When I got the email from Lisa Leake of 100 Days of Real Food inviting me to write about her new book/cookbook, I was incredibly honored and excited. Lisa is such an inspiration to me! Her passion for healthy food as well as her incredibly realistic and down-to-earth approach to cooking has inspired millions to rethink their approach to feeding themselves and their families.
The book, 100 Days of Real Food: How we did it, what we learned, and 100 easy, wholesome recipes your family will love!, continues the great work she has been doing on her blog and website. The first half starts off with a moving and inspiring explanation of how she and her family took on the challenge of eating in a much more conscious and conscientious way. She then lays out ways that others can start to add more wholesome foods into their own diets and lifestyles. It really takes a lot of the mystery and intimidation out of cutting out processed foods and cooking from scratch.
The second half of the book is a set of 100 recipes. Her recipe writing style is simple, clear, and practical. You won’t encounter ingredients listed in the recipes that you don’t recognize or have to go searching high and low for. They are broken down into Breakfast, Lunch, Snacks and Appetizers, Salads and Sides, Special Treats, and Homemade Staples, which again speaks to her real understanding of how people often think about food.
So on Sunday night I took on her Veggie Corn Chowder recipe. It was such a huge success! Sweet and creamy with nice bits of texture. Not only did everyone in my family gobble it up (even my pickier little one), but it took less than 30 minutes to make (really, I swear!). My six-year-old, who also helped me make it, kept saying over and over again, “this is SO good!”
Definitely give this one a try and, if you like it as much as we did, make sure to check out the cookbook as well!
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons whole-wheat flour
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 3 large carrots, peeled and diced
- 3 large celery stalks, diced
- 3 cups corn kernels (fresh or frozen, no need to defrost)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Cayenne pepper, to taste
- 2 cups homemade chicken stock or good-quality store-bought chicken or vegetable broth
- 2 cups milk
- In a large soup pot, over medium heat, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and keep whisking until the mixture darkens but does not burn, 4 to 5 minutes. This is called making a roux.
- Add the onion, carrot, and celery and stir occasionally until the veggies begin to soften, 5 to 6 minutes.
- Add the corn, salt, and cayenne pepper to the pot and cook, stirring, for another 2 or 3 minutes. (If using frozen corn, add a minute to the cooking time)
- Pour in the stock and milk and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, until thickened.
- Partially puree the house by transferring only half to a countertop blender, then returned the puree to the pot, or by sticking a hand immersion blender in the pot and briefly pureeing for less than a minute. Ladle into soup bowls and serve warm or freeze in individual portions for another day.