Arthur Agatston, M.D.






Rodale, 2005
Reviewed by Barbara Fielding
In THE SOUTH BEACH DIET QUICK AND EASY COOKBOOK, Arthur Agatston, MD offers up helpful and appealing recipes for those who want to make eating healthy a lifestyle choice. These dishes represent fast and hassle-free food preparation for the South Beach Diet Plan. Dr. Agatston claims the experts have finally come to a consensus on the right fats, carbohydrates and proteins we should all be eating, and this cookbook is the road map to eating those foods.
Readers will find 50 pages of tips and how to's on making the diet plan quick and easy. The 200 recipes that follow include breakfasts, soups and snacks, salads, fish and shellfish, poultry, beef, pork and lamb, vegetarian entrees, sides, and desserts.
THE SOUTH BEACH DIET QUICK AND EASY COOKBOOK labels the meals according to which phase of the diet plan the recipes fit into, Phase one, Phase two and Phase three.

I found the recipes required buying a few things I don't usually purchase; like whole wheat tortillas, soymilk, sugar free syrup and tofu. Extra virgin olive oil and canola are the preferred oils. All the recipes are based on lean meats, fresh vegetables, fruits and fresh herbs.
Among my favorite recipes were the Warm Artichoke Dip with reduced-fat cream cheese and parmesan cheese. Yum. I took the dish to a holiday party and everyone loved it. They didn't even realize it was a low-fat recipe until I told them. Of course, it was completely gone by the end of the evening.
The Ginger Chicken with Snow Pea Salad was a big hit at my house. The preparation was as fast and easy as they profess. The taste and presentation were perfect too. Another superior choice is the Green Leaf, Pear and Goat Cheese Salad. It calls for toasted walnuts and is drizzled with a light olive oil and lemon dressing.
I wouldn't call all of these recipes hassle-free. There are a few dishes that call for using a food processor or blender, like the soups and smoothies. On the whole they are quick and worth the effort. The Nutty Brownies and Flourless Chocolate Raspberry Cake are on my list of recipes to be tried next. This cookbook is designed for cooks who want to enjoy tasty foods with lots of variety without the high calorie, high fat content. If you are looking for inspiration to get you off the fast food track and back to the kitchen, you will find it here.
December 2005


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