Real Food, Real Good. A Michael Smith Cookbook Review

Last modified on December 30th, 2017 at 2:20 pm

Real Food, Real Good is a fantastic way to approach everyday eating through simple and good for you kind of food. Fresh flavours and easy recipes perfect for simple everyday weeknight dinners and special favourites reserved for weekend treats. Read our Real Food, Real Good Michael Smith Cookbook Review. 

Both Phil and I remember watching Michael Smith’s Chef at Home series. Michael would start each episode by going into his pantry and searching his shelves for that one specific ingredient. He’d then take us on a culinary adventure, journeying our way to learn more about the specific ingredient with fun facts a plenty. There was something so natural watching him select the most opportune ingredient and then watching him cook his way through its benefits.

When we first got our hands on Michael Smith’s Real Food, Real Good cookbook, we have to admit it spent a lot of time on our shelf. It wasn’t until I was scanning our cookbooks for inspiration and the word real stood out to me. Real Food is the premise of our blog, our mission and intent when sharing our ingredients. As you know, we believe that when real ingredients are on your grocery list there are no rules to eating and Michael has done an amazing job at uncovering just that.

 Oatmeal Pancakes | Michael Smith Cookbook Review

What was it like cooking the recipe? We swapped out the butter for coconut oil and the milk for almond milk due to Mystique’s lactose intolerance. Like making any pancake recipe, this breakfast star was quick and easy, delicious and satisfying. The use of oats in the batter made these substantial and hearty pancakes in comparison to flour pancakes.

Did the finished dish look like the pictures? Our pancakes definitely resembled Michael Smith’s pancakes. While we substituted the maple bacon sauce for yogurt, berries and a berry coulis, the actual pancakes were fluffy, crisp and fried consistently to golden brown.

Would we make it again? Served sweet with yogurt, maple syrup or fruit, or served savoury with bacon and eggs, these oatmeal pancakes are a healthier version of the real deal, and will continue to be a valuable addition to our Sunday morning breakfast.

Sweet Potato Kale Stew with Peanut Sauce | Michael Smith Cookbook Review

What was it like cooking the recipe? A simple one-pot recipe and basically two-ingredient dish, this quick and hearty stew was quick to make and even quicker to eat. Michael has a really great and calming way of writing recipes, it’s as though he;s speaking the instructions to you as you cook.

Did the finished dish look like the pictures? Our finished dish had a lot more liquid in the pot than Michael Smith’s photo and our kale was a lot more wilted than his. Phil and I both agreed that this must have been the amazing work of an aiming food stylist because our kale was soggy, sweet potatoes roughed up and sauce drenched.

Would we make it again? We’ve been making this recipe. Three times since we initially tested the recipe, this kale and sweet potato stew is flavourful, layered and simple in its form. Paired with a rich peanut sauce, topped with peanuts and served over wild rice, this is the perfect dish you make in bulk and eat over and over and over again.

Ginger Miso Steamed Bok Choy With Golden Tofu | Michael Smith Cookbook Review

What was it like cooking the recipe? Easy, cheap and called for few ingredients, this recipe probably requires less instructions than actual ingredients. Like most of is recipes, minimal utensils, simple steps and accessible real ingredients made this dish a wonderful addition to lunch or dinner.

Did the finished dish look like the pictures? It sure did. The book chop was bright, the tofu was crisp and the garlic, miso sauce topped the bowl off, leaving a layer of flavours and rich scents.

Would we make it again? Definitely. This is basically the vegan version of traditional beef and Chinese broccoli  and is a wonderful addition to any noodle or rich dish.

The Verdict

Michael Smith’s Real Food. Real Good. needs to add Real Simple to the title of this cookbook. All of the recipes we tested checked off the list of easiness, ingredient accessibility, and simple instructions. The recipes were hearty, satisfying and the best part, used real ingredients. The only substitutions we made were to the dairy ingredients, but not difficult at all to substitute for even more real ingredients.

What we most loved about this book was the knowledge and easy to understand concept around real food. We spent a lot of time considering our blog mission and what real food means to us and it’s an awesome feeling know that a chef we admire and aspire to cook like believes in this same approach to eating. In his book you’ll find dessert, you’ll find the breakfast addictions and the savoury comfort foods you crave; and like we believe, when real ingredients are the only items on your grocery list there are no rules to eating. Real Food. No Rules.

Michael Smith, as always, has delivered a flavourful and non-complicated approach to eating real, simple and fresh ingredients, and has connected us with a cookbook that’ll be our go-to for wholesome recipes. We look forward to cooking our way through even more of his Real Food. Real Good. recipes.


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