I just received Marlene Koch’s Eat What You Love last week. I’ve made six of her recipes — and we’ve loved all six. I think this might be my favorite cookbook from the last decade. These are the luxury meals you can enjoy without the guilt of extra calories and without worrying about too many dietary restrictions. I bought my ingredients at our local grocery store and planning the meals didn’t break my budget either!
Marlene has create a cookbook of great family-friendly meals (so many I had trouble choosing which to feature) that include things like slow cooker BBQ using a bottom round roast, everyday marinated flank steak, pork with orange marmalade, teriyaki fried chicken and pizza. There is a stove-top Macaroni and Cheese at just 220 calories per serving and a fried mac ‘n cheese that is sure to satisfy even the most skeptical eater.
Eat What You Love Quick & Easy starts out with some helpful explanations about good versus bad fats and how to modify your own family recipes into healthier versions. There are smoothie and drink recipes even before you start to explore the full cookbook. Eat What You Love is broken down into traditional sections — beverages & breakfast, breakfast & brunch, soups & stews, sandwiches & burgers, salads, sides, easy entrees, desserts. All total there are more than 180 recipes and every one fits into a healthy diet plan focused on 1800-2000 calories a day.
I loved the cookbook’s philosophy of familiar foods without a ton of sugar and fat. It was just a pleasure to explore the pages and make up a menu with the detailed instructions and beautiful pictures. I was surprised that working with this planner for just a week did not bust my food budget and I was grateful that I saved a ton of time not having to run to multiple stores to fill out my grocery list! These recipes don’t take a ton of time either. You have to plan for some recipes to allot the amount to time for marinades or slow cook, but generally the time I spent in the kitchen was less because most of the time it was prepping the marinade and letting the ingredients do their thing to flavor and tenderize.
I am eating gluten free and I had to make a few adjustments to the teriyaki fried chicken to utilize gluten free bread crumbs, but there are many gluten free recipes in this book that needed no modification. The spicy shrimp “Almost Bang Bang Shrimp” recipe was a huge hit with the family and the marinated flank steak was excellent.
I could eat the Strawberry Souffle every day for dessert. We made it exactly like the recipe on Monday and Tuesday had the second portion with a drizzle of chocolate sauce.
The Eat What You Love Quick & Easy cookbook sells for less than $20 on Amazon.com and is well worth the money!