Nealy Fischer set out to write a cookbook with more than just fixed recipes. The ethos of Food You Want For the Life You Crave is about the flexibility of your kitchen and how to make cooking easy, versatile, and healthy. This is apparent from the first few pages in which Fischer provides a list of swappable ingredients, so that we can still make that meal even without some elements.
Not only does this book have delectable meals like “Smoked Salmon and Onion Frittata Muffins” for breakfast, and “Thai Green Curry Chicken” for lunch or dinner, but it also gives them all a healthy spin. Prefacing the book with her journey to maintaining a healthy lifestyle after failed food fads, Fischer lets us into her secret of how to keep food interesting but guiltlessly delicious. How does a healthy cookbook have an entire section dedicated to “Breads and Muffins”? The answer is substituting regular baking ingredients for ones that don’t give us that carbo-loaded sensation. Fischer uses almond flour and flax meal for her “Herbed Everyday Bread” that promises to hit the spot when we crave a slice of toast “minus the after-bloat.”
The book turns tried-and-true fried chicken schnitzel into an equally delicious “Unfried Chicken Schnitzel,” that requires a long marinade, cornflakes crumbs, and baking in the oven. We no longer have to think twice about that burger craving with Fischer’s “Sneakily Good-For-You Beef Burgers,” which incorporates a cup of finely chopped vegetables into the beef so that we fulfill that craving while getting nutrients in the process.
While Fischer gives us the classic Jewish food recipes like “Sarah’s Meltaway Brisket,” she also loves food from various walks of life and provides recipes from her adventures around the globe. From “Melt-In-Your-Mouth Moroccan Halibut” to “Vietnamese Veggie Spring Rolls,” we have the option to potentially try new foods, with the bonus of her tips to help flip the ingredients.
Just because Fischer keeps it healthy doesn’t stop her from having fun. She dedicates chapters to dessert for “sensible indulging,” including her “Unbelievably Dairy-Free Cheesecake” and “Rockin’ Raspberry Hamantaschen.” The book includes a “Drinks and Nibbles for Friends” section which has beverages and finger foods fit for a dinner party. We get tips for “Flexible Hosting with Flair” followed by cocktail recipes like “Passionfruit Bubbly” and snacks like “Carrot Croquettes”.
As a busy, working mom who tries to maintain a healthy lifestyle, Fischer knows the feeling of being too exhausted to cook but wanting to avoid takeout. This book helps those who want to eat delicious and healthy food, but can’t spend hours in the kitchen. With tips on how to make your dish the best it can be, while being adaptable, this book gives you the “food you want for the life you crave.”
Michelle Zaurov is Jewish Book Council’s program associate. She graduated from Binghamton University in New York, where she studied English and literature. She has worked as a journalist writing for the Home Reporter, a local Brooklyn publication. She enjoys reading realistic fiction and fantasy novels, especially with a strong female lead.