Monday, December 13, 2010

Now Eat This! My first cookbook review.

Since it is the holiday season, and many of you may be looking for gifts for foodie in your life, or perhaps someone who is slightly inept in the kitchen.  I purchased Rocco Dispirito's  Now Eat This! 150 of America's Comfort Foods All Under 350 calories upon recommendation from a friend.  While I am not interested in cutting calories, I am interested in eating healthy so I gave it a shot.  I was pleasantly surprised.

Difficulty--The recipes in this book are all very easy to make.  You can make most in 3 to 6 steps and those steps do not include instructions that require a food dictionary.  The instructions are clear and straightforward.

Ingredients--The ingredients in this book are not hard to find and you won't have to venture into any specialty grocery stores for them.  However, the recipes do call for some things that you may not regularly use such as panko bread crumbs.  One knock I have for this book is it calls for a few things I personally do not like to cook with such as Splenda (blech!) and reduced fat Cabot cheddar cheese (C'mon it does not even melt properly.  I use cheddar made with 2% milk and I just use less of it).  It also calls for a lot of "light" and "reduced fat" products.  While I will not knock those completely--please read the labels and see what you are trading-off for the smaller amount of calories.

Presentation-- The cookbook has lots of pictures which I love.  It makes me much more likely to try the recipes.  It is also arranged in a very logical fashion which always wins points with me.  I also like that a full page is dedicated to a recipe.

Taste-- Everything I have made in the Rocco cookbook has been great.  My favorites are the tortilla soup, the sweet potato fries, and grilled chicken with warm mango salsa. I can't wait to try the sweet potato gnocchi and the shepherd's pie.  Oh--and the dessert section looks amazing, but I never make time for dessert.

Overall-- This cookbook is a great buy.  While I have a problem with a few of the ingredients, they are easy to replace.  The recipes are easy to make, they taste great and there is something for everyone in this book whether you are cooking for a picky child or your foodie friend.


  1. I've heard the Sweet Potato Gnocchi was great and would love to make it, too!

    I'll confess I'm a huge Cabot fan (of course!) ;-), but did want to mention that I use our 50% reduced fat cheddar all the time and find it melts beautifully for me.

    (The 75% reduced fat takes little bit more of "gentle" touch on melting... which one did you try?)

    The 50% is made from 1.5% milk, so it's so very close to 2% milk cheddar, anyway. Maybe it's worth another try, especially if you've never tried the 50%?

    Thanks for the review of the book. I can't wait to check it out.

    ~Regan Jones, RD / Cabot Creamery

  2. I don't think I have tried the 50%. I will have to give it a shot. I do love Cabot cheddar. I usually get it at Trader Joe's. I love cheese, so the healthier it is the less guilty I have to feel about using more of it.