Clearly you know I’m a fan of The Chew, as further evidenced by my previous post this week. I’m also a huge fan of Daphne Oz. Though I had admittedly no idea whom she was before The Chew became a part of my daily ritual, I have grown to love Daphne as much as the other hosts, and maybe even a little more. When I heard she had a new book coming out, I inquired about it and was provided with a preview copy. I was super excited to be considered important enough to receive a preview copy and even more excited to be able to take a look.
Relish is much more than a cookbook. Sure there are plenty of mouth-watering recipes. Enough delicious recipes that this book is bound to be dog-eared and food stained from so much use, a high compliment for a cookbook. There are recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as drinks and, my favorite, dessert. I made the Coconut Pecan Cake again, which I just updated with new, better photos. If you missed this post the first time around (you probably did) take a look now. Much as I love writing and words, I can’t think of any strong enough to describe how much I love this cake. I want this cake every day of my life. I also made the Moroccan Lentil Soup, but more on that a little later. And the Whole Wheat Blueberry Sticky Buns are totally calling my name. Plus, almost every recipe has an accompanying photo. That’s so important to me as a reader, as I’m much more likely to make a recipe I can see.
In between all the food, there’s Daphne’s take on living the best life we all can. From her thoughts on eating healthy, splurging sometimes, and doing exercise that fits into our schedules and that we love to hair and makeup tips (come on, ladies, admit it, we all want thick, shiny, gorgeous hair like Daphne’s), like did you know coconut oil can be used to remove makeup? I know I didn’t. Then there’s all we ever need to know about furnishing our houses, traveling, and living and loving all parts of our lives and sharing them with the people most important to us.
Reading the introduction, I felt like Daphne was talking directly to me. She talks about leading a well-rounded life. About asking herself questions about if her life is headed in the right direction. About waiting for her wildest dreams to come true while life is passing her by, as if we need to wait for good things to come. Seriously guys, I think about these thinks all the time. The thing is Daphne learned in a nutshell that “happiness is an attitude, but it’s easier to have that happy outlook when you’re living a life that is just right for you.” Okay, so I kind of knew this, working as hard as I can to make my dreams come true, and ready for the life I want forever to happen . . . um . . . yesterday, but reading it was an epiphany. And knowing that someone who seems as put together as Daphne has the same thoughts was an even bigger one. What Daphne learned and hopefully I have now too is that life waits for no one. We need to Relish the moment as much as possible.
Daphne also noted that she loves shopping at grocery stores and tries to eat healthy and be healthy, but at the same time enjoy food. When you make the Coconut Pecan Cake, you’ll know she’s not all about flax seeds and kale, as she focuses on a philosophy where no food is out of bounds. Because we all know when a food is out of bounds, it’s the only one we think about. A tid-bit that I’ll never forget is that produce labeled with a PLU code that has five digits beginning with eight means it’s a GMO. I won’t get into what that means here, but it’s definitely something I want to avoid and am so glad to know how.
I can’t wait to try meditating. Daphne makes it sound like a great way to relax and think more clearly, at the same time making it approachable, noting there’s no “correct” way to do it.
Daphne talks about making things happen. Not waiting, but taking chances and making things happen. I love that philosophy. One of the ways she does that is through making lists. I did the same thing with my bucket list, but clearly I need to get more focused on crossing more things off. Ridding our lives of worry and being grateful for all the amazing things we do have is also part of this idea. Seriously, Daphne, were you in my head when you wrote this book? Worrying is one of the biggest stressors in my life and something I am constantly working to control.
Then there’s working hard and partying hard. This helps Daphne achieve balance in her life. She says, “Every now and then enjoy the sunrise by staying up late instead of waking up early.” I’ve never done that. I think the bucket list just got a new addition.
This is only a small sampling of the book that I read from cover to cover in just a few days. The only bigger compliment a cookbook can receive than being a mess from being used, is being read from cover to cover. If you only buy one cookbook this year, actually even if you only buy one book this year, make it Relish. You will not be disappointed.
In the vein of Relishing life and making things happen, I made a video. It’s a poem asking my favorite people, the hosts of The Chew, to help me out and make my dreams come true. I would love if you all would check it out. I’m tired of waiting for things to happen, so I’m trying to do something about that. And on the off chance Daphne, you happen to read this (Hi!), please take a look at my video. I just want a chance to Relish my life too!
Onto the Moroccan Lentil Soup. I’d never had lentils before but this warm, comforting soup appealed to me in this yucky, chilly, rainy
winter spring. I wasn’t at all sure if I’d like it, but after one taste I didn’t like it, I loved it. Pretty easy to put together, it simmers for awhile on the stove. When served, it is a creamy soup full of super healthy ingredients: lentils, kale, sweet potatoes, carrots, garlic, some spices that warm you from the inside out. The mouth feel is so rich and creamy. An addition of lemon juice adds welcome brightness. So eat this delicious and healthy soup for dinner and then you won’t feel so guilty about the coconut cake for dessert 🙂 And don’t forget to pick up a copy of Relish.
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil.
- 3 carrots, peeled and sliced into ¼ inch medallions
- 1 large white or yellow onion, diced
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 5 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
- 2 cups dried red lentils, picked over and rinsed
- 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced
- 8 cups water, chicken, or vegetable stock (I used water and chicken stock)
- ½ – 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups kale, cut into chiffonade
- Lemon wedges for serving
- In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add carrots and onion and sauté until slightly softened, about 4 minutes. Add red pepper flakes, coriander, turmeric, cinnamon, and garlic, and cook for 2 minutes more, stirring frequently so the garlic doesn’t burn.
- Add the lentils, sweet potato, and water or stock. Bring the soup to a boil before reducing to a simmer. Simmer, partially covered, for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the kale and black pepper and simmer for up to 10 minutes more, until the lentils, carrots, and sweet potatoes are cooked through and the soup is creamy.
- Serve with lemon. Store leftovers in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave or on the stove top.
Recipe adapted from Relish by Daphne Oz
Disclaimer: I was provided with a copy of Relish to review, but all opinions, as always, are my own.