Friday, June 11, 2010

Rocco DiSpirito's Now Eat This!

Comfort Food. We all love it. We all have our favorites. In his latest book, Now Eat This! Rocco Dispirito chronicles his personal weight loss and his desire to indulge in comfort foods. Now Eat This! is all about comfort foods, 150 comfort foods all under 350 calories.

The book is broken down into eleven chapters: Appetizers; Soups; Salads; Sandwiches and Pizza; Fish and Shellfish; Chicken and Turkey; Beef and Pork; Pasta and More; Sides; Sauces; and Desserts. There are lots of pictures of food and lots of pictures of Rocco (ladies, you know what I'm talking about here). The book does rely heavily on many products, such as: nonstick cooking spray, low-fat cheeses, greek yogurt, bacon bits, whole wheat panko, Truvia, Splenda, and also egg substitute. While these products will appeal to some, they will not appeal to all, and for this reason, this book is probably not for everybody.

I based my review on my favorite types of comfort foods: Macaroni and Cheese, Spaghetti and Meatballs, Pizza, Potato Soup, and Chocolate Ice Cream.

The first recipe I made from the book, and probably our favorite of the five, was his Macaroni and Cheese with a Crusty Crunch. Coming in at 227 calories a serving, Rocco's Macaroni and Cheese was a combination of an onion-garlic puree, mixed with reduced-fat cheddar and Greek yogurt, topped with crispy whole wheat panko and Parmigiano.

The final result was very creamy and the portion was pretty big for 227 calories. We all enjoyed it!

The second recipe I made was Rocco's Mama-Approved Spaghetti and Meatballs. The meatballs were a mix of ground turkey breast, eggplant, onion, egg white, garlic and chicken broth. They were served over marinara sauce and whole wheat spaghetti. At some point during the cooking process, my nine year old daughter decided to "help me" by "stirring the pot of meatballs". You can imagine how well that went over. Needless to say that our meatballs ended up being meat sauce. Regardless of whether we had meatballs or meat sauce, this was not Mama-Approved and wasn't one of our favorites. Saying that, spaghetti and meatballs is probably our number one favorite meal and maybe I should have known better than to try a diet version.

The third recipe we tried, was Rocco's Deep Dish Pizza. I had seen Rocco make this pizza on an episode of Rachel Ray and it did really look good. I was excited to give it a try. A homemade whole wheat pizza crust is made using molasses and then the dough is topped with low-fat mozzarella cheese and reduced-fat pepperoni. At 218 calories a slice, this pizza was pretty good. We did like the crust and I would definitely like to make a veggie-loaded pizza next time.

Creamy potato soup is one of my very favorite comfort foods, so I chose Rocco's Cheddar Cheese and "Potato" Soup. Rocco's "potato" soup relies on cauliflower instead of potato to make a creamy, cheesy-based soup that is low calorie. Cauliflower, milk, onion, and garlic are pureed to make a hearty and thick soup. Reduced-fat cheese is added to give it a cheesy consistency. A huge bowl of this "potato" soup comes in at only 190 calories. I found that I didn't really miss the real potato in this soup. I liked this recipe and ate it for lunch most of this week. With the calories you save from using cauliflower I think you could definitely indulge in the real full-fat cheese!

I had a hard time picking out a dessert recipe. Most of the desserts contained Truvia or Splenda and I had never worked with either of those ingredients before. I opted for Rocco's Chocolate Frozen Yogurt, made from 99% unsweetened chocolate, agave nectar, skim milk, and Greek Yogurt. The final product was not real great. The frozen yogurt was very bitter (probably because the recipe calls for 99% unsweetened chocolate) and tasted very strongly like coffee. I also had trouble getting the ice cream to "set up". I don't know that I would recommend this recipe. The ingredients were pretty expensive and the end results weren't that great PLUS one serving is 276 calories and I don't know if that is a real savings in the calorie department. I think you could probably find some tastier options for the same calorie content.

Like everyone, I love the concept of indulging in comfort food without the guilt. Although I had some hit and miss results, there are still some more recipes that I would like to try. I'm crossing my fingers that I'll find a new favorite!

I'm submitting the Cheddar Cheese and "Potato" Soup to my friend Deb @ Kahakai Kitchen for her Souper Sundays roundup!

What are some of your favorite comfort foods?


  1. I have really got to get this book! Favorite comfort foods? Probably something cheesy, gooey, and warm.

  2. The Penne w/ Vodka Sauce (minus the vodka)is also pretty good. I have been feasting with Rocco's book for a month. I will be reviewing it also!

  3. I heart tyler florence and now rocco as well!! Great reviews,

  4. I used to hoard low calories recipe books like it was my job, but now I'm trying to let loose a little. It's still nice to have lower cal options for some of my favorite comfort foods where I just can't stop at one serving (cough mac and cheese cough). I'm so glad you reviewed this!

  5. Good review. I'm not real keen on using low-fat substitutes however, I prefer to use lesser amounts of the real thing.

  6. I have seen him on a few daytime talk shows promoting this book and it sounds interesting to me. Although I do have to say that I don't use a lot of low fat substitutes. But the food sure does look good!

  7. First, that shot with the steam coming off the spaghetti is pure food p*rn!

    Great that your daughter helped out, even if it turned the meatballs into meat sauce.

    This seems like a timely book and while I don't like to cut calories, if it comes painlessly then I could do it.

  8. This book sounds incredible! That mac and cheese looks super creamy, that's pretty amazing that it's only 227 calories! My #1 favorite comfort food is chocolate chip cookies. :)

  9. Shows how much I know about Rocco--had no idea he was on a weight loss regimem. Didn't know he needed to be!

    Favorite comfort foods? Gooey or fudgy chocolate (esp. brownies), anything with a cream sauce (alfredo), anything with gooey cheese (chiles rellenos). Apparently, nothing healthy!

    For the Pasta w/ Whole Cloves of Garlic: yes, I also thought the garlic was mellow--much like the flavor you'd get from roasted garlic. I have to admit that I cooked the garlic too long. I didn't burn it, but it cooked to mush. Turns out that this made a rich, tasty sauce with the bacon drippings. Super good.

  10. I don't know if I've seen Rocco before. He is a cutie! ;) I haven't tried those sweeteners either but I do love agave nectar. The soup looks nice and so does that yummy macaroni and cheese!

  11. Kim, I love your do an awesome job! Going to check out the book and your photos are making me so hungry! Have a great weekend!

  12. Great review. Love the potato-soup--thanks for sending it to Souper Sundays,. ;-) I have a recipe he did for a clam chowder (I think its in the book) with cauliflower that I thought looked good too.

  13. I love how you always review the best cookbooks--you do a great job!! :-) I would have to say the pizza or the mac and cheese look the best to me!

  14. That cauliflower soup looks good. He should just call it for what it is, but maybe no one would eat it then.

    I truly appreciate your honest reviews of the food and ingredients used throughout the book. Because of your review I won't be purchasing the book. I'm in the camp that doesn't substitute diet/low fat ingredients for the real thing.

    If I'm going to make dessert, it's going to taste good with real ingredients. I'm just going to have to live with giving most of it away. :)

  15. I agree the mac and cheese and the soup sound great the other ones, not so much. Thanks for your great (honest) reviews.

  16. I never considered adding yogurt to lighten up the macaroni and cheese. Brilliant!

  17. I appreciate your honest review of this cookbook. The macaroni and cheese definitely appeals to me.

  18. Wonderful review - think I will give this book a miss, I have a "thing" about fake sugars like Splenda!

    I really love your photos, my mouth is watering!!

  19. This book is new to me, but I don't see how it can miss. Comfort foods that are lo-cal? Almost an impossibility, but Rocco seems to have done it. The mac and cheese looks wonderful, Kim!

  20. It's close to dinner time and your photos just stirred up my appetite. Especially the mac n cheese, yumm.

  21. Another great review. Im not big on "lite" products,they generally have a lite flavor too. I try to use less of the real deal.

  22. I just love having the family help out. I too love the concept of indulging in comfort food without the guilt! Isn't that the only way to indulge? LOL!

  23. I've read a few excellent stuff here. Definitely worth bookmarking for revisiting. I surprise how much effort you place to make this sort of wonderful informative web site.

    my website :: adventure vacation belize

  24. We absolutely love your blog and find most of your post's to be precisely what I'm
    looking for. Would you offer guest writers to write content
    to suit your needs? I wouldn't mind composing a post or elaborating on many of the subjects you write with regards to here. Again, awesome web site!

    Take a look at my page workouts to increase vertical leap

  25. Awesome post.

    Review my web blog :: Exercises For vertical jump

  26. Very nice article, just what I needed.

    My blog post HTTP://

  27. Wow that was strange. I just wrote an incredibly long comment but after I clicked
    submit my comment didn't appear. Grrrr... well I'm not writing all
    that over again. Anyways, just wanted to say superb blog!

    my website ... Http://Www.Artichoke.Uk.Com/

  28. My partner and I stumbled over here by a different web page and thought I might check things out.
    I like what I see so now i'm following you. Look forward to looking at your web page repeatedly.

    My homepage ... Friendfeed.Com

  29. These are actually impressive ideas in concerning blogging.
    You have touched some pleasant points here. Any way keep up wrinting.

    Feel free to visit my homepage: HTTP://Poznane.Pl/community/pg/profile/DaniloBre

  30. I just couldn't leave your website prior to suggesting that I actually enjoyed the standard information a person provide on your visitors? Is going to be back incessantly to check up on new posts

    My site: workouts to Increase vertical Leap

  31. For the reason that the admin of this web page is working, no hesitation very quickly it will be renowned,
    due to its quality contents.

    My page ... workouts to improve vertical jump

  32. Wow, superb blog layout! How long have you been blogging
    for? you make blogging look easy. The overall look of your web site is
    excellent, let alone the content!

    My homepage - Exercises To Improve Vertical Leap

  33. Whаt's up colleagues, how is the whole thing, and what you want to say on the topic of this paragraph, in my view its in fact awesome in support of me. garcinia cambogia extract with potassium no fillers - - garcinia cambogia garcinia cambogia extract weight loss - garcinia cambogia - garcinia cambogia extract pure appetite suppressant with potassium & calcium

  34. Terrific article! That is the kind of information that should be shared around the net.

    Shame on Google for not positioning this put up higher!
    Come on over and visit my site . Thanks =)

    Feel free to surf to my page

  35. Yesterday, while I was at work, my sister stole my iphone and tested to see if it can
    survive a 30 foot drop, just so she can be a youtube sensation.
    My apple ipad is now broken and she has 83 views. I know this
    is totally off topic but I had to share it with someone!

    My website :: Increase vertical jump

  36. My family all the time say that I am killіng my time here at net, but I κnoω I am gettіng knowlеdge all
    thе time by reаding such fаstіdious articles οr rеviews.

    Rippln mobile - rippln mobile

    Also viѕit my blog rippln app

  37. It's an awesome paragraph designed for all the internet viewers; they will take advantage from it I am sure.

    My homepage ... raspberry ketones max


Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment! At the moment I am having a huge problem with spam so I've had to add comment moderation and close off comments to anonymous users. I apologize for the trouble and hope to return my comments to normal shortly.