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Customer Review

53 of 61 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Just add the word "organic" to everything and you have an organic cookbook!, December 11, 2011
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This review is from: Naturally Skinny: 100 Organic Recipes Under 350 Calories! (Paperback)
I bought this book after looking at reviews for some of the Hungry Girl books. There were several complaints about her use of artificial sweeteners, and one review recommended this book instead. OK, I thought, I'll try that one instead, since I don't like using loads of artificial ingredients. I wish I hadn't, however. Half of the recipes in this book are common sense things that anyone could come up with (see the other review with the example of the spinach omelet recipe). The other half have loads of ingredients and are things I am not likely to make (am I really going to stick a pint of cherry tomatoes in a blender to MAKE tomato soup?). Also, as mentioned in the other review, there are numerous typos, at least in the Kindle version. You can tell what's intended by reading the recipe, but it's annoying to have to take the extra step. Some of the recipes are a bit time-intensive, and some call for ingredients that I don't believe actually exist. Is there such a thing as "organic tuna"? Those guys swim free in the ocean, right? How does anyone know what they've been eating? And what exactly is a "can" of tuna? There is no size given, and there is quite a variety of can sizes for tuna in most grocery stores. It would also be helpful if there were hints about brands, since some of the ingredients are unusual. "Organic frozen mixed berries" is one. Could I have a hint of what I'm looking for when I go to the store?

The author seems to have used her word processor to do a search and replace on a regular recipe book to insert the word "organic" in front of every noun. Why is organic important? What ingredients are most important to have organic versions of, and which ones can you use the conventional type instead? There's no info on this at all. Furthermore, the recipes do not provide a complete nutritional breakdown. How much fiber? How much cholesterol? You'll need to fill in those blanks on your own, since fat and calorie information is all that's provided. I am also bothered by the way the calorie count is doctored by simply increasing the number of servings in a few recipes. A 200-calorie muffin is not that difficult to create, but a single muffin does not a breakfast make (not for me, anyhow). And a pancake recipe that serves EIGHT is stretching the "under 350" calorie definition, in my opinion. Especially when there are only 2 cups of grain product in the whole recipe (oats and wheat flour). The instructions say to use 1/4 cup of batter for each pancake, meaning everyone gets a total of 1/2 cup of food for breakfast, since it makes 16 pancakes and serves 8. Hmm. I do believe I would still be hungry.

I ended up buying one of the Hungry Girl books, too, and I like it quite a bit better than this one. It's pretty easy to simply substitute other ingredients for anything artificial in the HG book. And I can add the word "organic," too, if I decide I want to use organic ingredients.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 11, 2012 4:17:16 PM PST
review guru says:
I feel this review could be summed up in a couple sentences: He didn't care to use organic materials and he didn't think portion sizes were big enough. And he likes the preprocessed foods in Hungry Girl. If you don't care for organic, don't download an organic recipe book!

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 19, 2012 8:48:13 AM PDT
Actually, my review is best summed up in my review :-) You've missed several of my most important points. Though the portion size thing was indeed irritating. For example, anything is low calorie in small enough sizes. I can make you a 100-calorie cheesecake slice, though it will only be the size of a tablespoon. And it can be organic by sticking the word "organic" in front of cream cheese, sour cream, etc.

I would've been fine with this book had I not paid for it, but I do expect some sort of professionalism from someone who expects me to give them money for a book. It's amateurish in almost every respect.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 9, 2013 7:54:24 PM PST
R. Cinello says:
And he cant be bothered using real tomatoes in a tomatoe based recipe.

Posted on Feb 5, 2013 3:30:18 PM PST
I enjoy visiting back here now and then and reading the comments. I especially enjoy the fact that no one has told me I'm wrong regarding what I've said about the book. No one corrects me and says the book is actually good--no, they instead attack my review. I think there are people who are paid to do this on Amazon. If you'll notice, there are often nasty attacks on reviews with one or two stars.

And no, I've never made tomato soup from raw tomatoes. But I think 99.999% of the world's population would probably say the same.
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