole also shares her philosophy on what food freedom and intuitive eating truly mean (spoiler alert: Neither is about restrictive dieting!) and advice on how to carry that positive attitude into other aspects of your life. 
75+ recipes showcase Nicole’s Armenian background, love of comfort foods, and passion for creative (and kid-friendly) plant-forward meals.
Discover dishes such as:
Blueberry Pancake Bread Muffins
Armenian Stuffed Bell Pepper Dolmas
The Best Quinoa Tabbouleh
Sweet and Sour Crunchy Cauliflower Bites
One-Pot Penne Arrabbiata
The Coziest Lemon Chicken Soup
Sweet Potato S'Mores Cookies.
Life-Changing Chocolate Chip Tahini Cookies

With accessible and nutritious recipes designed for real, busy life, Love to Eat proves that there is room for a juicy burger in a healthy lifestyle—as long as you’re eating with purpose and listening to your intuition.
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Praise for Love to Eat

“Nicole’s recipes never fail to impress and make my mouth water. Love to Eat is full of recipes that highlight her love of all things tahini, mouth-watering sweet and savory dishes, and her ingenious tips for making life easier in the kitchen, adding immeasurable value and deliciousness to your life and plate. Her focus on wholesome recipes that fill your body and soul is such a balanced way to approach cooking, and will help encourage a healthy, loving relationship to food and your body. You’ll want to try every recipe!”—Rachel Conners, author of Bakerita

“Nicole embodies so much of what we all need more of: warmth, generosity, guidance, and dependability. You can rest assured that the beautiful, nourishing recipes in Love to Eat have been tested over and over with a steadfast commitment to detail and approachability. This book will help you not only become a better cook and baker, but a better friend to yourself.”—Kathleen Ashmore, chef and producer

“There’s not one page of this cookbook I haven’t earmarked to make the recipe. Nicole has written a must-read primer for those who love food as much as they love their own health and wellness . . . no boring, basic ‘rabbit food.’ All good eats inside.”—Kevin Curry, founder and author of FitMenCook

“Nicole’s debut cookbook is filled with everything that I want to eat, hence the title, Love to Eat. Her way of making indulgent food healthy yet accessible shines through in recipes like the Life Changing Tahini–Chocolate Chip Cookies, or the Bakery-Style Morning Glory Muffin. Nicole also introduces us to her Armenian heritage through dishes such as the Hummus with Spiced Ground Beef & Pine Nuts that’s sure to be in heavy rotation in my kitchen!”—Dzung Lewis, author of The Honeysuckle Cookbook
“Those in search of wholesome eats to satisfy their bellies as well as their emotions will find this endlessly inspiring.”—Publishers Weekly
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Love to Eat



My food philosophy is simple: instead of counting calories and macronutrients or eliminating food groups because we’ve heard they are bad, how about we enjoy ALL foods, stop demonizing them, and instead, let our bodies decide what we want to eat based on what makes us feel our best? At the end of the day, the food choices we make give us information, and it’s up to us what we decide to do with that information.

For instance, if you wake up in the morning and decide to eat a donut from the corner donut store for breakfast, cool. Your body will give you information shortly after consuming it. You might feel happy in the moment (who wouldn’t? I love donuts!), but there’s a high probability that you’ll start to feel a little tired, lethargic, and perhaps even as if there’s a rock sitting in your stomach. You likely won’t be super excited to get a morning walk or run in right after eating. You might even start to get irritable because you feel uncomfortable. None of this means that donuts are bad—they aren’t. Nothing is. It just means that if physically feeling energetic and ready to tackle a workout is your goal, then you might consider eating a more nutritious breakfast the majority of the time.

For me, I feel my best when I start the day with a protein-packed smoothie, so I’m feeling energized and ready for a good sweat. Come Sunday, I am ready to say “F***” it to physically feeling my best, instead trading that smoothie for donuts from the corner store and lazy day snuggles with my boys. That decision—to ditch the smoothie and grab a fried donut from the corner store instead—makes me feel good in a different sense—emotionally. The smoothie and the donut are both perfectly acceptable choices because optimal health is about balance, not extremes.

But Nic, are you really saying that donuts are healthy? What I am saying is that this concept of “healthy” is more complex than a simple yes or no, and it depends on how one defines that word. Many people think they are eating healthy by purchasing foods labeled as low fat, low carb, or guilt-free—all of which are terms created by the diet industry to trick people into thinking that they are doing better for their health by purchasing them, when in fact, they are often filled with ingredients that really aren’t nutritious at all.

On the other hand, there are people who consider themselves healthy because they meticulously (and oftentimes obsessively) read nutrition labels and avoid all foods made with processed and artificial ingredients. While it’s certainly healthier if we look at it from a purely nutritional standpoint (foods made with real, whole food ingredients, mostly plants, do make our bodies thrive; that’s science), over time this approach can lead to orthorexia, which is another kind of eating disorder that involves an unhealthy obsession with healthy eating. And even if it doesn’t, I believe that making food choices based on nutritional labels alone misses a huge component of the definition of health, which is eating for emotional fulfillment and joy. There may be one or two people out there in the universe who are truly satisfied on all levels (physical, mental, and emotional) by eating a completely real, unprocessed foods diet. But for the majority of us, myself included, we want to leave room in our lives for Donut Sundays with our kids.

In my world, health is about finding a middle ground: prioritizing foods made with real, whole food ingredients because we want to feel like rock stars, but it’s also about eating that donut sometimes because it tastes great and makes us happy, even if it’s just in the moment.

In this book, you won’t hear me refer to food as “good” or “bad” or say things like “this is a recipe made with clean ingredients” or that this recipe is “guilt-free.” Food isn’t good or bad; it has no moral value. Food is food, and that’s that. By the same token, food isn’t clean, because clean implies that other food is dirty, and that’s simply not how it works. And finally, the term guilt-free that we often hear means nothing. It’s just a marketing label designed to make people think that certain foods are better than others, but in reality, all food should be guilt-free. In fact, the word guilt shouldn’t even be part of the equation at all.

Instead, you’ll hear me refer to foods that are nutritious and foods that are less nutritious; this takes into account only the nutritional value of food but doesn’t bring any moral value into play. What you will find is that foods that are made with real, whole food ingredients, are more nutritious and, in turn, make you feel your best. And by the same token, foods containing less nutritional value—oftentimes processed foods—and eaten consistently won’t help you thrive. At the end of the day, it’s up to you to decide how you want to feel and to make food choices based on that.

If you are used to following a structured daily meal plan, you won’t find that here. And that’s because I believe that everybody is different in terms of their unique nutritional needs, and what works for some to thrive and feel their best might not work for others. The whole premise of my food philosophy is for you to tap into your intuition and your own unique needs and to make food choices based on the information that eating food provides. Your body will tell you, if you just trust it, stop restricting, and allow it to do its job. I spent far too many years of my life following prescribed daily meal plans, and while they often led to temporary aesthetic results (that is, a thinner, more chiseled body), I felt restricted and hungry. Let’s all commit to more freedom and flexibility around our food and drink choices so we can live our best lives.

About the Author

Nicole Keshishian Modic
Nicole Keshishian Modic is the force behind the popular Instagram account Kale Junkie and draws on her Armenian American heritage for inspiration in her recipes. Nicole has been featured in the New York Post and on Well+Good, mindbodygreen, and many others. Certified in functional nutrition, she’s an influencer with connections to huge brands like Whole Foods and deep roots in the wellness community. More by Nicole Keshishian Modic
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