With her bubbly personality, you’ve most likely caught her on CityLine extolling the virtues of fibre. Or perhaps you’ve seen her on Facebook creating healthy recipes, or sharing a cup of tea on YouTube, or leafing through one of her many colourful cookbooks.
In fact, it’s Mairlyn Smith’s latest cookbook — "Peace, Love & Fibre" (appetite) that the actor, TV personality and award-winning cookbook author (who also happens to be a professional home economist!) truly shines. The book is bold and beautiful and brims with delicious goodness, and a complete explanation on how fibre is crucial for our health — now, more than ever.
In this book, Smith, with her trademark wit and enthusiasm, breaks down exactly what fibre is, and why it’s such an important part of healthy living.
And everything about the book — from the colour of the cover to the pretty, lace tablecloths to the delicate tea cups sprinkled throughout the book — is a love letter. To her beloved mom.
“I started this book four years ago, and started collecting recipes, and gathering as much research on how crucial fibre is to your health and well-being — but throughout it all my mom was the constant in my writing,” said Smith recently. “As she was dying I showed her the rough copy of the book and … it just brought me so much joy that she had a chance to see the book, and the artwork — her teacups and saucers — which makes this so special to me.”
The cookbook delivers a powerful message of health along with the terrific recipes: But, living healthfully isn’t only about the food – it’s about how you cope with stress, how much sleep you get, how much screen time you allow into your day and myriad other factors, says Smith. And it’s because of her belief in the overall power of mind, body and spirit that her personal motto has always been “peace, love and fibre.” It’s in her signature. She invites peace into her life through quiet moments in nature and a practice of gratitude.
And a love for family and friends. All in one awesome cookbook. Here’s a few recipes from Peace, Love & Fibre.
(Recipes and artwork courtesy Peace, Love & Fibre, appetite;)
Mayan Hot Cocoa for Two
- 2 cups (500 mL) 1% milk
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) natural cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) liquid honey, granulated sugar, or sweetener of your choice
- 1/4 tsp. (1 mL) each ground ginger and ground cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp. (.5) red pepper flakes
- 1 Tbsp. (5 mL) pure vanilla extract
Heat milk in a small pot over medium heat, or in microwave on high, until steamy. On the stove, this should take 5 to 6 minutes; in the microwave, it will take 2 to 3 minutes. Whisk in cocoa powder, honey or other sweetener, ginger, cinnamon, red pepper flakes, and vanilla until cocoa has dissolved and mixture is hot. Divide between two mugs and serve.
If you really need a treat, I give you full permission to add a marshmallow and use a cinnamon stick as a stir stick. Just keep in mind that marshmallows are not vegetarian.
Mairlyn’s Flavour Bombs
A twist on the classic pesto
- 4 cups (1 L) loosely packed fresh basil leaves or a combination of basil and parsley
- 6 cloves garlic
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) whole raw cashews or walnuts
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) extra-virgin olive oil or canola oil
Rinse and pat dry basil and parsley, if using, and line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or use silicone ice cube trays. Place herbs in bowl of a food processor fitted with steel blade attachment. Add garlic, nuts, and oil and process until well blended. Scoop out 2 Tbsp. (30 mL) portions and place them in balls on baking sheet or in silicone ice cube trays. Freeze flavour bombs in a flat layer. Once they’re frozen, transfer them to a resealable freezer bag. They’ll keep for up to 6 months.
Makes 1-1/2 cups (310 mL).
Ginger and Orange Drop Tea Biscuits
“ Tea biscuits by their nature are empty calorie yum fests, but these, my fellow biscuit lovers, are fibre yum fests.”
- 1-1/4 cups (310 mL) whole grain barley flour
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) flaxseed meal (milled flaxseed — very fine)
- 2 Tbsp. (30 mL) granulated sugar
- 1 Tbsp. (15 mL) baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. (1 mL) table salt
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) cold unsalted butter, cut in 1-inch (2.5-cm) cubes
- 2 Tbsp. (30 mL) diced dried candied ginger (readily available at bulk food stores)
- 1 Tbsp. (15 mL) orange zest
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) skim milk
- 2 Tbsp. (30 mL) canola oil
- 1 omega-3 egg
- 1 tsp. (5 mL) coarse or sanding sugar
Place a rack in middle of oven and preheat the oven to 375 F. (190 C). Line a rimless baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together barley flour, all-purpose flour, flaxseed meal, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut in butter until it looks pea-sized. Using a fork, stir in candied ginger and orange zest, making sure they are well distributed. In a small bowl or a 1-cup (250-mL) glass measuring cup, whisk together milk, oil, and egg. Pour mixture into dry ingredients and, using a rubber spatula, gently stir until mixture doesn’t have any visible dry flour. It will be sticky. Using two tablespoons (the ones in your cutlery drawer), spoon out 9 equal portions, about 1/4 cup each, onto prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle each biscuit with a pinch of coarse sugar. Bake for 16 to 18 minutes. When they’re ready, they will have flecks of golden brown on top. Remove biscuits from oven and place individually on a wire cooling rack. Serve warm or at room temperature with a dollop of raspberry jam.
Makes 9 scones.
Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2019