Customer Reviews: The Best Life Diet Cookbook: More than 175 Delicious, Convenient, Family-Friendly Recipes
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VINE VOICEon January 8, 2009
Best-life advocate Bob Greene positions the ideas in this cookbook as a "gift that you give to yourself and your loved ones." Home-cooked meals made from fresh, natural ingredients will make you feel better, live longer and bond with your family and friends. Makes sense to me. And if you just want to cook yummy foods, these dishes are delicious.

They are also nutritious, and all the details for each serving are at the end of each recipe: calories, protein, carbohydrate, dietary fiber, sugar, total fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, calcium and sodium.

Easy-to-follow meal plans are broken down into three sections. Quick and Easy meals take no more than 20 minutes to prepare, Kitchen Connoisseur choices are a little more adventurous, and Family-Friendly meals offer healthy versions of family favorites. Each meal plan has six calorie levels: 1,500, 1,600, 1,700, 1,800, 2,000 and 2,500 calories a day.

Although most of the recipes are geared to busy families with little time to spend in the kitchen, there is a whole chapter of wonderful, healthy dishes from accomplished chefs. These recipes may take a little longer than the 30 minutes or so the other recipes require to prepare. Some of the chefs participating include Mollie Ahlstrand of Trattoria Mollie, Dan Barber of Blue Hill, Sarma Melngailis of Pure Food and Wine, Charlie Trotter of Charlie Trotter's and Roy Yamaguchi of the 35 Roy's Restaurants around the world. Ahlstrand's Zuppa di Pomodoro is a flavorful take on tomato soup that uses garlic, brandy, rosemary and orange juice.

In the back is a handy Techniques tutorial showing how to roast garlic, toast nuts, section citrus, clarify butter and the like.

Other good choices for healthy cookbooks include Deceptively Delicious,Hungry Girl: Recipes and Survival Strategies for Guilt-Free Eating in the Real World and The Most Decadent Diet Ever.

The Eat This Not That! series is also excellent.

Here's the chapter list:
1. Introduction
2. Recipes
3. Breakfast
4. Soups
5. Salads
6. Sandwiches, Wraps and Crispbreads
7. Entrees: Meat, Poultry, Seafood, Vegetarian
8. Side Dishes: Grains, Vegetables
9. Calcium-Rich Snacks
10. Desserts
11. Best-Life Recipes from World-Class Chefs
12. Meal Plans
13. Basic Recipes
14. Techniques
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VINE VOICEon January 15, 2009
The Best Life Diet Cookbook, by Bob Greene, is geared toward the cooking shy/inexperienced. Greene seems to think that many Americans are not cooking these days, so he is careful to present a book in which most of the recipes can be prepared in 30 minutes or less and are technically easy to make.

He understands that many Americans are too busy to cook--or simply don't make cooking a priority. In the introduction he writes: "You can reclaim the experience of eating as a celebration by sitting down to enjoy these high quality, delicious dishes without over doing it."

The book is comprised of recipes plus numerous two-week meal plans.

I love to cook and do so frequently, mixing new with my favorites. I always cook healthy (although not necessarily low-calorie) and have tried several of Greene's recipes. So far, all have been very good.

* Most unusual for a salad was the lamb salad with cucumber and yogurt. Quiet delicious.
* The chicken breasts with pumpkin seeds was also very good. Pumpkin seeds are tasty and very healthy.
* Roasted root vegetables is a variation on what I often make and this recipe was very good, including unusual root veggies like rutabagas.
* YUM on the raw garlicky kale. I love kale and am always looking for new recipes to make with this super healthy and delicious veggie.

I enjoyed the recipes and bios from the world-class chefs, although I will admit that some are too time-consuming for me to consider making. Some of the recipes were simply show-offy chefy stuff; other, quite doable.

If you are searching for healthy and tasty recipes, The Best Life Diet Cookbook will do the trick.

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on March 7, 2009
As other reviewers have mentioned, many of these recipes contain ingredients that are costly and fit a more exotic palate. His book, The Best Life Diet, contains many more "family-friendly" recipes and snack ideas. In my opinion, that book is a much better resource for planning and preparing meals to fit Bob's Best Life Diet plan.
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Bob Greene begins this book by noting that (Acknowledgements page): "I wanted this cookbook to be something special. . . . [T]he collection of recipes that you're about to experience employs innovative techniques and unique combinations of ingredients to create meals that are respectful of calories, nutritionally rich, and delicious." In the Introduction (Page 1) he contends that "Eating is meant to be one of life's great pleasures." Hence, a cook book that claims that it has delicious meals that are also healthy and good for you. How well does it do at in meeting that high standard?

I think this volume actually does pretty well. Here's, for example, a simple side dish--easy to make and still tasty. Marinated mushrooms (Page 189). Ingredients? Pretty easy. Button mushrooms, some lemon juice, chives, olive oil, and a wee bit of salt. What could be easier? Just toss the mushrooms with ingredients and enjoy. Simple--but yet tasty.

The soups section has a number of straightforward recipes. Chicken noodle soup is a mainstay in many people's diets. Here, we see a pretty doable recipe that promises to taste good (Page 54). Chicken broth, chicken breast, carrots, celery, parsley, rosemary (always good in a recipe), thyme, spaghetti (whole grain). This looks like a good, simple, healthy recipe to me.

With respect to entrees, I have tried to move away from beef toward fowl and fish. In the category of entrees, Greene provides a recipe for Chicken with spring onions and mashed spring vegetables that looks outstanding. Another entree is vegetarian--Angel hair pasta with walnuts and peas. Looks simple to make and healthy to eat! And here's another one that is quite tasty indeed--Chicken poached in white wine with tomatoes. Simple ingredients and a yummy outcome. . . .

Other featues: healthy desserts, some recipes from "world-class chefs," meal plans, basic recipes (e.g., chicken and vegetable stock, vinaigrette), and techniques (such as how to slice beef, blanch fruits and veggies, and so on).

I wish that the pictures of the dishes were in color (while there are a few color plates, most photos are not), but that is hardly a major issue. Overall, this is a really solid cookbook, with pretty healthy recipes. A useful addition to my kitchen library. . . .
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on January 25, 2016
This didn't work for me because it was not as cohesive and I want. The recipes didn't inspire me want to cook them and the exercise program seemed to lengthy. This could fit great for someone else though - just me. Think I'll keep it around for a while and maybe I will find more appealing later on.
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on February 13, 2009
The problem I have with the book is with all of the referenced food companies. For example the soy milk he references has a high sugar content. Appears to me his book is more of a book for marketing certain brands of food along with his connection to Oprah. Wonder how much these companies supported his book and its marketing and publication? Can't believe its true nutritional value with the marketing of so many companies.
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The author deals forthrightly with strategies
to increase metabolism. In addition, meals
should be well-spaced with smaller portions.
Dieters should have plenty of water, low-fat
milk, fiber and Omega 3 fish oil.

A strength of the book is that the author
supplies a plethora of delicious meals
which are tailored to a dieter's needs.

The book is well worth the price of admission
for the totality of the advice presented and
the practicality of implementation. I've
utilized some of these strategies myself to
achieve significant weight loss.
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on March 10, 2009
I truly appreciate the wisdom shared by Bob & his recipes are really very tasty. The disappointment is that most of the recipes are similar to the first version. I would have hoped that there would be more diversity in his second edition ... you really have to join the website club to get that I guess.
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on January 30, 2009
I could not wait for my book to arrive as I was just starting a new eating plan that was devised for me through a dietician. The book arrived and I was immediately disappointed as the recipes were mostly things that I would never eat and the recipes were not made with ingredients that most people have on hand. I am not saying it is a bad book by any means I am just saying that it was not at all what I expected and I have no use for it.
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on March 8, 2009
The "Best Life Diet Cookbook", by Bob Green has been refreshing to work with, in that each night for the past three weeks I've selected a recipe and tried it out. I had for so long relied on the usual at dinner; chicken or fish with a salad. I had no desire to enter the kitchen! Now I look forward to seeing how the recipe turns out, and my palate has completely changed.

I should note that over the past two months I have been looking for a healthier way of eating, and after reading "The China Study" and the work of Drs. McDougall, Joel Furhman, Dean Ornish and others I was leaning toward vegetarianism, which has quickly turned into a vegan diet. Luckily Bob's book contains a chapter for vegetarians. I found myself restocking my cupboards with beans, peas, lentils, kale, collard greens, many nuts, and so on, things I had no idea how to use. Green's book made the challenge exciting and a pleasure.

I have cooked all the vegetarian recipes and have enjoyed every one. My husband is easy going when it comes to food, so he experimented with me and heartily enjoyed our dinner time experience ( I do think he orders a healthy meat/chicken selection at lunch!).

I can only plea with Bob Green to create more entrees for vegetarians which are as tasteful and satisfying as those in his book! I will be eagerly looking forward to more creative fun in the kitchen!

What I was most grateful for was the nutritional analysis of each meal. I am trying to loose weight and also have osteoporosis, so it was very important to know the nutritional analysis of each meal, e.g., calcium, fiber, calorie.
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