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500 Fat-Free Recipes: A Complete Guide to Reducing the Fat in Your Diet Hardcover – May 24, 1994

13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Dedicated dieters and recovering cardiac patients are often told to lower fat intake--but few people can concoct imaginative low-fat meals to make the dietary change either permanent or pleasurable. Schlesinger ( The Low Cholesterol Olive Oil Cookbook ) offers a valuable resource to those who wish to reduce fat to 10% of caloric intake. A lengthy introduction supplies details on stocking the pantry, cooking techniques used in recipes, and additional sources for diet-related information. Recipes suited for microwave cookery constitute a welcome chapter. Dishes such as Havana beans with rice and ricotta-apricot toastwiches combine plenty of complex carbohydrates. Perhaps the only problem is that some recipes do not give actual serving sizes in ounce or cup measures: for example, the barley and apple pilaf yields "6 servings," but when divided into sixths, serving sizes looked small indeed. Some of Schlesinger's culinary advice leads novice cooks in the wrong direction: baked goods made without fat do stale more quickly, and for this reason, they should be frozen, not stored in the refrigerator as recommended. But oversights are rare: most of the recipes are healthful and easy to prepare, making this book a good addition to the low-fat bookshelf.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From the Inside Flap

As cardiac patients, dieters, and just about anyone interested in maintaining good health can tell you, "fat free" too often means "flavor free." With The Garden Variety Cookbook and The Low-Cholesterol Olive oil cookbook, Sarah Schlesinger proved there's no reason why good food and good diet can't go hand in hand, and in her latest recipe collection she does so again, with distinction.

500 Fat-Free Recipes is the only cookbook to offer convenient, delicious, nonfat recipes each with one gram of fat or less-as well as a complete guide to reducing the fat in your diet. Finally, here's a one-stop resource for healthy eating.

Schlesinger began a dramatic reduction of her family's fat and cholesterol intake ten years ago as part of a program to reverse her husband's chronic heart disease. Finding hundreds of lowfat recipes-but very few nonfat recipes-she began her own culinary experiments. The result is a remarkable collection of dishes utilizing the freshest produce, zesty seasonings, and unusual combinations instead of added fat and fat-laden ingredients. Here is a plethora of prize edibles for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack time. You'll find Pear-Cinnamon Muffins, Baked French Toast, Spinach Fettucini with ShiitakeTomato Sauce, Red Pepper Mini-Pizzas, Black Bean Lasagna, Cocoa Cake-all with one gram of fat or less. There's even a special section on dressings, sauces, and relishes.

Schlesinger also offers the tools you need to manage daily fat consumption. She explains the role of fat as necessary nutrient and potential health hazard, shows how to estimate how much fat you truly need, and includes tips on how to eat out on a low-fat diet, make the most of frozen meals, season dishes without fat, and shop for nonfat products. A nutritional-content analysis follows each recipe. With Schlesinger's help, you can control the fat in your diet (and still occasionally indulge in the higher-fat foods you crave)

Here are five hundred delectable reasons to get with the program and start to safeguard your family's well-being today. The recipes in 500 Fat-Free Recipes are so good, people won't even suspect they're healthy!
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 442 pages
  • Publisher: Villard; 1 edition (May 24, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679415890
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679415893
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 7.1 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #217,201 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By annulla@juno.com on July 15, 1998
Format: Hardcover
I have a shelf full of low fat and fat free cookbooks, but this is the one I turn to time and again. It is absolutely the best.
The author began cooking without fat in order to accomodate the needs of her husband, who suffered from heart disease. She was a busy working mom with a career and a family to feed --- she wasn't a trained chef and couldn't spend all day in the kitchen. The recipes reflect that --- they are simple, tasty, practical and fast, featuring ingredients that available in most grocery stores. The book also contains a lot of information to help make the transition to fat free cooking simple and painless.
If I could have only one fat free cookbook, no question, this would be the one I'd choose.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 25, 2000
Format: Hardcover
In small leters in the introduction, the author explains this collection was developed for her husband who suffered from heart disease. They follow the Ornish program for heart reversal, which is basically low-fat, lacto-ovarian fare. The heart disease people, vegetarians, or those after better health/weight loss in general will appreciate this effort but those who do not know what "Ornish" means or those who skip the preface will be surprised that it's vegetarian and "no meat." Those wishing "meat-y" yet low-fat might be better off with one of Sue Spitler or Sandra Woodruff's books.
There is no space/some small space in the margins for notes although there is nutritional info. There are some vegan or vegan-friendly variations, but you have to hunt and pick. It's easier to adapt to L/O than vegan -- it's usually right there in the variation (ex: "use chicken broth or vegetable broth").
There weren't any overly exotic ingredients to me but the introduction does go over the ingredients used and explains what they are. That would be useful for cooking novices.
Some of the combinations are a little odd. Sometimes this works great and it's refreshing, other times it leaves me short of expectations. There is however, a consistancy of style across the recipes, and it's not bad if you want to be adventurous. I'd consider this more a "supplemental" cookbook rather than a "hardcore mainstay" one in my cookbook collection.
Overall, it's a nice collection, but not necessarily my favorite one when I was l/o and now that I am vegan I rarely use it. I didn't think it was so great that I wanted the other cookbooks she wrote later but who knows? Maybe those improved.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Diana Johnson on December 3, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Sarah Schlesinger has become my new favorite cookbook author. She suggests combinations that are remarkably creative, tasty, and EASY! Low fat and healthy is a secondary as far as I'm concerned. Try her other cookbooks, too. (As for other commentators who have suggested that her cookbooks fall short of the 500 promised: I really admire her cooking philosophy, that small variations create whole new gastronomical experiences! Sarah Schlesinger has cooking in her bones, and her cookbooks are the closest I have seen to a transcription of that kind of intuition.)
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 2, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Great tasting and easy to prepare. Alot of very creative recipes. Looking forward to making most of them. Since they are Fat Free the recipes do not include meat, fish or poultry but otherwise very exciting.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 28, 1999
Format: Hardcover
500 recipes is stretching it. Many of the "500" recipes in this book are simply variations on a theme. There is much less variety in the "500" than one might expect. Also, I found many of the combinations of ingredients repetitive and strange. For example, fruit of some kind in many of the grain and vegetable dishes. Examples of this include "Pineapple Carrots", "Green Beans with Tomatoes and Cinnamon", "Orange Acorn Squash", "Sherried Sweet Potatoes with Apples and Onion", "Butternut-Apple Casserole", "Peach-Blueberry Rice", "Spicy Rice with Dried Fruit", "Barley and Apples", "Carrott-Apple-Raisin Salad", "Carrot, Orange, and Celery Salad", "Oranges and Tomatoes with Honey Dressing". Unless this is your style you're not going to find 500 recipes to use. I found that many of the basic recipes that I liked were already in Dean Ornish's Program for reversing heart disease. He has some funky fruity stuff too.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Lynn Harnett VINE VOICE on September 1, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Schlesinger begins with a thorough guide to shopping, cooking and seasoning techniques. Organized by course, the book includes a chapter on breakfasts, lunches and snacks and another devoted to sauces, dressings and relishes.

Breakfast might include pear-cinammon muffins or frozen fruit pops made with yogurt and banana and for lunch there's vegetable tortilla wraps with nonfat cottage and cream cheese or baked potato pancakes.

No meat is included (except defatted chicken broth) but there's plenty of variety and creativity including marinated vegetable kebabs, vermicelli with roasted red peppers and lots of bean dishes, all well-seasoned. There's even dessert - apricot upside-down cake, pumpkin pie made with evaporated skim milk and egg whites, and numerous fruit creations.

Schlesinger sticks with naturally lowfat ingredients as much as possible and offers dietary information with every recipe.
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