Skinnytaste – now there’s a word I can relate to. There’s nothing like California cuisine to invoke a sense of deep flavors mixed with calorie-conscious options. And that’s exactly what drew me to Gina Homolka’s cookbook, The Skinnytaste Cookbook: Light on Calories, Big on Flavor.
I feel like Gina, who blogs at Skinnytaste, is my Long Island soul sister. Just like me, she favors fresh, seasonal ingredients to create family favorites that turn up the volume on flavor while saying no to who-needs-them unhealthy fats.
The Skinnytaste Cookbook is a primer for healthy living. I know that we’re constantly bombarded with conflicting messages: there’s the folks who say yes to fat and those who eschew it; some friends tell you eat whole grain carbs, others tell you that you need to eliminate all cards to lose weight. What’s a girl to do?
Pick up a copy of The Skinnytaste Cookbook and read through her “Skinny Basics” – that’s what. The book is loaded with common sense advice that helps build a foundation for a healthy kitchen. You’ve heard it all before, but here it is in one place, advice such as:
- Plan your meals to avoid temptation
- Toss the processed and boxed foods that don’t support your health goals
- Eat whole foods
- Drink water
- Get enough sleep
Next, Gina teaches you how to give your kitchen a makeover, starting with your fridge. You’ll want to clean out the junk and the food substitutes (no egg whites from cartons here!). Stop using store-bought dressings and make your own (I can attest to how easy that is. If you’re looking for a recipe now, hop over to the New York Times and check out this easy recipe). The surprise? Instead of encouraging low-fat substitutes for all cheese, she encourages us to say yes to stronger flavored cheese because a little goes a long way.
A girl that says yes to cheese? My kind of cook.
As for the recipes, there are 150 recipes, many with full-color photographs. This is an all-purpose cookbook, with recipes for every meal of the day plus snacks and deserts. She’s even got chapters devoted to sandwiches and soups, two of my go-to’s. And for those of us with special diets, select recipes are marked gluten-free and vegetarian, although most of her recipes could be easily adapted to gluten-free with a basic all-purpose gluten-free flour.
The recipes I can’t wait to try include make-ahead Western muffins, slow-cooker white beach chicken chili verde (I’m gonna need a slow cooker for this one!), and the buttermilk oven “fried” chicken (with gluten-free bread crumbs made by moi with Udi’s Gluten-Free Whole Grain Bread, my fave, of course!).
You can check out the buttermilk oven “fried” chicken recipe here.
This is definitely a cookbook for everyone from beginner to established home cook. Because it’s an all-purpose cookbook, it would make a great bridal shower gift or starter cookbook for recent college grads.
And it’s perfect for suburban moms like me who just want to feed their families fast, healthy and flavorful dishes. Let’s cook!
Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links meaning I may receive compensation if you use those links. I received a complimentary copy of The Skinnytaste Cookbook from Blogging with Books for review; all opinions are my own.