Top critical review
59 people found this helpful
Good addition to Ricer's Bookshelf
on March 17, 2007
Well, I would recommend this cookbook for anyone on the Rice Diet, as it DOES give you more ideas and options for the diet menus, but there are some drawbacks. First, of 336 pages, only about 187 pages are recipes. The rest is a repeat of the diet information you have in the Rice Diet Solution, so you don't really need both books. If you are choosing just one, I guess I would go with the cookbook, as Solution has only 100 pages of recipes, but the recipes do not seem to be duplicated in both, so for variety you may want both. As far as an aesthetically pleasing cookbook, this one gets low marks. While the few photographs they have are lovely, they are grouped together in the middle of the book instead of with the recipes they depict, so they don't really help in imagining what the dishes look like as you browse the recipes for planning.
A majority of the recipes in RDC are VERY basic and simple, like Elvis Almond Butter and Banana Sandwiches, or Quick and Crunchy Veggie Spread, so this would be good for someone looking for a variety of easy dishes to get them through the diet. The book includes three weeks of sample menus which takes a lot of the planning burden off the dieter.
The recipes are divided up by the categories in which they fall, like Starches, Protein,and Fruits, within the categories of Breakfast, Lunch etc., making it easy to use them to plan your own menus.
As far as the dishes themselves, while there is a large variety from which to choose, very few of them jump off the page and scream "Oh, try this one!" There are a LOT of side dish recipes, which should really help with the vegetable blahs in mid diet. There are a number of starch entrees for the regular days, but in my opinion, the more appealing recipes fall in the protein allowed portions, which is a shame because my imagination needs help in the beans and grains a lot more.
I really like the Dressings and Toppings section, as they seem to be easy additions to plain salads and vegetables. I am all in favor of new flavor!
I am not particularly impressed by the desserts, but then, I'd rather just eat the fruit. Others will most assuredly feel differently, and they can experiment with the 14 dessert recipes and enjoy them.
Be forewarned that some of the recipes require specialty items like Angostura Worcestershire Sauce, or smoked paprika, so read carefully before you start a dish. Most can be made with general pantry items, but you don't want to be mid-recipe and need something you can only get by mail order!
The recipes have fairly clear directions, although some refer you to another recipe for one of the ingredients. Some recipes should be attempted only by an intermediate chef, but MANY are suitable for novices in the kitchen. On the whole, I think the Cookbook is a good adddition to a Ricer's bookshelf.