Monday, April 6, 2015

Skinnytaste: A cookbook review


At the beginning of the year I was looking to spend some of my Christmas cash and was cruising through Target with the fam when I first spotted a cookbook that sparked my interest just off the name alone. That and the cover photo. They had me at shrimp & grits.
I flipped through it quickly and noted a few of the recipes sounded yummy but ultimately put it back on the shelf as I was in no mood to impulse buy and cookbooks (well all books really ) are a weakness of mine. Later, after we got home, I looked up skinnytaste and was stoked to discover I've actually pinned and tried one of her recipes previously and we liked it so I figured what the heck. Went back to Target and scored because it was marked down 20% and I had a gift card so it was basically free!

Because I love my family and want to feed them healthier food options I was really excited about this cookbook. But not really anyone else was. However, after a doctor's visit D realized he needed to get excited about low-fat, healthier eating. So I asked him to go through the book and put tabs on the recipes he'd like me to try and I'd do my best to honor his choices. If you don't already know, here's the part where I tell you that I'm still somewhat of a picky eater so I totally understand Sweet Pea's food issues. I don't know WHAT Baby Ninja is going through right now but hopefully it's just a phase.  But I want Sweet Pea to want try new things even though I know it took me YEARS to get to this point. I just hope if we keep exposing her and getting her involved with the food making process that she'll get more excited about different things. Fingers crossed.
So I got the book in January and we're slowly but surely making our way through it and I'm thrilled to say that we've enjoyed everything so far. That's saying a lot. My husband comes from a family of women (and men) who THROW. DOWN. in the kitchen so for him to say he likes some recipe of a stranger that I replicated (and maybe tweaked a bit) makes me feel great.



The fact that a lot of the recipes are low cal and can be modified to be vegetarian and gluten free makes me equally happy. Both of my parents are on semi-modified diets (Dad is diabetic and Mom is recovering from chemo) as well as a bunch of other family members so I'm loving trying out these recipes and seeing what I may be able to make for them.  And I'd be lying if I said I wasn't just looking for some inspiration in the kitchen as well. The last few months of the year were full of festivities and weird schedules so my cooking mojo was all out of wack and then when it was time to get back into the swing of "regular schedules" I found I simply had lost my desire to get creative.


We've mostly made our way through the dinners; think lean meats, fish and poultry( I see you buttermilk oven "fried" chicken) and are working on fully incorporating Meatless Monday into our weekly meal plan and routine. It's a little tricky for me to manage each week but I'm working on it. The soups have been spot on with the Slow- Cooker White Bean Chicken Chili Verde being a favorite and Chicken Pot Pie Soup next up on the list , D is a HUGE fan of chicken pot pie as is my father so if I can get this right I will be their favorite for sure.
One of the things I really like about the book is how the introduction isn't all ; here's what to eat so you can lose weight or 'diet' it's basically, here are some tips on how to create a lifestyle of healthier eating and cooking and breaks down the items to keep on hand in your pantry, fridge and freezer while reminding you why REAL food is always good food.



As soon as I started posting dinners on IG I realized it seems the whole world knew about Gina and her delicious recipes. And I just kept thinking: HOW COME NO ONE TOLD ME???? Thanks guys!

I've been working over the past year or so to rid my family of the super processed junk (cheez-its will be our downfall) so this book was a great way to reinforce what we've learned about food and our bodies and take steps to do better. I also like how it's set up. I'm visual so I need to SEE what my food is going to look like and the images in this book are downright mouthwatering.
But mostly, I love making quality food that fills up my man, and doesn't make my kid frown too much because vegetables.


The breakfast chapter sounds promising and I have delusions of overnight oats, western omelet "muffins" and get this....crepes. I want my people to start the day off right so I am going to make it my mission to get them on the quality breakfast train so that they are held over until lunch time and also so when they want 'grab something quick' they do it from our freezer (hello breakfast burritos & homemade frozen waffles) or even a fruit parfait, so I guess I need to get this show on the road and get to cooking!



I broke the trunk of my car in with it's first Costco trip last week so I'm very excited about meal planning over the next two weeks. Yeah, my pantry is well stocked right now and I'm also working on getting that more organized. Getting rid of all boxes and purchasing stackable storage bins to save space as well as glass jars to replace bulky spice containers but that's a whole project in and of itself. I got started the other day with a few things I found at the Daiso Japan and quickly realized I could spend hours in my kitchen letting my OCD fly while bumping some tunes and get that place in order like nobodies business.
It's amazing what excites me these days.

I don't generally blog the recipes I make from other people's cookbooks, unless I do some major tweaking but so far I've only swapped out a spice or two based on our taste preference so don't look for a ton of recipe posts here BUT you can always follow my cooking adventures on Instagram and see photos of how my versions turn out.

What's your favorite cookbook right now?




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