I’ve been a fan of Giada for a long time but I have to say, of all her books this one is my least favorite. I own Everyday Pasta and have checked several of her other cookbooks out from the library. I was looking forward to this new cookbook.
Before I get into my personal pros and cons on the book let me say it’s beautifully photographed and has many healthy recipes. It’s just not for me.
This book isn’t merely a collection of recipes but also includes Giada’s daily living tips for exercise, eating well and beauty regimens. There is a reason Giada looks younger than her 40+ years. She has a dedicated routine of VERY healthy eating, exercise and yoga. I will list what I liked and what I didn’t about this book.
The recipes have icons to indicate which dishes are vegetarian, vegan, gluten free or dairy free.
There is detailed menu chart for a month of “feel good meals”
Lovely photography, well laid out and short personal stories with each recipe
What didn’t thrill me (Again, this is my personal taste and opinion):
Combinations of spinach, ginger and apple in smoothies (or kale, cucumber and apple combo). I like spinach.
I like apples…and ginger and cucumbers. But somehow the combination of those tastes and textures makes my stomach roll. The violent lime green coloring of a kale smoothie certainly raised my eyebrows as soon as I clapped eyes on the photo. Giada states she drinks these as a cleanser (or detox for the body) and they should be served cold. I imagine the warm taste of liquefied kale would detox you in a heartbeat.
Some people embrace then healthy offerings of kale, bulgur wheat and chia but I am not inclined to do so mainly because, I just don’t like the taste. In the case of bulgur I don’t like the taste or texture.
The use of brown rice in dishes is certainly a healthier choice but to be honest, I like white rice better. Some of that is a texture thing and in the right mood, the nutty flavor of brown rice can be good mixed in a salad.
*(Please keep in mind I am not a dyed-in-the wool meat and potatoes kinda woman. I had adhered to a vegetarian diet for several years during two separate times in my life. From the age of 18 to 22 I kept with a strict vegetarian diet. Then again in my thirties I opted for a vegetarian diet for health reasons. This is shared to let you know I am not turning my nose up at uber-healthy fare without the benefit of previously ingesting it. )
In addition to the recipes and beauty tips she gives suggestions on healthy choices when eating dinner in a restaurant. If they don’t have a decent choice for an entrée, order one or two appetizers or salad with dressing on the side. She has an entire section of smoothie recipes (in mind blowing colors), talks about acupuncture, skin care and her detailed morning routine.
Recipes that looked appealing to me were:
Frittata with tuna and tomatoes
Lemon mustard potato salad
Stuffed bell peppers
Garlic Roasted Chicken and root vegetables
My food blog ought to be renamed A Roasted Chicken because we have so many of them on the dinner menu. This is what I choose to cook from Giada’s book.
As usual, I am pleased our local library acquires the latest publications so I may browse before I buy. This book isn’t one I would buy per personal preferences. It was fun to flip through but after this chicken dish, I am done with the book. Yes, I wish I had Giada’s skin tone and tendency towards dedicated exercise….but I am not eating bulgur again. Been there, done that.
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Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: Clarkson Potter; 1 edition (November 5, 2013)