Book Review: Cooking Light Real Family Food

I got the Cooking Light’s Real Family Food: Simple and Easy Recipes Your Whole Family Will Love Book a few weeks ago and I love that book. You see like Amanda Haas, I also believe in the One Family One Meal philosophy. In our home, everyone eats the same meal except that adults can always kick it up a notch in heat/spice.

Like Amanda I believe that if given the chance (and a lot of patience) the kids will eat things other than processed food. I also agree with her opinion that one of the reasons why families don’t sit down together and eat is the onslaught of kids’s activities in the evening. I know from experience that when the kids had evening classes, getting dinner on the table on those days was very difficult. Either the kid is too cranky after a long day filled with activities or I was too cranky from hunger and driving them from one place to the other.  No one ever told me that parenting means driving all over town for silly things, fun things and real things. I am a driver! I never thought I would say that! Getting dinner on the table was difficult on days when my kids had evening activities. Either I made dinner in the morning before I went to work or we ate out. We solved the problem by not having scheduling any classes for kids after 5:30pm.

Over the last few weeks, we have eaten our way through Amanda’s book. Like her, I too believe that kids love having some control over what they are eating. The one control we should keep as parents is to give them the smart ingredients to choose from.  I feel like Amanda and I are Food Sisters! Here are some of my and my kid’s favorite recipes from her book:

My favorites:

  • Basil Oil – think panninis, pasta, salad, pizza. Think of the other different oils you can make.
  • Red Coconut Rice –so exotic. Think fish or Thai inspired dishes to serve with the rice.
  • Caribbean spiced chicken kebabs. I had Caribbean inspired kebabs for the first time and I really liked the combination of spices.

My kid’s favorites:

  • Build your own bagel – every kid loves to have some control on what going in their tummy, in their lunch boxes etc. I always find if I share or tell them what’s in their lunch box before putting it in their bag, they are most likely to eat their lunches.
  • Roasted cauliflower with Sage – I love it when my kids eat cauliflower because as a kid I never liked the way cauliflower “looked”. Once I became a mom, I decided that I want to be a healthy role model for my kids so I started to cauliflower and its cousin broccoli to model healthy eating habits.
  • Chocolate Pots de Crème – who doesn’t like chocolate?  We can eat it by the pound in our home.

As you can see there’s something for everyone in this book. What I love about Amanda’s book is that it has the “Kids Can Help” tips for recipes, provides nutritional analysis for every recipe, meal planning and grocery shopping strategies.

Amanda has certainly been around the food block. She was a test kitchen manager at Williams-Sonoma and has contributed to several books. So she KNOWS what she is talking about.

I believe in pay it forward with books. Books need to be circulated as more people read it the better it is in general. So it is not unusual for me to be giving my parenting books or recipe books to friends and family. This book has got my sister in law’s name on it. I guess I will have to get myself a copy of it too.

You can get the book at Amazon for $13.75.

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