Posted by: Food Lover | May 8, 2018

LooneySpoons: A Cookbook Review

LooneySpoons on

We first heard about LooneySpoons while attending a conference on Entrepreneurship. The author of The Wealthy Barber, David Chilton, describes meeting Janet and Greta Podelski after they approached him for advice on how to get their cookbook venture off the ground.  David talked about how he was very skeptical of their chances of success, but quipped: “But they’re good-looking, and I’m shallow, so I stayed.” (cue audience laughter!) David did take the time to listen and left a copy of their cookbook with his mother, an excellent cook, who confirmed the recipes were quite tasty.  The rest – as they say – is history. LooneySpoons was the bestselling cookbook in Canadian history (perhaps it still is), and because we immediately went out and bought a copy of Greta and Janet’s we feel like we’re part of the story (for more on their great story go to

The recipes in this book were created to be healthy without being so lean and clean that they put you to sleep mid-meal.  They’re a great choice for those who want a balance between healthy options and the pleasures of everyday life.  This isn’t the right book for those obsessed with every calorie, or who religiously follow a diet of exclusivity. However, if you’re craving some comfort foods (there are a number of pizza recipes), but want to be good to your body, reach for LooneySpoons.

Greta and Janet Podleski are Polish sisters from St. Thomas, Ontario Greta – that matters because one of us (that being G) was born in Poland, and we’ve both traveled there and love Polish food.  Greta and Janet had written other cookbooks in the 90’s, during the fat-free diet craze. However, our understanding about healthy eating has become more well-rounded since then. Janet, a Registered Nutritionist, decided to update their recipe collection to fit with current nutritional knowledge.  The recipes contain healthy amounts of fats (even bacon, which we all know makes everything better!), as well as whole grains. Recipes also come with nutritional information: Calories, fats, protein, carbs, fiber, cholesterol, and sodium.

We particularly like that the recipes are quite easy to follow and use common ingredients found in any grocery store.  Many of them are great workday meal options, with some more time-intensive ones that are perfect for leisurely weekend dinners as well. A number of their pasta salads can also make for great pre-made lunches or side dishes and potlucks.

IMG_7946This is not a cookbook that takes itself seriously, which became obvious as we flipped through the pages. The recipe titles have a goofy sense of humour and incorporate silly graphics. You’ll see things like: “Jerry Spring Roles” and “Quiche Me, You Fool”. With adorable little descriptors like:

Wok This Way: Ever dream of becoming a wok star? Well, now’s your chance for fame and fortune cookies!  This flavourful beef stir-fry with fresh basil, red peppers and onions will get you wokin’ and rollin'”

It’s a nice change from our very serious and intense, sometimes even intimidating, cookbook collection.

Recipe Reviews:
As with all our reviews, we prefer to focus on the things we enjoy, and simply don’t mention the things that weren’t to our personal tastes.

It’s A Little Pizza Heaven
Eats Without Meats: Vegetarian

veggie pizza

We have to admit to being skeptical when approaching the idea of a meatless pizza. There are a few rare exceptions to our “pizza needs meat” rule (like a margarita with our own garden basil and tomatoes – a delight we spend the whole winter dreaming about), but on the whole, we’re confirmed pizza omnivores.

This recipe really opened our eyes.  A whole medley of veggies with three cheese and a pesto topping made for a full flavoured ‘za, we didn’t notice the lack of meat at all! We did, however, notice the recipe photo of the pizza didn’t quite match up with the recipe. There were tomatoes and olives in the recipe book photo – but neither made an appearance in the recipe itself. So we added some grape tomatoes, which worked, as did the olives.  We also made the small change by roasting the broccoli first to give it a richer flavor. Oh, and we doubled the pesto because we our love homemade pesto!

Not only was this pizza delicious when fresh out of the even, it made for an awesome breakfast served cold the next day (cold pizza being a not uncommon breakfast choice in our house). Prep was nice and easy:  slice a bunch of veggies and shred some cheese; this is a low hassle meal. It opened our eyes to the possibility of vegetarian pizza and we now find ourselves exploring other veg combinations.

Shrimply Irresistible

Come On, Get Appy!: Appetizers

Prawns with Fiery Fruit Salsa

This recipe is meant to be an appetizer and would make a great crowd pleaser during a summer backyard party. However, we wanted to give it a go as a dinner dish. And because we’re obsessed with giant prawns, we had gotten a few of these and BBQed them – shell on – to keep them nice and juicy.

The marinade is simple, and is a great example of how they use unusual ingredient combinations to make something quite tasty! This involved soy sauce, lime juice, ketchup, coriander, cumin, and garlic. The marinade was actually the best part of the meal and one we hope to try on other seafood and maybe chicken.

The fiery fruit salsa certainly lived up to its name. It helped that our crushed red chili flakes come from our garden and pack an extra strong punch. The combination of apples and oranges was interesting, but not our favorite. From a nutritional perspective, apples make a lot of sense – they’re a good source of fiber and low calorie. However, we felt the flavour pairing between the shrimp and the apples didn’t go particularly well, and we may try it again substituting the apples for mango or melon.

We’ll share the other recipes we try out and love in the future!

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