August 27, 2014

100 Days of Real Food Cookbook

100 Days of Real Food was one of the first blogs I found when I started blogging back in 2010.  In fact, if I remember correctly it was a google search for the definition of "real food" that led me to Lisa Leake's blog.  I was excited to meet Lisa at BlogHer Food this past May and happy to discover that she and her husband were just as sweet and genuine as they come across in her blog.

When I heard Lisa was working on a 100 Days of Real Food cookbook, I excitedly pre-ordered a copy and it arrived today!  Well, sort of...the copy I received today is actually a complimentary copy for the purpose of reviewing, so I re-directed my pre-ordered copy to a friend with two young children who I think will love this cookbook.

I've made three recipes so far - veggie corn chowder, cinnamon-raisin quick bread and frozen yogurt pops.  Each recipe was easy to make, used all familiar ingredients and the best part is that everything tasted great!

Corn chowder is one of my favorite soups and Lisa's version did not disappoint.  It's pureed just slightly to thicken the soup without turning it into hospital food.  I only wish I still had access to Alsum's sweet corn that I used to buy at the farmers' market when I lived in Wisconsin.  Farmers markets here in Miami just aren't the same.

The cookbook is a nice size with easy to read recipes and inviting photos.  Every recipe in the book has a photo which I think is so important.  I just recently culled quite a few cookbooks from my collection that lacked photos.

The frozen yogurt pops have just three ingredients.  Look for whole milk yogurt because as Lisa points out "In most cases low-fat or fat-free dairy products are more highly processed than whole milk products."

I'm embarrassed to admit how many yogurt popsicle recipes I've tried, all of which had failed until now.  This is the first recipe I've seen using maple syrup as a sweetener which I much prefer to honey which was used in the other recipes I tried.  The pops held their shape and tasted great - finally a yogurt pop recipe I can make again!

Chapter 5 is one of my favorites because it talks about eating real food on a budget.  I know many people who think it's impossible to shop at Whole Foods.  I find their 365 products are often similarly priced to Publix, which is my conventional grocery store option, but as a bonus many of the Whole Foods items are organic.

For recipes, like the cinnamon-raisin quick bread, I recommend buying individual containers of applesauce so you can open just the amount needed for the recipe.  The cost of real food will be higher than it needs to be if you have half-used jars of applesauce in your fridge.

This was my first time using only whole-wheat flour in a recipe and I was surprised at how normal the bread turned out.  I was expecting a much denser result.  I like Lisa's suggestion of topping with cream cheese because cinnamon-raisin bagels with cream cheese was one of my favorite breakfasts as a kid.

This book trailer video is a great 2-minute synopsis of the 100 Days of Real Food cookbook.  In the end Lisa says "I hope you're feeling inspired to make these important changes a priority" and it's a great way to sum up how I feel about her new cookbook.  Making the change to a real food lifestyle can be very daunting.  This book is the guide that will get me there.


  1. Looks like a great cookbook--that corn chowder picture had me drooling! I eat all organic and have been in a Whole Foods maybe twice. Using CSAs, buying clubs, and local farms to source (with some Trader Joe's and Costco thrown in), I've always spent less than the government's estimates for families eating conventional.

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