Cooking Thin with Chef Kathleen: 200 Easy Recipes for Healthy Weight Loss


The Food Network's newest star, Chef Kathleen Daelemans, is living proof that great-tasting food and dramatic weight loss can go hand in hand. A decade ago, she was unexpectedly chosen to become head chef of one of the world's most luxurious spas in Hawaii. One problem: she weighed 205 pounds and was a size 22 -- not exactly an advertisement for the joys of low-fat eating. But Kathleen wasn't about to give up her love of food, and she set out to create a cuisine she could be proud of. Her ground rules were ...
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The Food Network's newest star, Chef Kathleen Daelemans, is living proof that great-tasting food and dramatic weight loss can go hand in hand. A decade ago, she was unexpectedly chosen to become head chef of one of the world's most luxurious spas in Hawaii. One problem: she weighed 205 pounds and was a size 22 -- not exactly an advertisement for the joys of low-fat eating. But Kathleen wasn't about to give up her love of food, and she set out to create a cuisine she could be proud of. Her ground rules were simple. Every dish had to satisfy. Pleasure must rule. No one should have to weigh or measure food. And the "d" word was banned -- unless the "d" stood for outrageously delicious.

Spa guests, movie stars, recording artists, sports figures, and supermodels flocked to the restaurant's tables. Critics from the New York Times, Esquire, Food & Wine, Bon Appetit, and the Los Angeles Times raved. Kathleen herself lost seventy-five pounds. Now, in this book, Chef Kathleen shares her sassy philosophy and the secrets of her weight-loss success story while giving you the tools to make healthy changes for yourself. Falling in love with her food is easy, with recipes like Split-Roasted Chicken and Potatoes, Buttermilk Baked Onion Rings, Sesame Ginger Shrimp, Green Beans with Lemon and Parmesan, and Dark Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake. The book is packed with shortcut tips, comments from real people, and suggestions for transforming one meal into a second, equally delicious one. With Cooking Thin, your journey to vitality starts now.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
You have to respect a chef who's gone from a size 22 to a size 8 on her own spa cuisine. Kathleen Daelemans, whose Cooking Thin show appears on the Food Network, did just that at her luxury spa restaurant in Maui, Hawaii, and got critical raves in the process. Whether you want to lose weight or just add some healthy recipes to your repertoire, you'll enjoy the 200 delicious-looking recipes in her book.

At the spa, Chef Kathleen's rules were simple: No one had to weigh or measure food; the "d" word -- diet -- was never mentioned; and every meal or snack time was an opportunity to get in good calories. She uses the same approach in her book.

Chef Kathleen starts off by giving the reader a big motivational talk, delivered in a casual, sassy tone. She encourages the basics of weight loss: exercise, caution with portion sizes, and proper organization, from having the right foods in the freezer to appealingly cut and washed fresh vegetables at eye level in the refrigerator. "Start with foods you like and weave in foods you know you should be eating," she advises. "Dump anything from your diet you're not passionate about."

Now on to the recipes: Chef Kathleen has a lot of good low-fat tricks to teach. There's a Roasted Vegetable Soup that gets deglazed right from the cookie sheet; a Spaghetti and Meatballs dish that the whole family can enjoy; lots of good vegetable and salad dishes, and an Instant Chocolate Banana Ice Cream made with frozen bananas, milk, and cocoa. She's figured out beet chips, parsnip chips, and Quick-Chocolate-Fix Candies made with chocolate chips, toasted almonds, and dried cherries or raisins. Most recipes also offer shortcuts for preparation or advice on how to extend the leftovers into another dish. (Ginger Curwen)

Library Journal
Daelemans's Cooking Thin, the Food Network's first "healthy cooking" series, has just been renewed for a second season. The author, who lost 75 pounds after she was hired as chef of a luxury spa in Hawaii, knows whereof she writes, and her empathy and humor make for a very appealing book. She focuses on moderation rather than deprivation, and although her recipes are low-fat and low-calorie, she has not included the typical nutrition analyses that appear in most weight-loss cookbooks. The recipes are easy and include both make-ahead tips and suggestions for turning one dish into many. Testing the recipes was somewhat of a family affair there are tips from Mom and ratings from Dad, as well as some contributions from the author's siblings. Recommended for all subject collections. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
From the Publisher
Daelemans believes in life changes. This book is her effort to help people make them. The Oregonian

Daelemans takes a no-nonsense approach to healthy weight loss. Cooking Light

Cooking Thin with Chef Kathleen brings her sucessful TV chemistry to the printed page. The Houston Chronicle

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060393991
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/1/2001
  • Pages: 416

Meet the Author

Chef Kathleen Daelemans is the host of Cooking Thin with Chef Kathleen, a nationally broadcast weekly show on the Food Network. She is a regular contributor to The Today Show. Her weekly newspaper column, 'Ask Chef Kathleen,' is syndicated across the Gannett Wire Service.

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Read an Excerpt

Introduction Being hired straight out of Judy Rodgers's Zuni Café kitchen to launch a seaside Italian bistro in a $790 million tropical paradise hotel in Hawaii, touted as "the world's most luxurious," didn't seem like a bad career move. Turns out, trading swank San Francisco life for island living nearly cost me my livelihood. Finding upon my arrival that I'd been replaced by a chef flown in from Italy definitely wasn't the Aloha greeting I'd been fantasizing. Tropical dreams were dashed by a tsunami-sized uncertainty.

Before I could phone Judy and plead for my job back, the resort owners whisked me off to a meeting and announced my new culinary appointment. "You will be the spa cuisine chef" is all I heard before I nearly lost consciousness. I spat the words right back, "What is spa cuisine chef?"
"What is spa food and who eats it anyway?," I demanded. "Do I look like I eat low-fat foods?"
Did I mention I was 205 pounds and a size 22 at the time? A fat chef behind the stove of the resort's premier spa restaurant wasn't good for the overall image of the place. Not only did I have to invent a menu, I had to cook and look the part. No more food fests . . . no more late-night refrigerator raids . . . no more ice cream? Returning to the city-by-the-bay so soon was not an option. My mother didn't raise a quitter, or so she had pummeled into my psyche.
Conceiving a future of fat-free foods had me trembling for Twinkies.

I couldn't imagine an entire restaurant dedicated to a cuisine that didn't exist. My best research efforts unearthed only three books on the subject, all out of print. No wonder, since they were filled with photographs of pea shoots andcarrot sticks three ways.
You know, the kind of pictures that leave you salivating for something else. Fearing my career path had crumbled for good, I rang up Judy.

She told me, "Look on it as a challenge and rely on basics.
Grill and broil food, write your menus around vegetables, fruits, grains, and legumes. Choose leaner cuts of red meat, chicken, and fish. Get in your car and forage for island farmers. Use the freshest produce you can get your hands on and the food will speak for itself.
Get advice from a doctor or nutritionist."
I knew she was right, but how much weight could spa guests lose in a week? And who goes on a vacation to lose weight? Most people planning island getaways start dieting so that they can fit into their "resort wear" the minute the travel itinerary is set. The trek back to pre-seat-assignment size begins when the stewardess sets that little bag of honey-roasted nuts before you. Your seven-day license to eat freely reigns supreme and doesn't expire until the plane touches down back in your hometown, right? We're supposed to come home fat from holidays, aren't we?

Spa-goers came to the resort to be pampered, rubbed, wrapped, and healed. Clientele forking out 450 dollars a night certainly weren't used to hearing the word no—as in no Dom Perignon, no filet mignon, no lobster thermidor, and no crème brûlée. I had to find a way to send these people home happier, not heavier. And I had to slim down fast. Controlling my cravings, tempering my taste buds, and losing weight was simply a matter of preserving my paycheck.

I set out to create a cuisine I could be proud of and that guests could embrace. Having yo-yo dieted myself to distraction, I was determined to send guests back to the mainland with realistic tools to help them succeed at a life of healthy living. I found a nutritionist willing to help: Dr. Elaine Willis. I begged the good doctor to reinvent conventional wisdom by never mentioning the "d" word to our guests. Forward-thinking Dr. Willis indulged my instincts and deleted "dieting" from the official spa itinerary. I persisted in my pursuit to keep things simple by insisting that no one be required to weigh and measure their food or read a single book on health and nutrition.

Dr. Willis and I worked together until we came up with a formula that yielded outrageously delicious, nutritionally sound cuisine. The restaurant was an instant hit. Word of the sumptuous cuisine spread quickly. Spa guests, movie stars, recording artists, sports superstars, and supermodels flocked to the café's tables. The restaurant received dozens of culinary kudos and accolades from some of the nation's most respected food critics. A little culinary trickery and a lot of innovation proved once and for all that food with less fat and no unnecessary calories can please even the most discriminating palates.

If you're thinking that a spa vacation at a multimillion-dollar resort is the only way you can lose weight, think again, because the only thing you're likely to lose is a few grand. You can take advantage of all the secrets and amenities guests took home because everything you need to know is in this book. It's fair to say that this is one "vacation" that really can last a lifetime, and since your journey doesn't begin with a plane ride, you won't need your Visa or American Express card.

Okay, so there is no lei greeting, no limo driver, and no private butler in sight. Powerful personal trainers and private chefs catering to your every culinary whim are not part of the package. Room service, maid service, and in-room massage don't come with this book either. There's no one to draw your bath at night and turndown service is definitely do-it-yourself.

The good news? Your journey to vitality doesn't involve debt, starvation, or exercise boot camp. It will, however, result in long- term success. Guilt be gone! Losing weight and getting fit is within everyone's reach. The program originally designed for the rich and famous has been simplified and refined for the very distinguished rest of us.

I'm living proof that modest lifestyle changes can result in weight loss, a greater fitness level, and a little freedom from stress. Don't get me wrong: you won't wake up looking like a Hollywood movie star on day two, but you will achieve results. In my wildest dreams, I never imagined I'd become a spa cuisine chef, let alone a weight-loss success story, 75 pounds and counting. If I can do this, you can too!
Top ten cooking survival tips 1. Lose the complicated entrée mind-set. Keep dinner simple, especially if you're time starved. Quick oven-broiled fish with microwave veggies is dinner.
2. Who's on the sauté station tonight? Build your culinary team.
Enlist help, divide up the chores, make lists, delegate tasks, and follow through. Every able body should participate regularly in some aspect of meal planning, shopping, cooking, or cleanup.
3. Build menus around naturally healthful ingredients. Three ounces of steak can be consumed in four bites and two minutes. A heaping bowl of Sesame Ginger Shrimp and Spicy Black Bean Salad will take many more bites than four and a lot longer, too. Don't underestimate the psychological and emotional reasons we eat. They're just as important as our nutritional needs.
4. Cheat any way you can, but don't compromise your waistline. Any shortcut you can pull off is worth it. If something from a can, bag, or box will mean the difference between your eating in or ordering out, by all means go for it. Read product labels carefully though, and make the healthiest choices you can.
5. Fill up on the good stuff. Increase good calories wherever you can. Can you get an extra serving of veggies by tossing a handful of corn into the salad? How about peas and mushrooms in the mac 'n' cheese? Roast asparagus in the same pan with the potatoes, and you've got two veggie sides instead of one.
6. Use of high-impact flavor ingredients is highly encouraged.
Resuscitate, invigorate, acidulate—use sea salt, kosher salt, ginger, citrus, vinegar, garlic, capers, anchovies, olives, fresh spices (no, they do not have the shelf life of books), and freshly cut herbs.
Grow your own. They're pretty and cheery. If the plants die, remember seeds are cheap, and dirt is free.
7. Pare down prep. Ten minutes in the kitchen after dinner tonight is easier to pull off than ten minutes before dinner tomorrow when you're tired and starving. Peel the potatoes tonight. Cook off the noodles. Whip up the dressing. Wash the veggies. Marinate the chicken. We're not talking the whole meal here. Just a task or two.
8. Plan to morph meals. Plan tomorrow's supper today by making a double batch. A salad can become an entrée if you add a piece of chicken or fish. Grill extra veggies tonight and top your pizza with them tomorrow. When you're cooking black beans from scratch, they can morph from soup to chili and from salad to salsa. Challenge yourself.
See how many meals you can make from a single recipe.
9. Supersize—make your own TV dinners. Attack an overscheduled week head on. On nights you're not so rushed, make a double batch of something you know freezes well. Store the second half in microwave- proof containers, clearly marked, with the full title of the dish and the date. A sumptuous title will inspire you to actually take the frozen dinner out of the freezer and eat it on one of those nights you're tempted to pick up the phone and call for the next-pants-size- up, er, carryout.
10. Choose the right tools. Use the right tool for the task and you'll slash culinary frustration. Dull knives, the wrong spoon, a melted spatula, a fork with a broken handle, or a pot that's too small creates kitchen stress. Who needs it? Keep your tools in good working condition and handy.

So cook already. Plan to cook and you will. Plan not to and you won't eat. Or worse, you'll eat poorly.
Cinnamon Apple Streusel Muffins Weakness #457: crumb cakes. You know the ones. Those little four-packs loaded with crumb topping. I used to love to go to the half-off bakeshop and load up on crumb cakes. It was one of my worst pre-weight- loss habits because I couldn't stop myself from eating way more than a portion, whatever that was. These muffins helped me kick my coffeecake addiction. I'm not suggesting for a minute that you replace a more nutritious breakfast with Cinnamon Apple Streusel Muffins. Not at all.
These are special occasion calories you need to plan for.
12 servings.
For the topping 1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar 3 tablespoons flour 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 2 tablespoons cold butter, cut into tiny cubes For the muffins 13/4 cups flour 1/3 cup granulated sugar 2 teaspoons baking powder 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 large egg, beaten 3/4 cup apple cider or apple juice 1 apple, peeled, cored, and diced 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 1/4 cup vegetable oil Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper baking cups; set aside.
Prepare the topping: In a small mixing bowl, stir together brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon; cut in butter with a fork. Set aside.
Prepare the muffins: In a medium mixing bowl, mix together flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt. In a small mixing bowl, combine egg, apple cider, diced apple, vanilla extract, and oil; add all at once to flour mixture. Stir until just moistened. (Batter should be lumpy.) Spoon about 1 tablespoon batter into each prepared muffin cup; sprinkle with 1 teaspoon topping. Fill evenly with remaining batter. Sprinkle tops of muffins with remaining topping. Bake about 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from pan; cool slightly on racks.
Copyright © 2002 Kathleen Daelemans. Reprinted by permission of Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
Introduction xiii
Kathleen's 1-2-3 Guide to the Finish Line 1
Round Up the Tin Pan Bangers, the Spoon Lickers, the Chocolate Chins, and the Dirty Bibs, It's Time to Cook Thin! 63
Breakfast 79
Soups 93
Sandwiches, Pizzas, and Frittatas 115
Side Salads and Savory Slaws 141
Vegetable Sides 163
Pasta, Polenta, Beans, and Rice 201
Sauces, Condiments, and Other Really Cool Things You Ought to Make 239
Light Meals, Vegetarian Entrees, and Entree Salads 267
Fish 297
Meat 309
Desserts 349
Index 391
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4 to 6 servings

Especially delicious in colder months when you're craving the kind of comfort food you shouldn't overindulge in. This hearty soup is great the night you make it and even better the next day.

1-1/2 pounds potatoes, washed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 large sweet onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 pound carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 pound parsnips, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
6 cloves garlic, unpeeled
1 tablespoon olive oil
Coarse-grained salt and cracked black pepper
6 cups [homemade] vegetable stock or chicken stock or canned broth
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 sprig rosemary or thyme

Preheat the oven to 400° F. Throw all the vegetables and the garlic into a plastic bag (one of the bags you brought them home in). Pour 1-tablespoon oil into bag with veggies and shake until well coated. Spread vegetables onto a rimmed baking sheet, season with salt and pepper, and roast, turning once or twice, until nicely browned, about 45 minutes.

Scrape vegetables except the garlic into large soup pot. Peel the garlic and place it back on the baking sheet. Set the baking sheet on the largest burner you have over medium-high heat and pour 1/2 cup vegetable or chicken stock and the balsamic vinegar over the pan. Deglaze by stirring and scraping the bottom and sides of the baking pan. Magically, all the tasty nibbly bits will come loose and the garlic will disintegrate into pan juices. Pour this viscous sauce directly into soup pot with vegetables.

Add remaining 5-1/2 cups stock to soup pot with rosemary or thyme. Bring to a simmer, taste, and adjust seasonings. Cover and cook slowly until flavors are blended, about 20 minutes. Add water as necessary to thin soup. Remove herb sprigs and serve immediately.

Shortcut Chef: Peel and chop vegetables the night before while you're watching TV or listening to the radio. Store them in a plastic bag with oil and pepper. Hold the salt or vegetables will throw their water and steam instead of roasting to golden brown. Salt vegetables just before you put them in the oven.

The recipe says to cut all vegetables into 1-inch pieces. Unless you've studied culinary arts abroad, this is practically impossible. The point is to keep the vegetables uniform in size so they'll cook evenly.


Of course we have a recipe for spaghetti and meatballs. This isn't the do-without, make your family miserable, have-no-fun, weight-loss cookbook! If you're going to take the time to make these super delicious, super moist meatballs, make at least a quadruple batch. They freeze well. And next time you're craving spaghetti and meatballs, all you'll have to do is boil noodles if you have been paying attention and you have ready-to-go microwave tomato sauce [also in this book] in your freezer too.

For the Meatballs
2 slices bread, crusts discarded
6 tablespoons plain low-fat yogurt
1 teaspoon plus 1 tablespoon olive oil
Minced garlic (about 1 clove)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Coarse-grained salt and cracked black pepper
2 large egg whites, lightly beaten
3/4 pound lean ground sirloin

For the Pasta Sauce
1 tablespoon minced garlic (about 3 cloves)
One 28-ounce can crushed or diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon coarse-grained salt
Cracked black pepper

3/4 pound uncooked spaghetti
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil leaves (about 20 leaves)

Prepare the Meatballs: Combine bread and yogurt in bowl you'll make meatballs in. Let stand 10 minutes to soften. In medium sauté pan, heat 1 teaspoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon of water, and garlic (for both the meatballs and the sauce) over medium heat until the garlic is fragrant but not brown, about 2 minutes. Turn off the heat and set aside. Mash bread and yogurt. Add 1 teaspoon of the cooked garlic (reserving the rest for the sauce), the parsley, salt and pepper to taste, and egg whites to bread mixture; mix until well combined. Add ground sirloin. Mix thoroughly. Shape into meatballs.

Prepare the Sauce: In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, place reserved sautéed garlic with tomatoes and their juice. Bring to a simmer. Stir in salt. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until sauce has slightly thickened, 5 to 7 minutes or longer, depending on how juicy your tomatoes were to begin with. Taste and adjust seasonings.

Cook the Meatballs and Boil the Pasta: In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat. Add meatballs to pan and cook, turning often, until golden brown on all sides, about 10 minutes.

While meatballs are browning and sauce is reducing, cook pasta, following package directions, in plenty of salted boiling water to al dente (firm to the bite). Drain. When meatballs are browned, drain on plate lined with paper towels to remove excess fat. Add meatballs to pot with sauce. Cook until meatballs are completely cooked through, 7 to 10 minutes more. Add fresh basil and cook 1 minute more. Pour sauce and meatballs over cooked spaghetti and serve immediately. Ideally, the spaghetti should not sit around -- it should be cooked last and served right away.

Shortcut Chef: If you don't have pasta sauce in your freezer by now, I'm sure you have frozen meatballs from the last time you made this. Right? I'm trying to make your life easy -- work with me, people.

Sauté the garlic for the meatballs and spaghetti sauce at the same time using the pot you'll prepare the sauce in. Make the sauce ahead, make the meatballs ahead, and cook the noodles a little earlier if it will make things easier.

4 servings

Waiting for tomato season must be what it's like waiting for the baby to be born, and when drip-down-your-arm good tomatoes finally do arrive in the markets, they aren't around long enough. I can't get them worked into menus fast enough. In peak tomato season, I've been known to eat BLTs several times in the same week. So, embarrassed by my obsession with the sandwich, only because neighbors were beginning to talk, I camp up with this clever variation, the BLT salad. Not able to part with the classic BLT ingredient list, I left in the bacon, lettuce, and tomato and added a few more flavors, too.

1-1/4 pounds small white or red new potatoes
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Coarse-grained salt and cracked black pepper
1 large sweet onion, peeled, cored, and cut into 4 thick slices
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (or other vinegar you like)
2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh basil leaves
3 medium tomatoes, peeled, cored, and cut into large chunks
1/4 pound bacon, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch strips
12 cups loosely packed washed salad greens such as arugula or a variety of mixed greens
2 ounces crumbled blue cheese

Preheat oven to 425°. Cut potatoes into quarters (larger potatoes) or halves (smaller ones). Place potatoes in plastic bag and pour in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil; seal bag. Shake and toss bag until potatoes are evenly coated. Pour onto cookie sheet. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Place onion slices in bag you used for potatoes. Don't add any oil -- there will be enough left in the bag. Turn until onions are coated; do not break up onion slices. Place on cookie sheet with the potatoes and bake, turning once, until potatoes and onions are golden, 40 to 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, place tomatoes in a medium bowl. To make the dressing, whisk together remaining 4 tablespoons olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and chopped basil in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Pour about one-fourth of dressing over tomatoes. Set aside.

In a large nonstick pan, over medium-high heat, cook bacon until brown and crispy. Drain on paper towels. When potatoes and onions are cooked, divide among 4 serving plates. In a large bowl place salad greens and toss with remaining dressing. Taste and adjust seasonings with salt and pepper as necessary. Arrange salad greens on the serving plates. Top with tomatoes, bacon, and blue cheese. A sweet onion is an onion that's bred to be sweet. They're different in nature than cooking onions, which are stronger in flavor and not usually sweet at all. Common sweet varieties include Walla Walla, Granex, Bermuda, Vidalia, Texas Sugar Babies, and Maui onions. And of course they're widely available. I wouldn't send you on a wild goose chase for an onion.

Copyright © 2002 by Kathleen Daelemans

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2004

    Great Book

    I have over 100 cookbooks and this one is great! Good tasting food.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 29, 2003

    Cooking Thin with Chef Kathleen: 200 Easy Recipes for Healthy Weight Loss

    I absolutely love this book! The intro section is very motivating, with some info about Kathleen and how she embarked on her journey to healthier eating, and a lot of tips on how to improve your eating habits - written with a great sense of humor and unfailing knowledge of our little weaknesses...her credo is 'moderate, don't eliminate'. The recipes are great, great, great. Some very simple and fast, others require a few more ingredients, but there are enough things that can be prepared even by people who say they cannot cook. The flavors are exceptional! There is extra information for almost each recipe if it takes extra time, or prep work, or if you can trick your way around it and use a shortcut and save even more time. There is no nutritional information, which is a setback for some folks, but there are many calorie counters out there, online or book format, and it would be a pity to let that be the only reason to not purchase this book. Generally, the portion sizes are very sensible, and there are plenty of low-cal fillers (aka salads or veggies) in here for those times when we just have to eat a lot of something. These are not 'diet' recipes; true - some are slimmed-down, but there are soups, salads, sauces, pasta, desserts, even burgers. These are rather recipes that one can live with and enjoy very much for years to come. I definitely hope that Kathleen publishes another book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2003

    Cooking Thin with Chef Kathleen: 200 Easy Recipes for Healthy Weight Loss

    This is a very entertaining cookbook. Starting with some info on Kathleen's background and how she got started on 'cooking thin' - that section is very motivating and sincere. I didn't buy the book because I wanted to lose weight, but because I needed ideas for healthy fare. Her reasoning for eating better appealed to me anyway. (Beware - she gets you to eat more veggies!) The recipes are very, very good, simply put. I see that some people rated the fact that there were no calories listed as very negative, but I truly believe that whoever doesn't buy the book because of that will miss out BIG time. There are a lot of calorie counters available, in print and online. There is a strong focus on flavor - make it delicious instead of just make it low-fat. I don't want to give away too much, so let's just say: a certain sauce is absolutely to-die-for, the veggie sides are often a new spin on something you may have eaten a thousand times, and never cared for. Kathleen makes it shine!! She doesn't forget the desserts, either. I'm a junkie for sweet things, but they have to be good, and she tries to tell the reader: make it as good as you can. Don't waste your time, money and calories on bad or mediocre food. With all that, the recipes are far from intimidating. I'd say that even a beginner could easily prepare some meals or sides. That's the beauty of good cooking: it doesn't have to be complicated. Some of the best things in the world are actually very simple, and that astonishing fact is conveyed very well in these pages. Plus, tips on how to use leftovers and a column called 'shortcut chef' that lists tips and tricks on how to make things even faster. I would definitely buy this again, and have given it as a gift, too. I hope that another book by Kathleen will be out soon!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 2, 2003

    Cooking Thin with Chef Kathleen: 200 Easy Recipes for Healthy Weight Loss

    Chef Kathleen should have included nutrition facts with her recipes. How can a person trying to lose weight include these recipes in their everyday diet without knowing the calories or fat information? I feel as if I wasted my money.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 2, 2003

    Cooking Thin with Chef Kathleen: 200 Easy Recipes for Healthy Weight Loss

    I am trying to lose weight, and these recipes are not helpful without nutritional information. Other low-fat cookbooks I have purchased always come with nutrition facts. Many times even magazines featuring recipes offer nutrition facts. This book is not very realistic for those trying to lose weight.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2003

    Worth Every Penny!

    Luckily, my local bookstore has an area for cooking demonstrations and I was able to see Kathleen do a cooking demo, in conjunction with her book signing. My sister and I both purchased the book and have tried a few of her recipes, all great so far. They are simple and easy to prepare, lots of flavor without all the fat, and the "guyometer" comes in handy when I'm looking for something my husband would like. She explained at the demo that the reason her book doesn't have any pictures is because the publisher deemed them "to expensive." If you're looking for a book that will inspire you to make better food choices, written by someone who has been there, this is it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2003


    I absolutley loved this book! Kathleens recipes are easy to fix and she makes cooking fun and enjoyable, and the book is hilarious. The 'quick and spicy carrot salad' is one of my favorites, I've probably made it 100 times since I bought the book. Kathleen rocks! I never miss her show on Food Network. I can't wait for her next book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2003

    Borrow it!

    I was looking forward to good recipes and suggestions. The recipes are okay, but many of them made too many servings. It would be better if you knew the nutrional information. Without this information, you cannot easily integrate these recipes into a weight loss program. I was disappointed.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2003

    Buy it Used

    I have to give her credit for the story and guildlines that are writen into this book. If you are looking for the nutritional content of the receipts, they are non-exsistant, so following her guidelines of counting calories is extremely difficult. I don't know about you, but I do not have the knowledge nor the time to figure out how to calculate the nutritional values of a receipt built from scratch. My suggestion, buy another book that actually gives the nutritional run-downs. I have returned the book for this very reason!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2003

    Don't waste your money!

    Every cookbook needs photos of at least some of the recipes; not one in this book. Even those wishing to lose a few pounds, need the nutritional information for recipes; none in this book. Reads like a textbook; nothing but words. And what's up with the "Guyometer" and "If the queen's coming for dinner?" As if? Boring, boring, boring. Kathleen has a great show, but I'm sorry I invested cash in her book.

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