Local author writes vegetarian recipe book with health tips

If you are among the millions of Americans whose New Year’s resolutions include eating more healthily and exercising regularly, we have just the book for you. Local author and cooking instructor Quintessence (“Tess”) Challis recently donated her new book “Radiant Health, Inner Wealth” to our library.

Highlight of the book for many readers will be her more than 230 vegetarian recipes, which she promises are not only healthy but also scrumptious. “Most people are surprised at how delicious healthy vegetarian foods can be when prepared correctly,” Tess says. The book also contains menu suggestions from a wide variety of cultures such as Thai, Indian, Japanese, Greek, Italian, Mexican and Mid-Eastern as well as super-light meals and meals for kids.

In addition to the multitude of recipes — all using natural, organic and cholesterol-free ingredients for maximum nutritional value — this book provides Qs and As about vegetarian diets, check lists suggesting food to reduce or eliminate, and 20 “superfoods” to emphasize. The author also offers a variety of meditation and relaxation exercises, a two-week cleansing health plan, an analysis of organic foods and allergies, and recommendations for healthy staples and useful tools to keep in your kitchen.

Tess’s philosophy of food and health is based on five concepts, all beginning with the letter E: eat reasonably, eat less, exercise daily, emphasize the good stuff (like vegetables, beans and whole grains), and elevate your consciousness by making a daily effort not only toward creating a healthier body but also toward improving your inner self.

The author has been cooking professionally since 1995. Born in Gunnison, she moved to Pagosa Springs from Michigan in 2001 because she “always felt drawn to come back to her roots,” as she puts it. Tess credits her mother, Kathryn Barnes, with being her first natural foods teacher.

More cookbooks

Three other cookbooks have just been added to our shelves.

“How to Cook Everything: 2,000 Simple Recipes for Great Food” is a completely revised and updated 10th anniversary edition of the classic cookbook by Mark Bittman.

“Martha Stewart’s Cooking School: Lessons and Recipes for the Home Cook” is a culinary master class for home cooks of all levels.

“Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics” by Ina Garten contains nearly a hundred new recipes that the author promises offer fabulous flavor from simple ingredients.

Books on CD

We have three new thrillers and mysteries on CD: “Salvation in Death” by J.D. Robb,

“The Gate House” by Nelson DeMille and “Extreme Measures” by Vince Flynn.

In the self-help arena we have”“Love Your Life: Living Happy, Healthy & Whole” by Victoria Osteen.

We also have James Patterson’s “Against Medical Advice” with Hal Friedman, the true story of a family’s struggle with an agonizing medical mystery.

Self help for veterans

“The Wounded Warrior Handbook” is a resource guide for returning veterans with information on medical treatment, rehabilitation, counseling, support and transition.

Books for youngsters

New books for parents to read to children include “The Elephant Wish” by Lou Berger and “From Where I Stand in the City” by Cheryl Willis Hudson.

“Pirates” from the Usborne Beginners reading series, is for children in kindergarden to third grade.

New board books include “Peek-a-Who?” by Nina Laden, “My First ABC Board Book: Apple,” “My Big Truck Book,” “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?” by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle, “Germs Are Not For Sharing” by Elizabeth Verdick, “Hands Are Not For Hitting” by Martine Agassi and “Row, Row, Row Your Boat,” from the Child’s Play series.

Books for pre-teens

New books aimed at readers in the third through seventh grades include “’Tis the Season” from Ann M. Martin’s Main Street series, “Sammy Keyes and the Cold Hard Cash” by Wendelin Van Draanen, “Lost and Found” by Andrew Clements, plus “Deliver Us From Normal” and “Far From Normal” by Kate Klise.

From the Beacon Street Girls series we have “Worst Enemies/Best Friends,” “Bad News/Good News” and”“Letters from the Heart” by Annie Bryant.

From the Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew series by Carolyn Keene we have “Sleepover Sleuths,” “Screm for Ice Cream” and “Pony Problems.”

Books for teens

New books aimed at readers in the seventh grade and older include “Sure Fire” and “Death Run” by Jack Higgins, “I Am Rembrandt’s Daughter” by Lynn Cullen, and “Nation” by Terry Pratchett.

Thanks to our donors

Our gratitude to the members of the Woman’s Civic Club for their generous donation. For books and materials this week we thank Meryle Backus, Stan Church, W.L. Clifford, Trish Davis, Kerry Dermody, Teddy Finney, Carole Howard, Sue Kehret, Margie Richter and Emily Tholberg.


PREVIEW photo/Carole Howard
Local author and cooking instructor Quintessence (“Tess”) Challis recently donated her new book “Radiant Health, Inner Wealth” to the Sisson Library.  It includes more than 230 vegetarian recipes and menu selections from a wide variety of cultures as well as super-light meals and meals for kids.  The book also provides Qs and As about vegetarian diets, check lists suggesting food to reduce or eliminate, and 20 “superfoods” to emphasize.