When I say we’re cooking our way through the Laura Lea Balanced cookbook, I literally mean that her cookbook has yet to be put on the shelf with the other cookbooks because it’s been opened almost daily since we received it!
If you’ve been following along with Jor and I for awhile now, you likely know that part of how we found balance in the kitchen and in making a consistent meal plan was by alternating weeks to cook. By the time you are ready for a break or fresh out of ideas, it’s the other person’s turn. While I know it’s not an ideal set-up for everyone, it’s something that has worked like a charm for us.
But, about a year ago, we had to start making changes to our fridge/pantry and ultimately our meal list. I had been struggling with some digestion issues and decided to finally make the switch to a more grain-free diet. I say “more grain-free” because I didn’t want to box myself in to being paleo, vegetarian, vegan, or any other diet out there right now. I wanted to change my diet not to look a certain way but to feel a certain way but I didn’t want to put a label on what that diet was because so far, no one diet had cured all my issues.
Struggling to find new cookbooks that helped me along this new food journey, my friend recommended Laura Lea’s cookbook and from the intro alone, I felt like someone was finally speaking my food language!
“I took control of my mental, physical, and emotional health by learning how to take control of my kitchen. Now, my kitchen is my sanctuary whenever I need to regain my sense of balance, and this cookbook will help you do the same.” – Laura Lea
Those words alone had me before I even looked at a single recipe.
Being someone who has always loved wearing the student hat, Laura Lea just further spoke my language in the 50+ pages that followed her heart felt intro. Those 50 pages are like a mini textbook! But not the kind that puts you to sleep and makes you want to close up shop after a paragraph. The kind that leaves you like a sponge, soaking in all the tips and knowledge she shares about kitchen staples, appliances, balanced approaches to food, freezing how-to’s (we have saved SO much food because of her tips!), and all the info you need about different ingredients and foods that will truly make you see food differently (in a good way!).
Here’s the thing I love most about Laura Lea and her cookbook: her food, her perspectives and her approach to what health and wellness means to her is real and true to her.
That’s exactly what our Happy Balance Planner pages are designed to help you with…defining what real means to you whether it is related to food, your workouts, your work, or your goals.
You get to decide what is right and best for you.
You are your mind and body’s best advocate. Honor that by listening.
Listen to what you need and maybe even more importantly what you don’t need. Listen to what makes you feel like your best self. Listen to what makes you feel full and complete. Listen to YOU!
Laura Lea’s cookbook, blog, and instagram stories (those alone are a goldmine of helpful food/wellness tidbits!) are a consistent reminder to listen to your own body and your mind. She provides suggestions, things that have worked for her, but within those suggestions is simply a place to start from and are by no means an end-all-be-all solution. She reminds you that what works for her might not work for you, but in the process, she’ll give you lots of options to try in hopes that you will also create a balance in your body that helps fuel you for all that you want to do and be!
Some of our favorite recipes from the cookbook (so far!) include:
- Sweet Chili Pumpkin Seed Clusters – delicious as a salad topper, or you know, a single snack serving (addictive!)
- Cashew Tahini Blender Bread – easy to make and super versatile
- Pumpkin Spice Pecan Bread – turned into muffins and made a second batch immediately after my first!
- Tarragon Almond Chicken Salad – easily Jor’s favorite chicken salad
- Slow Cooker Indian Butter Chicken – serve over rice and you’ve got all the winter cozies wrapped up in a bowl
- Curried Honey Mustard Salmon – I literally crave this now
- Husband-Favorite Salad with Cucumber Mint Dressing – Named appropriately 🙂
- The Best Soft-Baked Chocolate Chip Cookies – Again, no lies with that title
Some favorites from the website that will instantly have you buying the cookbook:
- Baked Pumpkin Spice Donuts – Also works great as a plan donut, a personal fav in this house
- Grain-Free Lemon Chia Seed Pancakes – Perfectly sized and perfectly tasty
- Broccoli Mushroom & Cheddar Quiche with Sweet Potato Crust – No words for this…absolutely delicious!
- Butternut Squash & Tomato Soup – Two favorites combined into one was an instant winner
If any of these recipes sounded delicious but you talk yourself out of the kitchen because that’s typically not your expertise, give one of Laura Lea’s recipes a try and I guarantee you will surprise yourself. She makes everything accessible to everyone, which I love. The ingredients are not only easy to read but easy to use and she walks you through each step so that you end up with a delicious meal or treat at the end of your efforts.
In order to do your best, you have to feel your best and we whole-heartedly believe that can start with your food (aka fuel).
Laura Lea’s approach is not only refreshing but it’s inspiring and her cookbook has become a tool and a staple on my journey to re-defining my food balance. If you’re on a similar path, Laura Lea and her good eats are an absolute gem and a wonderful place to start!
*Note: This is not a sponsored post or review. Rather, this review was written out of pure appreciation and love for what Laura Lea is offering through her food, cookbook and blog and a genuine desire to share with those on a similar path to defining balance in their body and mind.