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211 of 214 people found the following review helpful
on January 22, 2004
The book didn't deliver as much as it, at first, appeared to. 470 pages of recipes and no photography sounds like a lot of recipes. Many of the recipes are so basic you wonder who wouldn't know that boiled shrimp means boiling shrimp in a pan of water with some seasoning. But "Unbelievably Easy Shrimp" gets half a page for this 3-ingredient recipe (2 qts. water, a pound shrimp, salt). The balance of the page is a recipe for cooking fish: 1 piece of fish, 1 tbs. butter, with parsley and lemon wedge for garnish.
How to broil a steak (olive oil, steak) gets a page, then variations of steak go on for pages and pages. "Southwestern Steak" is steak served with guacamole. "Cajun Steak" is steak sprinkled with Cajun seasoning. "Garlic Butter Steak" is steak with garlic butter spread on it. There are about 2 of these recipes per page.
It's the same with the egg and omlet recipes. The same basic recipe idea is repeated over and over with a flavor variation.
The most major flaw with the book, however, is the index. My pet peeve with cookbooks is to use cute recipe titles and then index them alphadetically according to those titles. Under "sauces," to pick an example, there is "Dana's No-sugar Ketchup" listed in the "D"s. Why not list it "Ketchup, no-sugar" so you can find it if you go looking for "ketchup?" Also under "sauces" there is "Low-carb Steak sauce" in the "L"s and "Reduced-carb Spicy Barbecue Sause" in the "R"s. It makes it very hard to find a recipe. The back cover of the book touts "Chocolate Mousse to DIE For" and I have yet to be able to find that recipe. It's not in the index under "chocolate," under "mousse," or under "desserts."
Less annoying but still detracting was the font that was used. It made the recipes somewhat difficult to read.
Even with these flaws, it is still a low-carbohydrate cookbook worth having, especially if you don't have one yet and are new to low-carb cooking. I liked the author's personality as it came through in her introduction and ingredients sections. She comes across as an ordinary, regular person. She is not dogmatic or preachy or pushy or "know-it-all."
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348 of 358 people found the following review helpful
on October 21, 2002
First let me say that I own many, many low-carb cookbooks, and this one is THE best I have ever read! Not only does it offer 500, yes, 500 recipes that are easy, fabulous and low carb, but the introduction and ingredient chapters were SPECTACULAR! The introduction was warm, witty and informative. I typically skim through the beginning chapters and get right to the recipes, but I couldn't put this one down! So many questions that I had were answered in the Low Carb Specialty Foods chapter, not to mention the Polyols chapter and the Where to Find Low-Carb Specialty Products chapter (she doesn't like paying through the nose for this stuff, either)!
The Ingredients You Need to Know About section was the absolute best--necessary and unique information about eggs, fats/oils, flour substitutes (what the heck are guar and xanthan gums, anyway--she answers that, too!), sweeteners (wow, I can have molasses!), vegetables (and I can have carrots, too!), and oh so much more. Her first recipe is addictive enough to eat every day (Heroin Wings)! I wish I could say that I've made all the recipes, but I'm so busy trying out the recipes from the first chapter, I haven't even looked at the other chapters yet, but believe me, I know they'll be outstanding.
This author is down-to-earth, funny and charming. I can relate to her so well. She stresses over and over again to listen to your body and let that be your guide regardless of whether the food is low-carb. This works so well for me. The BEST book you will ever purchase on low-carbing and low-carb recipes. DON'T MISS THIS ONE!
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249 of 261 people found the following review helpful
on June 5, 2003
The hardest thing about going low-carb for me was staying excited about eating from the recipes in my plan's book. Then I ordered Dana's book. First, Dana is not a diet doctor, she's real human like the rest of us, and her book is written in a very refreshing, down-to-earth tone. Second, Dana's book has taken the monotony OUT of my low-carb life. Let's talk fabulous stir-fry served over cauliflower "rice" ... absolutely amazing waffles ... terrific spicy Thai cucumber salad that was eaten up to the very last bite at my office picnic today ... and of course, desserts. The hardest problem I have with this book is not giving away the recipes to my friends and low-carb associates who try the dishes because, quite frankly, like any author Dana is trying to make a living too so I tell them they just have to buy the book so she'll be encouraged to write another one. I promise you that you will not be disappointed with this book!!! And yes, Dana has pretty much attained goddess status in my life ;-)
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187 of 197 people found the following review helpful
on June 6, 2003
I have a bunch of low-carb cookbooks and will continue to buy more! But, this book is by far the best that I have tried so far. The recipes aren't just tired repeats of ones found in other books or ones you can find on-line. The hot cereal is a life saver in the morning as you make up the mix in bulk and then just add hot water to a serving of the dry mix. I was so tired of eggs and this is great. Also, the recipes aren't swimming in fat like so many low-carb recipes.
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136 of 144 people found the following review helpful
on January 4, 2004
This book has been the key to my success with low carbing! When I first started LC, I was gung ho for the basics... I couldn't get enough scrambled eggs, steak, and cheeseburgers without the bun. I was in heaven! Soon, however, heaven turned into purgatory as I started dreaming about fruit and thinking about stealing candy from my own kids! Then Dana came to the rescue with this incredible book!
Chocolate or sweets craving? She's got it covered and then some. Need something salty and crunchy? Check! Need an entree that will please your non low-carbing husband and kids but still keep you on target? You betcha. She's covered everything from soup to nuts, LITERALLY! If you're bored on any of the LC diets, then you need to get Dana's book RIGHT NOW. Then, if you're still bored, well... you just aren't paying attention!
DON'T miss the Heroin wings. If you *aren't* low-carbing, you'll wish you were after trying these tasty treats.
In short, get this book now and kiss the bunless hamburgers and strips of bacon goodbye and say hello to a whole new WORLD of food options!
(Also, I need to express my annoyance with the very few people who have given this book a negative review simply for the fact that it revolves around a low carb way of eating. The title should be an excellent clue that the book is *about low carbing*. If you don't like or don't agree with low carbing, you should not write a review of a low carb cookbook. It's unfair to Ms. Carpender by providing people with your opinion about the diet, which they don't care about, rather than a fair review of her *book*, which is the purpose of these reviews. In my opinion, reviews that attack a diet without addressing Dana's book should be removed from Amazon's reviews.)
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58 of 59 people found the following review helpful
on November 30, 2002
I NEVER write reviews, but I had to with this book! The recipes are easy to follow, use ingredients that are easy to find, and, on top of all that, the food is absolutely delicious! We prepared our Thanksgiving dinner out of this cookbook! Everything from "fake mashed potatoes" to desserts..... This book is great!
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92 of 97 people found the following review helpful
on November 12, 2003
This book was recommended by a friend, and he was RIGHT. I'm not the best cook, and I usually gravitate to cook books that have lots of color pictures. This book has NO pictures - but what it DOES have are lots of very easy, very tasty, very low carb recipes. I'm astounding all of my family and friends with dishes they prefer to higher carb versions. Did I mention I've lost 16 pounds and am NEVER hungry? I LOVE this book!
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62 of 64 people found the following review helpful
on March 25, 2003
Simply stated, I love this book. I am not a great cook, so when I decided to do low-carb eating, it was challenging for me to find things to eat. I quickly became tired of bunless burgers, and the like!
500 Low-Carb Recipes solved this problem for me. It has delicious recipes in a variety of categories, and most of these are very easy to prepare. My husband has actually said that since I got this book, I've been cooking some really good meals!
The beginning portion of the book is very helpful, with a very thorough section on ingredients, as well as other useful information such as how to determine the usable carb count, low-carb specialty foods available and more. And the recipes! Suffice it to say that there really are recipes for chocolate chip cookies, cheesecakes, breads, etc., that not only taste good, but are healthy!
I am still losing weight and, even more importantly, feeling much better--all while enjoying scrumptious food prepared with this book's recipes.
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95 of 101 people found the following review helpful
on December 9, 2002
I own quite a few low carb cookbooks and I rank this as my favorite in terms of taste, ease of use and value. Boy, for the amount I paid for this through Amazon, I got a whopping 500 recipes!!! I have tried a few recipes and have been very pleased with this cookbook. I love the all-meat chili (I use it as the meat for my taco salad with sour cream, cheese and lettuce), chicken florentine (was this easy and delicious), and my young son loves the heroin wings. The marinades for chicken are also scrumptious. I look forward to trying more of her recipes. Because of her suggestions, I finally tried spaghetti squash and love it!!! The tips in the book are also very helpful (now I can really make great omelets!). I have yet to try the desserts and breads which do use some specialized ingredients but these are very easy to find in your local health food store or any reputable internet low carb supplier (there are a lot out there) and their prices are reasonable. I just have not had the chance to buy the ingredients but I am raring to dig into one of her chocolate chip cookies! Thank you, Dana, for sharing with us your culinary skills and making low carb an enjoyable and delectable eating lifestyle.
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80 of 85 people found the following review helpful
on January 14, 2003
Struggling to figure out how to keep to your low-carb diet but still enjoy food (plus feed your family)?
This book is the one you need.
Recipes like Pumpkin Cheesecake (great for breakfast with some bacon on the side, by the way), Vegetable Lasagna (tip: add some strips of zucchini cut longwise with a veggie peeler for faux lasagna noodles), and frittatas keep us feeling happy, full, and not deprived. My family has enjoyed many of these recipes (had to arm-wrestle my 16-year-old nephew for the cheesecake - I finally taught him to make it himself).
Some of the recipes - particularly baked goods - may require some nonstandard ingredients. Most of these are available in health food stores, natural food stores, or, if all else fails, online.
Dana has a breezy, enjoyable writing style that makes you feel like you're in the kitchen with your best friend, and none of the recipes are beyond the average cook.
If you can only get one low-carb cookbook, this is the one to buy!
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