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4.4 out of 5 stars
Giada's Feel Good Food: My Healthy Recipes and Secrets
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46 of 46 people found the following review helpful
on April 22, 2014
I am not a fan of "reviewers" who judge a book, either good or bad, without even trying the recipes! And I love reviews that get very specific! So here it goes!

I have to admit, I am not quick to adopt food "trends" - quinoa and kale in specific! Some critics say this book is too "weird" and they may be in part referring to these ingredients.

Even though I stick to recipes with more familiar ingredients, I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THIS COOKBOOK. I have tons of cookbooks, and some sit on the shelf with only a few tried and loved recipes. This is not one of them! Most but not all are quick and easy to put together with fresh ingredients.

I love all these recipes! Giada has found ways to deliver tons of flavor and high nutrition. If you are hesitating due to unusual ingredients, don't! I am in love with this book! And have many more recipes which I will be trying.

Dinner:
Vegetable Meatloaf- awesome! So filling and flavorful!
Southern Italian Style Chicken- tons of flavor!
California Turkey Chili- I added crushed tomatoes, but awesome. Freezes well, too.
Salmon with Lemon, Capers, and Rosemary- very good
Sole with Lemon Basil Pesto- amazing!!!!
Pork Tenderloin with Honey Mustard Sauce- easy enough for everyday, awesome for company! A must try!
Mahimahi with Mango Vanilla Sauce- made with halibut- delicious! (Push sauce through a stainer to eliminate pulp)
Broiled Sole with Mustard and Chive Sauce- dinner on the. Table in 20 minutes! Yummy!

Lunch:
Butter Lettuce with Pear Dressing- omitted the tuna, but just delicious!
Farfalle with Chicken and Mushrooms - good
Turkey, Kale, Brown Rice Soup- yummy! Used escarole (like often used in Italian Wedding Soup) instead of kale
Green Pea, lettuce, and Fennel Soup - surprisingly delicious!!!

Misc:
Orange Scented Almond and Olive Oil Muffins- nice!
Banana Walnut Smoothie Yummy
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94 of 108 people found the following review helpful
on November 5, 2013
If truth be told, Giada clearly has good genetics and a fast metabolism. That being said, I like that this book focuses on eating well to increase energy levels and for general health/increased Immunity. I don't think she mentions weight per se once (though the recipes do include nutritional information including calories, for those who are interested). I have not tried the recipes yet, which, not surprisingly, are short on pasta and pizza. I do find her lifestyle tips helpful -- was happy to learn that she prefers yoga and walking over the gym! I am only giving it 4 stars because the "non-recipe" portions of the book are relatively sparse (though there is a lot of info on her beauty routine). There is a theme that does emerge, though, which is: nothing is "off limits" or forbidden, but eat lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein, watch your portions, limit sugar where possible, eat when you are hungry and stop when you are full, and, most importantly, enjoy and savor the food you do eat.
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97 of 119 people found the following review helpful
on November 6, 2013
While I truly love Giada's prior cookbooks, this one seems to be a bit odd. I love the little vignettes she tells about her life, however, the recipes are kind of weird. I have tried a few that were okay, but these recipes are not her usual standard. I agree healthy can be delicious, but some of these are repetitive (quinoa) and some are just weird (eggs with strawberries). As much as I love Giada, I would stick will Ellie Kreiger for the healthy recipes.
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70 of 86 people found the following review helpful
on November 9, 2013
First of all, let me just say -- cooking healthy is challenging, especially if you are looking for food that is both flavorful, healthy, and light on the calories.

I've seen too many "diet" cookbooks that use too many weird "diet" ingredients, calling for ingredients such as artificial sweeteners, fat free dairy, and so on (ie. Rocco Dispirito in his "Now Eat this!" series -- although his Now Eat This! Italian is pretty awesome). I've always thought that they were pretty redundant, because I could have just substituted fat free/sugar free ingredients with normal recipes and get similar results.

Then there are these other cookbooks that emphasize on "a healthy twist on COMFORT foods". Seriously --I understand the whole need for comfort food recipes and all (because they are awesome of course), but I really don't need 10 "healthy" cookbooks that basically have different versions of the same old Mac & Cheese, Chilli, Sloppy Joes. It's like they (the cookbook writers) have to have a check list to check off when they are writing these cookbooks, instead of using a bit of creativity to maybe give their own twist onto them.

Giada's Feel Good Food is great because she is very creative in coming up flavor combinations for her recipes, often giving her own twist on the classics. So, instead of the oh-so-boring "miso/ ginger-soy salmon" that a lot of the diet cookbooks tend to include, she comes up with a "Grilled salmon and pineapple with avocado dressing" that has the crunchiness from the seared salmon, the sweet and tangy-ness from the pineapple, and the creaminess from the avocado dressing.

Typical to Giada's style, the recipes here tend to have a slightly "sweet", "tangy", or crunchy component to them. By that I mean she really loves adding fruits, citrus zest/ juice, and toasted nuts into her dishes -- which I think are absolutely great because they lighten up a dish, and provide a textural contrast without having to add empty calories.

I've also noticed that -- in concocting her recipes -- Giada has taken the time to include a combination of proteins, carbs, and fats in her recipes. Ie., most of her recipes are bursting full of healthy grains, veggies, and lean protein. Combine that with a low fat-yet creamy dressing, the tangy-ness of fruits, and perhaps a bit of crunch from the veg/ nuts, her meals tend to be quite "complete" nutritionally and flavor-wise. I could probably just whip up on of her recipes and not have to worry about side-dishes or having to make an extra salad.

Regarding the concern about the exotic ingredients like quinoa, I personally think it's not been such a concern for me. The most "exotic" ingredients in the book are quinoa, soba noodles, or veggies like kale, which are a little bit harder to find but are still available in most supermarkets.

All in all, I highly recommend this cookbook to people who are interested in cooking healthier, but still flavorful food.
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48 of 62 people found the following review helpful
on November 5, 2013
“I like to think of this book as one long recipe for well-being,” Giada De Laurrentiis says in the acknowledgments of "Giada’s Feel Good Food: My Healthy Recipes and Secrets." The book is broken down into recipes for each meal of the day, juices and smoothies, snacks and desserts. The introduction includes a month of menus. In addition to nutritional information, each recipe has icons denoting if it is vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free or dairy-free. The introduction and the tips interspersed throughout the book mostly say things we all know—pay attention to portion size, find an exercise you like and do it, use sunscreen, etc. The benefit, for me at least, is that reading those pages and seeing the photos of the dishes is like going to a pep rally. I’m pumped and raring to go.

I grabbed some paper and a pen and started reading as soon as the book downloaded to my iPad this morning. Four hours later, I have a list of the recipes I want to try soonest and a very long list for the grocery store I’m hitting next. I’ve highlighted plenty of recipes I want to try besides the Oatmeal with Olive Oil that I made for breakfast. My top priorities include the Spanish Potato Omelet, Chicken Chopped Salad in Butternut Lettuce Cups, Soba Noodle Salad and Ladybug Pops. After that, I’ll have some time to experiment with the many gluten-free recipes before our out-of-state gluten-free company arrives for Christmas.

And that oatmeal with olive oil, thyme and lemon zest that sounded a little out there? Great—even my husband agreed. I’m glad there’s some left over for tomorrow.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on June 26, 2014
I was looking forward to using this book for a summer go to, however after making three of the recipes I am disappointed. The recipes sounded so good, but our family did not enjoy them at all. I made Southern Italian Style Herbed Chicken and I have to say it was terrible, California Turkey, which was passable but I have had a lot better and a scallop recipe which was mediocre at best. These recipes are pretty involved and ask for ingredients which may not be on hand, so I just assumed that they would be special, but alas, not so.
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16 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on November 26, 2013
I really enjoyed this cookbook. The recipes are easy and accessible. I'm not sure why some have posted about exotic ingredients, the most exotic thing in here is stuff like quinoa or arugula (in other words, not very). Although some of the recipes are a little 'California' for me (e.g. the strawberry omelet), there are many that I will enjoy cooking. Also, adaptations are offered. In the smoothies & juices section, I like that each recipe notes whether it is best for a juicer, Vitamix, or regular blender.

One thing I did find kind of funny, male fans will be happy to know her bosoms are featured rather prominently in almost all of the photography. They should probably be credited as co-authors.

Definitely recommended.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on January 6, 2014
I wanted more cookbook than what she does daily to stay fit and pretty. I could have also used more vegetarian/meatless type recipes since it was about being fit. I loved Giada's other cookbooks and bought without perusing the book fully, I just assumed it would be different.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 22, 2014
I have tons of healthy eating cookbooks. We are constantly struggling to come up with clean recipes that are not twists on old favorites or comfort food. This book was exactly what I was looking for. The recipes are easy to follow and shop for and it is filled with meals I could never think of myself. I have made 20 recipes out of this book and every single one has been delicious. Most of the lunches can be made ahead in the evening and the dinners are insanely easy (except for the lentil burgers! those were awesome but A LOT of work). I now eat chia seed pudding every morning for breakfast and I have my kids eating different muffins out of the book each morning (yay, no more begging for pop tarts and waffles!). This is not a weight loss book! That was not what I was looking for, but I do appreciate that she lists nutritional content after each recipe. It helps me to meal plan for the week and not go too heavy at multiple meals during the day. I have recommended this book to all of my friends, I really love it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 16, 2014
I bought this book as one of my Christmas gifts to my fiance. She loves it! This book is LOADED with recipes, the book is very durable, glossy and sleek (perfect for use in the kitchen), and is filled with large, beautiful, full-color photos to accompany the meals. The layout of the book is very refreshing and new for a cookbook. As a man, I can appreciate the simplicity of it, and as a graphic designer, I can really appreciate the clear, classy layout. And now for the food... the recipes are delicious and easy to follow, and most of the ingredients she uses are readily available. We are a young couple in our late 20s and we enjoy cooking meals that ride the line between delicious and healthy, and Giada's new book balances the two nicely. I recommend it!
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