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Skinny Meals in Heels: Skinny Dishes for Girls on the Move Hardcover – January 1, 2012
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About the Author
Jennifer Joyce, an American food writer, stylist and chef living long-term in London has written several successful cookbooks for the US and UK markets and is a regular contributor to Olive Magazine, BBC Good Food and the Sainsbury's magazine. She runs weekly cooking classes at London's Divertimenti and Books for Cooks stores, and has appeared in food TV shows in both the UK and the States. She is known for her fresh, simple, quick and easy food with vibrancy and a certain joie de vivre.
Top customer reviews
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Designed in a stylish manner to particularly appeal to younger female readers, this book presents a range of easy-to-make, quick meals for both entertaining and regular at-home eating. The book itself states that it is not a diet or a stripped-down healthy eating book, but one which sets out to provide a range of great meals that just happen to use a range of healthier cooking styles and ingredients.
After a fairly light-hearted but interesting introduction to the concept behind the book and many "skinny tips" over how to eat well without putting on the kilos, it is straight into the multitude of recipes that are on offer.
Split into different categories - snacks & nibbles, starters, salads for dinner or on the side, soups for dinner or to start, weekday dinners in under one hour, weekend cooking and skinny puds - each recipe is simply but nicely laid out with an overview, the ingredients required and an easy-to-follow no-nonsense set of cooking instructions. Many tips are given with the recipes to suggest when and how meals could be prepared ahead of time as well as general "did you know?"-type factoids.
Looking through the recipes one finds a pleasant, diverse range of things to try and hopefully enjoy. It is not just a "jazzed up" and rebranded cookery book designed to appeal to a young female audience. A nice balance between simple sophisticated and regular staples is provided, all with the promise of healthier eating served on the side.
There are not so many colour photographs of the actual finished dishes but for some unfathomable reason this does not seem to be disturbing. Perhaps it is something to do with the overall impression given off by the book, or perhaps it is because the book is not a direct, "cold" recipe book. In any case it is quite appealing, even to the male of the species (who though may prefer to claim that it is their wife/girlfriend/female friend's copy due to the overt female branding). This reviewer does not particularly like overtly branding for a given sex as invariably it does not universally work, yet this female branding is not offensive (no overkill of pink text and fluffy things, no faux inspiration about how you can do it all, etc.) and it seems to be on the quirky side of positive rather than the negative side of empty platitudes.
When this reviewer first looked at the book, it was questionable whether it could appeal to a wider audience. After careful consideration, one can say that first impressions can be misleading and that this book can be recommended for all. An optional brown paper cover should, however, have been provided for those who might be out off by the female branding!
You'll find great appetizers and small plates like Fresh Beef and Mango Spring Rolls, Crisp Tofu Bites with Chile Soy-Vinegar Sauce (this will change your mind about tofu). Then there are beautiful soups and salads with unusual and delicious combinations of flavors ( Lentil Salad with Walnuts, Apple, and Blue Cheese Vinaigrette, for one).
Then there are "weekday dinners' that can be prepared in about half an hour--Zucchini, Tomato and Onion Gratin with Crisp Bread Crumbs--and "weekend cooking" with meals that are slightly more involved or that take a bit more time to cook like Slow-Roasted Pork with Spice Crust and Pomegranate Glaze. She includes a lovely selection of desserts, too.
Skinny Meals in Heel is a valuable addition to your cookbook collection whether you are an experienced cook or just starting out, cooking for a family, entertaining, or simply feeding yourself well.
I made the pork and fennel roast with lemon and coriander paste and it was really tasty and pretty easy to make on a weekday evening.
I also made the turkish pepper and feta salsa to serve with Pita chips (although I admit to buying a bag of already made Pita chips).
Both of these dishes had more interesting flavor combinations than I would come up with on my own, and the recipes were not real difficult to make.
I will probably buy another copy to wrap up for my daughter as I am enjoying this one myself.