In her newest cookbook, Ellie Krieger delivers 150 quick and easy recipes complete with nutritional information, as well as health benefits. The cookbook begins with a quick introduction on nutritional facts and reveals staple pantry and kitchen ingredients which are helpful to keep on hand. The recipes are broken down into six chapters: Breakfast at the ready, Breakfast at leisure, Lunch to go, Lunch at home, Dinner rush hour, Dinner kickin' back, Desserts in a flash, and Desserts extra special. There are various health articles scattered throughout the book, as well as a recipe nutritional data index in the back, in case you want to make any recipe "a la carte". There is not a picture of every recipe, but there are many pictures throughout the book that are very inviting.
I have really enjoyed leafing through this book, night after night, knowing that whatever recipe I choose is going to be healthful. All in all, I have made nine recipes from the book and each one has been delicious and filling. The recipes are well-written and appear to be tested and fool-proof. Each recipe truly is "SO EASY". I would recommend this book to anyone interested in quick, easy and healthful recipes.
The first recipe I made was the Peach Pie Smoothie, a mixture of nonfat milk, nonfat vanilla yogurt, frozen sliced peaches, honey, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and ice. The end result was creamy and delicious, almost like a dessert. The recipe makes two servings coming in at 260 calories, 12g protein and 3g of fiber each. That is one pie you can feel good about eating at breakfast!
Intrigued by the marriage of thinly sliced apple and sharp cheddar cheese, I made Ellie's Cheddar-Apple Quesadillas. A whole-wheat tortilla is filled with thin, sweet slices of Granny Smith apple and sharp cheddar cheese until the cheese is melted and the tortilla is crisp. A wonderful breakfast created in mere minutes. This is one that has been repeated in my kitchen over and over.
To satisfy the kid in me, I made the peanut butter and fruit wrap. Ellie spreads 2 tablespoons natural-style peanut butter on a whole-wheat wrap, adding 1/2 sliced banana, and one large pitted, chopped date. Cinnamon is sprinkled over the filling and the wrap is rolled up and sealed in aluminum foil for easy "on the go" eating. Needless to say, I wasn't going anywhere and my wrap was consumed greedily and happily on the spot. I enjoyed the bite of the banana and date and the flavor of the cinnamon really kicked it up a notch. Eat this wrap with an apple and you are well on your way to racking up some serious fiber.
Feeling adventurous, I opened up my package of quinoa for the first time to try the Honey Harvest Quinoa. This ancient seed is a powerhouse of nutrition that can be served as a hot breakfast cereal. A complete protein, with all essential amino acids, quinoa cooks up in about 15 minutes. This version is flavored with chunks of apple and cranberries and is topped with pecans, cinnamon, and honey. This is one seriously filling breakfast. I couldn't come close to finishing my bowl and found myself perfectly satisfied until lunch.
In need of cooked chicken, I tried Ellie's recipe for Basic Poached Chicken Breast. Can you believe that I've never poached chicken before? I've really been missing out! This is a fantastic and fat-free way to prepare fresh cooked chicken for various recipes. The poaching liquid consisted of 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth and 1 cup of water. Easy as pie! The end result was perfectly cooked, juicy chicken breast, begging to be used in a recipe. This poached chicken later made a starring role in one of my favorite new recipes, Nigella Lawson's sesame noodles.A big fan of taco salad, I jumped at the chance to try Ellie's healthier version. Lean ground beef, black beans, garlic, chili and cayenne pepper are combined together and allowed to cool slightly. Tomatoes, EVOO, and lime juice are blended to make a "chunky tomato dressing". This wonderful combination sets atop crunchy romaine lettuce and is topped with grated cheddar and baked corn tortilla chips. Hugely flavorful, wonderfully colorful, and extremely delicious. Coming in at 430 calories, 29g protein, 9g fiber how can you not make this one over and over again? It's addictive, in a naughty kind of way!
Feeling lucky to have all the ingredients on hand, I made Pork Piccata with Spinach and Garlic Mashed Potatoes. Pork tenderloin is sliced thin, coated in a small amount of flour, and sauteed. A wonderfully zingy and zesty piccata sauce is made from dry white wine (I used Marsala), chicken broth, lemon juice, capers, and garlic and poured over the pork. The pork is served next to garlic mashed potatoes, that have been steamed and smashed with chicken broth, steamed garlic, and one tablespoon of olive oil. A delicious alternative to traditionally fat-laden mashed potatoes. This meal is visually stunning, hearty and delicious. My husband says it's one of the best things I've cooked in awhile. It is my favorite recipe from the book so far!My love for fresh pineapple had me excited to try the pineapple with spicy sugar dip. The combination of sweet pineapple paired with a mixture of sugar, chili powder, and salt is the perfect palate cleanser after a meal. The warmth of the spices and the sweet juiciness of the fruit is like a flavor explosion in your mouth.I have enjoyed each of the eight recipes shown here. Normally if I test eight recipes there will be one or two that were just so-so, but I can honestly say that all eight have been a hit. In fact, several of the recipes have already been repeated in my kitchen. You can count on several more recipes being posted from this book.
In summary, this is a pretty and inviting cookbook with easy to follow recipes using common ingredients. The nutritional information is a treasure trove for anyone who wants to embrace healthy eating. My cookbook is quickly showing the signs of a much-loved favorite with it's wrinkled cover, splattered pages, and hand-written notes.