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Cooking Thin with Chef Kathleen: 200 Easy Recipes for Healthy Weight Loss Hardcover – April 1, 2002

3.8 out of 5 stars 86 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Another "cooking light for weight loss" cookbook? Upon first glance such a reaction is understandable, especially if you're not familiar with chef Kathleen Daelemans, who has been in the trenches of the weight-loss war and not only quickly commands attention with her writing but excites a mind and lifestyle change. Cooking Thin with Chef Kathleen freely shares the author's own experiences and struggles with weight as a child and an adult, and explains how this trained chef went from a size 22 to a 6. Daelemans has what it takes to be an empathetic role model for those who need to make changes to their diets for physical or mental health reasons. Her advice and recipes are aimed at real people.

Her self-effacing stories are at times painful (such as babysitting the night she should have been going to the prom), but the road that led her to healthy cuisine and weight loss is almost comical (though she certainly didn't believe it to be too funny at the time). After the excitement of moving to Hawaii to launch an Italian bistro at a seaside resort, the author, then a robust 205 pounds, was deflated when she arrived to find she had been replaced and put in charge of the establishment's spa cuisine.

The 200 recipes, as expected, are a mixture of healthy ways to prepare beef, chicken, fish, and vegetables. She has even included some full-fat recipes, such as a rich Lemon and Pecan Loaf. These are accompanied with reminders that it is OK to indulge occasionally, but a trip to the gym or eating "light" during the other parts of the day are the necessary balances to achieve weight loss. Even if it is not weight loss, just a healthier approach to eating you seek, Daelemans's book will inspire and entertain. --Teresa Simanton

From Publishers Weekly

It would be easy enough to hate Chef Kathleen she's cute, thin and the founding chef of one of the world's most luxurious spas. But it's also hard not to fall in love with her sassy conversational tone, her genuine warmth and encouragement (believe it or not, she was once a size 22) and her terrific recipes. Chef Kathleen tells of her own battles with dieting, what finally worked and how she kept the weight off for good. In the same witty, warm tone, she offers up luscious lower-fat lower-calorie versions of such favorites as BBQ Chicken Pizza, Meatloaf and Fast Fried Chicken alongside other healthy alternatives such as Oven-Baked Salmon with Ginger and Lime, Lentil Lemon Soup and Karen's Angel Food Cake. One of the most winning features of the book is the sidebar that accompanies each recipe and includes everything you wish other cookbooks would: tips on variations, time-savers and what to do if "the Queen's coming to dinner." Best of these sidebars is the "Guy-ometer": honest comments from a typical guy (Chef Kathleen's father), ranging from "Well, it wasn't steak... " (Linguini with Zucchini, Basil, Mint, & Parmesan Cheese) to "Now, this is real food!" (Pasta with Italian Sausage and Broccoli Rabe). This is a must-have for anyone who wants to eat healthily, and an invaluable kitchen companion that puts fun back into cooking. Illustrations not seen by PW. (July 1)Forecast: Coming from such a high-profile publisher, and addressing such a widespread need in an amiable fashion, Chef Kathleen's book is poised for commercial success.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Rux Martin/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (April 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 061822632X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0618226320
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.8 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (86 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #183,719 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This book is a must-have for Americans who want to loose weight while still enjoying food, one of this country's most misunderstood pleasures. The author is well-informed, intelligent and practical in her approach. It is worth pointing out that her overall philosophy towards weight loss mirrors certain European nations, where better quality of food promotes thin bodies. I had the wonderful opportunity to live in Switzerland for several months, where I lost several pounds. When I returned to the US, the weight just returned. Kathleen helped bring me back to the lesson I had forgotton. Like Kathleen, the Swiss never counted calories or obsessed over food; they just made better choices when eating while not sacraficing taste and even quantity (Kathleen reminded me how a large and interesting salad with a smaller portion of one's usual pasta dish works wonders). Kathleen's book mirrors the truth I learned while living abroad: If we eat better qauilty foods (no more fat-free things and quick-fix diet foods), we will have better bodies. Her book helps outline a true way of life. I agree with the PHD/MD guests she has on her show when they say: Diets make you fat, and a good lifestyle of eating is the answer. Kathleen has truly found it!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have been reading this cookbook like a novel. Kathleen is a great story teller and has realistic advice for the everyday person. If you are looking to lose 100 pounds in 2 days or build up to run a marathon this is not the right place. If instead you just want to eat healthier without remodeling your kitchen or your lifestyle I think you will find this book a good place for inspiration.
I have tried a number of the recipes already and they are very easy to put together - no impossible ingredients or specialty appliances. Oh yeah, and they taste good too! Now I have to start on the desert chapter. That's a real test!
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Format: Hardcover
I bought this book because I have to keep a close watch on my food intake because of my low (hypothyroid) metabolism. I was hoping for great, low-fat or nonfat recipes. The ones that are in here are good, but too many of them say they're "special-occasion calories" or desserts to be eaten only occasionally. I can get special occasion calories in any good cookbook and I didn't need them here. Also, the book is heavy on desserts, whereas there are not enough vegetable and fish recipes (not one spinach recipe!).
The author also doesn't give a nutritional breakdown (including calorie count and serving size) of her recipes, which is frustrating, because her whole philosophy revolves around splurging calories here and watching calories there and controlling portions. What kind of a book on losing weight and eating healthy does not even provide information on nutrition? For someone who really doesn't have the vaguest notion of how to start eating healthy and exercising, this book may be a good start. But it doesn't have enough information and doesn't have enough healthy recipes. The narrative is sometimes funny, sometimes just obnoxious.
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By A Customer on April 8, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I really like this book. True, Ms. Daelemans has left out nutritional information but as she explains in her book, moderation is the key to successful weight loss. I did not have a problem with the lack of nutritional information but could see that being a problem for people that need to crunch the numbers. The recipes I tried were delicious (the chicken patties were fantastic as was the homemade granola) and very easy to make. My only complaint is that many recipes call for only sweet onions and say that if you cannot find sweet onions, you should pass on the recipe until you can. That was unfortunate because where I live, they are hard to find. The book also comes with some great tips to make easy lifestyle changes to help the weight come off. All in all a very nice book but I've given it 4 stars due to the requirement of some very specific ingredients for the recipes.
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Format: Hardcover
I am giving this book 5 stars for one simple reason: I have lost weight since I started cooking regularly from this book. Gripe all you want about the author's writing style, the layout, the lack of nutritional information, but at least give the recipes and advice a chance.
Some key takeaways: always include lots of veggie sides in your meals (lots of good calories to take up space on the plate), try a light meal once a week (soup or salad), keep dinner simple so you don't feel overwhelmed and order take-out. Pretty easy ideas that have really delivered results (about 20 pounds in 4 months - not fast but really painless) and that I can apply when cooking from other books too.
The recipes I have tried are, for the most part, pretty tasty, though maybe not mind blowing. Good, easy to prepare fare for a weeknight. A couple things have been great, a couple not so successful. She does have a couple "special occasion" recipes, but even these are greatly reduced in calories from the original versions. I think she makes these comments so the reader will understand that you can't lose weight eating chocolate frosting all the time, even if it is the low-fat kind, and if you just need to have it, then here is a healthier version. But for those folks who gripe about the inclusion of "special occasion" recipes, the vast majority of recipes are for everyday foods. Try them, especially the veggie sides chapter, and you will be healthier for it.
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