I was recently sent a copy of Greta Podleski’s new cookbook, Yum & Yummer from the nice folks at Hype PR who asked me to try some recipes and write a review. I get approached all the time to review cookbooks and products, and I’m picky on which ones I choose, but I couldn’t say no to this one. Remember Greta and her sister Janet from their first cookbook Looneyspoons and their show on Food Network: Eat, Drink and Be Merry? I watched their show all the time! They took common recipes, and made them healthy and delicious – not an easy task!
Flipping though Greta’s cookbook, the first thing that impressed me was her food philosophy. She says, “…I’d rather not tell people how or exactly what to eat…My passion isn’t preaching about healthy eating, it’s helping busy North Americans answer the question, ‘What’s for dinner?’ It’s creating outrageously delicious recipes using common, everyday ingredients found at your local grocery store” (1).
The next thing that impressed me were the recipes themselves; they’re healthy without being intimidating for the average home cook, and she has something for everyone: entertaining, kid-friendly, cooking with your partner, Sunday dinner, grab and go, and dessert. There are plenty of gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan recipes for those with sensitivities, and she also uses a wide variety of proteins, including delicious looking fish and meatless meals (which can be tricky to work with). The best part is that all of the recipes are simple; combining delicious ingredients and flavours; I kept thinking as I was flipping through, why didn’t I think of that?
There are so many delicious recipes to choose from, but being a busy mom I chose three quick recipes that are also kid-friendly. These recipes would work for anyone though, and are perfect to make during your meal prep day to enjoy throughout the week at work or school. The Broccoli and Cheddar Quinoa Bites are perfect to take to work with a salad for a quick and healthy lunch or to toss in your kids’ lunch bag.
The Almond Butter Energy Bites were so easy to make (and SO YUMMY), and are the perfect snack with tea, post workout or after-school snack. The nice thing about this recipe is that it’s super versatile. Instead of almond butter, I used peanut, and if you want to make it school friendly, you can use sunflower butter. I also didn’t have coconut on hand so I used almond meal instead, and it worked great!
And of course, I needed to make a dessert. Greta’s Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies are to die for. The batch was gone in a matter of days, and last night my husband said, “I’m SO sad those are gone.” Again, super easy and can be tweaked if you want to use a different type of sugar or add your own toppings.
I don’t want to give away all of Greta’s recipes, but here is her recipe for Almond Butter Energy Bites – enjoy!
Almond Butter Energy Bites
2/3 cup quick-cooking oats (not instant)
1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (I substituted with almond meal)
1/3 cup mini chocolate chips (I substituted with organic raisins)
2 tbsp. flax meal (ground flax) or ground chia seeds (could also use hemp seeds)
1 cup natural almond butter (I substituted with peanut butter, and could also use sunflower or pumpkin butter to make it school-friendly)
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 tsp. vanilla
In a small bowl, combine oats, coconut, chocolate chips and flax meal. Mix well and set aside.
In a medium bowl, mix almond butter, maple syrup and vanilla until smooth. I use a wooden spoon for this. Add oat mixture and stir again until all ingredients are well blended. It’ll look like raw cookie dough. Yum!
Using about 1 tbsp. dough per energy bite, roll mixture into 20 balls using your hands. Wet hands occasionally to help prevent dough from sticking. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.
Makes 20 energy bites.
Yum & Yummer also features “Kitchen Whizdom” for each of the recipes; Greta’s tips and tricks that are super helpful. For example, her tip for letting quinoa sit for 10 minutes after cooking without touching it – my quinoa finally had the perfect consistency! And if you’re a visual person, there’s an online video included for each recipe. All you have to do is scan the code in the book! Go get your copy of Yum & Yummer this weekend!