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Monday, June 13, 2011

Being Slim & Scrumptious with Joy Bauer

Who doesn't want to be slim and scrumptious? Joy Bauer, resident nutritionist on the Today Show, tells you how to get there in her health conscious guide to eating, Slim & Scrumptious. The New York Times best selling author's tome is filled with tips on budgeting (waistline as well as money), properly stocking your kitchen, essential kitchen tools such as sharpened knives (I couldn't agree more), flexible cutting boards (ditto) and the importance of having numerous measuring cups on hand.

The bulk of the book is cleanly divided into nine sections, including chapters on Breakfast & Brunch, Poultry Entrees, and Veggie Sides. Naturally, each recipe features nutrition information. I wish there were more pictures of each beautiful dish!

I set to work on a dinner for a few friends highlighting the aforementioned sections, after setting an appropriately spring table.

For an appetizer, I thought to make the Bacon-Wrapped Brussels Sprouts for everyone to grab around the coffee table. Sort of like classic old-school rumaki, but smoky turkey bacon is in charge here and although the wrapping process is slightly arduous and time consuming, it was well worth it. The leftover bacon was tossed about the plate and it all went very quickly!

We convened at the dinner table for a cleverly devised version of Chicken Cordon Bleu, which in this instance is not fried. Reduced fat Swiss cheese and lean Canadian Bacon played their part, wrapped in skinless, boneless chicken breasts and a touch of rosemary to simmer in low sodium chicken broth.

Crispy Kale was a delicious delight to make and not only was it so easy, kale is the healthiest vegetable you can possibly eat. Here the lightly salted kale was crisped in a 400 degree oven and served alongside our entree to much applause.

Even though the Strawberry Shortcakes with sweetened ricotta were listed in the Breakfast & Brunch, I wondered why we shouldn't have them for dessert? The shortcakes are really sumptuous pancakes made with whole wheat flour and topped with a mixture of part-skim ricotta and powdered sugar, and ripe strawberries.

Et voila! A Slim & Scrumptious meal without guilt. Joy to the world!

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