Friday, November 15, 2013

Runner's World Cookbook Review

Disclaimer:  I was given this cookbook by Runner's World Magazine in exchange for an honest review.

When Runner's World offered me the opportunity to review this cookbook, I was giddy with excitement.  I have a confession to make.  I am a cookbook-a-holic.  A recipe junkie.  There is something about cracking open a cookbook for the first time and flipping through the pictures that excites me.  I love food and I love to cook.  Especially good for me food.  So this opportunity was definitely one I wasn't going to pass up.

After much trials and tribulations with Fed Ex, the book arrived via G.  Thank goodness he works in the U.S from time to time!

I sat down with it immediately and flipped through it.  It has an excellent intro that goes through the nutritional requirements of runners.   Within the intro is a series of guides to things like oils, grains and proteins.  They list different types of each, along with suggestions on how to use them or in the case of proteins, what cut gives you the best nutritional bang for your buck.  A fantastic thing to have regardless of your level of expertise in the kitchen.

The cookbook itself is divided up into the following sections:

Breakfast (this features an entire section devoted to pancakes and toppings.  I seriously died and went to pancake heaven)
Snacks and Smoothies
Salads and Dressings
Soups and Stews 
Sandwiches, Pizzas and Burgers (YES!)
Sauces and Pasta
Meat and Poultry Mains
Fish and Seafood Mains

This is where most cookbooks would stop.  But since this is a cookbook geared towards fulfilling the unique requirements of runners, they've taken it one step further and categorized each recipe using the following keys:

low cal
gluten free

There is also a handy section on how to stock your pantry and then to top it all off, there is a special recipe list at the back of the book that groups everything according to the above categories.  Looking for a recover recipe?  Instead of flipping through the book to find the tab under the recipe, you can just refer to this list.  How awesome is that?

When I got the book, I bookmarked no less than 8 recipes I wanted to make immediately.   I decided on 3 and made my grocery list.   I wanted something that was quick and easy (Thai beef and snow pea stir fry), I wanted a soup because it was starting to get cold out (sausage and mushroom soup) and of course, I wanted a pizza (caramelized onion and fig pizza).   None of these recipes disappointed.  The thai beef stir fry was definitely quick, easy and very tasty.

The sausage and mushroom soup was very hearty.  I had some cooked quinoa that I added it to it instead of the rice and it was delicious.  It also seemed to be one of my more popular instagram posts that week, ha ha.  Must have been the colder temps.

And lastly, the pizza.  Oh lord almighty.  Caramelized onions and figs are a match made in heaven.  Add goat cheese to the mix and it's beyond amazing.  I didn't make my own crust, I used a pita instead.  I don't really think it matters too much what you put this on, the combination is so good, it would make cardboard taste delicious! 

I'm happy to report that this book has not left my kitchen counter since I've gotten it.  I've made a couple of other recipes that have also been very easy and incredibly tasty but didn't make it in front on my camera or my phone before they got gobbled up.  The recipes are easy to follow and don't require any crazy ingredients.  I think the recipes in this book would be easy enough for kitchen newbies to follow and are tasty enough for seasoned pros to enjoy as well.  Suffice to say this book has quickly become another go to source for flavourful and healthy recipes that keep me up and running. 

For those of you that have a runner / foodie in your life, I think this would make an excellent gift.  Especially for YOU if that runner of yours does all the cooking.

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