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George Stella's Livin' Low Carb: Family Recipes Stella Style Paperback – January 1, 2005

4.4 out of 5 stars 354 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

George Stella's Livin' Low Carb has little in common with diet books: In fact, it's got more in common with a cookbook you might have bought for yourself when you first moved out on your own. The style is casual and approachable, with no tense lists of diet-related details or overly-complex recipes, and cooking techniques require little more than a working stove and a frying pan.

George Stella (along with pastry chef-wife Rachel) have developed a wide range of recipes designed to compliment Atkins and other low-carb diet regimens. Rather than relying on packaged convenience foods that meet these dietary standards, they focus on home-cooked meals that satisfy the demands of low carb life without tasting like they were baked up in a factory. Flavors include Chinese (Szechuan stir-fry), Italian-American (clams casino), Southern (fried chicken), and American sweets (chocolate chip muffins and no-bake Key lime cheesecake). Snacks, salads, entrees, and desserts all see equal amounts of attention.

There's a heavy reliance on the sugar substitute Splenda, but in general this is real food for daily life. The condiment chapter contains homemade versions of ketchup, mustard sauce, barbecue sauce and even Thousand Island dressing, and makes a simple place to get started even if the only kitchen appliance you're comfortable with is a can opener. Each recipe clearly notes "special equipment" (like 8-inch square pans) as well as the yield, net carbs per serving, and separate times needed for prepping and cooking.

Because of the sugar substitute and number of recipes that alter classics in ways that compromise traditional textures in favor of lowering carbs (such as noodle-free lasagna), the book is most likely to be used by dieters, rather than all home cooks. Still, if you're looking for easy ways to tinker with your food intake that doesn't involve packaged mixes from the diet industry, Stella offers plenty of tasty options. --Jill Lightner

From Publishers Weekly

The low-carb diet may be a popular fad, but for Stella (host of Food Network’s Low Carb and Lovin’ It) it’s a permanent way of life. By the time he was 40, Stella weighed 467 lbs. and was suffering from congestive heart failure. On a whim, he and his wife decided to try eating a diet low in carbs. Much to their surprise, they both began losing weight while eating things they used to think were off-limits (like bacon, eggs and real butter). Stella never looked back after that. As a great food lover and professional chef, he wanted to make low-carb foods enjoyable and knew he had the ability to do so. Through much trial and error, he came up with what are now his favorite recipes, compiled in his very own cookbook. First, he explains his food plan, playfully stressing that he is a chef, not a doctor. He lists seven simple rules for following the plan, and then delves into his recipes. Each one has a personal introduction, and most also include helpful "Cook’s Tips" and useful inside info (like which brand names he prefers for certain recipes). Stella’s enthusiastic, friendly style is enticing, just like his food, and his recipes reflect his lively personality, making them doubly appetizing. Anyone who fears the dreaded diet deprivation will be delighted to find recipes such as Bald Calzone, Low-Carb Pizza, George’s Gorgeous Macadamia Banana Muffins and Stella Style New York Ricotta Cheesecake. Equally delightful is his claim that "when you’re low-carbing Stella Style, you don’t have to quit eating until you’re full."
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (January 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743269977
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743269971
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.7 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (354 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #43,829 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By rodboomboom HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on January 11, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is one of the best of the plethora of low carb cookbooks in the train that this glycemic index relevaltion has created.

Why one of the best? How about a family of four losing a combined total of 560 pounds on it? How about a gourmet chef who gives us what worked with them to achieve this? How about unique approach and recipes which apply this?

I was attracted to this after watching George on his FoodNetwork program. He is very humble, yet reliable credentialed chef who has experiemnted with many twists and combos of good cooking yet with low carb.

It avoids lots of the scientific stuff but emphasizes what must happen in pantry and cooking to achieve a healthier diet habit. Sugar and carbs are of course the focus. His approach is doable and the taste is exceptional. I especially like his approach with heavy cream, butter and low-carb foods.

What I find especially attractive is his breakfast section, one of the toughest meals of the day for most of us to habitually maintain healthy and yet one of the most important. So there is such variety and ease of prep here, with great muffin and omelet and blinis and quiche. Great advice to make them up in advance, freeze and then micro each morning with coffee. Try: "Ham and Cheddar Morning Muffins" or "George's Gorgeous Macadamia Banana Muffins" or "On-Hand Omelet."

The other menu sections are equally creative, filling and easy to prep: Grilled Country-Style Pork Ribs with Bourbon Barbecue Sauce; Ham and Mock Potato Soup; Chocolate Pecan Brownies with Cream Cheese Frosting; Jicama Matchstick Fries; Minute Steak Salad; Tequilla Chicken;

There are some 125 recipes in this collection, with easy to follow instructions and advice as well as some color photos. I appreciate the choice of paperback and resultant price for this. Great addition to one's collection or as only low carb source. Highly recommended.
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George really believes in what he's showing both in the book and on TV. I enjoy this book and I enjoy the shows.

The recipes are solid and I haven't hit a turkey yet as I go through and try out various things. I do wish there was less reliance on soy in the baking section, but that's a fairly personal preference. I've heard some grousing about his enthusiastic use of and endorsement of Splenda. Frankly I have no problems with that. Change to a different sweetner if you don't like or want to use Splenda. Cooking is something of an art, and (at least in MY mind) recipes are meant as a "starting point", after which you can embellish, embroider and alter to your personal taste. This cookbook gives lots of good "starting points".

This is a great beginners low carb cookbook or one for someone who can't afford many on their shelves. Solid recipes, good gamut of choices, written by someone who isn't just jumping on the bandwagon, but actually LIVES a low-carb lifestyle.
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I know I feel better when I eat a low carb diet but getting my husband to join me has often been difficult. I tried Atkins but I don't want to go out and buy all his prepackaged foods. Plus, they were't all that tasty. For the last two weeks, I have tried a variety of the recipes with great success. Our favorite is the Tequila Chicken, thought the Mock Mashed Potatos are delicious too. Baking with soy powder is fine, I can't tell a difference really. George has a sweeter tooth than us so we find we might reduce some of the sweetener in the recipes too. George uses more salt than we do so I just cut it out when I can. I am excited aobut cooking agina, about eating well, I feel better than I have in months and best of all, mu husband says everything I've made is fabulous and we share more dinners together. I recommend to anyone.
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People say this is a great low carb cook book, no it is a great Cook book. I feed George Stella recipes to my friends who are not on a diet and they love it. This man is a great chef. We need more books from him.
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I thought I was buying a cookbook, but I got so much MORE!!!

The Stella family story was just what my family needed to get MOTIVATED to start eating healthier! My 15 year old Daughter read it when I left it on the table, and said she wanted to eat low carb with me! And then my hubby jumped on board after I made him George's Anaheim Shrimp Scampi, He said; "if that's low carb, count me in"!

We now know we can do it, thanks to the Stella's amazing MOTIVATIONAL story and recipes!

We also ALL now watch his show on Food Network, as George keeps us from ever being bored again!

Thanks George and Family, you're just what we needed and could never find! (*If your looking for recipes, great, but this book cannot be described, it is invaluable if you need to be motivated!)

Your fans forever,

Valerie and crew!
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The thing that I most appreciate about George Stella's fabulous cookbook is the fact that his recipes are really delicious and easy to prepare. I have tried about 15 different recipes, and one was better than the other. Stella's ability to consistently produce flavorful, great tasting foods is a huge advantage over other low carb cookbooks that I have tried. Also, once you catch on to how he substitutes soy flour and soda water for white flour, you can easily adapt your favorite flour-based recipes on your own. The other feature I like is that Stella does not rely on packaged or processed foods such as Atkins mix, low carb food bars or non-fat pudding mixes to create his recipes. I personally prefer to feed myself without the chemicals that come in these products. And finally, it is hard to beat the low carb weight loss success that George Stella and his family have enjoyed. I give this book to everyone I know who's serious about losing weight without suffering through the process. If you fall into this category, do yourself a favor and buy this book!
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