Sunday, September 5, 2010

Review: Cooking With Healthy Girl by Mandy Potter

Cooking with Healthy Girl: Everyday Recipes made HealthyBook Details:
Cooking with Healthy Girl: Everyday Recipes made Healthy
By Mandy Potter
Genre: Cooking
Published 2010, AuthorHouse
Paperback, 239 pages
ISBN: 978144907328


I started revising recipes a couple of years ago when I decided it was time to be as healthy as possible without the loss of the foods that I love. I did a lot of research on foods, nutrition, and the body to discover everything I could to enhance the recipes. Every time I create the healthy version of a recipe, I would follow these 6 points:
1. Healthy - decreasing the bad nutrients and increasing the good nutrients
2. Tasty - the recipe needs to taste the same or better
3. Good Portion Size - enough to make you fell full
4. Easy to Make - with two kids I have to make this quickly!!
5. Common/ Everyday Ingredients - ingredients you can buy at the local store and use until they are gone
6. Complete Dinner - pairing a side with an entree makes things a lot easier when trying to feed the family
As you will see with my recipes, I still use some of the staple ingredients that I used when I was cooking the unhealthy versions - I just change how much of those ingredients are used and how those ingredients are used. I also added many new staples to my kitchen that help change my recipes to the healthy version. These recipes have helped change my family to a new and healthy lifestyle and I hope they do the same for yours.
The cookbook opens with an introduction about the author and why she decided to write this book, along with an explanation of the nickname "Healthy Girl." What I like most about this is that Potter explains that by changing her lifestyle to be more healthy, she lost 85 pounds, a fantastic feat! Every recipe includes the nutritional data gathered from based on one serving, and the back of the book includes a list of staple ingredients that Potter used in all of her recipes, as well as four weeks of planned dinners complete with grocery lists. While flipping through the recipes, divided under the headings of Breakfast, Entrees, Sides, and Desserts, I discovered that most of the ingredients that she uses are things that I already have and use in my own kitchen. Many of the recipes are familiar, but a few new ones gaves me ideas on how to tweak my own recipes, such as Chocolate Oatmeal, that melts dark chocolate in with cooked oatmeal; the Garlic Burger, that uses english muffins in place of hamburger buns; or the recipe Mozzarella Meatballs over Pasta that stuffs cheese inside of meatballs. This is not your typical gourmet cookbook with strange, unpronounceable ingredients and methods that require devices not found in your typical kitchen. The only device that Potter really recommends having is a bread machine, for recipes such as Chocolate S'mores Rolls and Almond Stuffed Bread. Many recipes included canned and frozen ingredients, as well as prepared mixes, like brown gravy mix and biscuit mix, to shorten preparation time. I also found it interesting that even though this is supposed to be a "healthy" cookbook, Potter still uses less healthy ingredients like butter, full-fat cheese, and bacon, just in smaller quantities. Many common dishes are made healthier by replacing certain ingredients with healthier versions, such as white flour with whole wheat flour, whole milk with skim milk, and vegetable oil with olive oil and canola oil. Overall, I would recommend this cookbook for those who want to eat healthy without having to sacrifice on taste, budget, or time.

The Cover: The cover features two favorite dishes among most people, brownies and spaghetti with meatballs, classic American dishes really. While I think the green stripes actually clash with the photographs, that's just a matter of taste.

*I received this book free of charge from the publisher for review purposes.*


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