“Eat a Little Better: Great Flavor, Good Health, Better World”

Once September rolls around, impromptu summer cooking meals revert to routine weeknight cooking for families with school-age children. Sam Kass, chef and former senior adviser for national nutrition policy, wants to change our routines.

To help us do that, Kass teaches how to revamp the pantry and fridge so choices become simple, and how to successfully shop so we “buy what we use and use what we buy.” He offers tips, techniques, and “tasty ideas for what to do with the leftovers, so one night of cooking keeps you fed for days.”

And most importantly, he wants to change our routines so that we eat more vegetables, fish, chicken, grains and beans. Better for us, he says. And better for the planet. Kass supplies smart strategies to achieve this goal, and ninety-plus recipes to make it easier. Eat a Little Better provides a useful handbook.

Clarkson Potter/Publishers. $32.50.

Roasted Roots and Spices

Serves 4-6

A classic root vegetable roast with a twist, this one’s ignited by a blend of whole toasted spices that crackle between your teeth and unleash big flavor. The mix of roots includes kohlrabi, an oddball bulb that causes double takes at the farmer’s market but has an irresistible sweet, cabbage-y flavor that’ll win you over at first bite. Of course, virtually any combo of roots and tubers, or just one variety, works here, so feel free to swap in parsnips, celery root, rutabaga, radishes and sweet potato.

5 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces

2 medium purple top turnips, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces

2 medium kohlrabi, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces

1 medium yellow onion, cut into 1-inch wedges

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons coriander seeds

1 teaspoon caraway seeds

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

Kosher salt

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons sherry or red wine vinegar, or to taste

Set a rimmed baking sheet on the highest rack and preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Combine the carrots, turnips, kohlrabi and onion in a bowl. Add the olive oil, coriander, caraway, cumin and 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of salt and toss well. Spread the mixture in a single layer on the preheated baking sheet. Roast until the vegetables are tender and browned in places, about 30 minutes.

Remove the baking sheet from the oven, add the butter, and stir to coat the vegetables as it melts. Transfer the vegetables to a serving bowl and toss with the vinegar and salt to taste.

Reprinted from Eat A Little Better. Copyright 2018 by Sam Kass. Photographs copyright 2017 by Aubrie Pick. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC.