Love Real Food – Cookbook Review

Love Real Food vegetarian cookbook


I few years back after reading The China Study and watching documentaries like Food Inc.,  I swore off meat….well, chicken, red beef and pork.  I had to draw the line at fish – I love me some salmon :).  In any case, I started looking for recipes online for vegetarian meals.  My criteria was that they had to be relatively easy to make, not contain too many ingredients, and above all taste good.  Time after time, I returned to the blog Cookie + Kate for recipes that checked all of these boxes.  So, when I recently went to Cookie + Kate for a recipe I was sooooooo excited to see that she had a new cookbook out called Love Real Food.

Lucky for us, the team at Cookie + Kate sent us a cookbook for review and I couldn’t have been happier when I opened it.  If you find yourself constantly looking for vegetarian meals, including breakfast, lunch and dessert, and are a fan of Nearly All Things – then you’ll love Love Real Food!  Like our site, she provides healthy recipes that are relatively easy to make, contain real food, and offers a splash of fun too.  What do I mean by a splash of fun?  Strawberry Balsamic Ice Cream Sundaes and Brown Derby Cocktails – that’s what I mean 🙂

I tried a few of the recipes and this cookbook does not disappoint.  I tried the Shredded Brussels and Kale Hash with Crispy Parmesan – yum!!!  And like any recovering vegetarian, I threw a couple of fried eggs on top and had an amazing breakfast 😉  Although, I’ve also been snacking on the hash without anything added – it’s really amazing all by itself!



And, the carrot cake breakfast cookies…who wouldn’t love the taste of carrot cake as a healthy snack? These are dangerous in my household….oh wait, no they aren’t because they are made with real food, contain a ton of fiber, vegetables, protein, and just enough sweetness to keep you coming back for more.  Yay!

Carrot Cake Breakfast Cookies

The book also has great pictures to go along with each recipe – which personally I believe is the key to any great cookbook.  So, I encourage you to purchase Love Real Food.  It’s got a ton of delicious recipes for vegetarians and wannabe vegetarians like me!  Buy it here.

Shredded Brussels and Kale Hash with Crispy Parmesan from Love Real Food:


  • Equal parts brussel spourts, kale, cabbage and carrots.
  • 1 – 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 3/4 C Shaved Partmesan


(Summary from the cookbook Love Real Food.)

Preheat oven to 425F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment.

Shred your vegetables.  You can even buy these already shredded from the grocery store to make this all that much easier.  Toss with your olive oil.  Mix in your shaved parmesan and toss again.  Spread the mixture evenly onto two baking sheets.  Place the baking sheets in your oven on the top and middle row.  Bake for approximately 20 minutes until you get a nice crispness to your vegetables.  Switch the pans halfway through.  Serve immediately.

Want to see more healthy eats, cookbook reviews so you don’t waste your money, beauty products that actually work, and outfit inspiration?  We get it – you’re busy.  Let us do the work for you – we love it!  And make sure you don’t miss out on our Instagram – Ashlee’s stories are a lot of fun to catch too 🙂


A Great Book Club Read

Educated A Memoir: Book Review


Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover is a remarkable retelling of a young girl’s struggle to escape a repressive father, abusive brother, and a mother who ultimately puts the needs of her husband over the safety of her daughter.  Born to a religious fanatic, Tara Westover was raised by a father who believed that the best education for his children could only be found in the confines of their home. His paranoia of the government and of the outside world led Tara’s father to isolate his family more and more throughout the book.  After her brother leaves to pursue his education, Tara realizes that this might be her only way out.  Tara borrows books from her brother and through self-teaching learns enough to get into Brigham Young University at an early age.

With the help of friends and mentors, Tara educates herself on not only academics, but the ways of the world.  Her pursuit of an escape through education, will open your eyes to the many little things we take for granted.   Educated: A Memoir is captivating and enlightening from the start and a true testament that the human spirit has powerful potential to overcome impossible odds.  A must read!


Book Review: Let Go of Emotional Overeating

Let Go Of Emotional Overeating

I thought I already knew a lot about how to avoid emotional overeating and what I was suppose to do.  And so, I must admit it took some time for me to pick up this book. But, here in black and white, the book Let Go of Emotional Overeating and Love Your Food by Arlene B. Englander, showed me that I still had much to learn.  In her book, Arlene gives tricks and tools on how to be a better eater and love your food again.

You might be thinking like me that this is not for you.  But, I found so many new ways in which I can improve how I handle eating. Why do I pack my face full until I can’t take anymore? What feelings am I pushing down or not taking control? Why is it that crappy food is the go to “feel better” thing to do rather than healthy food?

It’s funny because I thought I was fairly in control.  I pride myself on being a healthy eater, avid exerciser and joyful person.  When I started to use some of the techniques in this book, and take the time to really focus, I realized I was not in as much control as I thought. I was using food to mask feelings or just plain escape. I literally made some kind of a bad food choice EVERYDAY!

Let Go Of Emotional Overeating
Let Go of Emotional Overeating and Love Your Food – $36

Let Go of Emotional Overeating and Love Your Food gives many examples of personal accounts and stories in which we can all relate. It teaches awareness, building techniques that are doable if you are willing to put in the work. This was yet another area I found I struggled. More work? Who really wants to pay attention to eating? You need to eat to live, right? Well, for lots of us we live to eat. The work is constant, it requires you to be on duty all the time. Paying close attention to each meal, each snack, how much, how little and even how bad. That is work. Well friends, if you need to lose weight or want to be healthier you have to do the work. Plain and simple.

You have to truly learn to “love your food” and savor your meals. This book offers ways to achieve this. I learned so much about myself and the patterns that need to be broken. I will work on this because I want to be healthy for my family and myself.

This book is not about dieting, it is about making a life choice. A line I love in this book is “If letting go of diets and the dieting mentality is scary to you, it’s possible your belief in this myth is contributing to your concern.” I think I have tried every diet, always trying the next new thing. What if I let go of that? Could I just be healthy or do I need that diet to be healthy? If I need that diet, then its actually controlling me.

I recommend this book if you need to make some healthy changes and need a guide to do so. I will leave you with another line from this book – “Making small changes to your eating patterns, ones you can build on slowly over time, is truly the best pathway to lasting weight loss.”  You can control you!

Looking for more helpful info on healthy eats, interesting reads, ways to look and feel good at any age?  Follow us at Nearly All Things.  Get a daily email by signing up on our blog, see a snippet of our post on your Facebook feed, or watch Ashlee’s crazy Instastories on Instagram.  A little info goes a long way!

Simple Green Meals Cookbook

If you are looking for a cookbook that has fresh ideas on healthy, plant-based recipes and includes great pictures for each, then we’ve found it for you!  Simple Green Meals by Jen Hansard (author of Simple Green Smoothies) is a beautiful cookbook that will inspire you to cook healthy this fall with meals ranging from breakfast, snacks, soups, salads, entrees and desserts.

Each of the recipes I tried were easy-to-follow and delicious.  This is a cookbook I will enjoy for a long time. – Libby

To give you an honest review of the cookbook, we tried several different recipes including Cauliflower Buffalo Wings, Coconut Thai Soup, Almond Butter Crisps, and Sweet Potato Hash.

Sweet Potato Hash

Ashlee made the Thai Coconut Soup pictured below which she said was amazing.  She substituted cauliflower that she had on hand for the spiralized zucchini noodles which still worked well.

Thai Coconut Soup










I wanted to go outside my comfort zone, so I tried the Almond Butter Crisps which were categorized as a snack, not a dessert.  These were really good and my kids all got their hands on one when they cooled all the way.  These are a rich combination of almond butter and cinnamon that will make your kitchen smell amazing!

Almond Butter Crisps
Almond Butter Crisps







I had a tough time finding brown rice syrup for these though, so I had to use corn syrup.  I’d recommend buying the brown rice syrup online to save yourself some time 🙂

These Cauliflower Buffalo Wings were so good I had to post the recipe!  It was my first go at cauliflower wings and these definitely do not disappoint.    In fact, I had to remind myself to stop eating them because eating a whole head of cauliflower would not be welcomed by my digestive system 🙂

Cauliflower Buffalo Wings
Cauliflower Buffalo Wings

Although these called for a Cashew Ranch Dipping Sauce I failed to soak the cashews 2 hours prior to making these wings.  So, I used a ranch that I had on hand with crumbled blue cheese.  This was a good combo, but I have all the ingredients and bound and determined to try the cashew ranch dipping sauce next time I make them (which will be soon!).

Recipe for Cauliflower Buffalo Wings:

  • 1/2 Cup Gluten-free all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup water (I had to use more – almost a full cup)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 head cauliflower, 1 tsp virgin coconut oil melted
  • 2/3 cup Frank’s RedHot sauce (I used this which was good, but I also tried them with WingThyme Garlic Parmesan wing sauce which was more flavorful as far as wing sauce goes and even spicier than Frank’s.)


1. Preheat over to 450F.  Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

2.  Mix the flour, water, garlic powder, and salt together in a large mixing bowl. Whisk until smooth and well combined. – I had to add more water to get a thinner consistency.  I also found that this only covered about half the head of cauliflower.  So, you may need to make more – but it’s really easy to do so. 

Dip the cauliflower pieces in the batter, making sure each piece is well coated and arrange on the prepared baking sheet.  Bake for 15 minutes, turning the pieces over halfway through the baking time.

3.  Stir buffalo sauce and oil in a large mixing bowl.  When the cauliflower is done, transfer the pieces to the bowl and toss well.  Place the coated cauliflower back on the baking sheet and bake for an additional 25 minutes or until crispy.  Let cool slightly and serve with dipping sauce.

Simple Green Meals by Jen Hansard can be purchased here.  Let us know what you try and comment on our blog or post your pics and comments to Facebook and Instagram.  We can’t wait to see what you try!

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Book Review: Girl, Wash Your Face


Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis is an inspirational book for women who are just “getting by” in the present or maybe even stuck in the quagmire of their past. Through her emotional and sometimes heart-wrenching experiences, Rachel Hollis offers a new perspective that will motivate you to get up, wash your face and move on to a more promising future that we all can have,  and more importantly, we all deserve.

In her book, Hollis looks at the common lies we all tell ourselves – something else will make me happy, I’m not good enough, I’m not a good mom, I’ll start tomorrow, I should be further along by now, I am defined by my weight, I need a drink, I need a hero, and many more.  With each chapter, she deconstructs the lie, offers her personal narrative and encouragement, and ends each chapter with “things that helped me…”

Girl, Wash Your Face reads like a conversation coming from one of your really good girlfriends…the kind you want with you at your lows and your highs. She’s witty, truthful about her own experiences, and most importantly, isn’t afraid to tell you to “cut the crap”.  We all need a friend like this. 

Overall, this is a great motivational read if you are feeling stuck or remorseful about past actions or events. As women, we are always so tough on ourselves.  This book will make you realize how many lies we play over in our head and offer you a new path of thinking.  This is a great book to remind you that we can hit the reset button because it’s never too late.  A must read!  Buy it here.


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Book Review: When Life Gives You Lululemons

If you enjoyed reading The Devil Wears Prada or seeing Meryll Streep’s iconic performance in the movie over a decade ago you will not be disappointed by Lauren Weisberger’s latest book, When Life Gives You Lululemons.  Book Review When Life Gives You LululemonsWhen Life Gives You Lululemons  follows Emily (think Emily Blunt’s character in The Devil Wears Prada) after her stint as Miranda’s Priestly’s assistant.  Years later, we find Emily running a successful PR firm that specializes in advising celebs on what to do after they’ve made a poor decision (I know, what celeb would ever do that?).

When Emily’s much younger competitor starts to undercut her business, Emily finds herself in the suburbs of Connecticut staying with an old friend and coming to the support of one of the Runway models she worked with years ago.

When Life Gives You Lululemons  captures the difficult choices that women face as we enter different phases of our lives – questioning our changing roles as wives, mothers,  friends, and professionals.   Sound heavy?  It isn’t.  Weisberger intermingles this with the ultimate guilty pleasure – revenge.  This is a book that we can all connect with on some level and will have you walking away smiling.  A great read for the summer!  And as Miranda Priestly would say, “that’s all…”

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Book Review : Crazy Rich Asians

Rachel Chu is happy.  She is a professor of economics at NYU and dating her amazingly handsome coworker that has changed her mind about Asian men.  When he asks her to visit Asia with him for the summer and meet his family, she is sure that he will be popping the question. However, upon their arrival in Singapore, it becomes apparent that Nick has been keeping quite a few secrets about his family’s extraordinary wealth and the fact that he is Singapore’s most prominent bachelor. What Rachel envisions to be a fun and exciting summer, turns into a lesson on the intricate hierarchy of wealthy, Asian families in Singapore.   Rachel is left questioning if there is a place for her within this absurdly affluent society.

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan is a light-hearted sneak peek into the lives of Singapore’s wealthiest.  From private jets and yachts, couture fashion, priceless art, and over-the-top weddings, Kevin Kwan paints a fantastical, yet surprisingly realistic portrait about the unique personalities of the ultra-wealthy and the emotional price tag associated with having it all.  A great, quick read for your next summer trip!

New to Nearly All Things?

You don’t have to be!  Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, or here on our blog.  We promise not to use your email for anything other than our posts.  We’re sharing secrets for feeling good, looking good, and having fun  – so don’t miss out!  And please share too –  it really helps to promote our blog so we can keep posting more articles for you 😉