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Slimming with Italian flair

  • Oct 29, 2003
Shaw's cookbook has a sumptuous Italian flair, given that it was tested and written while the author was living in Milan. She balances the Old World savor of herbed asparagus torta, risotto with mussels, potato frittata, rice stuffing with pine nuts and dried cherries, and braised chicken breasts tapenade, with American innovations like sweet potato pancakes (cut with plain potatoes and ricotta cheese) and chilled corn chowder, and international touches such as chickpea curry, couscous with vegetables and fish, and tea steamed chicken or bean curd.

Each recipe is accompanied by preparation and cooking times and nutritional information. Many also include serving suggestions and variations.

The book opens with a cooking primer describing basic techniques and a buying and storing guide for vegetables. In addition cooking tips, such as how to clean various shellfish, or press tofu, or microwave vegetables, or even clean lettuce, are scattered throughout the book.

Shaw's emphasis is on fresh, naturally low-fat foods. Most recipes are simple to prepare if not always quick and will appeal to cooks of any level. Especially useful for those trying to sneak a few meatless meals into the dinner routine.

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Lynn Harnett ()
I love to read, always have, and have been writing reviews for more years than I care to say. Early on, i realized there are more books than there is time to read, so I read only books I like and mostly … more
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About this book


Shaw (Vegetarian Entertaining) targets a wide audience with this collection of 170-plus recipes featuring ingredients that are mostly vegetarian and low in fat. Picking up on a major motivation for the population's move away from red meat, the author focuses on dishes that offer flavor without a high fat content, emphasizing salads enlivened by a liberal use of herbs, soups and casseroles whose taste and richness are deepened by long, slow cooking. Nutritional counts per serving are included. While many of the vegetable dishes, which can be main courses or side dishes, highlight produce associated with Mediterranean-style cooking, dishes built around such winter vegetables as hard squashes and potatoes are particularly interesting. A chapter on pastas and risottos and one on desserts merit special mention. Shaw's prose is breezy and personal, occasionally becoming verbose, bordering on arch. The page design, with boxes, tips and other asides, is attractive, though busy and sometimes distracting. Lengthy introductory material includes brief descriptions of cooking methods, a directory of fresh vegetables, legumes, seasonings and flavorings; a bibliography and list of mail-order sources are also provided. Illustrations not seen by PW.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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ISBN-10: 051788206X
ISBN-13: 978-0517882061
Author: Diana Shaw
Publisher: Three Rivers Press

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