I'm back from another long radio silence. I'm not going to lie, life has been one big mess these past couple of months, and with that, blogging hasn't been an option for me...however, come hell or two children, I made the time to come and post my review of The SkinnyTaste Cookbook!
Gina Homolka- the amazing chef extraordinaire behind the blog SkinnyTaste.com- is not only an amazing cook, but a genuinely warm and down-to-earth person. I got to hang out with Gina in Minnesota for our makeovers with Target, and I enjoyed every minute I spent getting to know her as we have daughters around the same age, and each of us has a background in graphic design.
If you aren't familiar with the premise behind the recipes on SkinnyTaste.com, here's the scoop: Gina started playing around with her favorite family recipes when she joined Weight Watchers, looking for ways to cut calories and use healthier ingredients without sacrificing taste; and also, who has time to make separate meals for yourself and your family? She started blogging her amazing recipes at SkinnyTaste.com and the rest is history! Some of my favorite SkinnyTaste makeovers have been her Skinny Cranberry Bliss Bars inspired by the Starbucks treat, and Spicy Buffalo Califlower Bites to replace that stand-by greasy chicken.
Our family has worked on making simple changes to our fridge and pantry over the years, like switching from Sour Cream to Greek Yogurt (tastes identical) and we've always used Whole Wheat bread, buy items high in fiber and cook with Olive Oil, but we definitely need more of a push when it comes to adding some variety and slimming down our meals.
The SkinnyTaste Cookbook is full of beautiful photos of most of the recipes, along with a ton of helpful hints (The "Skinny Scoop") Perfect Pairings, and an introduction to The Skinny Basics where Gina shares her common sense advice on creating a "good-for-you kitchen and lifestyle." I agree with her wholeheartedly that fad diets don't work and that eating real food keeps you satisfied longer. And, I like that she encourages small changes even if we can't make big ones right away...like substituting half of your pasta for whole grain to get used to taste and texture.
Each recipe also contains helpful icons that indicate if its Vegetarian, Gluten-Free, Quick (30 mins or less), Freezer-Friendly, or a Slow Cooker meal. Each meal also gives you the serving size, calories, carbs, sodium, protein, etc.
I have a long list of recipes I can't wait to make, which is saying a lot for me because I am a really lazy cook, but even for someone with a passion for cooking, The SkinnyTaste Cookbook offers a wide variety of new tastes and ideas that are sure to inspire even the most seasoned home chef.
I've already made a batch of Convenient Slow-cooker Shredded Chicken, and of course the Slow-cooker Santa Fe Chicken, because it's delicious, easy and goes great in so many dishes, and can't wait to try these other must makes:
- Make-ahead Western Omelet "Muffins"
- Apple 'n' Spice Baked Oatmeal
- Dad's Jammin' Crepes (per my daughter Maggie's request)
- Slow-cooker Chicken Enchilada Soup
- Summer Lobster Rolls
- Petite Baked Crab Cakes
- Bangin' Good Shrimp
- So-addicted Chicken Enchiladas
- Chicken Cordon Bleu Meatballs
- Kiss My (shrimp and) Grits
- Thai Coconut Mussels
- Skinny Broccoli Mac n' Cheese
- Silky Chocolate Cream Pie
The only thing I would have liked to see included in the cookbook would be a "grocery list" of ingredients and the recipes you would make with it. For example, if I buy "chipotle chile in adobo sauce," I'd love a quick reference to what recipes include that ingredient, for help with meal planning.
The SkinnyTaste Cookbook is a must have for every kitchen, a great gift idea for the Holiday season, and a most welcome addition to our home. I know putting this book together was an enormous labor of love for Gina, but it was worth every late night spent crafting it's completion! I'm so very excited for Gina and wish her continued success, more and more recipes on SkinnyTaste.com, and of course, a long vacation to relax and enjoy the moment!
Author Information (from the publisher):
HEATHER K. JONES, R.D. is a registered dietitian, the author of several nutrition books, and the founder of www.heatherkjones.com, a weight loss resource that focuses on healing and hope instead of diets and deprivation.
Full Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, and I was provided a copy of The SkinnyTaste Cookbook to review. All opinions expressed are my own.