I’m just going to come right out and say it. I’m not the best cook. I am supremely jealous of anyone who can just take a bunch of random stuff out of their cabinets and make dinner with it without even consulting a recipe. I even get confused by recipes sometimes. For this reason, my husband does most of the more involved cooking in our house and I stick to simple things like baking chicken and boiling water. Thankfully, I’m mostly cooking for a two year old and she is perfectly happy with my macaroni and cheese.
(Which actually I make myself…she doesn’t like boxed macaroni and will only eat the cheese sauce that I make from scratch.)
Anyway, as generally not good it at as I am, I do like to try. So when I was presented with the opportunity to receive and review a copy of Lorna Jane’s new cookbook, NOURISH: A Fit Woman’s Cookbook, I was really excited. Ever since I attended Fit Foodie a couple weeks ago, I’ve been much more open to expanding my horizons when it comes to cooking and eating delicious food.
I’m a big fan of what Lorna Jane stands for. The founder, Lorna Jane Clarkson, is a former fitness instructor who is best known for her line of women’s athletic apparel and her LiveLoveNOURISH initiative that motivates women all over the world to adopt a healthy lifestyle. I love to inspire and to be inspired! And I know I just talked about clothes on here yesterday, but yeah. Her clothing line is SERIOUSLY cute. Especially her yoga stuff.
I liked this book right away. Not only does it showcase a great many recipes, organized by meals (even smoothies, tonics, snacks, and dips!), but it also includes some very helpful tips straight from the brain of Lorna Jane. For example: her eat less, more often philosophy, lists of her preferred “real foods”, fruits and veggies broken down by the best season to enjoy them, and even suggestions on where to shop for fresh foods without breaking the bank. She even includes a variety of eating plans to get you started on the journey to healthier eating. As a print designer myself, I was also very impressed by the design of the book; well organized, graphically attractive, and with food photography that looks good enough to eat right off the page.
For me personally, there is only one real downside to this book: It seems that quite a few of the recipes – especially the dinner offerings – are rather time-intensive and/or not at all toddler-friendly, though they definitely sound delicious to me! Many nights I’m already struggling to throw dinner together for Betty when we get home and I don’t really want to spend the limited amount of time we have together before bedtime in the kitchen hand-making quinoa pilaf for an hour from scratch and then she won’t even eat it. That said, there are enough recipes to choose from– such as many of the snacks –that I can make ahead of time to grab on the go and she might actually like them too.
I decided to try out one of these snack recipes to go along with my review: Fruit Chips. As a newly minted lover of apples I knew that I could enjoy these and they would make a fun treat to pack in Betty’s school lunch. Plus the preparation sounded about as easy as setting my oven and leaving them in there to bake for awhile, freeing me up for some fun with Play Doh in the other room.
- 1 medium apple
- 1 medium pear (firm)
- 2 tsp pure maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp mixed spice. WTF is “mixed spice”? I went digging through my spice cabinet and found a container of ALLSPICE. I’m pretty sure they are the same thing and even if they aren’t, the allspice worked out great.
Preheat your oven to 250°F (120°C). Slice the apple crossways into thin slices. Slice the pear lengthways. She suggests using a mandoline or a v-slicer, but I don’t have either of those apparatuses at my house. Okay who am I kidding…I don’t know what either of those apparatuses are. So I used a knife. It worked out fine.
Remove all seeds from the fruit. Combine syrup and spice and carefully coat the fruit slices with this mixture. Place in a single layer on a wire rack over an oven tray. Bake for about 1 hour and 10 minutes or until dried and crisp. Cool. AND ENJOY!
Ohhh and I did enjoy. These chips are AWESOME! Crunchy like a potato chip, sweet and a little spicy all at once. I managed to stop myself before eating all of them because really they weren’t supposed to be for me. This recipe was so easy and hands-off that I will probably be making it a couple times a week.
BONUS: My house smelled phenomenal for like an entire day after I made them.
Next on the agenda? DESSERT. Because…DESSERT. This cookbook has some really delicious dessert options, a few of which sounded pretty easy to make. Because it’s 500 degrees outside right now I figured a cool treat would be best:
Chocolate, Banana, & Almond Yoghurt Pops
- 1 cup unsweetened Greek yoghurt
- 2 tbsp natural almond butter
- 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
- 2 tbsp cacao powder
- 1 small banana, sliced thinly
Preheat NOTHING! These go straight into the freezer.
Combine half the yoghurt (I’m only spelling it that way because she does), almond butter, and half the maple syrup in a small bowl. In another small bowl combine the rest of the yoghurt, the remaining maple syrup, and the cacao powder.
Now here’s where things went bananas. Or NOT bananas. In half of the molds, I added the thin banana slices along with layering the almond butter and chocolate mixtures. In the other half…no bananas because I want to eat these too and I’m allergic. I may have also layered some of both of these mixtures into my mouth as I worked.
Push in sticks and FREEZE! I froze mine overnight and the above not-to-attractive photo is the results in the morning. The light yoghurt is the almond butter and the dark is the chocolate (as if I really needed to explain that). Betty saw that I was taking pictures of them and tried to grab them off the plate, but – sorry, kiddo – not at 7:30am. Though I guess it IS yoghurt and bananas so what harm could it do. Anyway we had them for dessert last night.
NOM. She ate that whole popsicle all by herself, proclaiming the whole time that it was “yummy in her tummy”. After I put her to bed, I ended up making more because they were easy, fun, and we all want another one after dinner tonight.
This is just a taste (pun intended) of the recipes you will find in Lorna Jane’s Nourish cookbook.
Wouldn’t it be cool to win one for yourself?
You’re in luck! Join @FitApproach and @LornaJaneActive TONIGHT at 9pm EST for a Twitter party using hashtags #LiveLoveNOURISH, #Sweatpink, and #LornaJane for your chance to win to a copy of Nourish and a gift card to shop in Lorna Jane’s store!
You can RSVP for the party HERE and get started on Twitter with the tweet below!
Good luck and I hope to see some of you at the party! Thank goodness I just got a bottle of wine last night.
What do you think of these recipes? Will you be trying either of them at home? (Seriously the yoghurt pops…SO GOOD.)