Pros: Helpful lists and tips; incredibly delicious recipes; many recipes; photographs
Rating: 5 out of 5
Review copy courtesy of Jane Wesman Public Relations, Inc.
Also published on Epinions.com.
Since I’ve had a need to eat healthy lately (in particular, low-fat and high-fiber), it was the perfect opportunity to try out Tosca Reno’s Eat-Clean Diet Cookbook. I’d found her book on The Eat-Clean Diet surprisingly helpful, but of course I prefer to have a wider array of recipes to work from, and that’s where this book came in.
At first glance the book might not seem that different from other good healthful eating cookbooks, such as EatingWell Serves Two. They both contain plenty of recipes with lean meats, whole grains, etc. They both contain great helpful hints to assist you through understanding how to work with healthy foods, how to make them interesting, etc. They both contain some nice photographs to make the food seem alluring and yummy.
However, to me there’s one key difference. Tosca Reno’s recipes aren’t bland.
You might be a tad confused now, because I didn’t particularly rate down the EatingWell book for its blandness. That’s because I’m well aware that there’s a sizable contingent of people out there who want their diet food to resemble bland, “normal” American fare as much as possible; I’m not going to mark down a book for catering to that crowd, even though I don’t personally enjoy that approach.
However, I’m certainly happy to sing the praises of a book that finally satisfies my desire for flavorful, creative diet food. I know it can be done, and it’s my feeling that part of the reason a lot of people think diet food sucks is because they want flavorful food and most diet books cater to the safe, bland crowd. Well, Tosca Reno is one health and fitness advocate who doesn’t seem to believe in that.
One of the recipes we tried from this book was a stuffed pumpkin recipe that involved things like ground bison and wild rice. It was incredibly delicious, even as leftovers—one of those recipes that don’t taste like diet food at all (and that’s the way it should be!).
Another was a breakfast burrito that wowed us so much that we use variations on it regularly now as a savory break from my Tosca-inspired hot breakfast cereal, or as a delicious and healthy lunch. We try to keep whole grain wraps in the house every week just for this recipe.
There’s a white bean tuna spread that I like as much as standard tuna salad (and it’s a lot healthier!), and a couscous salad with chevre, oregano, and vegetables that’s out of this world (my husband took leftovers in to work as lunch today).
If you’re the kind of person who finds most healthy or diet cookbooks to be bland and underwhelming, then I urge you to try Tosca Reno’s Eat-Clean Diet Cookbook instead. It challenges your creativity, suggests ways to work with unusual ingredients, and provides all the flavor those other books are missing!