Top positive review
278 people found this helpful
LOVE the book but lots of artificial sweeteners...
on March 14, 2010
I checked this book out from the library and intend on buying it. So far we have tried the Mac & Cheese (w/ Onion & Garlic Puree), Spaghetti Carbonara, Deep Dish Pizza, Nachos, & Brownies...all pretty much exactly as written and all in 3 days. The 1st three were AMAZING!! The Nachos were okay but I couldn't follow the recipe exactly due to our not having the black bean dip (subbed drained and rinsed black beans and green chilies)...if we'd followed it exactly I am certain that it would have been wonderful, as our version was "missing something". I am looking forward to trying the Indian Beef Curry and French Onion Soup soon. I LOVE that he incorporates Greek Yogurt into a lot of his recipes...such a wonderful healthy ingredient with a great texture, especially Fage brand.
I would give this book 4.5 stars if I could, but the scoring would not allow. The reason being is that there is an insane amount of artifical sweeteners in this book. I understand that he is trying to keep the recipes' calories and fat grams under certain amounts but I have a hard time believing that he, as a world-reknowned chef and serious athlete, would use Splenda & sugar-free chocolate syrup, etc as a normal part of his diet. I was really hoping that he would have included more of the "whole food, nothing artificial"-type recipes, like those that he had on the Biggest Loser. For example, the Brownies, which are supposedly the "star of the book" according to an interview that I read, had a "chemical" finish. I really wanted to try the chocolate chip cookies but haven't been able to find the chocolate nips in the recipe, so I opted for the more accessible Brownies. Please note that I have been making whole-food black bean brownies and white bean chocolate cookies (LOVE THESE!) for YEARS, including a bean brownie that is 79 cal/piece (8x8 pan, 16 pieces), so I am quite familiar with and accepting of the flavor and texture differences between these and the "real things". I just wish that the desserts were more "whole food" and less "fake" ingredients. It IS attainable. I do not give my kids artificial sweeteners, so most of these desserts would be off-limits for them.
All that being said, I LOVED the other recipes and look forward to trying more. I LOVE the variety of classic dishes from around the world. Thank you for this book, Rocco.