Book Review: My relationship with food
I love it when you get a new cookbook thinking it’s going to be good and when it arrives it’s REALLY great! That’s what happened when ‘My Relationship with Food: 100 Recipes to Nourish Mind, Body & Soul‘ by Lisa Roukin landed on my doormat.
I found this book in a less traditional way. I was writing a feature about baking products for Ideal Home magazine – as you do! and Lisa Roukin the author contacted me about her silicon fibre glass baking sheet. This is the first time I have been contacted by a blogger who is selling their own product so I was immediately impressed but when I asked if I could review her cook book I was doubly impressed. I asked for the publisher’s details and she told me she had self published it! I mean this woman has it all going on!
As a trained chef Lisa really knows her stuff. Her relationship with food stems from being an overweight child and her journey to discover healthy eating and nourishing her body. Her recipes are gluten-free, contain limited refined sugar and are dairy free, but you would never know it. In fact I didn’t know that they were gluten free till I started reading the extensive introduction. The cover states ‘100 recipes to nourish mind, body and soul‘ and I thought “that sounds like the perfect book for a January post when everyone wants to be more healthy.
What I wasn’t expecting was my devouring every page about Lisa’s story when I started reading it. I read all the introduction before I would even let myself look at the recipes properly. I was intrigued.
As you look through the recipes you don’t even notice that there’s no gluten or dairy in them. They just look amazingly flavourful. I mean I have never pretended to be a cook – in fact I’m a pretty rubbish cook. I can bake till the cows come home but cooking just doesn’t do it for me. And then came this book. I love Lisa’s recipes. I want to make them all and I hardly ever feel like that about a book that isn’t full of cakes. There’s so many easy flavours with ingredients that I pretty much have in my cupboards. I have added a few extra seeds to my stores and have been enjoying sesame oil in stir frys for the first time but other than that I have most of what I need. I’m learning new ways to cook old favorites like chicken and salmon.
So, what’s in the book?
The introductions talks about Lisa’s journey and how to have a healthy relationship with food and taking care of yourself along with her ‘top ten tips’. There are some Q&A pages and then the non-cheaters cheat sheet – you know, the ‘you want a full english fry up but have a Shakshuka or baked eggs in Portabello mushrooms instead’ kind of thing.
The book is broken up into the four seasons with a seasonal product page for that time of year- did you know that the banana is the most popular fruit in the UK?, then breakfast, lunches, soups and sides, dinners and treat recipes. So you really want to go through the book slowly so as not to miss anything.
I’ve cooked a number of lunches and dinners from the book and can you believe it not asingle dessert yet! My favourites so far are salmon with wasabi mayonnaise and pistachio crust, Shakshuka which is basically kale fried with onions and mushrooms then a jar of tomato sauce is added then you put eggs in it and cook! Oh my goodness! Those eggs! Delicious. I’ve also been using her berry smoothie recipe practically every day. Frozen blueberries are a g-dsend!
Everyone seems to be talking about using cauliflower as a pizza base so I’m going to give that a go next, as well as the raw chocolate mousse cake. I’ve made banana ice cream before but never with halva. Lisa’s dried fig, pecan and dark chocolate oat bars also look amazing too. A nice healthy snack as requested for school lunches by Darcey.
Why buy this book
This isn’t my usual type of book. It’s about healthy eating and let’s face it – I’m a cake blogger – healthy doesn’t come into it, but I love this book. Usually books I review go onto a shelf in my office incase anyone asks a question about it but this one is staying firmly in my kitchen for regular use. It’s jam packed full of lovely original ideas and such easy to follow recipes.The photography is beautiful and with 100 recipes to choose from there really is something for everyone.
Disclaimer: Thank you to Lisa Roukin for providing me with a copy of her book to review here on this blog. All thoughts, opinions and ramblings are entirely my own.