Archive for the ‘
Cookbooks ’ Category
Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013
If you like big portions and healthy food, Dr. Barbara Rolls‘ book The Ultimate Volumetrics Diet is for you. I’ve been writing about Dr. Rolls’ advice for years for Cosmo and Glamour and other magazines. I follow it myself. There’s a reason why Dr. Rolls, a scientist at Penn State, is a #1 New York Times bestselling author.
Her basic idea is that you can find foods that satisfy your nutritional needs and your hunger. You get to decide what to eat based on how many calories you want to consume (calorie density). For example, for a 500-calorie lunch, you could have 1.5 tablespoons of peanuts, 2 ounces of pretzels and a cup of lemon-lime soda. Or you could choose this option: a large bowl of vegetable soup, a salad with vinegar and oil, a few pita chips, a large bowl of melon balls and a glass of water. I’d definitely go with the latter.
Dr. Rolls wants people to eat healthy, enjoy foods they want and still lose weight. She’s a researcher, and her methods are backed up by studies. Volumetrics is not so much a diet as it is a way of eating. Her latest book includes a 12-week plan filled with delicious foods. Here is one dinner recipes to give you a taste of what Dr. Rolls is all about. Click to the jump for a great pancake dish.
Below is her healthy take on General Tsao’s Chicken (and how much you can have pictured at left versus the portion you could eat on the right.) ”I enjoy making stir- fry dishes because they cook up so quickly and can be made with whatever combination of vegetables I have in my refrigerator,” Dr. Rolls writes. “Don’t be afraid to get the wok or skillet nice and hot.”
Chicken Broccoli Stir Fry with Water Chestnuts and Carrots (pictured at right)
Makes 4 servings (390g each), 11⁄2 cups chicken and vegetables plus 1⁄2 cup rice each: Good for leftovers
2⁄3 cup (125g) brown rice
2 large (950g) heads broccoli, cut into florets (about 6 cups)
2 medium (201g) carrots, peeled and cut into thin rounds
3⁄4 cup (180g) low- sodium chicken broth
2 teaspoons (8g) canola oil
1 tablespoon (10g) finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
3 (9g) garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
12 ounces (340g) skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into 1- inch pieces
2 tablespoons (31g) reduced- sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon (20g) hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon (8g) cornstarch
One 8- ounce (227g) can sliced water chestnuts, drained
1⁄2 teaspoon (3g) sesame oil
3 (45g) green onions (scallions), white and light green parts, thinly sliced
1. Cook the rice according to the package directions. Keep warm.
2. Meanwhile, micro wave the broccoli, carrots, and 1 ⁄4 cup of the chicken broth in a large bowl, covered, for 3 minutes. Set aside.
3. Spray a wok or large skillet with cooking spray. Heat the canola oil in the wok over medium- high heat. Stir-fry the ginger and garlic for 30 seconds to soften. Add the broccoli, carrots, and liquid from the bowl and stir- fry for 5 minutes, until just tender.
4. Add the chicken, the remaining broth, the soy sauce, and hoisin sauce. Cook for 4 minutes, stirring often.
5. Combine the cornstarch with 2 tablespoons water in a small bowl. Add to the wok along with the water chestnuts. Simmer for 2 minutes. Drizzle with the sesame oil and garnish with the green onions.
Serve with the rice.
Nutritional Information per Serving
Calories 330 • CD 0.85 • Carbohydrate 43g • Fat 7g • Protein 26g • Fiber 8g
Traditional General Tsao’s chicken
How we lowered the Calorie Density
• Added more vegetables
• Reduced fat and sugar in the sauce
• Switched from fried, skin- on chicken pieces to chicken breast fillet
• Decreased the portion of rice and switched to brown rice
Categories: Best Sellers, Cookbooks, Mom Must Read, Popular Books | Tags: Barbara Roles, calorie density, diet, eating habits, general tsaos chicken, love weight, The Ultimate Volumetrics Diet, Volumetrics
Thursday, January 10th, 2013
Ten days into January, and I haven’t blown my New Year’s resolution to keep a book journal. I keep my goals easy for a reason. I think the rest of the world, including my husband, has loftier ideas: It seems like everybody wants to crank up their diet and exercise mojo.
Just thinking about that makes me sweat.
I’m rooting for you if you’re on the brave health kick. So is Ian Smith, M.D., author of the brand new already-bestselling book called Shred: The Revolutionary Diet, 6 Weeks, 4 Inches, 2 Sizes. Dr. Smith, also the medical contributor to The Rachael Ray Show, has been all over TV this week. I saw him on CNN just yesterday. I used to watch him on The Today Show, and I’ve read his other bestsellers like The Truth About Men. What can I say? He’s smart and handsome. I’m a big fan.
Shred is popular because it’s straightforward and simple (for a diet and exercise program anyway). Dr. Smith lists meal plans for every day of the six weeks. He tells readers when to exercise and exactly how much to do–even what to do. Instead of eating three times, Shredders get four times to dine. The foods are things we all like: oatmeal, pears, soup, shrimp, spaghetti and meatballs. On CNN yesterday, Dr. Smith (may I just call him Ian?) said, “This program is for regular people. If I can fix this food, anyone can fix this food. I want to make this easy for people because weight loss is hard enough in and of itself.”
And he delivers. If you’re dieting and exercising, check out Shred. It’s a fantastic program that is easy to do and sure to work. My husband already stole my copy.
Categories: Best Sellers, Cookbooks, Mom Must Read, Must Read, Popular Books | Tags: burn calories, CNN, diet, dieting, Dr. Ian Smith, exercise, Ian Smith, new year's resolutions, Rachel Ray, revolutionary diet, Shred, Shredders, weight loss
Monday, January 7th, 2013
I know a 3-year-old boy who won’t eat pasta of any kind, not even mac and cheese. I know another 2-year-old girl who will hardly eat anything else. Getting kids to eat healthy, varied and normal food can be like trying to tie your shoe with your teeth. It’s completely impossible–and totally gross. I’ll never forget when my son spit chewed up avocados at me, raspberry-style.
Mealtimes with little kids don’t have to be so crazy according to Kate Samela, a pediatric dietician who wrote the new book Give Peas a Chance. I wish I’d had this great resource when my kids were toddlers. Samela explains all of the reasons why this age group is so picky. First of all, maybe they’re just being normal, fidgety and finicky kids. Second, 2- and 3- year olds are all about autonomy (read: power struggles). The author goes on to give meal plans and food ideas that are helpful for all parents of toddlers.
From Samela herself, here are 6 tips for getting picky kids to eat:
1. Offer the food with a safety food and as part of a meal. A safety food is one food that you are certain your toddler will accept–something familiar and likeable. For example, if you are trying to expose your toddler to a new meat, pair it with his favorite fruit or vegetable and a starch (i.e. watermelon and French fries).
2. Allow your toddler to touch and play with that food, even if it means putting it in his mouth and then spitting it out. Playing with food is something that toddlers do and they engage in this activity because it is a key part of their development.
3. Serve the same food to all at the table, so your toddler will see other people eating what he is being served.
4. Offer the food in small quantities so that he does not get discouraged or overwhelmed. “Portion Distortion” begins in the toddler stage: Bags of chips, cookies, and snack crackers are bigger than ever. Often, parents feel like their toddler is eating nothing because they have piled on grown-up portion sizes, or even quantities of food that an older sibling would eat.
5. If after two minutes your toddler says the dreaded “I’m done,” ignore him and attempt to engage him to talk about something he did that day. Do not try and overzealously attempt to keep him at the table, or set “rules” for what else he has to eat before he gets down. There is a biological reason for a decrease in food intake between the ages of one to three, and that is a slower rate of growth. Appetite mimics rate of growth; therefore, appetite “slows down.”
6. Consider what your toddler eats over the course of a week, rather than from meal to meal. You can even pick several days if a week seems just too long. The idea that his decrease in appetite is developmentally appropriate should give you some reassurance for those days that his eating doesn’t seem to add up to nutrition perfection. In a day, it can be normal for a toddler to eat one “good” meal.
Fingers crossed for happy, healthy meals in 2013!
Friday, December 14th, 2012
I’m not a cookbook sucker. I carefully select these heavy, expensive books that take up valuable shelf space in the kitchen. I prefer to rely on my favorite recipe sites like Allrecipes and The Pioneer Woman. I’m a flag-waving non-gourmet with an occasional taste for Mark Bittman. But I am absolutely coo-coo for Cocoa Cocoa Puffs for two new (gourmet! gasp!) cookbooks that just landed on the New York Times bestsellers list.
I don’t want to go on and on about Ina Garten because almost every food writer in the world has already done that. I mostly love the paragraphs about and TV segments with Jeffrey–I’m starting to believe he’s real and not just a prop. But I do want to say I’m digging the Barefoot Contessa Foolproof: Recipes You Can Trust. I can’t get enough of her Green Salad Vinaigrette. I can get over her stuffy, virgin-white Hamptons house after I make her Easy Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese Croutons.
I was more surprised to love The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by Deb Perelman. Smitten Kitchen, I just learned, is a popular food blog. We just bought the book–full price–to support a local charity event at a bookstore. At first, we thought the recipes looked frivolous. I mean, who makes Potato Gnocchi in Tomato Broth, Roasted Eggplant with Yogurt-Tahini Sauce and Cumin-Crisped Chickpeas and Bourguignon? We do because Deb makes these elite dishes so dang easy. All of the ingredients are available at Pathmark, and the directions are so clear that my 7-year-olds made the gnocchi. I have to watch this food before I eat a lot of it. It’s beyond delicious. Tomorrow, we’re having a Christmas party with my best friend, and we’re making Balsamic and Beer-Braised Short Ribs with Parsnip Puree. This is definitely a step up from my usual spiral ham and green bean casserole.
These books are worth $35 a piece, and I’ve bought several of them as gifts. Thank you Ina Garten and Deb Perlman. I may be fat and broke, but I’m happy.
Categories: Best Sellers, Cookbooks, Mom Must Read, Must Read, Popular Books | Tags: Allrecipes, Deb Perelman, Foolproof, Ina Garten, Mark Bittman, The Pioneer Woman, The Smitten Kitchen
Monday, December 3rd, 2012
Bookworms will love the lineup of parenting memoirs and advice that are scheduled for release in 2013. I know I am. Here are the books I can’t wait to read in the New Year. Stay tuned for my write ups about them on this blog.
The Heavy: A Mother Daughter Memoir
by Dara-Lynn Weiss
Did you hear about the mom who put her 7-year-old daughter on a strict diet and wrote about it for Vogue? Author Dara Lynn-Weiss caused such a stir that she got a book deal. This memoir tells the story from start to finish–how the doctor labeled her little girl obese, and how this mother decided to take care of it. The book is supposed to be brutally honest, and Lynn-Weiss claims that her insights will help other parents in the same situation. (Jan. 15)
Never Look a Polar Bear in the Eye: A Family Field Trip to the Arctic’s Edge in Search of Adventure, Truth, and Mini-Marshmallows
by Zac Unger
In this memoir, one dad takes his family to Antarctica–Churchill, Manitoba to be exact. In the “Polar Bear Capital of the World,” he examines a faraway place that’s one of Mother Nature’s last strongholds. A seasoned writer, he observes the human relationship with the great bears. And he took his wife and two kids there! (Jan. 29)
The Food Allergy Mama’s Easy, Fast Family Meals
by Kelly Rudnicki
The author runs the helpful and popular blog, The Food Allergy Mama, and she also wrote the companion book The Food Allergy Mama’s Baking Book. She has five kids, one with severe food allergies. All recipes are free of milk, butter, cheese, eggs and nuts. She uses easy-to-find, inexpensive ingredients to make dishes like oatmeal fudge bars. (Feb. 5)
The Secrets of Happy Families
by Bruce Feiler
Popular New York Times columnist and best-selling author promises another warm and helpful book. He often writes beautifully about religion (Walking the Bible), but this one focuses on innovative ways to connect as a family. He didn’t go to psychologists for advice but instead to Silicon Valley execs and folks on the set of Modern Family. Some of the surprising advice in this book will be to ditch the sex talk, don’t worry about family dinner and let your kids pick their own punishments. (Feb. 19)
The Still Point of the Turning World
by Emily Rapp
Rapp’s books (Poster Child) and articles are beautiful to read, but her piece in the New York Times called Notes from a Dragon Mom was particularly heartbreaking. In it, she writes about the short life of her young son Ronan who is diagnosed with Tay-Sachs. In her trademark way, she gently takes readers on her family’s difficult journey. (March 7)
French Twist: An American Mom’s Experiment in Parisian Parenting
by Catherine Crawford
For readers who were into in the controversial book Bringing Up Bebe, this book offers another intimate look into the secrets of French parenting. Instead of going to Paris to immerse her family in French ways, the author brings French attitudes to Brooklyn. She writes about her European hands-off approach and how it worked magnificently–most of the time–with her two kids. Now they eat lamb chops! (March 12)
Raising Cubby: A Father and Son’s Adventures with Asperger’s, Trains, Tractors, and High Explosives
by John Elder Robison
Diagnosed with Asperger’s at age 40, this dad writes about the adventures he has raising his son Cubby. Irreverent, hilarious and a little dark, this book is gives readers an inside look at what it’s like to be a person on the autism spectrum. He hopes to inspire his readers to embrace and celebrate misfits and geeks. If you’ve seen or read Running with Scissors, you might have met John–he is Augusten Burroughs’ brother. (March 12)
Parenting: Illustrated with Crappy Pictures
by Amber Dusik
Hiliarious Parents’ writer Dusik finally gets to crack readers up with her own parenting book, and yes, the pictures are really bad. She’s a popular blogger, but in this book she delves into life with kids while sharing stories. Silly ones like the time her child asked if clowns will throw pies at her at the circus. She’s aiming for a funny run of stories and essays along the lines of Jenny Lawson’s Let Pretend this Never Happened. (March 19)
The Object of My Conception
by Elisabeth Rohm
Rohm, best known for her role on Law and Order, blogged about her infertility for People.com, and she was overwhelmed by the positive responses from women who were going through the same thing. In her memoir, she tells the story of her fertility issues, her IVF treatments and her successful journey into motherhood. (April 9)
Learning to Listen: A Life Caring for Children
by T. Berry Brazelton
Fans of this caring and famous pediatrician will be interested in the story of his life. From growing up in Texas to heading to Princeton and Harvard to diving into research on newborn babies, this book tells the story of a great man in his own words. You probably know his seminal book Touchstones, a handbook for all parents of babies from birth to age 3. (April 9)
Categories: Best Of Lists, Best Sellers, Cookbooks, DIY, Memoirs, Mom Must Read, Mommy Bloggers, Must Read, Parenting Advice, Popular Books | Tags: Amber Dusik, Bruce Feiler, Catherine Crawford, Dara Lynn-Weiss, Elisabeth Rohm, Elisabeth Rohn, Emily Rapp, French Twist, John Elder Robison, Kelly Rudnicki, Learning to Listen, Never Look a Polar Bear in the Eye, Parenting: Illustrated with Crappy Pictures, Parisian Parenting, Raising Cubby, T. Berry Brazelton, The Food Allergy Mama, The heavy, The Object of My Conception, The Secrets of Happy Families, The Still Point of the Turning World, Zac Unger