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The Low-Carb Gourmet: 250 Delicious and Satisfying Recipes    by Karen Barnaby order for
Low-Carb Gourmet
by Karen Barnaby
Order:  USA  Can
Rodale, 2004 (2004)

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* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Have you decided to go on a low-carb diet? Or are you trying to stay on one? Not sure what to eat and what not to eat? I just discovered The Low-Carb Cookbook by Karen Barnaby. She herself has lost seventy pounds through low-carb eating. She's the proof that it can work. But you need to change your eating habits. All the things you thought you couldn't live without are the same things Chef Barnaby thought she couldn't live without - and found that she could. Potatoes, breads, pastries - name it. These foods are now on the no-no list. But there are good, healthy and tasteful substitutes that you'll more than likely prefer.

Don't skip over the introduction to this marvelous cookbook. What a low-carb diet is, and how it is good for you, are laid out in easy to understand words. Why it works and how it works are discussed as well as how to change your lifestyle deliciously. Chef Barnaby has collected such an array of wonderful low-carb dishes that you won't even miss the no-nos. She explodes the myth that breakfast has to be cereal or eggs and bacon. How about Donald's Deep-Dish Pizza Quiche? Or Turkey Snackin' Cakes? Her recipes run the gamut from breakfast dishes to hors d'oeuvres, soups, meats and fish. Vegetables are well represented and there is an abundance of lovely desserts.

Five-Spice Sesame Walnuts look wonderful (did I mention Maren Caruso's enticing photography?) I choose Parmesan-Stuffed Eggs with Toasted Almonds to go with the walnuts for a cocktail party. Cream of Broccoli Soup wouldn't be on most diets, but this one is low-carb. Tomato, Olive and Goat Cheese Salad with Capers will enhance any table as will Broccoli Dijon. I'm not too sure about Basic Cauli-Flied 'Rice', but I'm game to give it a try. Chef Barnaby has suggestions for using tofu. Don't groan! It's good. And with these recipes, you will quickly develop a taste for it. Seared Tuna (a favorite dish of mine) with Soy Wasabi Glaze is on my to try list. Who could resist Shepherd's Pie with Mushrooms, Smoked Cheddar, Bacon and Sour Cream? Not me. Nor can I pass up Bolognese Lasagna.

A section on sugars and substitutes should not be glossed over. If you're going to lose that weight and get healthier, you need to understand why you're eating low-carb and how to avoid backsliding. Now we've gotten to the DESSERTS. Wow! They are beautiful. I'll opt for Frozen Bourbon, Chocolate and Burnt Almond Cheesecake. Heaven. And I must try New York Cheesecake using almond meal in the crust. Not only does it replace the flour, but it must impart a delicate flavor to the dessert. Strawberry Shortcakes with Marscapone Basalmic Cream also incorporate the almond meal. Since I'm not fond of traditional shortcakes, this should perk up the dish for me and, best of all, I won't be going off my diet.

The last few pages of the book have the heading 'Recipe Nutrients at a Glance', and each recipe has been tallied as to percentage of carbs, fiber and so on. Make today the beginning of your new lifestyle. Acquire a copy of The Low-Carb Gourmet, use the suggestions and recipes, and watch the pounds slide off. Feel and look healthier while eating like royalty.

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