If you don’t know Janet and Greta Podleski from their Food Network show ‘Eat Shrink & Be Merry,’ you should check them out. They take traditionally high calorie or high fat recipes and re-jig them into healthier alternatives without losing taste. A while ago they contacted me about checking out their GIANT cookbook The Looneyspoons Collection. I said sure, and here I am FINALLY giving you a review. This is a HUGE cookbook. I was actually a bit overwhelmed as while I LOVE recipes I tend to google what I am looking for, and the thought of wading through all the recipes and healthy facts and figures seemed a bit much for a ‘making it up as she goes type of chef.’ But it is so worth it. These are recipes that ANYONE can follow. They are made to be simple, fun, fast and tasty. For Easter dinner I decided to plan my meal around the ideas in the book. I picked the Darth Tater cheesy, gooey potato casserole, The Britney ‘s Spears Asparagus and the Blah-Shank Redemption ham with a maple mustard glaze. YUMMY! Because of my husband’s recent heart and other health scares, it was great to cook a full and large meal that was actually good for him, or at least not going to kill him if he had seconds. Since my family is not huge, I really didn’t want to purchase a giant ham, so I grabbed a smaller packaged one and just used the glazing ingredients and techniques. For our smaller seating, it was just fine.
That is my version of their Asparagus recipe. I jazzed it up by adding some white asparagus, but that stuff is a bit blah. The green roasted asparagus with balsamic vinegar, garlic, and feta cheese was really tasty and only 55 calories. I think if you can only eat one serving of the Darth Nugget Roasted Potato Casserole, you are doing great at 190 calories per. However, I challenge you to to eat only one serving. I love casseroles and I love roasted potatoes and lets not mention cheese and onions…..pretty much all my favourite carbs. This really only took an hour to make including prep work.
Again, this isn’t just a cookbook. This is a book to encourage you to not only eat better, but live healthier too. It is filled with tips for exercise, nutrition and diet facts. Janet and Greta want to show that living and eating healthy is not a chore, and neither is it complicated. I do think that people are overwhelmed with the thoughts of denial of flavour and their favourite comfort foods when trying to make lifestyle changes. I know I am. I have done terribly in my Real Living Balance program. Again because it all felt like too much of challenge all at once on top of just trying to survive life. I think if I really tried to stick to more of the easy recipes in this book, did a bit of meal planning and finally got myself organized, it would make a huge difference to my eating habits. I am not an organized person…it may come in fits and bursts, but I kind of just go with it and am happy when I scratch of as many things off my to do list for that week as I can. The rest of life and the family just sort of trails along behind me and tries to keep up. It is not a healthy way to live and with being concerned about my husbands health, I have really had to sit back a bit and THINK about what I am feeding the family instead of making it up as I go.
This is a good book to get your head around that concept because they speak to you in ‘human’ terms. They are not trying to scare you, they just want to show you that you can do it.