Favorite Cookbooks

2 May

So if you’re like me you enjoy cooking, but a lot of cookbooks cook for flavor, not calorie count.  The ingredient lists are often full of lard, fat, butter…well you get the idea.  So I’ve listed out some of my favorite cookbooks that not only create delicious dishes, but control the calorie count as well, proving that you can make low-cal food that also tastes great!  Just because you eat healthy does not mean you nibble on carrots all day!  Or “rabbit food” as my boyfriend calls it.  I’ll talk about my top favorites in no particular order:

Rachel Ray 365: No Repeats–A Year of Deliciously Different Dinners

Now this is not a healthy-eating cookbook, but Rachel’s dinners are really flavorful and full of fresh and whole ingredients (which are the main qualifications here people).  I steer clear of the pasta dishes listed in most cookbooks because they tend to be empty calorie filled as a general rule.  Most of her dinners can be modified to fit your needs.  I tend to use less oil, butter, etc and it still tastes great!  Now she does claim they are 30 minute meals, but unless you have a sous chef to prep everything, plan on around an hour.  I save these elaborate meals for the weekends when I have more time.

You really can’t go wrong with any of Rachel’s books.  I have her Make Your Own Takeout cards and they’re fantastic when you’re itching for some Chinese, but don’t’ want the fat and grease associated with it!

Hungry Girl: 200 Under 200: 200 Recipes Under 200 Calories

So this is a great cookbook when you’re craving that snack that in theory should be totally off-limits. (Think wings and cupcakes).  I’ve only tried a few recipes, but they are quite good and I have to modify them because of my gluten intolerance, but hey what are you going to do!?  Hungry Girl has a whole line of books and cookbooks that are actually quite useful.

Eat This, Not That Series

The ‘Eat This, Not That’ series  is fantastic.  From the aisles, to your kitchen, to the restaurants, there’s a book for all of it helping you make decisions on food choices.  They’re small enough to slip in your purse and take with to the grocery store. If you don’t feel like comparing labels (although you really should!) this series will help you make those decisions.

Cook Yourself Thin

So this cookbook is from a short lived Lifetime show which took women’s favorite dishes and showed how to make them in a less-fattening way. It’s surprisingly yummy and easy to make.  One of my favorite subs is for loaded potatoes skins. I know what you’re thinking…how in the world do you make potato skins healthy.  It’s great with roasted sweet potatoes and roasted veggies whipped in there and very minimal cheese melted on top.  It’ll be a big hit at your next super bowl party I promise!

A Note on Eating Gluten-Free

I just want to make special note about gluten free, which you should only do if you have or suspect you truly have an intolerance to gluten.  I have a gluten intolerance (recently discovered, so I’m still learning and adjusting).  I will do a separate post about gluten intolerance/Celiac’s later, but a quick note in regards to cooking.  I find that when something calls for coating in breadcrumbs or flour I use almond meal.  It provides more nutritional bang for your buck, yes it might be a little higher in caloric value, but at least it’s not the empty caloric content of breadcrumbs.  I would also suggest this trick to those who do not have to adhere to a gluten-free lifestyle.

As I said, I am recently discovered, so I’m still learning and haven’t tried any traditional “gluten-free” cookbooks, but when I find some I like I’ll make an update post.  Feel free to post some of your favorites below!

Healthy Eating!

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