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on April 1, 2010
And along comes Now Eat This! Fried chicken at 204 calories!! Sounded to good to be true but my family made it this weekend and it was amazing! Other dishes I loved were the mac n cheese, the turkey enchiladas and the faux fried shrimp. I don't think there is another cookbook out there written by such a gifted chef that addresses health and diet in this way. Best book purchase of 2010. Gonna buy 5 more for friends and family.
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on June 19, 2010
I was intrigued by the concepts of lowering so much fat without sacrificing taste in his descriptions of most of these recipes. I tried a few to start and was NOT happy. The brownies made with black beans were so bad even my golden retriever walked away from them. Texture was awful too. Tried the General Tso Chicken and did not find it to be worth the effort. Very sour after taste and would eliminate the vinegar IF made again. Several friends have tried other recipes and also been disappointed. Not sure how much more time and food I want to waste experimenting with his recipes. I have had much better luck with Cooking Light Recipes!
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on March 11, 2010
Have only tried two recipes from this book, one was simply not as good as "advertised" the other was just plain inedible. First, the brownies; I felt the recipe was pretty easy, the resulting baked good looked nothing like the pictures in Rocco's book, there is no crunchy top, no molten middle. The recipe instead yields what I'd define as a mediocre chocolate health bar.

The real disaster was the General Tso's <sp?> Chicken. The finished dished had me questioning whether anyone had actually tested these recipes. Between the rice vinegar and they vinegar in the "Rockin' Asian Stir-fry Sauce," this dish was completely overpowered by vinegar, that's all we could taste... vinegar.

I think I'll hold-off on cooking anymore recipes from this book until the rest of you weigh-in on which ones yeild palatable food.

Addendum: In the interest of fairness, I just made the rice pudding from p232 and found it to be very nice. After sampling several yogurts to find a neutral product (which is the key to getting a finished dish that doesn't taste tart and yougurty) I want with Fage, which provided a nice creamy texture to the end results. I'll keep making recipes, with a few more successes I'll up my star rating.
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on June 7, 2011
Bought the book and just started making some of the recipes. This weekend I made the Black Bean Brownies and I completely agree with the former reviewer. There is no way the picture is the same recipe for THIS brownie recipe. The brownies in the book appear to have flour in them. These do not. I followed it exactly and they came out black with very little rise in the mix. The taste was awful! Black beans and chocolate do not go together. Will try some of the other recipes soon.
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on March 7, 2010
I was so intrigued to try the low-cal brownies. After spending nearly $20 for items that I wouldn't ordinarily have in my pantry (artificially sweetened chocolate syrup, egg replacer, stevia) I thought these babies had better be good. But they were really awful. The texture is like a mouthful of cold refried beans - they don't have the crunchy crust or the cakey middle of a good *real* brownie. They smell fine, but the flavor is mostly coffee...and beans.

Seriously - there's no harm in eating real food, just do it in moderation. Tinkering with flavorful food and producing a pale shadow of the original is closer to deprivation than is just avoiding those supposedly "bad" foods altogether.
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on April 3, 2010
I'll be the first to admit I was skeptical when I found out about the low-cal focus, even though I am a long time Rocco fan. Beans in brownies don't exactly give me a warm, fuzzy feeling. But the more recipes I try, the more I like it! Essentially, this is about using some alternate ingredients and preparation methods to cut down on the fat but not sacrificing taste.
Favorites so far have been the Faux-Fried Onion Rings (crispy and delicious!), Crispy Mozzarella Sticks, Tuna Burgers, & Fettuccine Alfredo. Turkey Tacos are a family favorite that have become the staple of our Taco Tuesday tradition.
The Macaroni & Cheese is surprisingly savory without being too heavy. The Strawberry Graham Cracker Tarts are easy to make and have a rich, creamy flavor. My two girls really like these,and the Macaroni & Cheese.
I especially appreciate the 'Cook for Yourself' section of p. XIV and the fact that Rocco is encouraging people to cook at home and providing recipes that aren't overwhelming or overindulgent.
I haven't been brave enough to bust out the Brownies yet, but have heard from trusted sources they are not to be feared and are, in fact, quite tasty! I think they may be next to try!
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on May 28, 2015
These are some fantastic recipes and tips; all are geared toward helping with weight loss in terms of calories and fat, but the food will appeal to dieters and non-dieters, alike. Rocco's trademark is recipes with lots of flavor, and this book doesn't disappoint. It's great for people with food sensitivities (this isn't true of all the recipes, but there are plenty to choose from). For example, it's got recipes for chocolate chip cookies made with cannellini beans rather than flour, and brownies made with black beans rather than flour. One of my favorite all-time "hacks" in the book is the onion/garlic puree. I've never been a fan of sautéing onions and garlic because the smell permeates our small house and because I'm talented at burning things -- but you can prepare this puree in the microwave, with all the flavor intact and no added fat.

The book includes plenty of appealing photos to show you how the recipes should look. It's inspirational in that it makes you want to cook these healthier foods, including low-calorie but satisfying comfort foods. Can you believe he came up with recipes for low-cal chicken that actually is fried; low-cal mayonnaise that tastes even better than "real" mayonnaise; low-fat bleu cheese dressing; and low-fat ribs?

I have several Rocco Dispirito cookbooks, and they are all fantastic. This book is no exception. You don't have to be on a diet to appreciate it.
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on June 23, 2012
The reason I did not give this cookbook 5 stars is this; some people may be disappointed if they cannot find the brands he uses. I had read comments he made about his recipes, the process he used to adjust the caloric count, and was ready for specific brands suggested. He wanted the best flavor he could achieve using less fat, sugars, and salt. And he did that by trying out different brands. He is a chef so he has experience to bring to a cookbook that I wanted. I recently had an aortic dissection emergency surgery, found out I have high blood pressure and need to change my way of life concerning diet. But I am a good cook and want the best flavor I can get out of recipes and keep to a healthier diet. (Also, foods that my husband will enjoy without feeling cheated) I want to feel satisfied too, not hungry because I ate 'healthy' vegetables and 'rabbit' food and find myself grazing later in the evening. These recipes do that. I am very pleased but shopping for the particular brands is challenging if you don't live near markets that carry much ethnic variety or just much variety in brands. I find what I need at Whole Foods Market, MOMs and the Common Market which are all over 30 minutes from my house. I can substitute with what I find at Food Lion, Safeway or Giant but I don't know that I am getting the 'maximum'flavor from the recipe that he got. That's okay, it's still great. I will order more of his cookbooks. Just a side note, not pertaining to Rocco...Rachael Ray actually has recipes that are filling and healthier than her normal cooking. She's not a chef but is one good cook. I have been amazed at her healthier recipes.
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on April 29, 2010
i liked the concept of this book. i did make the brownies and the didnt turn out like the picture. i did end up changing the recipe a little to make it taste less like beans. after i did that turned out ok. my family did try the mac and cheese recipe and they loved it! the one thing i didnt like is for each recipe it requires some sort of "sauce" that you pre-make using another recipe in the book. it is very time consuming and the portions arent big enough for as much work you put into it.
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on March 8, 2010
Even the men in my life like these recipes. Anything that helps me help them eat healthier gets a thumbs up in my book. The recipes are not difficult (I am by no means a chef) and taste awesome! I can't wait to try some more.
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