OK you guys, if you know me or have been reading my blog you probably know how I feel about food, right? If you don’t, well it’s pretty simple: REAL FOOD IS THE WAY TO GO! So, when Lisa Leake, owner, and blogger over at 100daysofrealfood.com announced her second cookbook was releasing soon, I was SUPER excited.
I don’t personally know Lisa, but I stumbled upon her blog a few years ago and was instantly inspired. Her REAL FOOD journey was triggered very much like my own, by the amazing books and documentaries created by the talented Michael Pollen. I discovered Lisa as she was releasing her first book, which I immediately purchased (the kindle edition) and read from cover to cover. I loved her story and her lovely way of encouraging others to eat better through her books and her blog.
After I got over the excitement of her newest book, I discovered she was looking for fellow bloggers to be her “Cookbook Ambassadors” and review her book in a blog post. I immediately signed up! This is like my dream come true, getting to tell you all how excited I am about this book. She sent me a copy and no surprise, I really love it! Yes, my book was free, but I PROMISE you everything that you read here are all my own true opinions.
My first time opening 100 Days of Real Food: Fast & Fabulous I was greeted with an amazing photo of Lisa and her two girls shopping at a farmer’s market. (YES! Eat Local!) The whole book is filled with beautiful photos of Lisa and her family grocery shopping, food prepping and cooking. Along with wonderful images of her recipes, of course. These photos of the family really show how everyone in the household is taking part in how the family eats, which to me is something so important for all families.
The first chapter gets straight to the point and she covers a ton of helpful information in a super easy and comprehendible way. This, I think, suits busy families extremely well. Here is a quick list of the topics she covers in Chapter 1: Supermarket Staples & Secrets.
- Real Food Defined: The Cheat Sheets – Breakdowns of every food category, giving lists of what to look for and what to avoid when grocery shopping.
- Grocery Store Illusions – Cracks down on marketing and “misleading tricks and buzzwords”
- Her Top 10 Real-Food Supermarket Product Lists – Lisa’s favorites from stores including Target, Earth Fare, Whole Foods Market, Trader Joe’s, Wal-Mart, Aldi, Publix, Costco, and Kroger.
- When Is Homemade Worth It? – 9 Items she feels are always worth making from scratch and 9 items she feels are most always worth buying.
- When Is Homegrown Worth It? – Her top 10 items she prefers to grow herself or source locally
- Food Prep Ideas & Storage – Incredible lists of make ahead ideas plus food storage info for everything you can think of!
- Meal Plans – Winter, Fall, Spring, and Summer meal plans complete with shopping lists.
The rest of the book is where the magic is. All these amazing REAL food recipes that are perfect for busy mom’s that want to feed their families whole food meals, but don’t have time to make difficult in-depth recipes.
Here are the categories for her recipes and which of them I am most excited to try out: (They all look so yummy and easy!)
- BREAKFAST – Avocado Toast
- LUNCH – Tangy Pasta salad
- SALADS – Egg Salad with Bacon
- SIDE DISHES – Lime & Cilantro Coleslaw
- SNACK & APPETIZERS – Corn Muffins
- SOUPS & STEWS – Quick Cauliflower Soup
- SIMPLE DINNERS – Easy Fish Tacos with Pico de Gallo
- SPECIAL TREATS – Homemade Dark Chocolate Fudge Pops
- HOMEMADE STAPLE RECIPES – Hummus Without Tahini (2 ways)
The content of this book is truly amazing and does not disappoint, but if I could change one thing, the only thing I would change is that I wish the physical book itself was designed for easier use in the kitchen. By that I mean the book actually looks and feels like a textbook.
It’s a BEAUTIFUL book to look at, but I am used to my cookbooks being spiral or 3-ring bound which I think might be better for keeping the book on the page you want while propped up. I’m guessing, though, that with how much I will be using this book (most likely a TON), the binding will eventually relax and I’ll have no trouble keeping the pages open.
I’m also crazy excited that Lisa has been generous enough to allow me to share one of her recipes with you as a sneak peek into her book! SWEET! It’s one that I am super excited to try. Here it is, straight from the book! Easy Fish Tacos with Pico de Gallo.
Easy Fish Tacos with Pico de Gallo
Prep time: 15 to 20 minutes
Cook time: 8 to 10 minutes
Makes 4 or 5 servings
DAIRY-FREE (IF OLIVE OIL IS USED INSTEAD OF BUTTER)
PICO DE GALLO
- 1 medium tomato (about 1/2 pound), seeded and diced
- 1/2 cup diced white onion
- 1/2 serrano or jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- Pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 pound white fish (such as cod, rockfish, or tilapia), cut into 1- to 2-inch chunks
- 2 to 3 tablespoons butter or olive oil
- 1 lime, halved
- Warm whole-grain corn or flour tortillas, for serving
For years I claimed I did not like fish tacos, but I’m here to report that I’ve come to my senses. This is one of my husband’s favorite dishes, so little by little (bite by bite of his) I warmed up to the idea. Now I’m excited to share this super easy version that’s quick enough to throw together on any busy weeknight!
- Make the pico de gallo: In a medium bowl, toss together all the ingredients.
- Prepare the fish: Mix the flour and seasonings on a plate. Dip the fish chunks into the flour to coat on all sides. Transfer to a clean plate.
- In a large sauté pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the fish and cook until the fish is golden brown on the bottom, 3 to 4 minutes (depending on the thickness of the fish). Flip and cook until it is golden brown on the other side and the center is white, flaky, and cooked all the way through, 7 to 8 minutes total (depending on the thickness). Add more butter to the pan if necessary to keep it from drying out. Squeeze the lime on top.
- Serve the fish with warm tortillas and freshly made pico de gallo.
Thanks again Lisa for another wonderful book!
Want to buy this book for yourself? Here’s the link! 100 DAYS OF REAL FOOD: FAST & FABULOUS