Rorie's New Book Is A Labor Of Love, A Journey Of Health
Rorie Weisberg is a busy wife, mom, and recipe developer. A frequent contributor to Mishpacha magazine’s Family Table and health ambassador for Kosher.com, Rorie is a health coach certified in integrative nutrition, creator of Rorie’s Dough Mixes, founder of Full ‘N Free, and hosts her own show here on Kosher.com called Living Full 'n Free.
Rorie’s lifelong love of experimenting in the kitchen was handed down from her mother and grandmothers, for whom the kitchen was a place of connection and creativity. When the time came to set up her own home, she was excited and proud to use her cherished family recipes to nourish her family.
After the birth of her fourth child, Rorie experienced symptoms that her doctor told her were postpartum thyroiditis that would hopefully go away on its own. Despite waiting it out, nothing changed. Hoping for a solution, Rorie turned to Dr. Google... where she discovered the world of integrative nutrition for the first time.
“After a lot of research, I learned that the way we treat our bodies matters,” says Rorie, “and that the food we eat has a lot to do with the way our bodies work. I was sick and tired of being sick and tired, so as overwhelming as it felt to revamp my lifestyle, I decided to pick the ‘new hard’ over the ‘old hard’ and go for it.”
However, she struggled with making appetizing meals for her family that also met her new dietary requirements. “I wanted to be able to cook the food my family loved without making a million variations, and once I learned more about nutrition, I wanted them to get those better ingredients too,” Rorie relates. Through trial and error and siyatta diShmaya, she came up with really good recipes that swapped out flour, sugar, and soy for healthier alternatives and even had her kids asking for seconds again.
Rorie’s recipes and message spoke to me personally; I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis in college, went vegetarian around the same time, and drastically modified the way I shopped, cooked, and ate. I only wish that Food You Love had been around twenty years ago!
By Popular Request…
Rorie’s clients asked her to prepare gluten-free baking mixes, which eventually led to her developing a line of gluten-free and grain-free mixes, yeast, and raw honey. Even though she frequently shares her recipes online, her fans kept asking, “When are you coming out with a cookbook?”
“At first, my family was my motivation, because they motivated me to make my new lifestyle workable for family-focused meals, especially Shabbos and Yom Tov!” Rorie says. “Then, after I got certified as a health coach, my clients motivated me to think of the tools that would help them on their journeys. Recipes were a huge piece. Because I had the recipes and the tools from years of doing it myself, I wanted to put it on paper. Writing a cookbook became my dream.”
In her debut cookbook Food You Love that Loves You Back, Rorie has packed over 200 recipes made with wholesome, easy-to-find ingredients, including comforting favorites like cholent, kugel, brisket, schnitzel, and even gluten-free challah (with grain-free and yeast-free options, too).
Starting with a thorough “Getting Ready” section that covers tools and gadgets, sourdough essentials, and grocery shopping, Rorie’s handy QR codes link to videos and demos that will give you confidence to embrace new ingredients and techniques. Sprinkled throughout, you’ll find informative notes about macros, carbs, menu planning, creating balanced meals, and healthy boosts like collagen, fermenting, sourdough starters and a homemade electrolyte drink that’s a lifesaver for fasting. However, this is NOT a diet book; you won’t find calorie counts, artificial sweeteners, or fat-free ingredients.
Going Against The Grain
For many with digestive or hormonal issues, gluten can make symptoms worse and result in unpleasant side effects. Experimenting with alternative grains like spelt and gluten-free flours like oat, coconut, and tapioca flour allows home bakers to once again embrace challah, cakes, and baked goods. Food You Love includes gluten-free and grain-free recipes for challah, muffins, rugelach, cinnamon streusel crumb cake, honey cake, biscotti and more, all of which call for Rorie’s mixes (she also provides alternative measurements using other gluten-free flours and mixes). I used Rorie’s egg-free spelt mix to make two large loaves of challah and several smaller rolls to serve with salads and loved the moist, tender crumb.
Food You Love is packed with dozens of delicious meat, poultry, fish, and dairy dinner ideas, including pulled sticky silan brisket in pan juices, sesame-crusted salmon skewers, citrus and herb chicken, mom’s marbella with a twist, gluten-free schnitzel, sweet tzimmes spatchcocked chicken, and even Chinese and Latin twists.
Grandma’s Hungarian chicken paprikash brought back memories of my own Polish grandmother’s kitchen. By first searing the chicken, then sautéing the onions in the schmaltz, blooming the paprika, and simmering the chicken for several hours, the meat becomes fall-apart tender and infused with the wonderful color and fragrance of the paprika. (If you want an even more pronounced paprika flavor, you can try mixing smoked paprika and sweet paprika.)
My homemade version of Rorie's Cobb Salad with Kasha and Roast Salmon
I also made several of the salads from Food You Love for my family including the Cobb salad, winter harvest salad, and rainbow feta salad, and they were all a hit. The contrast of colors, textures, and flavors in each salad is fantastic. The Cobb salad pairs kasha (a beloved staple in my Polish grandmother’s kitchen) with a roast salmon that couldn’t be easier, while the rainbow feta salad combines umami-packed sautéed mushrooms, crisp watermelon radish, tart crunchy pomegranate, and optional tangy feta. And there are loads of appealing veggie sides, grains, and starchy vegetables to choose from.
One of the best parts of Food You Love is the sheer number of recipes and variety, from comfort food classics to Italian, Asian, and Latin recipes with a healthier twist.
Rorie has passed on her love of cooking to her four children, and kid-friendly favorites get healthy makeovers like grain-free pizza, mock-o-roni, broiled chicken nuggets, and delicious (and easy!) homemade chocolate sunbutter cups that are great for lunches or anytime treats.
Full N’ Free’s message is to love, honor, and respect our bodies and to fuel them with dignity and deliciousness. “That’s why it’s so important to me that Food You Love meets you wherever you are and celebrates every step toward a healthy lifestyle,” Rorie adds. “It’s about promoting health through recipes, ingredients, and tools.”
A quick Q&A with Rorie Weisberg:
If you had to pick one health improvement people should take on, what would it be?
Sleep! Without that, nothing goes. When I teach about the Five to Thrive – the way I break down the five core habits of a healthy lifestyle – that’s always where I start, for that reason.
When it comes to food: start with oils. It’s a relatively easy change that goes a long way. Refined oils cause inflammation, in addition to other negative impacts on health, and unrefined oils (avocado, olive, coconut) are actually health-promoting. So without any real effort, you can easily up the quality right there.
What are you hoping to achieve with your cookbook?
To show people that healthy food is doable and delicious, and that you really can make plentiful, varied meals and all the things you are used to within a healthy lifestyle.
Healthy doesn’t have to be weird, bland, boring, or hard. It’s doable, practical, normal. What’s unique about the food in my book is that it tastes good.
I like to think it can be a roadmap for people who need it, and a flashlight for people who didn’t realize that it could work for them – like, “Hey, come here, check out this path, maybe it can work for us, too.”
Which recipe in the book is your favorite?
Personally, my life would not be complete without muffins and Ice Dream. I’m a real muffin girl, and yogurt with fruit and nuts was one of my favorite foods. So these makeovers were the breakthroughs that made this lifestyle livable for me forever! Even now that I eat goat yogurt, I would still pick an Ice Dream over “real” yogurt any day.