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Cookbook Review: Skinny Spices

February 6, 2013

SkinnySpicesFinalCoverSoon after I wrote the post about how I wished I were better at cooking by taste, I was asked to review the Skinny Spices cookbook. Thinking this was just what kind of thing I was looking for, I agreed. It is an e-cookbook, available for both Kindle and Nook, as well as their respective apps and reading programs.

This book covers a very wide range of tastes – French, Italian, Mexican, Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Sweet, and more. All the spice blends are in the back, and cross linked with the recipes that use them. However, I find the idea of making 50 different spice blends for just a couple recipes each to be a bit silly. It doesn’t help that some blends call for some obscure spices. For example, I had never heard of green or pink pepper before. I am more likely to just measure out the spices individually for each recipe, which will mean I have the added hassle of going back and forth in this book.

There are lots of pictures in this cookbook, but mostly they are pretty pictures of spices, not of the recipes themselves. I also found a few typos, one of which was especially amusing: “1 1/2 Tablespoon ground doves.” Also note, that this is a diet cookbook, so it has references to “diet buttery spread” and “salt substitute” which I personally find silly. I also found some of the names of recipes to be over the top. “Belly Dancer’s Cauliflower.” Seriously? And Fake Rice Pudding made from cauliflower? ew.

I found 37 recipes to be Joseph-safe (not counting the spice blends), and another 12 that I would be interested in adapting. However, I had to shake my head at a few things. For example: “Serve [oyster stew] with water chestnuts as a low-calorie substitute for oyster crackers.” What the heck? Those two are NOTHING alike. I think I would rather go without crackers than use water chestnuts. I was intrigued that the Guilt Free Apple Pie had absolutely no crust (good for gluten avoiders), but still find it odd that it was held together by mixing gelatin with soda and dry milk powder. Another recipe good for gluten avoiders was the Coconut Apple Crunch. Instead of flour, it uses 1 1/3 cup of dry milk. Really, if you’re looking for a book of recipes to rotate the dry milk in your food storage, this is a good place to look, because it was everywhere.

Overall, there are some recipes I’m interested in trying out, but I’m glad I didn’t have to buy it. Your mileage may vary.

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