December 5, 2011

Modern Alternative Mama Review AND Giveaway: Real Food Basics

Have I been known to eat cookies for dinner?  Yes.

Does that mean I don't have higher aspirations for myself and my health?  Not at all. 

Enter Modern Alternative Mama.

Her name is Kate and she is a stay-at-home mom who has taken an alternative approach to healthy cooking and baking.  As in, she uses REAL ingredients.  I'm particularly intrigued with the idea of baking with sprouted flour and spelt flour.

Kate's blog is Modern Alternative Mama and she's recently written four ebooks on healthier, real cooking and baking.

Real Food Basics
This cookbook, Kate's first, is full of the down home favorites we all grew up with and enjoy.  Fried chicken, meatballs, sausage gravy, and buttermilk pancakes.  Desserts such as chocolate chip cookies and vanilla ice cream are also included.

I made the Biscuits with spelt flour and buttermilk and they were pretty near perfect.  Use really cold butter (I grated mine into the flour straight from the freezer) and drizzle some honey on top after they came out of the oven.  I ate biscuits, and biscuits alone, for dinner that night.

Spelt Flour Biscuits
makes 12-15 biscuits

2 cups spelt flour (I found it in the organic bins at the local chain store.  You could substitute whole-wheat or ww pastry, I'm sure, though I haven't tried it.)
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt (Kate's recipe calls for 1 t., but I used salted butter so I cut back.)
4 T. cold (frozen) butter, grated
1 cup buttermilk
Extra flour for rolling and dusting

In a mixing bowl combine the flour, baking soda, and salt well.  Add in the grated butter and mix with a fork.  You should have plenty of little chunks of butter in the dough.  Add the buttermilk, a little at a time, until well incorporated and it forms into a dough.

Roll out onto a floured board until about 1/2"-3/4" thick.  Use a biscuit cutter, or an upside glass, to cut out biscuits.  When cutting, do not twist the cutter.  Just press it down and back up.  This is one of the secrets to fluffy biscuits.  Bake at 400* for 12-15 minutes on an ungreased cookie sheet. 

On a Sunday morning, I tried the Buttermilk Pancakes.  I didn't have sprouted flour, so I used whole wheat pastry flour.  I also tossed in some thawed (frozen) blueberries.  They were moist, delicious and just sweet enough with maple syrup drizzled over the top.  I've already made these 3 times in two weeks!

I've always wanted to be someone who makes her own Tomato Sauce.  Unfortunately, here in Alaska we don't have a ton of access to fresh, inexpensive tomatoes, especially in winter.  I used canned, and I recommend it as a convenient alternative to fresh.  This is a tasty, basic marinara recipe that can be adapted in many ways.  Kate suggests adding meatballs, but I added different types of sauteed vegetables in an effort to up my veggie-consumption.  I also threw this sauce in the blender, once cooked and cooled, to puree it to the perfect consistency.

To go with the Tomato Sauce?  Pizza Dough!  I've recently started making my own dough and I can see this being one that I go back to again and again.

This is just a sample of the recipes in the book.  I plan to continue cooking my way through it and I also appreciated the food preparation tips and healthy shopping guide that Kate includes in Real Food Basics.  I love learning more about what I should be eating because it inspires me to try just a little bit harder when it comes to healthy eating.

Real Food Basics is just that:  basic recipes for someone looking to cook real, healthy food.  Kate explains her rational for ingredient choice as well, but even if you don't choose to use raw dairy, sprout your own grains, or make your own chicken stock, you can still use her recipes!  They are easily adapted to every family's tastes and preferences.

NOW the fun part!

Kate wants to giveaway a copy of Real Food Basics to one of my readers!  All you have to do to enter is:

Leave a comment telling me about a step you're trying to make toward a healthier lifestyle. 

All I'm requiring for an entry is the comment, but I'd more than appreciate if you'd become a follower of Kristin's kNook and also check out the specifics of the Real Food Basics eBook here on Modern Alternative Mama.

If you'd like to order your own copy of Real Food Basics, you can do so here.  Enter this code for a special 25% off discount:  BASIC25.

The giveaway ends on December 10th.  The winner will then be announced on Sunday, December 11th.  

*Linking this up to Mingle Monday!

Mingle 240


  1. We're trying to be better about eating more fruits and veggies. So hard though when they're expensive up here!

  2. I used to make a coconut impossible pie with sprouted wheat berries. I still have the recipe if you're interested. You just have to prepare a few days ahead and get the wheat sprouted. And find wheat berries to sprout too.

  3. Ugh, I keep wanting to make my own pizza dough and tomato sauce, but then I don't. I get lazy and go with what is convenient. Darn teaching & tutoring!

  4. oooh I want that book! haha I've been carving out the time to cook good meals rather than what's cheap or quick, which usually = unhealthy...and I'm trying to drink more water and not get drinks when I'm out or buy soda at the grocery store

  5. Just stopping by from Mingle Monday! I try to limit calories to either 1200 a day OR filling myself up good calories (not counting, but eating as many veggies as I like).

    Happy Tuesday!

    -Sarah from [life of love]

  6. I'm a follower and love your blog! I have been trying to snack on fruits instead of junk food. I want to find great ways to get in more veggies as well.

  7. I've never had to worry about exercising or watching what I eat. I've always just been thin. Then I turned 29. I'm trying to cut back on portion sizes, but it doesn't always work, like just about 5 minutes ago, I downed waaaaay too much Sweet & Salty Honey NutnChex Mix.....oops.

    I KNOW that I need to eat better and exercise more, but there is still the picky child in me that doesn't like the taste of a lot of things that are "good for me". It sounds like this book could help me get around that!


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