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Kate Whitaker/Sterling Satisfying, nourishing and delicious food is the hallmark of Sally Bee's sound, heart-healthy cooking, such as in this ratatouille chicken tray bake.

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Cookbook full of heart

A good cookbook can read like a novel, but few read like the cliffhanger that is "The Secret Ingredient" by a British writer named Sally Bee (Sterling, 2010). Her story -- left for dead on an operating-room table, suffering from a heart condition so rare that only 30 people worldwide have survived it -- is a page-turner. It's also an appealing cookbook filled with foods that are, as Bee would call them, "nourishing" rather than merely "healthy." There's a lot to absorb in this book -- life lessons and food lessons.

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