241 of 244 people found the following review helpful
on April 21, 2004
If you've read the South Beach Diet, it did include some preliminary recipe ideas, but they were few and far between. This follow-up cookbook is being marketed as if it were looking to dovetail on the popularity of its predecessor, but I believe if you have this, you don't even need the original.
The variety of recipes is fascinating, and the diet phase they correspond to in the original diet (which you can easily comprehend from this book alone) is clearly marked.
Mind you, this is not a "low carb" book. It is about lowering "bad" carbs while allowing "good" carbs. The South Beach idea veers around keeping the Glycemic Index low and Agatston does a pretty good job of explaining the nutritional logic for doing so.
The recipes that I have tried so far are quite good in terms of taste. The best thing for me is that none of the recipes includes any fancy condiments that you'd only find in some super-elite department stores on the other side of town. Very handy for a health-conscious bachelor.
Give it a try. Healthy *and* tasty recipes can't be a bad investment anyway!
200 of 207 people found the following review helpful
on April 15, 2004
Okay, having read the basic bible to the South Beach Diet (ISBN: 1579546463), which I would recommend to you if you are interested in this cookbook, I wanted to try some of the meals Agatston referred to in his book.
The author divides the cookbook into the following sections: breakfast, snacks, soups, salads, side dishes, fish and poultry, meats, vegetarian, and desserts. Each section has approximately 20 recipes, that appear easy enough to prepare and follow the 40% protein, 30% carb, and 30% fat you would expect on a diet plan like this. Also, most of the recipes included carb counts, protein grams, etc. I noticed in the dessert section (my personal favorite of any cookbook) that the recipes employ yogurt, almonds, and fresh fruit extensively. Some sugar substitutes were noted, but not a lot.
The author also dedicates 8 pages of the book to summarizing the diet plan, a long chapter on shopping in accordance with the diet plan, and 5 pages of question and answer type stuff that addresses general questions relevant to the diet. Color photos were available for about 50% of the recipes, which is why I titled this review "Pretty Pictures." I would recommend this book to any reader who enjoyed and plans to use the SouthBeach Diet.
72 of 73 people found the following review helpful
on September 19, 2004
We've now had over 30 patients in our cardiology practice "road-test" and try many of the recipes in Dr. Agatston's companion volume to his popular South Beach Diet. The response has been overwhelmingly favorable, both in taste as well as in weight loss.
The condiment recipes, like South Beach Barbecue Sauce and South Beach Teriyaki sauce, have gotten rave reviews from our patients, as well as some of the unique vegetarian entrees, like tofu cacciatore and baked Portobello caps with melted goat cheese. Dr. Agatston, a professed chocoholic, concludes with 20 recipes for desserts that use some clever substituting to avoid excess sugar, flour, and unhealthy oils.
The Cookbook is also a graphically-beautiful book, with full-color photos accompanying many, if not most, of the recipes.
117 of 124 people found the following review helpful
on July 13, 2004
I really like South Beach by design. I have lost 40 pounds and love the fact it is a "healthy" low-carb alternative. It was great to see them (though not a suprise considering book sales) to come out with the cookbook. Overall the recipes I have made were good BUT
1) They use a lot of ingredients I don't - aspaagus for breakfast, expensive seafood like seabass, sole and lobster and interesting but umcommon vegetables like choyote squash and fava beans
2) They take a long time to make - and I am an accomplished cook
3) The desserts are too limited and so-so
The point is they worked hard to make pretty, chef like food so you feel you can eat well, but forgot how many of us love the basics - easy to follow recipes with easy to find ingredients for "regular" food.
I highly suggest Fantastic Food with Splenda - 160 Recipes Low in Sugar, Carbs, Fat and Calories. It is compatible with SB and I love the Chai Tea, the Breakfast Cheesecake Cups (high in protein), the Three Bean and Spinach Salads, Sweet and Sour Chicken and Barbequed Pork Tenderloin. Better yet the Frozen Peach Yogurt and Key Lime Pie will truly make you forget you are on a diet. I have suggested it to many friends and they are also hooked. Delicious everyday recipes that are healthy - that's dieting made easy.
49 of 49 people found the following review helpful
"The Southbeach Diet Cookbook" was written to provide a number of recipes to complement the original "The Southbeach Diet" book.
The cookbook opens with an overview of the diet program. It describes the diet though not in the detail of the original book. It explains what you need to do to get your fridge and pantry 'southbeach' friendly. It explains what is allowed in terms of diary, meat, oils, pasta, snacks, beverages and more.
Next the book has a question/answer session with Dr. Agatston. In this section he updates some of the information from the original book (milk and yogurt are now allowed in phase 1 for example) and he gets into more detailed regarding different types of food.
Then comes the core of the book. The recipe categories include breakfasts, appetiziers and snacks, soups, salads, side dishes and accompaniments, fish shellfish and poultry, meats, vegetarian entrees and desserts. Each recipe indicates what phase it is appropriate for and many of the recipes are pictured in mouthwatering photographs!
Sample recipes include Vegetable Salad with Feta, Homestyle Green Bean Casserole, Pan Seared Pecan Grouper, Whole Wheat Vegetable Lasagna, and Apple and Almond Souffle. Over 200 recipes.
One very nice feature is the inclusion of recipes so you can make many of your own condiments. Unfortunately ketchup, barbeque sauce and many other "toppers" are laden with high fructose corn syrup. So Dr. Agatston includes the details on how you can make your own.
Overall the quality of recipes is very good. The one negative I have is the total avoidance of sugar and reliance on sugar substitutes. I would rather use real sugar in moderation than sugar substitutes like aspartame. He has a recipe for strawberries with velvety chocolate dip and suggests you use sugar free chocolate syrup. Instead why not use a high quality cocoa bar and melt it down. This is healthier than the faux sugars like malitol,which are in sugar free products and so much more satisfying.
Dr. Agatston has some wonderful recipes in this book from top chefs and restaurants and they are worth buying the book for. But many of the desserts with the fake sugars and fat free sour cream fall flat. Moderation is key. Use the real deal in a tiny quantity like the French do.
43 of 43 people found the following review helpful
on May 24, 2004
I'm a long time (as these things go) south beach dieter: I started in January 2003, lost 30 pounds by July 2003, and have kept it off. I bought this cookbook because of the initial buzz that there would be some really interesting new recipes. Unfortunately, the first two I tried were bombs. The oven roasted chick peas had very little flavor and a really odd texture (maybe I didn't roast long enough? Perhaps, but they still could have used some kick to the flavor.) Based on reviews here, I next tried the salmon in creamy lemon sauce, billed as having a remarkably rich and creamy taste. It was average at best; the sauce was thin and the flavor one-dimensional. At this point, I actually printed out an Amazon lable to send the book back. However, I had tagged one last recipe to try--the oatmeal pancakes. These were dynamite! I had tried some VERY expensive lo-carb pancake mixes that yielded odd little things that tasted like bad synthetic omelets, and had sort of resigned myself to no pancakes. But the oatmeal pancakes recipe here? Beautiful cakes, fabulous flavor, good texture. I made a whole recipe, ate 3, and put the rest in a bag in the frig. Then every morning, I popped some in the toaster oven, where they heated up beautifully. Re-inspired, I went back to the cookbook and made escarole with white beans. Another hit! Tonight I will try the salmon with 5-spice seasoning and lime juice, and see how that is. I think now that I will keep the book, and see what other jewels I can come up with.
36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
You will only be interested in this cookbook if you are a committed follower of The South Beach Diet. If you are an Atkins freak, go elsewhere!
I lost 50 pounds on the South Beach Diet. To me, that accomplishment was less impressive than the fact that I couldn't lose weight on any diet before I tried this one. I think I had become insulin resistant, and everything I ate turned to fat . . . even when my calorie count was low.
I found the diet appealing for some other reasons. First, I already ate a low fat diet and felt comfortable doing that. So I didn't have to change that part of my healthy eating. In fact, I was also being sure that I got "good" fats like omega-3 fatty acids from eating fish. Second, I could still eat carbs . . . I just had to avoid the ones that turn into instant blood sugar. Third, Dr. Agatston also introduced some new staples into my diet that I enjoy such as low-fat cheese snacks, having a few salty almonds, and eating steaming bowls of old-fashioned oatmeal. Fourth, and here's where the cookbook comes in, he introduced to me the idea of tasty, healthy ingredients I can use to spruce up simple foods. As a result, my cupboard has about twice as many spices as before (I love to put cinnamon on almost everything!) and my refrigerator has lots of new kinds of vegetables and fruits that I stir into all kinds of dishes. Suddenly, the ordinary becomes special and interesting!
In this cookbook, Dr. Agatston once again calls on top chefs to show you how to make delicious, healthy dishes. Most recipes have fewer than 10 ingredients, and you probably already have most of them. The preparation and assembly are pretty straightforward. Even I can do these recipes! Each one also comes with nutritional descriptions of calories, saturated fat, protein, carbohydrates, fiber, cholesterol and sodium on a per serving basis. Presentation is at least half of the value of fine food. This cookbook comes with beautiful color photographs of ways to serve the final dish. Your mouth will water with healthy saliva when you get a look at these beauties!
This book would make a great birthday or Christmas gift for a friend who is on the South Beach Diet. And it would make an ever better gift for you.
Great work, Dr. Agatston!
35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
on April 19, 2004
Having lost more than 18 pounds since starting the South Beach Diet in mid-January, I'm clearly committed to the changes in eating habits Dr. Agatston promotes. This is the easiest weight-loss I've ever achieved and I only plan to lose about 5-8 pounds more. My primary motivation, however, was to improve blood chemistry.
I love cooking and love eating. While it's easy to convert most recipes to accomodate South Beach guidelines, it's great to be able to pick up a book full of well-written and nicely illustrated selections that tantalize the taste-buds but fit within the plan without modification. I bought the book yesterday and was impressed with the variety of spices and colorful ingredients melded together in recipes ranging from simple to sophisticated, with many an ethnic touch. Many fine restaurants have also contributed recipes.
This evening I made two of the selections for dinner: Zesty Crab Cakes with Creamy (Red) Pepper Sauce with a side of Overnight Slaw. My husband isn't on South Beach - so I added hot rolls for him. The meal was delicious - and it's a sign of a good cookbook when the recipe looks and tastes the way one thinks it will! Tomorrow I'm going to try Oven-Fried Chicken with Almonds.
The book clearly identifies which Phase of the diet each recipe is appropriate for. The major categories are: Breakfasts, Appetizers and Snacks, Soups, Salads, Side Dishes and Accompaniments, Fish, Shellfish and Poultry, Meats, Vegetarian Entrees and Desserts (which sound too good to be true!).
My only caution is that some of the more complex recipes require spices and items that one might not readily have in one's pantry. But I know I'm going to be making many of these meals over and over so the ingredients will be put to good use!
33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on May 2, 2004
The books sectioned into Breakfast, Appetizers & Snacks, Soups, Salads, Side Dushes, Fish & Poultry, Meats, Veggies, and Desserts. The majority of the recipes call for easily found ingredients while some call for ingredients I've never heard of let alone know where to find. I'm sure they there can be substitutions.
My only complaint is the lack of organization. Instead of starting with phase one it jumps around making it a little frustrating when I'm looking for a phase one recipe or phase two or three. The best thing to do would be to bookmark all of them which is a waste of time in my opinion.
There's a lot of variety from Fried Green Tomatoes and Mashed Potatoes to Mexican Lasagna. Plenty of meat and fish dishes too. There's also Lemon cookies, Cheesecake and Chocolate Pie for the sweet tooth!
The carb count looks to be under 25 grams (a lot under 10) for most of the dishes and fat is low too.
It's worth it's weight in gold!
72 of 80 people found the following review helpful
on August 16, 2004
I think in general that this diet is something needed in this fat country of ours, and I fully support the basic principles of it. HOWEVER, I find this cookbook overly complex, and I am an accomplished cook. The recipes are complicated, require too many 'special' items, seem exotic just for the sake of making you feel like you are really doing something special, and don't taste all that great. In EVERY SINGLE recipe I have tried so far, the instructions are either incomplete, contradictory to themselves, or obviously wrong, and the ingredient list is inconsistent with the instructions. It is as if the book was written in a hurry, and no one tested them, much less proof read them for accuracy or completeness. If you othink you can hold a day job and follow these recipes you are fooling yourself. I have been getting up an hour early to prepare for the day, and I end up in the kitchen, after work, twice as long as I normally am to create these monstrous masterpieces of odd tasting entrees. Since we have moved on to phase 2, I have reverted to the Body For Life cookbook, whichi s by FAR easier to read, create, and much tastier. I would HIGHLY recommend it- it follows the basic principles of the SB diet, but it is SO much better; better thought out, better (fewer) ingredients, better tasting, and easier on those of us who don't have live in cooks. Unfortunately, like the SB Diet, the desserts are completely disgusting, but I think there is not much you can do when you cut that much out of your diet. I still advocate REAL dessert- just don't eat so much of it.