Does what it promises but recipes disappointing
Reviewed in the United States on 9 February 2020
Argh...this was really hard for me to rate. On one hand, it does what it says, so I would give it 4 stars; on the other hand, many of the recipes honestly aren't very good, so I would give it 3 stars for some good recipes (but many misses). I tried to give the author the benefit of the doubt, but I really recommend thinking about what you want from a cookbook before ordering it.
*the author goes into a lot of detail about how meal prep saves time (ie cook your meals on the weekend and just heat them up or combine them during the week).
*she explains how to choose and care for proper containers (ie no plastic in the microwave) and the appropriate type of container for each dish.
*detailed meal plans for a few weeks, along with shopping lists, are included in the back, and are very helpful.
*nutrition details are included and reflect, as promised, low-cal meals.
*recipes are easy to follow and uncomplicated.
The less good:
*many of the recipes are very standard (ie basil-pesto salmon, turkey burgers, white chicken chile,
overnight oats ).
*I made a few of the recipes we weren't familiar with, and they did not go over well in my house (and we're not picky eaters). The worst of these, in both our opinions, was the peanut butter and jelly "toast" that uses a sweet potato instead of bread. It was not good. The enchiladas were WAY overly complicated (I'm from New Mexico... you don't need 20 ingredients to make good enchiladas), but somehow still bland.
*you need one of 3 options for many recipes: buy overpriced, pre-spiralized veggies; own a spiralizer; or, spiralize yourself. Options 1 and 2 are not happening for me, so I tried the honey chicken with broccoli noodles. SO MUCH WORK to make a sufficient amount of "noodles" from the stem with a peeler, and yet again, a bland, forgettable outcome.
I'm no stranger to low-cal cooking and I understand that when you take away butter and sugar it can make the food bland; however, you usually make that up with herbs and layered flavors (sauteed onions, broths, etc). These recipes remove the caloric offenders but forget to replace it with anything flavorful. So, you get bland food or weird food, neither of which I want to eat.
Sorry, this just wasn't for me. However, it does what it says, and preferences are relative, so 4 stars. If you're even a moderately experienced cook, you will know the recipes here worth knowing (but probably a better version). If you're not, give it a try as it's easy to follow and laid out very helpfully.
I would add that if you can't or don't eat wheat, this may be more appealing and useful for you. I'll stick with low-cal bread for my PB&J, but if a sweet potato is all you can eat, this is a book for you. I think this author, a dietitian, believes bread and pasta are automatically problematic, and I don't agree (nor, for the record, does my doctor in our discussions, or the Mayo Clinic diet that he has me following, which includes plenty of pasta). There are few absolutes in nutrition, IMO. Remember when eggs were the enemy?
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