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JOY BAUER: SLIM AND SCRUMPTIOUS

Once again, Joy Bauer has created another winning cook book. This is a cook book about eating rich, delicious food without the excess calories. The recipes are quick, affordable and easy to make. Creative recipes that stretch your food and save on costs as well. How good is that?  (I am about to get a bit long winded here…please forgive me but I can’t help it!)

You can check out Joy’s website and learn more here.

I like Joy’s approach with her Cooking At Home – Three Strategies:

1)  Make most of your meals at home:

Fresh wholesome foods without additives and preservatives will always bring optimal health benefits. Plus your food costs will be considerably less.  (as you know, I make everything from scratch and we rarely eat out)

2)  Become a savvy shopper:

Stocking the pantry and freezer with foods that are on sale – something I always do.

3)  Grow your own food:

If you do not have the space for a garden or the inclination, simply growing some fresh potted herbs is a wonderful, healthy addition to your meals. And saves money in the long run.

This cook book also covers chapters on must haves. For example:

Joy uses buttermilk for low fat cooking and baking. I use Kefir Milk in place of buttermilk – with the same wonderful results. It is amazing what buttermilk or Kefir milk can add to a recipe.

Canned goods:  such as canned beans, canned tomatoes (something I can not live without) canned broth – chicken, vegetable, beef which I use if homemade is not on hand. An absolute must in the kitchen.

Whole Grains:  Being a Celiac, I will always use Whole Grain Gluten Free flours such as Sorghum, Brown Rice and Millet. Other grains include Quinoa and Brown Rice Pastas, to name a few. Many of Joy’s recipes are Gluten Free. The ones I tried that were not, easily converted to Gluten Free.

Lean Cuts of Meat:  Joy recommends 90% lean ground turkey and chicken, skinless poultry and lean cuts of meat -  pork, beef as well as fish and shellfish. We always use 90% lean ground meats in my recipes as well as lean cuts of pork and beef. Joy will often use a few egg yolks and mostly egg whites in her dishes. Cuts down on the fat and cholesterol – but still remains delicious.

Flavor Enhancers:  Hot sauces, Vinegars, Soy Sauce Herbs and Spices. Well, you know from my blog I am a huge herb and spice junkie! As well, I use many Vinegars and Tamari sauce in my recipes. Hot sauces…not so much – we are wimps in this household when it comes to spicy heat! Vinegars, Soy Sauce, Fresh Herbs and Spices add tremendous flavors to your everyday cooking – I could not cook without them. And the added bonus:  you do not need to use excess salt – because there will already be a ton of flavor – for me it is always about flavor.

There is also a couple of pages on must have tools. We both have similar requirements:  A good cutting board, a good sharp knife, a food processor, a citrus zester, and a good set of pots and pans. Ohhh, almost forgot, I can not live without a few well seasoned cast iron pans.

Then Joy covers a number of tips to encourage children to get cooking with you in the kitchen…honestly, this book not only delivers delicious meals, but covers almost everything else you can think of!

Now onto some DELICIOUSNESS:

Here are a few scrumptious recipes we have made so far:

HERB-ROASTED PORK TENDERLOIN, PAGE 149

WITH A SIDE DISH OF BALSAMIC GLAZED PEARL ONIONS, PAGE 183

Here is another picture, sliced – just waiting to be devoured!This simple easy recipe was incredibly delicious. The flavor of the herbs, with the sweet tangy taste of the Balsamic Pearl onions is a true winner. With the Balsamic onions, I used fresh and added honey to the recipe in place of sugar.  Joy’s method for cooking the Pork Tenderloin, is one I have not used before. In this recipe, the Pork Tenderloin is browned in a frying pan, then the rest of the cooking is done in the oven. I can’t wait for leftovers tomorrow.

Next, a hearty Vegetarian Soup:

TOFU TOMATO SOUP WITH PARMESAN TOAST, PAGE 45

We are not Vegetarians in this household, however, we do enjoy a couple of Vegetarian meals each week.  This soup was packed full of flavor!  I was not able to get Silken Tofu, so I used an organic Medium Tofu which worked beautifully.  I also included fresh Basil as I had it on hand.  A hearty, delicious soup – great for lunch or dinner.

Now for a scrumptious sweet treat:

SOFT-BAKED CHOCOLATE-CHERRY OATMEAL COOKIES, PAGE 201

These cookies really are scrumptious. Soft, crispy, not too sweet – the perfect snack. I love the use of apple sauce, and egg whites in this recipe. Whenever I convert a regular gluten filled recipe to Gluten Free, it is always a challenge.  Often it takes a few failures before I get a winning recipe. This is a winning recipe! If you can have Gluten Free Oats – that is the way to go in this recipe. I can not tolerate Oats (ohh, how I miss them) so I used a combination of dried Quinoa Flakes and Gluten Free Brown Rice Crispy Cereal. It turned into a great combination, with the use of Brown Rice flour and a smaller amount of Tapioca Starch. This recipe is now one of our new favorite cookies. :)

Now for one final recipe, and one final note:  I adored all of the recipes I made from Joy’s book.

My all time, hands down, favorite recipe:

SPICE-RUBBED FLANK STEAK WITH CHIMICHURRI SAUCE, PAGE 140:

I have never had flank steak before, nor have I ever cooked a steak under the broiler. Mercy!  This was so, so good…the spice rub blend was perfect, add the chimichurri sauce and this was a dish made in heaven. You will note, from this post and the previous post Joy Bauer’s Food Cures, I chose to make a number of “meat” entrees.

Back when I was recovering from Celiac disease, it was a 3 year journey for me. During that period, the transition to gluten free and the healing time required was an intense time.

Through out that process I decided to try Vegetarianism. I ate fresh wild fish, shell fish, canned salmon and tuna, as well as organic eggs and organic cheese. I lost more weight, even though I was underweight to start with. Despite my over zealous efforts to combine the right proteins, I felt weak and lethargic. I had incredible hair loss and was also becoming Anemic. I knew this diet that was not for me. Each of us is unique. What works for one body, may not for another. We all have to find what is inherently best for our own selves.

So began the slow introduction to meat. I had not eaten beef in over ten years. I slowly began eating lean cuts of beef, chicken and pork. After 6 months, my hair grew back shiny and luxurious. My strength returned. I also regained the weight necessary for a 5′8″ frame. I have never looked back – to this day – I feel strong and healthy.

So the bottom line is this:  We all need to find our own ways in the kitchen. Joy creates healthy, balanced meals that provide the necessary nutrition, without the added fats.  And most importantly:  All the recipes I tried were really delicious. I want more of these tasty recipes – this is yet another cook book that is a must have in the kitchen. Thank you Joy for your inspiration in the kitchen and for sharing these delightful, healthy recipes.

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