Looking to start a healthier routine in the New Year? You may have heard of The Ranch at Live Oak based in Malibu, California. Their mission as stated on their website: “Through a guided fitness regime, wellness support and properly calibrated nutrition, our immersive programs allow guests to detoxify their bodies in a healthy, sustainable way, all while getting back to basics in nature.” While it may not be so easy for everyone to book reservations, fans of this sentiment can pick up “The Ranch at Live Oak Cookbook” at Relish Decor, and replicate some of the experience at home. Sounds like the perfect way to kickstart a year of mindful eating, right?
Fast Review: The perfect cookbook for your healthy eating resolutions.
The book is written by Sue and Alex Glasscock. They founded The Ranch in 2010. The Ranch has been named World’s Best Spa twice and consistently featured in travel guides. Photography is by Sara Remington. The forward is contributed by Christopher Krubert, M.D. who is a national leader in healthcare. This is a beautiful cookbook you would be proud to leave out on display. The pages are thick and easy to turn, the photography is beautiful and stylish, and it is full of conscious eating tips (not just recipes).
Who’s Kitchen Would You Find It In: Fans of California cuisine; those trying to eat more healthfully; vegetarians on the hunt for hearty and fulfilling fare
Nuts and Bolts:
The book starts with “Foreword” by Christopher Krubert, M.D. Christopher talks about his own experiences at The Ranch through the lens of being a physician. He speaks highly of the thoughtfulness that goes into the food preparation and how full of energy (and just full) the recipes will make you. He says “With minimal fancy culinary technique, they combine nutritionally hyper-dense ingredients to create foods that taste and look spectacular- and most important- are wonderful for you, leaving you full of energy and feeling great.” This is followed by an “Introduction” by Sue and Alex who created The Ranch and the vision. The Ranch has a mindset that seems so simple: Mindful eating, fitness and a focus on wellness. The mindful eating is the focus of this book: eating the very best ingredients and abstaining from, or significantly limiting, the worst. Their goal in writing this cookbook was to allow The Ranch philosophies to permeate the people who can’t visit and to enable those who have visited to have easy access to the food year round. “Our Food Philosophy” is a deep delve into how the owners view food. They put specific emphasis on eating organically, eating whole foods, eating gluten free, eating raw foods, eating superfoods, using all natural sweeteners. “Things We Love” concludes this section of the book and highlights favored produce, herbs, nuts, beans, seeds, grains, fermented foods, and other products.
The recipes begin with “Start the Day.” This section is all about healthy meals to use for the most important meal of the day. Granolas, homemade nut milks, oatmeals, baked goods, juices all make appearances (and, yes, of course avocado toast). Next, we have “Soups and Salads.” This chapter focuses on nutrient rich salads, soups, dressings that will take you through seasonal cooking. There are familiar ingredients and may give you the chance to use that mystery vegetable you get in your CSA. This is followed by “Hearty Mains.” There is hearty fare, indeed, contained in this chapter. Even reading the recipe titles will be enough to inspire non-vegetarians to try a “meatless Monday.” Finally, the recipe section ends with “Good and Sweet.” Who knew that healthy could be so, well, delicious? There are several recipes focused on good quality organic products and fruit but would definitely satisfy anyone’s sweet tooth. The authors don’t end on recipes. They give you a little bit more with a chapter on menu planning, “Conversion Charts” followed by “Index” and “Acknowledgments.”
The nice part about this book is it contains doable recipes. Some of them will contain “new” ingredients or ones you may need to swing by your local organic market for. You probably won’t mind with recipes as delicious, filling and nutritious as these. If you’re looking to start the New Year on the right track, swing by Relish Decor today and pick up your copy!
What to Make:
From “Start the Day”: Blueberry-Almond Oat Muffins (p. 59), Ranch Granola (p. 40)
From “Soups and Salads”: Kale and Chickpea Salad with Pickled Red Onion (p. 109), Curried Cauliflower and Warm Spelt Salad (p. 105)
From “Hearty Mains”: Mustard Green Wraps with Garlicky Millet and Tomatoes (p. 137), Forbidden Rice with Fava Beans and Asparagus Spring Saute (p. 142)
From “Good and Sweet”: Watermelon, Lime, and Hibiscus Ice Pop (p. 192)
What to pair with your book at Relish: