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Cook This, Not That! Easy & Awesome 350-Calorie Meals Paperback – October 12, 2010

4.5 out of 5 stars 266 customer reviews

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Natalie Jill's 7-Day Jump Start: Unprocess Your Diet with Super Easy Recipes—Lose Up to 5-7 Pounds the First Week! by Natalie Jill
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

David Zinczenko is editor-in-chief of Men's Health and editorial director of Women's Health.

Matt Goulding is a chef, James Beard Award–nominated journalist, and contributing editor to Men's Health.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Rodale Books; Original edition (October 12, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1605291471
  • ISBN-13: 978-1605291475
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 0.6 x 6.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (266 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #41,658 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I bought this book at Walmart (paid a lot more for it there) and it was completely worth it. So far, I have tried a half dozen of the recipes, and ALL of them have been a huge success. One reviewer rights about how it is only restraunt selections..... false. At the bottom of each ORIGINAL recipe in here, they show what a restaurant alternative is, and how much money and calories you save by cooking at home. Also helpful in this book is new cooking tips and techniques. For example, as a southerner - I love fried foods. This book showed me how to "oven fry" foods to have that familiar taste and crispy outside without all the extra calories from submerging foods in hot grease. Other techniques in this book that have been helpful are how to braise meats and use the natural drippings to make your own sauces while cooking, increasing the natural flavor of dishes.

2 weeks in, 11 pounds down

5 Stars in my book!
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Format: Paperback
I am shocked at how engrossed I am with this book. I want to cook every single recipe! The biggest surprise--aside from learning how many calories I could save by cooking for myself--was how motivating the recipes are. Beautiful pictures and simplified cooking tips turn complex dishes into super-easy recipes. Many of the recipes even come with variations in case you can't find a certain ingredient or just want more variety. Here are my four favorites so far:

*Red Pepper Alfredo - AMAZING dish, and I saved 830 calories and $10 over the same meal at Olive Garden.

*Loaded Calzone - Far easier than I ever imagined, and I saved 1,025 (!) calories and $4.50 over Pizza Hut's Meaty P'Zone Pizza

*French Toast Stuffed with Strawberries -Whole-wheat toast stuffed with ricotta cheese, strawberries, honey, and almonds. Yum. I will definitely be making this again! And I saved 810 calories and $11.40 over IHOP's version.

*Curry with Cauliflower & Butternut Squash - I had no idea I was capable of making curry. Or that I could save 717 calories and $8.50 in the process.

My kitchen skills are improving, I'm motivated to cook, and I already feel healthier. And if I don't feel like cooking one night, I'll just dive into the chapter dedicated to 10-minute meals. That should be easy enough. Though, to be honest, nothing I've cooked so far has taken me much more than 20.
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Format: Paperback
I've owned this book for about a eight weeks now and have cooked at least a half dozen of the recipes. All turned out very good. I'm an experienced cook and don't need a lot of direction to know how to follow a recipe, and I'm not sure if that affected the outcome. Regardless, the recipes are nicely thought out, and presented in a way that gets them on the table fairly quickly.

Despite liking the book, I do have a couple of concerns. I don't want to repeat what other reviewers have said, so please read those reviews if this strikes a chord with you: The calorie counts and comparisons with restaurant meals are not accurate comparisons. The book generally compares one serving from the book's recipes, which are usually four servings, with the entire restaurant entree, which is often as large as the book's entire recipe, and certainly more than the single serving size the book recommends. I get it---the authors want us to watch not only what we eat, but how much we eat. Good advice, but they shouldn't rig the comparisons in such a disingenuous way. Still though, the recipes are good, and I believe that people need to take personal responsibility for portion control. If some fuzzy math in the book causes people to make better decisions and feel good about it, I can live with that.

Even though this book looks slick, it feels like a self-published book in serious need of a good editor. Now that I've cooked recipes, AND LIKE THEM, I can't find a darn thing in the index. For example, there are two salmon recipes that I like. Is salmon a category in the index? Not a chance. Okay, let's go to fish, which does exist, but there's no sub-section for salmon.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
With the calorie counts calculated from reliable sources, that lovely, fluffy, "340 calorie" burger on the front cover has 504 calories, and I suspect the rest of the math in this book is just as hopeful. (Come on, you knew that food looked too good to be *that* low-calorie.)

I used the USDA database (very reliable) for fresh meat/produce and the sides of packages for the prepackaged stuff. I tried to use the lowest calorie available options.

175 calories: Ground sirloin, 90%/10%, 1/4 lb raw weight pan-broiled (i.e., with the fat cooked out), USDA database
190 calories: Orowheat Country Potato buns (the lowest-calorie "potato bun" at my local Safeway), 1 bun, calories from package (keep in mind that just two small slices of white wonderbread would have 120 calories.)
60 calories: Sargento® Deli Style Sliced Reduced Fat Swiss Cheese, 1 slice, calories from package
33 calories: mushrooms, 1/2 cup (raw volume), USDA database
15 calories: A1 steak sauce, 1 tablespoon, calories from pacage
11 calories: onion, medium-size, 1/4 onion, USDA database
20 calories: oil, canola, 1/2 teaspoon (estimated), USDA database

The goofy calorie counts in this book are shame, because (for example) 504 calories isn't bad for a burger at all. But it's almost *50% more* than the calorie count they gave in the book. The massive difference in the *actual* vs the *listed* calories could seriously throw off a carefully calculated diet. Caveat Emptor.
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