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252 of 257 people found the following review helpful
Format: Paperback
Containing over a thousand tried-and-true recipes from cooks all over the country, this cookbook provides easy slow cooker meals, all with reduced fat and reduced salt. Substitutions are the key here, with reduced fat ingredients such as turkey sausage and ground turkey, in place of beef, and low-fat cuts of pork, skinless and boneless chicken breasts, and low-fat cuts of beef in place of the higher fat cuts normally used. Low-fat condensed mushroom and chicken soup (canned), low sodium barbecue sauce, low-fat or nonfat cheeses, and low-sodium tomatoes and tomato sauce replace the usual products.

The soup section is the largest section, and there are over twenty-five versions of chili. Desserts feature fruit, rice pudding, and bread pudding, but there is one Hot Fudge Cake resembling the standard "Denver Chocolate Pudding Cake," which quickly converts this delicious baked recipe to the slow cooker.

The primary value of this cookbook is that it shows easy adaptations of standard recipes, so if you have favorite recipes and need to adapt them, this offers some good alternatives. Most of the recipes are light on herbs and spices, and adding them or increasing the amounts greatly improves the low salt versions of these recipes. The chicken recipes are particularly good, with a Dill-Lemon Chicken, a Twenty-Clove (Garlic) Chicken, and a Southwestern Chicken which are delicious, though there is a significant loss of texture to the meat when skinless, boneless chicken is used in place of chicken breasts with bones and skin.

Very low fat meat cuts (pork tenderloin or pork top loin, flank steak or extra lean beef cubes, for example), do not result in the cut-with-a-fork, fall-off-the-bone meats one is accustomed to with slow cooking--they remain quite firm (and rather dry) even with hours of cooking. Longer cooking of the pork, especially, creates an almost pasty texture, and the slow cooker's original purpose of tenderizing a tough, fatty cut is lost. This may be one of the reasons that the soups, which are imaginative, are the largest and most interesting section here. Lovers of slow cookery may prefer to use their own recipes and seasonings for favorites, checking here for ways to cut down on fat and salt and perhaps getting ideas for new ways of cooking. Mary Whipple
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199 of 210 people found the following review helpful
on September 12, 2005
Format: Paperback
I REALLY WANTED to like this book, but after trying five or six of the recipes, I went back to the original "Fix it and Forget it". All of the other reviews make good points and are very accurate. Just a few comments from my personal experience. I have a 7 quart slow cooker, and in an attempt to reduce calories, portions have also been reduced. As a result, I have found that many of these recipes do not make enough sauce. For example, I will still use the recommended 4-6 pieces of chicken, but I will double all the wet ingredients, so as to have twice as much sauce. If I don't do this, my food will burn. I have also had to add additional liquid not called for in recipes just to keep them wet enough to cook. Again, this is probably due to my large slow cooker size. That said, the recipes I made all tasted pretty bad. The mandarin orange chicken combined orange juice and mandarin oranges, which seemed like a great idea, but then it called for poultry seasoning, and I think that ruined it. No one in my house like it. The apricot mustard chicken will get another attempt before I abandon it entirely, with some modifications. Again, I will double the wet ingredients and possibly add some additional water. I am still going to try some of the desserts and see how they turn out. The techniques for reducing calories are no brainers that any experienced dieter already knows, like using lower fat dairy and low sodium soup. These are things most of us do to our "regular" recipes already. So, for my part, I will continue to use the first two books, "Fix-it & Forget-it" and "Fit-it & Forget-it for Entertaining" with a healthy dose of common sense. This book will get pushed to the back of the shelf or re-sold.
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74 of 79 people found the following review helpful
on March 24, 2005
Format: Paperback
I've just gotten a new crockpot and am getting back into lots of slow cooking, and am collecting various slow cooker cookbooks. This one is not bad....however, before getting it you should have some knowledge about crockpot cooking techniques because nothing of that nature is given. This is basically a collection of recipes from people all over the country. Two recipes per page, the the book is organized by sections: Main courses (chicken/turkey, beef, pork, bean, seafood each having sections), soups, veggies, desserts, and assorted other appetizers, snacks, breakfast dishes, even breads (not something I'd especially want to do in a slow cooker!). Good points: each recipe indicates how many servings and the ideal slow cooker size to use, and full nutritional breakdowns are given. There are often multiple recipes for the same basic dish, and some of them differ only slightly by one or two ingredients. One reviewer mentioned an over-use of canned soups, but I don't look at that too negatively: These are used in recipes that might otherwise use milk, and milk is not something that can be used successfully over 8 hours of cooking--hence the substitution of creamy canned soups (especially celery, cream of chicken, cream of mushroom). As I mentioned, no real basic techniques are discussed; for example, the desirability of browning beef before putting it into the pot. This book assumes some basic knowledge. That said, it's a useful book to have on the shelf, and I've done a fair number of recipes from it that are quite good. There are several books in this series. This one looks better to me than the others because as I recall, the earlier ones didn't include nutritional information. There's also a lot of repetition with recipes throughout all the books. This one at least makes an attempt to be lower-fat in nature. There is also a new one for Diabetics that might be interesting.
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48 of 55 people found the following review helpful
on August 17, 2004
Format: Paperback
An Index of eleven pages of triple columns tells you immediately that this is a book packed with enough recipes to last a lifetime. (There are for example over 70 pages on soups....) I didn't realise that all are sent in by people as recommendations so they are also all tried and tested in the home. The recipes have the great merit of being straightforward and can be created with the minimum of fuss.

Admittedly the American housewife has recourse (a little too often to such handy kitchen shortcuts as garlic salt - what's wrong with garlic and salt?) but you can adapt things.

In addition the attraction of low-fat recipes doesn't appear to have prevented the production of all-round tasty recommendations for a wide range of meals. No illustrations but very good value.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on June 14, 2006
Format: Paperback
I really wish this book had reviews written IN THE BOOK. Because...some of the recipes are really quite good and flavorful, but most, like 75% or more, are really boring. I enjoy the Mexican Cornbread, the Tastes-like-Chile-Rellenos, the Coq au Vin, the Steak Fajitas; but mostly, I'm adding in the salt and fat that they tried to take out since it would be too boring otherwise. There are just not enough other flavors to make up for the lack of salt and fat.

In addition, I think the format of the book is less than helpful; it has pages and pages of beef stews for instance, all with basically the same ingredients with only minor differences between them all. And, there are no comments to guide you in choosing which one would taste best. I have almost stopped trying new recipes from this book since I am usually disappointed.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on April 13, 2007
Format: Paperback
I was excited to find a crockpot cookbook that didn't have lots of recipes with cream of mushroom soup in them. Some recipes are written more clearly than others. Some have a range for how long you should cook stuff instead of a particular number.

I tried 3 recipes. First was a Rosemary Chicken recipe which cooked the chicken too long and dried it out. Then I tried a macaroni and cheese recipe which burnt. Finally I tried a recipe for chicken with soy sauce and honey which once again was dried out. The seasonings were good and some of the recipes were pretty unique, hence the 2 star rating.

I followed the directions to the letter and even had the same size crockpot which they mentioned in the recipe!

So if you choose to use this book, watch the food VERY CLOSELY.
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32 of 38 people found the following review helpful
on April 16, 2007
Format: Paperback
I have a family of five with busy schedules of sports, scouts, church activities, etc., etc. I was excited to get this cookbook so we'd stop eating on the go so much. Sound familiar?

I started trying a new recipe week after week. Every recipe was awful! Most of the recipes were bland or mushy. Which reminds me...

Beware of any of the recipes that call for rice. It will be overcooked. I guess I should have known that, but yuck! Just in case you're like me and didn't know: Rice turns to mush in a crockpot!

I hate to bad mouth this book so bad, but I wasted money buying the book and money buying the food for the recipes that I just ended up throwing out....several times. I tried mostly shrimp or chicken recipes.

Maybe I chose the wrong recipes? But after a couple of months, you would think I'd hit a winner.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on April 5, 2007
Format: Spiral-boundVerified Purchase
I have Fix It And Forget It, and now Fix It and Forget It Lightly. Not much difference between the two, and honestly, not much variety in recipes. If you have one, you do not need the other.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on March 8, 2006
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I also bought the forget it entertaining book. These both are the best slow cooker recipe books I've ever bought. I am not one for soups or soupy dinner often. This book saved my dinners. With 3 young kids and a business to run, my time is valuable. These dinners are fabulous, easy and practicle. Most ingredients are in most kitchens and soups are a very small part of the whole book. This is a must have for every family!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on January 11, 2010
Format: Paperback
I gave this cookbook lots of tries. Almost every recipe turned out bland and flavorless. My kids won't touch any of it, and they are not picky eaters. I always cook fairly healthy and you can have flavorful and low fat recipes... you just won't find them here.
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