Cardiologist Arthur Agatson, thrust into the public eye after the diet he prescribed to his South Beach patients produced phenomenal results, has always maintained that people can enjoy delicious foods while still losing weight and staying healthy. Dr. Agatson substantiates this claim by publishing cookbooks full of delicious and simple recipes consistent with the South Beach diet plan. Here, in The South Beach Diet Parties & Holidays Cookbook, Agatson provides full menus for general party celebrations such as a family buffet backyard grill fest as well as specific holiday menus for such celebrations as Passover, Easter, the Fourth of July, Hanukkah and Christmas.
Each menu includes everything you need to prepare a multi-course meal along with a “party game plan” that provides practical advice to minimize the time and effort needed prepare each celebratory feast. Just like in Agatson’s previous bestselling cookbooks, each recipe is clearly marked with the phase of the diet for which the dish is most appropriate, how much time it will take to prepare, clear and concise directions, and nutritional information. The book also includes cooking tips ranging from how to tell if garlic is fresh (the absence of a green colored shoot in its center), to the best way to peel ginger (using the edge of a teaspoon rather than a conventional vegetable peeler).
The recipes are varied, both in food choices and ease of preparation, but each menu provides a perfectly balanced meal. For example, in the chapter dedicated to backyard grill fest, you will find recipes for roasted pepper gazpacho, grilled ginger salmon, radish and jicama salad, grilled vegetable skewers, Indian-spiced grilled chicken, three-grain tabouli and blueberry cobbler---each of which is prepared consistent with the Plan’s guidelines. For Thanksgiving, dieters can revel in the fact that a menu that includes roast turkey with fresh herbs, pan juice gravy, turkey sausage and pear stuffing, cranberry-orange compote, green beans with garlic and lemon, cider-roasted sweet potatoes, cauliflower mash, pumpkin pie, and turkey chili (with the leftovers) is consistent with the diet plan. On Valentine’s Day, you can prepare shrimp salad in cucumber cups, balsamic-glazed sirloin steak, ruby Swiss chard sauté, baked tomatoes with feta and herbs, grapefruit and avocado salad, and strawberry blancmange, and enjoy the meal with the knowledge that you are not abandoning your diet to do so.
What makes this cookbook appealing is that while it offers the simplicity of a full menu ready for execution, there is no reason you cannot pick and choose different recipes to create an even greater variety of lavish meals. In addition, the book includes wonderful glossy photographs of the finished products which is comparable to even the more expensive and well-known cookbooks that adorn the bookstore shelves. Plus, there is an added benefit that the recipes provided here will likely have fewer calories, less fat, and more wholesome ingredients than those presented in competing cookbooks.
This cookbook makes planning a holiday meal quick, easy and convenient, with the added bonus of assisting South Beach dieters in enjoying holiday meals and continuing to shed those unwanted pounds. This cookbook would make a perfect guilt-free gift for any holiday and, who knows, perhaps it will land you an invitation for a healthy holiday feast.