Last week, Amy Zavatto reviewed Secrets of a Skinny Chef for the Barnes and Noble Book Club.
As so many other dieters, she wholeheartedly agreed with the Skinny Chef philosophy: “It’s not about being skinny, but rather about “Everything in moderation” as well as good, real ingredients while packing in a lot of flavor.
Here’s an excerpt from Amy’s review:
“Dieting. Ugh. I hear the word and it just sort of makes me -mad. And hungry. When I find myself (and, well, lots of other people I know) equating things that taste delicious with guilt or sinfulness or the like – I mean, what IS that?”
When “a bunch of diet-y books landed on my desk over the last month, (…) I pretty much tossed them in a corner and ignored them. (…) I ignored what I found later to be a very good book by the chef Jennifer Iserloh. Admittedly, the name put me off a little – Secrets of a Skinny Chef.
“Why is skinny the ultimate ideal?!â€ I ranted internally. “Why must we all aspire to skinny-ness??!!!â€ And so the book sat. But fortunately, I did eventually open it, and you know what? It’s a really good book. And it’s not about being skinny. It uses my dad’s “Everything in moderation!â€ motto, as well as good, real ingredients, and reaches Iserloh’s ultimate goal of packing in a lot flavor.
And she gets it – she was an overweight kid and teen who grew up in a family that liked to eat. A lot. Her Hungarian grandma, like so many who came up during the Depression Era, loved that she could offer a bounty at the table, and no-holds-barred did. And Jennifer ate it. Then she grew up and moved out, learned a little about not eating mountainous portions, and became a chef. She learned that healthy didn’t have to mean tasteless, and that holding onto a comfortable weight didn’t mean engaging in utter denial and starving oneself. Quite the opposite, actually.
Yesterday, dinner was Iserloh’s version of pork lo mein – packed with greens, garlic, juicy pork, shi-take mushrooms, and soba noodles; this dish is absolutely going to make it into my standard weeknight repertoire. Not only was it great, but it was basically a one-pan dish (save for the pot used to boil the noodles). The end result is a meal that comes in at less than 300 calories and 7 grams of fat per serving, if you’re wondering (all her recipes break this down at the end for you).
But that wasn’t really what I was thinking about. I was thinking, “Yay! There’s enough for leftovers for lunch tomorrow.