Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Review: The Flat Belly Diet Family Cookbook

I was offered to review The Flat Belly Diet Family Cookbook by Liz Vaccariello, "the latest installment in the NYT bestselling Flat Belly Diet series. Millions of men and women have lost pounds and inches and gained back their health thanks to this revolutionary plan, which draws on the latest findings from weight-loss science that prove that an eating plan that incorporated monounsaturdated fatty acids (MUFAs) into every meal can specifically target the dangerous extra jiggle that builds up around our middle."

Now, the whole family can get in on the action with the release of this new cookbook, packed with delicious recipes that allow you to achieve your health and weight loss goals while feeding your entire family. The plan provides an extraordinarily healthy way of eating for people of all ages, whether or not they’re trying to lose weight. It's family-proof!

Author Liz Vaccariello appeared on the Today show, discussing why she wrote the book and showcasing some of the fantastic recipes, check it out here:

In addition to 150 new, family-friendly recipes (with a MUFA twist!) like Spaghetti and Meatballs, Fish Nuggets with Tartar Sauce, Crunchy Crust Mac and Cheese, and Chocolate Stuffed French Toast, the book also has great tips for getting kids to adopt healthy eating habits, including strategies for negotiating with picky eaters; advice for helping children establish a healthy relationship with food; and tips for promoting positive eating habits at any age. Four recipes are included below.

For my review I made the Broccoli Chicken Casserole, Marshmallow Cereal Bars and Crunchy Peanut Butter Cookies. I am so sorry I do not have pictures for the casserole and cereal bars. I accidentally deleted them off my memory card (along with other blog photos). The casserole was great, it's got chicken, broccoli, brown rice and is baked in a chicken broth/dijon sauce and topped with cheese and MUFA almonds. The cereal bars were actually the first recipe I wanted to try! I wanted you to see them, so I took a photo of their photo in the book. These were really good! There's cornflakes, cheerios, marshmallows and MUFA chocolate in these! Finally I baked some of the crunchy peanut butter cookies and those have crunchy peanut butter, and a few other easy ingredients including that MUFA peanut butter! Ooh these are good too!

I really like this book and plan to make more of these recipes to include in our everyday meals. The pasta and meatball dish on the cover keeps calling my name, lol. They've also got recipes for the lunch box too.

Chocolate Stuffed French Toast
25 minutes / 4 servings / 416 calories / MUFA: Chocolate

4-ounce semi-sweet chocolate bar, finely chopped
3 ounces Neufchatel cheese, softened
2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon grated fresh orange zest
6 ounces Italian bread, cut on an angle into 8 (1/2” thick) slices
2 large eggs
2 large egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon trans-free margarine

1. Combine the chocolate and cheese in a small bowl; mix well. Combine the strawberries, sugar, and orange zest in a separate bowl.
2. Spread ¼ of the chocolate mixture on 4 slices of bread. Top each with remaining bread and press lightly to form a sandwich.
3. Combine the eggs, egg whites, and vanilla in a medium bowl. Working one a time, dip both sides of each sandwich in the egg mixture and set on a plate.
4. Melt the margarine in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. When the foam subsides add the sandwiches and cook until golden and cooked through, about 4 minutes per side.
Divide among 4 plates and top each with some of the strawberries. Serve immediately.

Crunchy Crust “Mac and Cheese”
40 minutes + standing time / 4 servings / 328 calories / MUFA: olive oil

4 ounces multi-grain macaroni
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3 tablespoons Panko bread crumbs
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups fat-free milk
1/2 cup shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Coat an 8" x 8" baking dish with vegetable spray.
2. Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook the macaroni according to package directions. Drain, rinse with cold water and drain again. Set aside. Combine the bread crumbs and 2 teaspoons oil in a small bowl. Stir with a fork to evenly coat the crumbs with oil.
3. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon oil to a large saucepan. Set over medium-high heat. Whisk in the flour, paprika, salt and pepper until smooth. Add the milk, whisking constantly. Cook, whisking, for about 5 minutes, or until thickened. Remove from the heat. Stir in the cheese until it melts. Stir in the macaroni. Pour into the baking dish. Top evenly with the crumbs.
4. Bake for 15 minutes, or until bubbling and golden. Allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving.

Salt and Pepper Oven Fries
40 minutes / 4 Servings / 262 calories / MUFA: canola

1 pound russet potatoes, cut into 3 1/2-inch long by 1/2-inch wide sticks
1/4 cup canola oil
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray.
2. Combine the potatoes and 2 tablespoons oil in a large bowl, tossing well to coat. Arrange potatoes in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Bake in the center of the oven 15 minutes, turn the potatoes and bake 15 minutes longer or until golden brown and crisp. Remove from the oven and transfer to a large bowl.
3. Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Pour oil and garlic over the potatoes, and add the salt, pepper, and parsley; toss well. Serve immediately.

Fudgy Dark Chocolate Raspberry Brownies
1 hour / 8 servings (2 brownies each) / 347 calories / MUFA: Chocolate

8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
5 tablespoons trans fat free margarine
2 large eggs1 large egg white
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup fresh raspberries
1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Press a sheet of aluminum foil into the bottom of a 9-inch x 9-inch baking pan, making sure there is enough foil to overhang two opposite edges. Coat generously with cooking spray and dust lightly with flour.
2. Combine the chocolate and margarine in a bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is melted and smooth. Remove from the heat and cool 2 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the eggs, egg white, sugar, and extract in a bowl. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl. Whisk the slightly cooled chocolate mixture into the egg mixture until smooth. Add the flour mixture, stirring until combined. Gently fold in the raspberries. Pour batter into prepared pan.
3. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with moist crumbs, 48-50 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool in the pan 10 minutes. Carefully lift sling from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack. Cut into 16 squares and sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar, if desired, before serving.

I wrote this review for "Mommy? I'm Hungry!" about The Flat Belly Diet Family Cookbook. I received free product to keep for this review. All opinions for this review are that of myself & family. Product info & stock images provided by PR.


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1 Lovely Comments:

NikiTheo said...

I was looking at this book, seriously cnosidering buying it. I am cutting out a lot of bad stuff in my life right now while I am losing weight, but when I finally get there where I want to be, I will want ood s that will make me feeel like I'm not dieting anymore, but still am, ya know? I think I'll wait to pick this up until I get there b/c I may not be able to resist these things until then! :)

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