I happily accepted a review copy of Simple Food for Busy Families: The Whole Life Nutrition Approach, and settled in to take a look. It isn’t a cookbook, rather it is a guidebook (if you will) on getting off the SAD (Standard American Diet) and finding your way to a better way, all while having little spare time. Which if you have a job and or kids, you know exactly what I am talking about. The advice is coming from a registered dietitian, the type which I’d love to have as my personal guide! 😉
Lets put it this way..in the first chapter this caught my eye:
“Young mothers don’t learn how to cook because they don’t have to: American grocery stores stock more than 30,000 products, most them processed, refined foods that require minimal preparation.” (Page 4)
Ouch. And yet, they are correct on that. At 39 I am an oddity I find. I grew up with a stay at home Mom, who due to needing to be frugal, prepared the majority of our food. I learned to cook alongside her. But as we moved over the years and went to less rural areas I found fewer and fewer friends who knew how to cook. I have said it before and I’ll say it again: in college I was the only one in my social circle who knew how to bake bread. Where did we wander off? It isn’t just young mothers. It is every group, female and male. Even I fell away from my roots for many years, almost embracing processed foods with glee. Shiny packaging somehow made it superior. Well, until my blood pressure genes caught up with me and I developed severe issues to fake dyes and most preservatives 🙁
This book is the type I wish I had 7 or so years ago, so I would have had a guide to get where I am today.
One thing led to another, and before I knew it, I was perusing the authors’ website, Real Food Moms. The authors, Tracee Yablon-Brenner and Jeannette Bessinger, have written two books together, along with a website full of resources to help families. They also have an e-book that has recently come out, The Healthy Pantry Makeover Guide, designed to help readers overhaul their kitchens in a day.
But back to the book….Part 1 of the book is 8 chapters covering how to live a less stressful life, to being healthy, to how we eat, to getting the family on board. Part 2 is 6 chapters long and gets in quickly on stocking the kitchen to plenty of recipes. Particularly I liked the “Mix and Match” chapters (13 & 14) where they take say pasta, and give different quick ways to prepare it – pages 196-197 have 4 sauces that you can then match with your choices of pats, protein, vegetables and then has a cooking method. While not ground breaking, it’ll get you out of the nightly rut of “I am tired and have no ideas”. And it inspired me!
There is also inspiration for savory and sweet hot breakfasts, trail mixes, and much more!
Carrot, Chard & Bean Spaghetti
- 13.25 ounces whole grain spaghetti
- ¼ cups extra virgin olive oil
- 1 head garlic, finely chopped
- 1 sweet onion, peeled and chopped
- 1 bunch red swiss chard, stalks chopped and leaves finely chopped
- 3 large carrots, peeled and chopped
- 15 ounce can Great Northern or white beans, rinsed and drained
- ½ cup vegetable broth, preferably lower sodium/organic
- 1/3 cup Pecorino-Romana cheese, grated
Bring a large pot of lightly slated water to boil, add pasta and cook for time on package, drain.
Meanwhile heat a large skillet over medium, add oil and sauté garlic for a minute.
Add in vegetables, sauté until tender.
Stir in beans and broth, heat till warmed. Toss with hot spaghetti and cheese, serve immediately.
FTC Disclaimer: We received a complimentary copy for potential review.
PS: Little Buddy is feeling better, thankfully….happily sitting in Daddy’s lap today –