25 June 2016

Weekend Cooking: Eat What You Love: Quick & Easy by Marlene Koch

Weekend Cooking hosted by www.BethFishReads.comWeekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book reviews (novel, nonfiction), cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs, restaurant reviews, travel information, or fun food facts. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page.

Review: Eat What You Love: Quick & Easy by Marlene KochAlthough (knock on wood) we don't have any particular dietary concerns, we are committed to eating healthfully as much as possible. So when I discovered Marlene Koch's Eat What You Love: Quick & Easy at BEA this year, I decided to give it a try.

The cookbook is particularly geared to people who need to watch what they eat because they've been diagnosed with diabetes, but the recipes are so good and easy to make that they should have wide appeal. If you or a loved one has diabetes, then you'll be reassured to learn that Koch is a registered dietician. Her recipes will fit easily into a diabetic meal plan.

The first several chapters contain good information for people just starting out with more nutritious eating,for whatever reason: diabetes, weight loss, or healthful lifestyle. Koch goes into the details of nutrients, ingredients, and equipment. What I love about her ingredient section is that it names brands, which not only helps you in the store but boosts your success rate with her recipes.

Oh and I have to mention the abundance of advice Koch has included in Eat What You Love, such as how to use your freezer, baking tips, and how to adapt recipes for cooking for two. Seriously good information.

Okay so what about the recipes? I haven't yet made any the beautiful desserts (see that book cover!), but I made a pork chili verde that we really liked, a simple cucumber salad, and a savory zucchini pie. The recipes were easy to put together and the instructions were clear. The pork needed to cook for about an hour, so I'm not quite sure how "quick" it was, but the flavor was there. I have a bunch more recipes marked to try.

Some other things to know:
  • Most of the recipes use fresh or frozen ingredients, but some call for store-bought ingredients, like broth, sauces, and pudding mixes.
  • All recipes come with good nutrition information, including food exchanges and Weight Watchers points.
  • People on gluten-free diets should look before buying.
  • Vegetarians should also look before buying.
  • There are beautiful photos for some but not all recipes.
  • Fast applies to your hands-on time and doesn't always mean you'll be eating in under an hour.
I'm impressed with the variety of foods and how they all look like (pardon the expression) real food--that is, food that doesn't signal it's part of a special diet. Whether you're watching what you eat because you need to lose weight, because you're diabetic, or because you just want to eat right, you won't feel even a tiny bit deprived. I mean, Swedish Meatballs with Sour Cream Gravy, Grilled Peach Sundaes with Caramel Sauce, and Shortcut Veggie Lasagna don't sound like sacrifice dishes to me.

Recommendation: If you are looking for some good, reliable recipes to feed the whole family while accommodating dietary restrictions, here's the book for you. If you want to add recipes to your busy weeknight repertoire, here's the book for you.  If you want some delicious lower-in-calorie recipes to help you feel better and lose weight, you'll want to check out Marlene Koch's Eat What You Love: Quick & Easy. To learn more about Koch, visit her website.

Click to enlarge the image to see one of her recipes. I haven't made this chicken and shrimp gumbo, but it looks good to me.


Tina 6/25/16, 7:08 AM  

The photo of the gumbo looks good, I like a hearty gumbo. This is probably one our local library will get and will certainly check it out. Lately I have been trying to preview books by checking them out before parting with cash. Often I buy the book but a free preview is always great.
Oh, and I agree about the desserts on the cover, they beckon to me! Sounds like the recipes you've tried came out very well.

Mae Travels 6/25/16, 7:17 AM  

You haven't really sold me on that cookbook -- there are just so many sources for responsible mainstream recipes with frozen or packaged ingredients! And it's not hard to find diet advice or discussions of "nutrients, ingredients, and equipment." I trust you as a reviewer: if you had found anything unique in this book you would have told us.

Such a crowded field!

best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

rhapsodyinbooks 6/25/16, 7:19 AM  

It is interesting how definitions of "fast" differ!

bermudaonion 6/25/16, 8:30 AM  

These recipes look and sound like food everyone would love, regardless of dietary needs and I think that's a big bonus for most people.

Jackie McGuinness 6/25/16, 8:36 AM  

I've been thinking of making a gumbo recently. I have a recipe from a cooking class I took in New Orleans that I love.

Karen 6/25/16, 8:46 AM  

I edit a lot of special-diet cookbooks, and we are always working hard to check that every ingredient is OK, but at the end of the day, anyone with a serious disorder like celiac (not just "avoiding gluten"), tree nut allergy, etc. needs to either make everything from scratch or watch those labels METICULOUSLY. Previously "safe" products change their ingredients sometimes, and even trace amounts of certain ingredients can wreak havoc for some people. It's really scary to imagine, and I'm grateful no one in my family has to worry about it.

jama 6/25/16, 8:59 AM  

Thanks for the nice review. Sounds like something I should look for at the library. The gumbo sounds good. :)

(Diane) bookchickdi 6/25/16, 9:54 AM  

I love Marlene Koch's books. She lightens up my family's favorite dishes with easy recipes.

Sheila (Bookjourney) 6/25/16, 10:29 AM  

The Gumbo looks delicious. Makes me think of crisp fall evenings... I am not ready for Fall.. but I am ready for the gumbo!

Katherine P 6/25/16, 11:13 AM  

This sounds like a good cookbook! I like cookbooks where the foods are just naturally diabetic friendly and don't have artificial sweeteners and things like that. My grandfather is type 2 diabetic which he controls mostly by diet. This sounds like a good resource for finding tasty meals that he can eat too.

Deb in Hawaii 6/25/16, 11:38 AM  

I tend to value easy over quick, so I don't mind when things take a while to cook as long as I don't have to fuss over them! ;-) This looks like a useful book--especially for those with dietary concerns. My sister-in-law is diabetic among other issues and always looking for easy recipes that she can feed her whole family--it looks like there are some good ones in this book. Thanks for sharing!

BTW--I linked up two posts book reviews and recipe posts again this week--just in case you thought I might have accidentally linked twice! ;-)

Debbie Rodgers 6/25/16, 1:02 PM  

I like the fact that there is a lot of healthy eating info in here, gathered in one place, and especially the WW points analysis of the specific recipes. I'm going to keep my eye out for this one on sale. Thank you for the review!

Kathy Reads Fiction 6/25/16, 2:06 PM  

The gumbo looks delicious and seems the perfect comfort food for a lazy Sunday afternoon.

Nan 6/25/16, 3:16 PM  

I'm one of the vegetarians who will 'look before buying.' I appreciate you saying that!

Jackie McGuinness 6/25/16, 3:26 PM  

I'm glad you made the gluten free comment in your review. John was recently (this week) confirmed as celiac so I have been learning a lot about gluten free cooking.

Claudia 6/26/16, 3:28 AM  

Many more of my friends seem to be avoiding gluten,or have other food issues, it's good to have special cooking resources available. Thanks

Trish @ Love, Laughter, Insanity 6/26/16, 11:40 AM  

I took a look at her website and there are some tasty looking recipes there--wish my library had a better selection of cookbooks! I'm always dubious of meals that say they can get on the table in 30 minutes (Looking at you Rachael Ray). I love when cookbooks share the prep time in addition to the cooking time.

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