THE JEWISH BOOK COUNCIL REVIEWS NORENE'S HEALTHY KITCHEN  
Norene's Healthy Kitchen by Norene GilletzNORENE’S HEALTHY KITCHEN

Norene Gilletz

Whitecap Books, 2007. 512 pp. $29.95

ISBN: 978-1-55285-802-8

Reviewed by Miriam Bauer
This review first appeared on:
jewishbookcouncil.org/page.php?443

There are two types of cookbooks in my collection. The first are my “coffee table cookbooks:” those pristine volumes of glossy pictures and impossible recipes written by famous chefs or culinary celebrities. I love to look at those books, but I never cook from them. The second group of cookbooks resides on a small, easily accessible shelf in my kitchen. Their pages are dog-eared and sauce stained; I call on their recipes again and again. Norene’s Healthy Kitchen by Norene Gilletz has found one of the prime spaces on my kitchen shelf.

Gilletz, a Certified Culinary Professional, has created a kosher cookbook that professes to be “family friendly, heart smart, and diabetes, GI and weight loss friendly.” That description, while accurate, does not do thiscookbook justice. The first chapter, called “things you want to know,” is one of the most direct and succinct culinary references I have read. Gilletz clearly explains nutritional analysis and the reasons underlying her ingredient selections. This is especially useful for those with dietetic restrictions. She also has created several easy-to-read ingredient substitution charts, and gives advice on using many types of kitchen equipment. The balance of the cookbook provides more than 600 recipes that this reviewer would actually make. Each recipe is straightforward, contains shortcut solutions and substitutions, and has the calorie and nutritional breakdowns which are needed for weight loss and diabetic programs. As an added bonus, Norene’s Healthy Kitchen can double as a Passover cookbook because Gilletz lists Passover friendly variations for nearly every recipe. She also has an entire chapter devoted to additional Passover recipes, many of which would be appropriate for the rest of the year as well.

Gilletz’s motto, “food that’s good for you should taste good,” is apparent in every chapter. In fact, the recipes in this cookbook are delicious. In support of my assessment, I offer this significant evidence: my family rated each of my test recipes a “do again,” which in my house is the highest possible accolade a recipe can receive.

Miriam Bauer is an attorney and former Legal Writing Director at DePaul University College of Law. She lives in Chicago.

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