Barnes & Noble Book Club Review

Barnes and Noble Book Club Reviews BookLast 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?”

Amy Zavatto Reviews Secrets of a Skinny ChefWhen “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?!” I ranted internally. “Why must we all aspire to skinny-ness??!!!” 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!” 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.

Read Amy’s full review »

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