This healthy and tasty lunch comes from Rose Reisman’s Family Favorites: Healthy Meals for Those Who Matter Most published by Whitecap Books. It is so easy and flavour-friendly!
Combine 1 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce with 2 tsp sesame oil, 1 1/2 tsp oyster sauce, 1 tbsp brown sugar, 1 tsp finely chopped garlic, 1 tsp finely chopped ginger and 1 tsp hot chilli sauce.
Saute 8 oz of mushrooms over medium-high heat in some hot oil. I only had a few shiitakes but made up for it by serving the sauce over rice noodles. Rose recommends using oyster mushrooms but they are never available at my store which is a bummer! But if you can get them, go for it. Saute for 5 minutes and then add sauce. Cook for two minutes until thickened.
I screwed up here. Apparently you are supposed to boil the baby bok choy in another saucepan for two minutes and then drain. It was not clear to me so I just added the six baby bok choy right to the pan with the sauce and it worked great!
Super tasty! Very easy and fast. My one complaint? A little too sweet for me. I did add the chilli sauce but it did not seem to have enough heat to offset the sweetness so next time I will add some sriracha. This lunch came together very quickly with good flavours. I give the recipe four out of five wooden spoons.
For the last two months I have put Rose’s recipes through my test kitchen. I made her roasted baby potatoes, mini mud pies, hoisin chicken with mushrooms and red bell pepper and, finally, her beef and barley chilli. All of which had lots of flavour with minimal health risks.
Considering my husband hates hoisin and still loved her hoisin chicken, I am grateful. I find chicken boring and now there is a chicken recipe we both like. And even better, Rose has loads of chicken recipes I can not wait to explore! I also have to say that adding barley to a chilli was such a clever way to sneak in fibre without compromising flavour.
Rose Reisman has her own unique way of making food that I have always found intriguing. I remember seeing her make a version of apple pie with phyllo on CityLine years ago, thinking she was a genius! She used to do book signings at a book store I worked at when I lived in Toronto but I was always at university when she came by, so close and yet so far.
I appreciate Rose’s approach to focus on the foods that you can eat and her ability to boost flavour at the same time. Her food is not anemic. There is always lots of flavour. This is also not one of those “healthy” cookbooks that has regular recipes that just swap out high fat ingredients for low fat and says it is good for you. These recipes truly reflect Rose’s out-of-the-box creative thinking and healthful problem solving. Her ideas appear to be endless, considering this is her 18th cookbook!
I also wanted to mention that many family cookbooks are alienating for me. They are so “Mom” focused and forget you can have a family without kids. Rose’s book does not focus on the “mommy factor” but is passionate about taking care of your loved ones with good food. That warms my heart. Also, a large portion of the first part of the book is dedicated on educating the reader about food, the importance of eating together and planning ahead… You are getting much more than recipes with this book.
Overall, if you want easy and healthy recipes that may not be gourmet but very flavourful, this is a great cookbook! Every recipe may not have a photo but there are some beautiful food photos in the book. It is rare that I find a cookbook that I feel confident will come up with dinner ideas both me and my husband will like that do not require a ton of work or unusual ingredients. Rose Reisman’s Family Favorites Cookbook gives me fast and easy dinner ideas on those nights I am just too tired to think. Thanks Rose!
I give this cookbook four and a half out of five wooden spoons.