Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Substitute Yourself Skinny: A Book Review

About The Book:

Includes 175 Super-Slimming Recipes!

The Secret is in the Substitutions!

Diet cookbooks should be about dropping weight, not depriving yourself. By swapping this for that, you can turn your favorite foods into low-calorie creations -- proving once and for all that you can have your chocolate molten cake, and eat it too!

In this calorie-slashing collection, Bikini Chef-to-the-stars Susan Irby offers 175 inventive recipes for switching up ingredients that keep calories to a minimum. Complete with serving-size suggestions and "Skinny Secret" shortcuts to trim calories in little ways, here you'll get expertly crafted recipes that include offerings for every meal of the day, such as:
  • Flat-Belly Eggs Benedict (with turkey ham instead of deli ham) -- save 411 calories!
  • Gouda Burger (with lean ground turkey and portobello mushrooms) -- save 271 calories!
  • Smitten for Molten Chocolate Cake (with less cream and fewer eggs) -- save 260 calories!
Get all the flavor -- minus the guilt!

About The Author:

Chef Susan Irby has worked with multiple Master Chefs including George McNeill, Todd English, and Ming Tsai. Known as the Bikini Chef, specializing in "figure-flattering flavors," Chef Susan is host of The Bikini Lifestyle with Susan Irby The Bikini Chef on KFWB News Talk 980 in Los Angeles and author of The $7 a Meal Quick & Easy Cookbook, The $7 a Meal Healthy Cookbook, and Cooking with Susan. She has cooked for several celebrities including Patrick Swayze, David Spade, Kate Sagal, and Bill Handel, and appeared on The Patti Gribow Show and KLAC Los Angeles and numerous other media outlets. She lives in Orange County, CA.

For more information, please visit www.susanirby.com

Become a fan of the Bikini Chef on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.

Book Excerpt:

10 Simple Food Substitutions to Get Bikini Ready

Bikini season is just around the corner! There's still time to get in top bikini shape and what tastier way than with these easy, simple, and delicious substitutions. Great tasting food doesn't have to be bland, boring, and flavorless. As the Bikini Chef, my food philosophy is fresh, fresh, fresh. Fresh citrus, fresh herbs, fresh natural ingredients that wake up your taste buds, are pleasing to your palette, and give you the satisfying flavors your body craves. In fact, most people love the lower calorie, lower fat substitutions once they've tried them and have gotten past their fear of trying what they perceive will be tasteless food. 

The best part to these substitutions, besides achieving your bikini goal, is that they are simple substitutions you can make every day. Easy, affordable, and flavorful, these simple tips will help you stay in bikini shape all year long. 

10 Simple Food Substitutions To Get Bikini Ready
  1. Using ½ wheat flour and ½ plain flour will make your scones more bikini but adding fresh wild raspberries, blueberries, or blackberries will also liven up the flavor, wake up the color, and give a fresh, flavorful twist to an otherwise boring biscuit.
  2. Cream sauces and creamy soups get most of their creaminess from fat and calorie laden heavy whipping cream. Use ½ nonfat milk and ½ nonfat sour cream instead for the same creamy texture without the unwanted creamy fat that will sabotage your bikini body.
  3. Eggs vs egg whites. Some people go the extreme and swear off eggs forever using only egg whites. However, using only egg whites can get expensive and eggs are necessary as a binding agent for many recipes. For breakfast, use 2 egg whites for every one egg for a leaner, lighter breakfast and when baking or making dishes such as burgers, use ½ whole eggs and ½ egg whites to keep the texture but save on calories, fat, and cholesterol. As a side note, the majority of protein in eggs comes from the egg whites, not the yolk, making them a deliciously healthy option all around.
  4. Cut back on the beef. If you crave a hamburger, make your own lighter, leaner version by using ½ lean ground beef and ½ lean ground turkey. You'll find you sacrifice nothing on flavor or texture but save yourself plenty on fat and calories. Enjoy these leaner burgers as smaller sliders for lunch, dinner, or for tasty bites at summer pool parties.
  5. Nonfat vanilla yogurt is a delicious substitution for mayonnaise. Use as a healthy substitution in chicken salad, tuna salad, and dipping sauces such as aioli. It is very flavorful and naturally creamy so you don't need to use a lot of it.
  6. Cut the cheese. Skip the cheese altogether but if you must have cheese, go for lower fat versions such as reduced fat cream cheese, reduced fat Monterey jack, reduced fat feta. If you must have your full fat versions, opt for freshly grated parmesan or parmiggiano reggiano and cut back on the amount you use. Fresh, good quality cheese such as this has great flavor so a little goes a long way.
  7. Add a little citrus. The rind, or zest, of lemons, oranges, and limes is edible and adds a refreshing flavor to steamed or grilled vegetables, sauces, meat dishes, practically everything. Cut back on salt which causes bloating and add a little fine grate citrus zest for tons of flavor with no fat or calories.
  8. Most people love crispy bacon but it adds loads of fat and calories that are often an afterthought for many dishes. If you must have crisp bacon crumbles on your salads or even for breakfast, use leaner turkey bacon instead. It has great flavor and crisps nicely like traditional full fat bacon. Or, better yet, skip the bacon all together. If you are having a luscious salad, add fresh, crisp asparagus tips or diced fresh zucchini. For breakfast, substitute crispy no-sugar added bran cereal or fresh berries. Pass on the bacon, it's just not worth it.
  9. Watch out for sugary pasta sauces and dipping sauces. Sugar has empty calories that add up quickly. Instead, use freshly diced tomatoes with a little freshly chopped basil leaves or cilantro leaves. Add a hint of lemon zest, drizzle of balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil (½ tablespoon each) and finish with a small pinch of sea salt and fresh ground black pepper. Toss with pasta such as penne or fettuccini or serve with baked wonton crisps.
  10. Wonton wrappers are perfect as crispy crackers instead of crostini and tortilla chips. Buy the squares and cut into triangles. Brush lightly with olive oil and bake in a 225ยบ oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until crisp and golden. Top with salsa, serve with chicken salad or other dips as you would crostini and chips. As a bonus, they are inexpensive and unused wonton wrappers keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.
© 2010 Chef Susan Irby, author of Substitute Yourself Skinny: Cut the Calories, Keep the Flavor with Hundreds of Simple Substitutions!

My Review:

I love to cook, but being diabetic, I am aware that many recipes that sound amazing, are not very good for me to eat. However, in recent months I have learned a lot about substitutions in recipes. I was recently able to review Substitute Yourself Skinny by Chef Susan Irby. This book has been wonderful to read AND use!

The book is very well written and organized. It is divided into the following sections, each with at least 20 recipes:

1. Jumpstart Your Day Breakfasts
2. Energizing  Lunches
3. Thinner Dinners
4. Slimming Sides
5. Guilt Free Snacks and Appetizers
6. Deliciously Skinny Desserts

Recipes include Chicken Alfredo, Meatball Mania Spaghetti, Sweet-As-Pie Sweet Potatoes, Spiced Carrot Cake, and Merry Berry Biscuits. Don't these all sound delicious. I can attest that indeed the Spiced Carrot Cake and the Meatball Mania Spaghetti definitely lived up the yummy sounding recipes! In fact, both these recipes were very easy to make and my entire family LOVED them!

Spiced Carrot Cake

4 slices wheat bread, crumbled
4 eggs
4 tbsp canola oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/3 cup nonfat powdered milk
2 tsp baking soda
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 pinch ground nutmeg
1 cup canned chopped pineapple, drained
1 cup applesauce
1/2 cup peeled and grated carrots

1. preheat oven to 350 F. Spray a bundt style cake pan with nonstick spray. In a blender or food processor, combine all the ingredients and process until smooth

2. Pour the batter into prepared cake pan and bake for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Skinny Secret: The natural sugars in the pineapple add to the depth of this recipe without overpowering sweetness

Preparing the recipe as above will save you 551 calories versus making it using traditional recipes.
(p. 193)

If you are looking for healthy, easy-to-make recipes for your entire family, check out Substitute Yourself Skinny today. You will not be disappointed! I give Substitute Yourself Skinny a huge thumbs up and highly recommend it!

BUY IT: You can purchase Substitute Yourself Skinny online, through Amazon.com and Amazon.ca - It is also available through our favorite, local bookseller.

***Thank you to the publisher and FSB Media for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book for the purpose of review on this blog***

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