Book Review by Norene Gilletz
HEALTHY AND LOW-CARB? IT’S AS EASY AS 1-2-3!
Rozanne Gold believes in simplicity when it comes to cooking. A professional chef, Gold is the best-selling author of nine cookbooks, including the award-winning 1-2-3 series of three-ingredient cookbooks. She firmly believes in using the best and freshest ingredients possible, then treats them simply to achieve delicious, fabulous results.
Her latest cookbook in this series is Low-Carb 1-2-3 (Rodale, $23.95 Cdn.) You’ll find 225 simple, satisfying recipes that meet the guidelines of all the current low-carb and good carb diet plans, including Atkins, South Beach and the Glycemic Index diets. Every dish is also low in calories and saturated fat, making them easy to incorporate into any weight-loss program and ideal for those who want to eat healthy food that also tastes great! Gold worked with registered dietitian Helen Kimmel, M.S., R.D. to provide the nutritional information for this book.
They kept the recipes below 399 calories for main courses; under 199 calories for soups, vegetables, side dishes and desserts; under 275 calories for first courses and breakfasts. The “Carbs That Count” feature gives readers a quick tally of actual carbs consumed. Additional features include tips for stocking the 1-2-3 kitchen, a selection of 50 low-carb snacks, 50 low-carb menus and a reference list ranking carb-smart (and not-so-smart) foods.
Gold recommends that you shouldn’t make substitutions unless you’ve tried a dish first to understand its intention – the flavour, texture and presentation. Keep in mind that altering a recipe could change its nutritional analysis. If you change one ingredient, you’ve changed 1/3 of the recipe!
Although her book is not Kosher, I found lots of wonderful ideas for dishes that can be easily adapted for the Kosher cook. You’ll be delighted to discover that satisfying, low-carb meals are as easy as 1-2-3. Enjoy….
SMOKED SALMON PATE WITH PITA CRISPS
Rozanne Gold wanted to create a creamy nondairy party dish and so she tried Tofutti spread, a soy-based cream cheese look-alike. It turns out to be a great flavour-carrier. No one will know the difference and you can serve this very-low-carb dish at a kosher meal. Crisp pita chips add a nice textural contrast Choose a heavily smoked salmon for this recipe. (This also would be a terrific breakfast or brunch dish!)
3 ounces smoked salmon
8 ounces Tofutti
2 whole wheat pitas (6″ diameter)
Cut the salmon into large pieces and place it in a food processor with the Tofutti. Process until thoroughly blended. Add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste and mix. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate until cold.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Cut each pita into 8 wedges. Separate each pita wedge into 2 triangles. Place the pita triangles, inside side up, on a baking sheet. Bake for 5 to 6 minutes, until crisp. (Do not let them get too brown.) Remove them from the oven and let cool.
To serve, put a heaping teaspoon of smoked salmon “pate” on each pita crisp and place it on a decorative plate.
Serves 16 (2 pieces per serving)
3.24 g Carbs That Count, 3.87 g Total Carbs, .63 g Fiber, 4.56 g Total Fat, 1.12 g Sat Fat, 2.37 g Protein, 65 Calories.
PESTO-PISTACHIO CHILEAN SEA BASS
This is a show-stopper: brilliantly white fish blanketed with a crunchy, green crust. Buy a really good pesto sauce (or make your own). You can substitute a thick fillet of halibut, which is another firm, white fish, or even a thick fillet of salmon.
2 1/2 pounds Chilean sea bass, in 1 piece
1 cup shelled unsalted pistachios
3/4 cup prepared pesto
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. Using tweezers, remove any bones running down the center of the fish. Lightly season both sides of the fish with salt and place it on the baking sheet.
In a food processor, process the pistachios until coarsely ground. (Do not overprocess; you want small, discernible pieces, not powder.)
Thickly spread the pesto on top of the fish to coat it completely, draining most of the oil from the pesto as you go. Dust the fish with freshly ground black pepper. Pack the pistachios onto the pesto to cover evenly and press down lightly to obtain a thick nut crust.
Bake the fish for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the fish reaches the desired doneness. (Do not overcook; it is important to keep the fish moist and juicy.) Remove the fish from the oven, transfer it to a large warm platter and serve immediately.
Nutritionist’s Note: While shopping for prepared pesto, compare labels and use the brand with the least amount of fat. FYI, pistachios in their shell make a great snack. Thirty of them have only 5 grams of “carbohydrates that count” and shelling them yourself makes them last a long time.
4.47 g Carbs That Count, 7.77 g Total Carbs, 3.30 g Fiber, 18.85 g Total Fat, 3.47 g Sat Fat, 43.65 g Protein, 377 Calories.
FROZEN HOT CHOCOLATE
This slushy drink/dessert was derived from one made famous at New York’s Serendipity restaurant. You need to serve it with both a spoon and a straw.
1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch process cocoa
1/4 cup granulated sugar substitute
2 1/2 cups 1% milk
Up to 1 day before you plan to serve, in a medium saucepan and using a small strainer, sift the cocoa to remove any lumps. Add the sugar substitute and 1/2 cup of the milk and stir to form a smooth paste. Using a whisk, slowly add the remaining 2 cups milk and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the ingredients are thoroughly incorporated and the mixture is smooth, 2 to 3 minutes. Let cool off the heat, then pour the mixture into an ice cube tray and freeze for a minimum of 8 hours.
Before serving, put the blender canister in the freezer to chill for 1 hour. Remove the frozen cubes and add to the chilled blender canister. Add 2 tbsp. water and, beginning on low speed, break up the cubes, then increase to high speed and process until smooth and slushy. (This will take several minutes.) Serve immediately in frozen coffee cups or chilled wine glasses.
14.06 g Carbs That Count, 17.63 g Total Carbs, 3.57 g Fiber, 1.87 g Sat Fat, 7.12 g Protein, 106 Calories
by Rozanne Gold