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Customer Review

111 of 139 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good & Healthy Recipes, March 3, 2010
This review is from: Now Eat This!: 150 of America's Favorite Comfort Foods, All Under 350 Calories (Paperback)
I just spent about an hour reviewing Now Eat This! 150 of America's Favorite Comfort Foods, All Under 350 Calories, by celebrity chef Rocco DiSpirito. As a former chef and avid cook, my passion is cooking healthy and delicious meals. So, it was with interest that I read this book, as I wanted to see how Rocco brought flavor--not calories--to America's favorite comfort foods.

The trick to cooking flavorful, healthy and low calories meals is using--no surprise--flavorful, health and low calorie ingredients and understanding how to combine them to make a dish that satisfies. Using such ingredients is how Rocco achieves this. He uses aromatic herbs and spices that are packed with flavor, for example. Another great substitute that Rocco uses for butter, sour cream or cream is Greek yogurt--yum! If you haven't tried Greek yogurt, you're in for a treat. I substitute it all the time in dishes and don't miss a thing.

Rocco was inspired to write this book after being a guest cook on The Biggest Loser. He was asked to turn traditional comfort foods--laden with fat and calories--into low calorie, tasty and healthy dishes.

The book itself is eye candy--bright, beautiful colors and lots of sexy photos of the dishes.

To keep the calories at a minimum, Rocco uses cooking spray. Cooking spray is great for faux frying and in some other instances, but I would use a bit of extra virgin olive oil in some of the other recipes. Olive oil is a "good fat" and is good for you. Sure, it adds calories, but it also adds flavor and gives the diner the feeling of satiation and satisfaction. (I can't help but believe that some of these meals are so light in calories that they would lead to hunger an hour or so later later and a possible unhealthy binge! For instance, his macaroni ann cheese recipe calls for 4 ounces of pasta for 4 servings!I do not know any pasta lover who could eat 1 ounce of pasta and be satisfied...)

That said, these are terrific recipes if you are trying to lose weight! Instead of the same old boring diet dishes, this book could keep you on track because of the variety in the dishes.

If you just want healthy and tasty meals, this cookbook is still fine. You can always eat a bigger portion or add some olive oil! :)

Overall, I like this cookbook and have earmarked several recipes to try very soon.

Author, HARMONIOUS ENVIRONMENT & SELL YOUR HOME FAST
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Showing 1-8 of 8 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 4, 2010 8:56:33 AM PST
Dan Herman says:
Thanks for the thoughtful review!

Posted on Mar 25, 2010 12:42:50 PM PDT
Lynn says:
Thanks for the review. It helps.

My husband and I have a lot of foods we cannot tolerate or cannot eat because of health problems - beef, pork, and sugar for both of us, milk products and beans for me, and salt for him. We do eat healthy, obviously, but could use some more recipes. Given our restrictions, is this book worth buying for us?

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 26, 2010 6:25:20 AM PDT
Lynn,

This book may or may not be worth buying....it will have some recipes, but I would recommend other cookbooks, too. You aren't as restricted as you may think you are and the main obstacle is getting a variety of protein. There are endless dishes you can make with chicken, fish, tofu, seitan and more. i recommend cookbooks like Mark Bittman's how to Cook Everything and vegan cookbooks, which will show you how find substitutes for dairy and will give you tofu and seitan recipes. Also, most Asian cuisine has no dairy. Finally, go to your natural food store and start experimenting with their non-dairy alternatives, tofu and the like.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 26, 2010 8:40:09 AM PDT
Thanks for the review. I love your book, Harmonious Environment! Totally helped make my home a place everyone loves to hang out at!

Posted on Mar 26, 2010 2:05:52 PM PDT
An informative, helpful and excellent review indeed!

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 31, 2010 2:45:17 AM PDT
Lynn says:
Tofu = soy beans. I can't eat most beans because of IBS. I can't eat soy, because I'm allergic to it. Add to that, hubby is a meat eater, so we can't do vegerterian either. :/

Our diet isn't too restrive now that they grind turkey. We eat what seems like everyone else eats, but most groan when they hear it's turkey. lol We even figured out how to make Yankee Pot Roast with chicken! lol

But thanks - officially crossing that cook book off the list.

Posted on May 3, 2010 9:29:30 AM PDT
"Overall, I like this cookbook and have earmarked several recipes to try very soon. This review is USELESS if you haven't prepared any of the recipes!

In reply to an earlier post on May 3, 2010 9:54:53 AM PDT
Not true. As a former caterer/chef and still avid cook, I am able to look at recipes and get a very good feel if they will turn out to be good.
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