Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Rose Reisman's Family Favorites

I know many of us are thinking about living a healthy lifestyle...exercising more and eating better. Especially with so much in the media about increased obesity, leading to increased heart disease, diabetes, cancer....depressing news actually. And sometimes just the thought of changing what we do and what we eat is...well, daunting to say the least.

But don't despair because ... Have I got a cookbook for you!.. Rose Reisman's Family Favorites - Healthy Meals for those who matter most. I have a feeling that some of you are rolling your eyes, checking the stack of diet books on your shelves collecting dust and cobwebs, and thinking that you couldn't stand the thought of munching carrot and celery sticks.

I'm with you on all counts, but this book is different and it's NOT a diet book, it's a great cookbook with healthful, easy to prepare, delicious dishes to be shared with those you love best. First a little background on Rose Reisman. You can read her list of accomplishments here, but the bottom line is she's one of Canada's leading authorities on the art of eating and living well, a Registered Nutritional Consultant from the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition and author of a number of excellent cookbooks (I love her Weekday Wonders - healthy light meals for every day and am shocked that I don't have any of her dishes on my blog...very soon to be rectified). Wander through her site The Art of Living Well for all sorts of wonderful tips.

Back to her latest book...Family Favorites. As she says in the Preface,
"it's not about us having a lack of information... but focusing efforts on the practice of preparing simple, delicious, balanced, nutritious meals and enjoy them with our family around the kitchen table."

And for those of you who want the "how to" before checking out her awesome recipes, her introduction has key principles to better shopping and eating habits:
  • Lean toward a whole foods diet...whole grains, fruits and vegetables, lean protein and lower fat dairy products.

  • Eat fewer processed and packaged foods.

  • Drink more water, 100% fruit juice and lower fat milk products.

  • Choose to bake/roast/grill not fry food
Plus a few pages explaining Canada's Food Guide...which, even if you don't live in Canada is very helpful. And a section I found very enlightening..."making meals a family affair", because it's so easy today, with so many obligations to leave this off the busy schedule. One word...DON'T - miss this golden opportunity to connect with your family, and even if you can't do it every night, at least start with once or twice a week. You won't regret it. Rose starts out with some suggestions for the overcoming the three biggest obstacles - too much fast food, too much processed and junk food and too little time.

All in all, 53 pages well worth reading. But, you know me...it's time to check out the recipes and choosing simple, easy to prepare dishes that taste great.

The recipe sections go from breakfast and brunch (the peanut butter and jam muffins are baking as I write this) through appetizers, salads, soups & chilis, sandwiches & wraps, vegetable side dishes, vegetarian main dishes, grains & pasta, fish, chicken, meat, desserts and even a couple of special sections...children's favorites and recipes for the slow cooker.
I've already tried the Pecan & Panko Crusted Chicken with Orange & Apricot Glaze that is now my new favorite main.
And on another day...these Baked Root Vegetables with Maple Syrup and Cinnamon made a perfect side dish for
her Roasted Salmon with Teriyaki Hoisin Sauce. We were in such a hurry to eat, I forgot to garnish with cilantro and sesame seeds...Oh well, next time, because this is another favorite main of mine.
Oh...and the Peanut Butter & Jam Muffins are ready and delicious.

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