By Iris Windsor
Get lean, feel great and look fabulous! These are the introductory words from Sally Obermeder and Maha Koraiem’s second book following on from the great success of their first best-selling book about amazing and healthy green smoothies “Super Green Smoothies”.
In the authors’ words, “the good life philosophy is to eat clean, lean whole foods 80% of the time. The other 20% of the time it is important to be able to indulge in the local cuisine without guilt.” This is a lifestyle choice, not a diet. This book is about being balanced, choosing foods that are predominantly unprocessed, listening to our bodies’ needs and eating lean protein and lots of fresh leafy greens and vegetables.
I like the fact that all of the recipes are labelled lean, fast or fab or a combination of that. You can choose lean and fast 80% of the time and indulge with the fab recipes the other 20%.
These recipes appeal to a wide range of discernible cooks and encompass several eating and dietary choices – GF, DF, V, Paleo and several more, but with no compromise on flavour. Each recipe is marked with kg/cal per serve which is very helpful for those making a conscious decision to use these recipes to lose weight.
The emphasis is on good fresh ingredients and I love the fact that the recipes are practical. Most are quick to prepare and more importantly they work and are delicious. I have made several of the recipes and loved every one. My copy has a number of post-it notes and I can’t wait to try more recipes!
The beauty of this type of cooking is that there is no special equipment required. A food processor or similar is obviously an advantage but not strictly necessary. If your pantry is stocked as the authors suggest, you can whip up a beautiful meal with little notice. The beginning of the book has a list of superfoods, pantry foods and fridge foods to enable you to keep on hand the main ingredients required to allow the “good life” become your “way of life”
The beginning of the book has a list of superfoods, pantry foods and fridge foods to enable you to keep on hand the main ingredients required to allow the “good life” become your “way of life”.
This book follows the authors first book ‘Super Green Smoothies’ and shares the recipes which Sally and Maha have adopted as a result of a quest for renewed energy, better sleep and a general feeling of well-being after Sally was diagnosed with cancer.
Why should you buy ‘The Good Life’?
This recipe book has definitely encompassed what Sally and Maha set out to do and that is to introduce the reader to delicious, easily prepared recipes for a healthy green lifestyle that can be easily fitted into our very busy lives. This allows the reader to make conscious, healthy choices, prepare the recipes quickly and know that the recipes work.
The photography is great and the recipes clearly described. I enjoyed several of the recipes – the Spicy Lamb Flatbreads, 15 Minute Prawn Curry and the Chicken San Choy Bow, the recipe for which I will share with you below.
Hope you enjoy this book as much as I did …
Happy Cooking, Iris Windsor
CHICKEN SAN CHOY BOW
As an aside, I looked for a nicely shaped large coz lettuce to make my lettuce cups as I wanted much more lettuce with this dish. I loved it!
4 large iceberg lettuce leaves (cups)
2 tablesp olive oil
1 brown onion diced
1 carrot diced
3 spring onions thinly sliced
1 garlic clove minced
500gms minced chicken
2 tablesp Chinese rice wine
225gms water chestnuts (available in supermarkets or Asian grocery) drained
230gns sliced bamboo shoots (available from supermarket or Asian grocery) drained
¼ cup soy sauce or tamari
2 tablesp honey or rice malt syrup
1 tablesp cornflour
1 tablesp chopped coriander (cilantro) leaves
2 teasp sesame seeds to serve
Put lettuce cups in iced water and set aside.
Heat the olive oil in a frying pan or wok over high heat. Add onion, carrot and 2 of the spring onions stirring frequently till softened and lightly browned. Add garlic and ginger and continue to stir. Add chicken, breaking it up with a wooden spoon or fork to ensure that the texture and cooking is even. Add a little more oil to the pan if chicken is sticking
Once the chicken has browned, add the Chinese rice wine, and then scrape the bottom of the pan to lift up the caramelised flavours
Add the water chestnuts and bamboo shoots. Continue to stir. If mixture begins to stick, turn the heat down to medium. Add the soy sauce (or tamari) and honey (or rice malt syrup if using) and stir.
In a separate bowl or mixing jug, add cornflour to 60mls water and stir till combined. Add to the pan and stir thoroughly. Cook for a few minutes until chicken is cooked and the sauce has thickened. If sauce looks too dry, then add a splash more water
Taste and season with salt and pepper if required. If it’s too salty, then add a drizzle of honey or rice malt syrup. To deepen the flavours, add another 60mls of soy sauce (or tamari) and 2 tablesp honey (or rice malt syrup) Remove from the heat once the flavour has developed. Stir through the coriander.
Drain lettuce and allow to dry. Divide the chicken mixture evenly between lettuce cups, top with dark green slices of the remaining spring onion and sprinkle with sesame seeds.