Peace, Love & Fibre and the Queen of Fibre: Mairlyn Smith

Photo courtesy Appetite

Peace, Love & Fibre -Over 100 Fibre-Rich Recipes for the Whole Family (Appetite) by Mairlyn Smith is a must for kitchens across the country. If you’re still on the hunt for a holiday gift, this is it! If you have finished your holiday shopping, then go buy it for yourself.

For those of you who don’t know Marilyn, the book jacket describes her perfectly: “The worlds funniest professional home economist and self-appointed queen of fiber.” She says, “I am the only professional home economist in the world who is also an alumnus of the Second City Comedy Troupe.” She brings warmth and a sense of humour to the entire book, from the basics of fibre and healthy living, to all the intros of the recipes. And she sure does know how to cook!

Before getting into the recipes, she offers a comprehensive list of what goes into a high-fibre pantry along with basics about high-fiber foods such as a grains cooking chart, portable emergency fibre snacks and tons of extra tips and tricks. She has also included a section called the Big Picture which includes 10 suggestions of habits you might try to pick up over the next year. (Note over the next year, not the next month!) And of course, for those who know Mairlyn, she has a section called My Teacups & Me, where she talks about using the good stuff and celebrating all the little moments of our lives.

Then there are the recipes – beautifully illustrated and delicious sounding dishes, those from around the world that are great for both for entertaining and every day use. Here are some examples of what’s included: Lemon Ricotta Pancakes and Pumpkin Spice Griddlecakes to Kale and Roasted Squash Salad with Pistachios and Fig Goat Cheese; Grilled Corn Chowder; Fresh and Wild Mushroom Barley Soup; Asian-style Vegetable Soup with Soba Noodles, Cheddar Cheese Mini Dinner Biscuits; Mexican Street-style Grilled Corn; Chicken & Chickpea Curry and a whole series of Buddha bowls with flavours from global cuisines,

There’s a section devoted to treats which begins with a high- fibre baking pantry. The Chocolate Fudgy Brownie Bites include flaxseed meal and whole grain oat flour for a fibre hit. The Peach and Blueberry Galette photo might make you impatient for summer.

Here’s a sample of Mairlyn’s creativity that’s perfect for the holidays.

Photo courtesy Appetite

Lentil & Wheat Berry Salad with Strawberries & Mint

1¾ cups chilled cooked wheat berries

¼ cup balsamic vinegar
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp Dijon mustard

1 (19 fl oz/540 mL) can lentils, rinsed and well drained
1 cup thinly sliced fresh mint leaves
1 cup diced red onion
1 cup (6 oz/170 g) crumbled feta cheese
3 cups strawberries, rinsed, patted dry, tops removed, and quartered

1. Make sure your cooked wheat berries are cold—if needed, chill at least 4 hours or overnight.

2. When the wheat berries have chilled, start making the salad dressing. In a large bowl, whisk together the vinegar, oil, and Dijon.

3. Add the wheat berries, lentils, mint, and red onion, and toss well. Fold in the feta. Just before serving, add the strawberries, gently combine, and enjoy.

Makes 16 side servings ( ½ cup)

Nutrition information per serving:
• Calories: 129
• Protein: 4 grams
• Fat: 5 grams
• Saturated fat: 2 grams
• Carbohydrate: 16 grams
• Dietary fibre: 3 grams
• Sodium: 164 milligrams

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Categories: Book Review

Author:Rosie Schwartz

Rosie Schwartz is a Toronto-based consulting dietitian and writer.

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