The beauty industry is a funny thing. One trip to the drugstore or the beauty counters of a department store and you’ll be overwhelmed by all the products that promise to erase wrinkle, plump your skin and make it healthy. Now I have my favourite skin care products that help with all that, but I think that most of us forget that beauty and youth starts on the inside with what you feed your body. So I was excited to get a first look at The Age Gracefully Cookbook by Grace O, a cookbook that offers delicious recipes made with real foods that will help you fight aging from the inside out.
What’s great about the book (besides the delicious recipes) is that it provides a guide for each recipe detailing which ingredients benefit your health based on five categories of Foodtrients:
Antioxidants: prevents and repairs oxidative damage to cells caused by free radicals.
Anti-inflammatory: reduces inflammation in the cells, tissues and blood vessels, which helps to slow the aging process and reduce risk of long-term disease.
Immunity boosters: supports the body’s resistance to infection and strengthens immune vigilance and response.
Mind and beauty: enhances that promote vibrant skin and hair while improving mood and mental agility.
Disease-preventing: reduces the risk factors for common degenerative and age-related diseases.
The book includes 66 beautiful recipes divided into six categories – Starters, salads, main courses, extras (vinaigrettes, relish and sides), desserts and drinks. There’s also a section at the back of the book that shows all the recipes at a glance and highlights which of the above benefits each recipe includes, as well as a food guide with each ingredient and it’s primary benefit, which foods you can find them in and their properties. For example, allicin has the potential benefit of reducing the risk of heart attacks, heart disease, stroke and cancer. It can be found in foods like garlic and is anti-inflammatory and disease preventing.
I didn’t want to leave you guys empty handed, so I convinced the author to let me share one of her recipes with you. This colourful lentil salad is loaded with protein, fibre, and vitamin B6 to give you energy and keep you full all afternoon.
1 cup dried green or black lentils
5 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 leek, white part only, chopped
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 minced shallot
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup red cabbage, shredded
1/4 cup yellow bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup red bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup celery, chopped
1/4 cup cucumber, seeded and diced
Red cabbage or lettuce leaves
1. Bring a medium saucepan filled with water to a boil. Add lentils and cook until al dente, about 20 minutes. You don’t want them to be crunchy but they shouldn’t be mushy either. Drain and set aside.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté leeks until opaque and soft, about 5-10 minutes.
3. To make the vinaigrette, combine the remaining 4 tablespoons of olive oil, the red wine vinegar, mustard, shallot, salt and pepper in a container with a tight-fitting lid. Shake well.
4. In a large bowl, combine the lentils, leeks, cabbage, peppers, celery and cucumber.Add half of the vinaigrette and toss to combine. The salad should be slightly warm.
5. Serve over a bed of red cabbage or lettuce with remaining vinaigrette on the side.
The Age Gracefully Cookbook is available on Amazon.