The Maintenance Library - What's Cooking? Recipes And Cookbook Recommendations

11-13-2004, 09:23 AM
Post your recipes and cookbook recommendations here!

I copied over some posts from an earlier thread about cookbooks. :)

11-13-2004, 09:34 AM
Originally posted by Jansan:

Favorite lowcal/lite cookbooks?


I am trying to find afew more good low cal/fat recipes to add to the list of foods I like to prepare and eat regularily. Do you have a favorite cookbook to recommend, and why?

I am currently going through an old one I never looked at that much before and am liking what I see. (I only look at cookbooks within an hour after having a satisfying meal.) Its Great Good Food from '93 by Julee Rosso. Its not so much for losing weight, unless you eat small portions, but for someone who is maintaining, there seem to be alot of good lower fat recipes in it. Some simple, some more complex. It is based on the food pyramid so low carbers may not find much in it. I love alot of the non-recipe information such as which winter squash tastes best, and there is alot of interesting information about ingredients in the center margins. After each recipe she lists the cals, carbs, protein, choles., and fat in one portion.

From her 'philosophy' page xii: "This is a cookbook for people who love good food and enjoy cooking, and who want to develop sensible eating habits without sacrificing the pleasure of food", ...and... "the real surprise is taht fat so often masks great, natural flavors. Without it, taste shines through. And eating lighter just feels better."


11-13-2004, 09:35 AM
Originally posted by Elanajel:

I eat 98% vegetarian, and I like a cookbook called "Lean Bean Cuisine." Caveat: it's only useful if you like beans (chickpeas, cannelini, pinto, etc.) or are willing to try them. But it's got great, very diverse recipes for soup, entrees, sides, salads, etc. It includes a nutrition analysis for every recipe with fat-fiber-calories-etc.

I also like Whole Meals, which is a macrobiotic cookbook from a few years ago. It might already be out of print. Does not give nutrition info., but since it's macrobiotic it does include fish and some meat. I have made delicious soups and casseroles from it.

Another thought: I have taken a lot of adult ed. cooking classes for low-fat/vegetarian cooking. Sometimes I have also taken ethnic cooking (Indian, Thai, etc.) which often includes low-fat recipes. Depending on where you live, that might be an option. Some natural foods stores also offer cooking classes.

Hope this helps.

11-13-2004, 09:36 AM
Originally posted by Ilene:

I've given up and given away most of my cook books. I rely on the internet, I go to, or just Google the name of recipes. Last year my DS wanted sugar pie at Christmas. When I Googled it many many sites came up... This summer when we had a yard sale many people asked if the cook of the house had quit because most of my cook books were for sale ...

11-13-2004, 09:37 AM
Originally posted by Funniegrrl:

I have several suggestions!

First are the Cooking Light cookbooks. I subscribe to Cooking Light and the recipes are high quality. I DO have issues sometimes with their definition of "light" -- some of the dishes are not ones I could include in my plan because they are still a bit on the high side calorie-wise. But, I get lots of good ideas and there are definitely recipes I can use. I would recommend starting with one of the smaller volumes called Five Star Recipes. If you like it, then you can branch out to some of the other more comprehensive ones.

Next, I really like the Jenny Craig cookbooks. The recipes tend to be simple but well-designed, and meant for true low-calorie plans. I like them better than the WW cookbooks -- I just think the recipes tend to be higher-quality.

Jane Brody's Good Food cookbook is a classic, and well worth having around.

There is a book called A New Way to Cook that came out a few years ago that I really like. I would say this is a book more for a "serious cook" than someone who just wants recipes. But, it is very good.

Finally the latest edition of Joy of Cooking is something I think every kitchen should have. Not only is it a comprehensive reference where you can learn about just about every food stuff known to the Western palate, it contains LOTS of recipes geared towards today's lighter eating style.

11-13-2004, 09:40 AM
Originally posted by MrsJim:

Originally Posted by Elanajel
I eat 98% vegetarian, and I like a cookbook called "Lean Bean Cuisine." Caveat: it's only useful if you like beans (chickpeas, cannelini, pinto, etc.) or are willing to try them.
Who DOESN'T like beans? I was RAISED on beans! Mom and Dad still have "beans, cabbage and cornbread" for dinner every Monday night.

I'm pretty much with Ilene here - I use a lot (I love their Ingredient Search function!). However, it's important to keep in mind that I don't do a lot of creative cooking nowadays!

I did buy the Eating For Life cookbook and there are several good recipes in it (although whether it was worth $35 for those recipes...I dunno...). In fact this Sunday I made "Dad's Great Green Chili" which is actually more of a soup or stew (the broth doesn't thicken). Jim LOVES this stuff - it's filling and tasty.
Mrs. Jim

11-13-2004, 09:41 AM
Originally posted by OnlyMe:

I'm vegetarian, and my favourite cookbook is Laurel's Kitchen Recipes. It emphasizes whole foods and most recipes are suitable for every day cooking rather than feasts. It also has recipes for things like pancakes, which my kids love, that use whole grain flours. I feel much better about feeding the kids whole wheat/buckwheat pancakes than pancakes made with bleached white flour.

I love looking through my cookbooks for dinner ideas though. I was hoping to get one of the Moosewood cookbooks for Christmas. I do use on line recipes too though.

11-13-2004, 06:54 PM
I have found that some of the fat free desserts out there can be perked up to tasting really good by just adding some real flavors to them. For example sugar free jellos can be drastically improved by adding fresh lemon zest and abit of lemon juice to them.

Today I made some sugar free, fat free jello vanilla pudding. To it I added one teaspoon of real vanilla. After mixing up the pudding, I poured it into individual cups and put sliced banana into each cup then mixed that up. That real vanilla makes this taste very good. I dont like the chocolate pudding - too slimy feeling - but wonder what adding abit of coffee to the mix might do.


11-13-2004, 08:18 PM
Jansan, last week I made a concoction of FF vanilla pudding with pureed pumpkin and pumpkin spices very good indeed... I often add vanilla to vanilla flavoured things like pudding or protein powder...

11-13-2004, 08:43 PM
Jansan, last week I made a concoction of FF vanilla pudding with pureed pumpkin and pumpkin spices very good indeed... I often add vanilla to vanilla flavoured things like pudding or protein powder...

Ilene, great minds and all.... In another thread Anne mentioned making a pumpkin ditty with vanilla yoghurt, and I was thinking about trying something similar with vanilla pudding. You say its good, eh? I hope not TOO good, LOL. I have some frozen pumpkin from a can I opened a couple weeks ago that I will use. I had made a mock pumpkin pie filling that was not satisfactory.

I also must add my favorite way to make low fat vinegrette dressing that tastes wonderful and has a very good consistency. Take a half can of pitted black olives, and the juice covering them. Pinch each olive as you put it in the blender to make sure all the pits are gone. Blend into a fine slurry. Use this puree instead of oil in the dressing. I also use this puree when making pesto intead of olive oil, and even these delicate tastebuds cant tell the difference. And does this modified pesto make a good sandwich spread.

For the salad dressing I blend a bit of good mustard, a tiny bit of hot pepper (either sauce or cayenne - not enough to taste the heat, but it gives it something indefinable), Italian spices of some sort, I use sage these days, and abit of garlic (and/or onion thin sliced), then balsamic vinegar in the ratio of 1:4 or 1:3 vinegar to 'oil' (except no oil, just the blended olives). NO salt. It mixes well, and does not separate, and covers whatever you are dressing well. It is strange looking, sort of muddy grey, but who cares. It works out to about 10 calories per tablespoon. It also makes a good marinade. A real discovery.


11-14-2004, 11:51 PM
I borrowed Eating for Life from a friend and have fallen in love with it. There are quality photos of each dish and its necessary ingredients. I like that because it gives me ideas about what brands I can look for. Almost all of the recipes have very few ingredients and look like they are quick and easy. Today, I made two dishes from the book:

Egg Salad: Yummy! The portion was so big that I had to double check that I read the recipe correctly!

Turkey Reuben: Oh my gosh!! I can't wait to have another one tomorrow. My husband got tired of me talking about how good it was.

I'm definitely picking up this book this week. It will be an early Christmas present to myself.

12-19-2004, 08:11 PM
Here are the modified recipes I promised oh so long ago. Hope you can enjoy them for the holidays and into 2005.

Tofu Cheesecake:

375 degree oven
1 graham cracker pie shell (Keebler makes a reduced fat version)

Blend in a blender until smooth and creamy:
2 lbs. medium tofu (drained)
3 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 Tbsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 c. oil
1/3 to 1/2 c. honey

Pour into the crust. Bake in a 10 in. pie or spring form pan for 40 mins. Serve chilled. Good topped with fresh, canned or frozen fruit.

Carrot cake (adapted from American Heart Assoc. cookbook)
350 degree oven
Spray a nonstick Bundt pan with veg. oil spray

2 c. whole wheat flour
2 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. baking solda
1 T baking powder
3/4 c. veg. oil
1 t. allspice
2 t. cinnamon
1 1/2 c. firmly packed brown sugar
6 egg whites
1 jar baby food strained carrots
1 T vanilla extract
2 c. packed grated carrots
1/2 c. crushed pineapple, drained
2 T. fresh lemon juice
1/4 c. chopped walnuts

1. Sift together flours, salt, baking powder and soda, spices. Mix and set aside. (Bowl 1)
2. Combine oil, brown sugar, egg whites, carrots and vanilla. Mix until fully blended and no lumps remain. (Bowl 2)
3. Place grated carrots and pineapple and lemon juice in another bowl.
(Bowl 3). Mix well. Add the flour mixture (Bowl 1) and Bowl 2 mixture alternately with the liquid mixture, beginning and ending with the flour. Stir in nuts. Don't overmix.
4. Pour batter evenly into prepared pan. Bake on middle rack of oven for 55 mins., or until cake tester comes out moist but not wet. Let cool on wire rack 5 minutes. When completely cool, wrap with aluminum foil to retain moisture.

Note: I have changed my eating habits a lot since the last time I made this. Now I would probably try to cut way down on the sugar, use some blackstrap molasses and applesauce.

12-19-2004, 08:15 PM
The chocolate cake recipe wasn't in my previous post, so here it is.

Adapted from Fannie Farmer recipe for Chocolate Buttermilk Cake

1 2/3 c. flour
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. cocoa
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1 c. plain ff yogurt
1/4 c. veg. oil
2 t. vanilla
1/2 c. unsweetened applesauce

350 degree oven. Use veg. oil spray in 2 8 in. cake pans, or 1 9 x 13 pan.

1. Mix the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt in a bowl.
2. Add the yogurt, oil and vanilla, beating until smooth.
3. Spread in the pan and bake, 20-25 mins (small pans) or 35-40 mins (large pan). Toothpick in middle should come out clean.

Happy Eating to all Maintainers!