I have one real cookbook in my house – a copy of Better Homes and Garden I received when I got married. There are also a few other small ones such as the The Little House Cookbook and one with old Swedish recipes. I enjoy reading cookbooks and flipping through food magazines but really don’t see the need to purchase them and have them in my kitchen. That’s what the internet is for, right? One cookbook you can go to for your basic needs just about covers it and then Google can take care of the rest. (Unless the internet goes down anyway.)
Well, I’ve found an exception to that line of thinking.
Last week I had the honor of reviewing Lisa Leake’s new cookbook (debuting at #2 on the New York Times List): 100 Days of Real Food.
Over the first 100 pages of the book is filled with information of real food – why to eat it, what to buy, budget tips and more. Lisa writes in a way that won’t overwhelm you. It’s enjoyable to read and gives you the information you need to make educated decisions.
Then comes the recipes. Trust me, you’ll want to make them all. The pictures make you hungry. If you have kids in school, you’ll love the section on lunch recipes where each picture shows a complete lunch you could pack and send with your child.
I read through the book and then my 3 1/2 year old daughter wanted to take over. She had me sit down with her and tell her what every recipe (and there are 100 of them) was. Then she sat there again flipping through every page. The next day she did the same thing.
I came up with a plan. I brought out the sticky notes and cut them down and told her to mark her favorite recipes – the ones she wanted to make. After she marked the first 3 consecutively I reminded her to only pick her very favorite ones. Even after reminding her several times and making her skip a few we already make an almost identical recipe of, she had marked over half of the recipes!
I think I know what my go to place is going to be for menu planning.
A few of my favorite things about this cookbook:
I love that any recipe my daughter wants to make – we can!
I don’t have to worry about trying to talk her out of one with processed ingredients and foods that I don’t like using. Every recipe is real food! Now, if you don’t eat grains or dairy you’ll have to tweak and/or skip some of the recipes but for easy reference, in the back of the book, she has a list of the recipes that are (or could easily be made) gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegetarian.
I love that the recipes use normal ingredients!
These are things that every cook will have in their house (or has easy access to). That makes it perfect for those that are new to real food as well as those who’ve been eating that way for a while. There’s not a sense of being overwhelmed and giving up before you start. We can do this. Real food is doable.
I love that the recipes are unique!
I don’t like eating the same types of food. Casseroles and the same old same old types of meals don’t do much for me, even if they are made of real food. I like flavor and variety. Not only does 100 Days of Real Food give you the basics like Whole Wheat Banana Pancakes, Super Easy Whole Wheat Biscuits, Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup, and Whole Wheat Pizza you’ll also find things like Polenta with Mushroom Bordelaise Sauce (on my list to try as polenta is something I’ve never made before), Teriyaki Flank Steak Salad, Shortcut Eggplant Parmesan, and a Grilled Cheese with Apple and Bacon!
I love that it is more than just recipes!
It’s educational with the information of why real food is important and how to attain real food in day to day life. It also contains Lisa’s story as well as the recipes. The Leake’s are a real family with two young girls and you get to hear their journey. If you are beginning your real food journey, you’ll want this book! (Or even if you already eat that way and want a refresher course and a book to share with others.) You’ll learn and have a resource to cook from and go back to again and again.
I was impressed by this beautiful, hardback cookbook. I’m thinking that Lisa should start working on another cookbook – the real food version of Better Homes and Gardens or Betty Crocker that are standard in so many kitchen libraries. I know I’d be buying that one too!
What’s your favorite cookbook? Do you follow the 100 Days of Real Food blog?
Linking up to these fun parties!
Thanks for this! I’ve heard of the book, but haven’t really read any thorough reviews on it until I came across your post.
I really enjoyed the book. Full of tasty real food recipes. I would probably recommend those that are grain or dairy free not buy it and just check it out from the library since there aren’t near as many of those recipes. I’m looking forward to being done with the Whole30 so I can start cooking the recipes again.
I would love to get this book. I do follow Lisa’s blog, and she does have some great recipes. Thanks for the review. I may just splurge and buy it 🙂
I really enjoyed it! Hurry up Whole30 and be done so I can start making the dozens of recipes Kenna picked out again. You should go on a mommy baby date to the bookstore and sit and browse through it. 🙂 Hope that you are doing well and everyone is adjusting!!!
I’ve seen this book around but I haven’t checked it out much. Sounds like I should! I love her blog.
I really enjoyed the book! I can’t wait for our Whole30 to be over so I can start cooking my way through it again. Next time you are at a bookstore, you should flip through it and see what you think!
Sounds like a good one! My favorites are the Moosewood Cookbook series by Mollie Katzen. I would never have thought of putting apple in baked beans, but her recipe is the best! We also love her gazpacho recipe and the Yogurt Herb Bread. Her recipes are all written assuming real foods and cooking from scratch.
I think my mom got some recipes from the Moosewood Cookbooks. I just looked and our library has one of them so I’m going to have to check it out as soon as we get done with our Whole30. I’m ready to add beans back into my diet. 🙂 Gazpacho is so good. Thanks for mentioning those recipes, they’ll be the first I look for!
Awesome! Real food is so much easier, I tell you. I don’t do the cooking for my family but my husband, thankfully, has come to a great place in his life. He no longer will have anything to do with processed foods. Yea! Now he has actually gone a step further, for many reasons, and gets most of his new recipes from a book, Against All Grains. When I saw this book, I thought, “now here is a cookbook I would actually read, cover to cover” My daughter uses it, too and my husband and her share ideas and even buy natural foods in bulk together. It’s pretty cool to eat such great food, especially when you don’t have to prepare it. Thanks for your post.
Real food tastes so much better too! Processed foods just taste sub-par and kind-of funny. That’s awesome that your husband cooks and cares so much about what you guys have on your table. I love the blog Against All Grains, hopefully I can get her book soon or at least check it out of the library. I love cookbooks that make you want to read them.
I love the 100 Days of Real Food blog. I read it often for inspiration and meal ideas. I’m sure the cookbook is just as great.
I love Lisa’s blog too! So many yummy and easy recipes! Her book is the same way. Can’t wait to be done with the Whole30 so we can continue cooking our way through it.