Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Skinny Substitutions

One of my favorite hobbies is cooking. Sadly it tends to be one of the hobbies that gets pushed aside to take things off the to do list but it also gets set aside because I have a tendency to gravitate toward the cooking and baking of things that don't align themselves with one of my ultimate goals "get & stay healthy".

Never one to shy away from the use of butter and other naughty ingredients I have to admit that if you're getting something from my kitchen chances are its not low calorie, low fat, or heart healthy unless it's a plain lettuce salad.

Over the last several years I've been attempting to change this quirk of mine by subscribing to healthy cooking magazines and when time permits tweaking my own recipes to make them healthier without sacrificing the qualities that made the original dish a keeper. I've had some luck adapting a few by changing ingredients and cooking methods but there are other things that have bombed...miserably. Which is why the new cookbook Substitute Yourself Skinny by Susan Irby intrigued me.

Title: Substitute Yourself Skinny
Author: Susan Irby
Publisher: Adams Media Corporation
Genre: Nonfiction Cookbook
Pages: 240 (softcover)
On Sale: May, 2010

Indiebound Link
Authors Website

Known as the Bikini Chef, Irby serves up 175 inventive ideas for switching up ingredients in favorite dishes to cut calories and keep the flavor. Includes Skinny Secret sidebars, serving-size suggestions, and more. Full color.
I approached this cookbook as I do most from a review standpoint:
  • Are the recipes something a typical home cook would use?
  • Are the directions written in a manner that allows a novice cook to be successful?
  • Are cooking techniques explained properly?
  • Are the ingredients relatively easy to get?
  • Are the tools used common?
  • Is the book easy to navigate?
  • Are the dishes photographed or represented well?
  • Is this something new or just a new version of things commonly available?
Obviously not all cookbooks can be judged by these standards, but I feel as though most can and Substitute Yourself Skinny does an admirable job in every test. A well thought out book the dishes are organized and presented in a manner which makes them easy to find, follow, and understand. I particularly appreciated knowing what the substitutions are, why they were made and seeing the caloric impact the changes made for each dish. Some recipes are new & refreshing, some are healthy versions of things I didn't think could be made healthy and still taste good (ALFREDO PEOPLE!), and a few are variations of others I've seen but are still nice to have packaged in one place. I really just have nit-picky things to point out which may be personal preference things; I like my cookbooks to be spiral bound or similar so they lay flat when I'm working, and I like to see a photograph of every dish rather than every few.

How good is this book??? I had a hard time prying it out of ThePrincess's hands. She has marked things she is going to make and a few things that she's only going to eat the new healthier way. No more restaurant molten chocolate cakes for her................ or me.

In exchange for reading & reviewing this book I was given a copy of my very own. If you'd like a copy of an article the author wrote, 10 Simple Food Substitutions to Get Bikini Ready, and a copy of one of the recipes, It's Greek to Me Greek Salad let me know in the comments!

1 comment:

Chris said...

You'll have to let us know if this works as a diet plan!