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Real Food Real Easy Paperback – July 13, 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
First, the aesthetics.
This book has a larger "footprint" than George's other books - about the size of a sheet of paper. It's chock full of bright, colorful graphics and my first thought was that the layout is REALLY busy and somewhat distracting. The first fourteen or fifteen pages detail the Stella story, an overview of his cooking/eating philosophy, a "pantry list," a listing of "good carbs," and an explanation of why this book includes foods previously eschewed - such as reduced fat dairy and higher carb ingredients previously excluded from his recipes (such as honey and whole wheat pasta). The introduction and recipes are written in George's friendly, chatty style, but the text of this book could have used a once-over from a good copy editor!
Now, for the food!
Approximately 120 recipes are split into ten sections: starters and snacks, breakfast and brunch, lunchtime favorites, poultry, meats, seafood, slow cooker cookery, veggies and sides, wholesome whole grains and legumes and desserts. The Stellas have endeavored to streamline the recipes for this cookbook and many of them have only a handful of ingredients, which I appreciate. In typical Stella style, the recipes are fresh and full of flavor, relying on fresh herbs and ingredients. What you WON'T find is odd-ball ingredients such as guar and xantham gums, protein powders or other low-carb thickeners. Splenda is recommended when sweeteners are required and the only "unusual" ingredients are almond flour, soy flour and soy milk.
I was introduced to "Stella Style" a few years ago through his program on Food Network and his recipes helped me to "think outside the box" (or can, as the case may be!) and cook in a fresher way. I've NEVER had a recipe turn out poorly and, to the contrary, they've always been a hit with the entire family.
This is a very good collection of recipes and, while some of the recipes are higher in net carb counts than one would want on the "induction" phase of a low-carb diet, they give a moderate, balanced approach to eating that makes sense for the long haul.
I love the simple layout of this book. Everything is so easy to find.
He has included good background information such as "Tips for an Affordable Good Carb Lifestyle", a new section on whole grains and a pantry list. He also has a new section on Slow Cooker Cooking. I really like the secion on Whole Grains and Legumes.
Each recipe could be followed by a 5 year old. He includes tips and variations for each recipe and a recipe index.
As you can tell I am a big George Stella fan and I just love this cookbook and the recipes in it. If you like this book you might want to take a look at Eating Stella Style as well.