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Book Review: Cook Yourself Thin Faster by Lauren Deen

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There once was a Lifetime Show called Cook Yourself Thin. I didn’t watch it. Never heard of it…at least not until I was browsing in the cookbook section of my local bookstore. It was there, as I caught sight of the title, that I had a screech to a halt moment. Cook Yourself Thin Faster: Have Your Cake and Eat It Too with over 75 New Recipes You Can Make in a Flash! Really? Is it possible to eat cake and be thin? I was skeptical, yet hopeful. I paid the cashier and skipped happily away.

As it turns out, I love this cookbook! The full-page color photos made my mouth water, so it is fortuitous that the recipes are quick and easy and can be made in half the time. Contents of the book include Breakfast, Starters, Mains, Sides/ Soups/ Salads, and Dessert. So many books leave out nutritional information (I won’t buy them!), but this book divulges calories, total fat, sodium, and sugars for each recipe. Even more, according to the author, you don’t have to give up “guilty pleasures” to lose weight. You just have to eat better versions of them, which luckily for us, is the premise of the book.

Some of the recipes include:

  • Raspberry Lemon Tea Cake
  • Seven-Layer Dip
  • Cheese “Fries”
  • Chocolate Volcano Cakes
  • Pasta with Sausage and Cherry Tomatoes
  • White Pizza with Roasted Mushrooms
  • Mini Blueberry Muffins
  • Fudgy Brownies

I tried the fudgy brownies, and they are deliciously divine.  Try them for yourself!

Makes 18 brownies

Nutrition per brownie:

Calories 56, Total Fat 3g, Sodium 23mg, Sugars 4g

Ingredients

  •  Cooking Spray
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably Dutch process, plus extra for the pan
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Lightly spray an 8×8-inch baking pan with cooking spray and then coat the pan with cocoa powder.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder, baking powder, and flour. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, using a whisk, combine the oil and sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla and whisk until well blended. Gently mix in the flour mixture and transfer the batter to the pan. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes, taking care not to overbake. A toothpick inserted into the center should not be completely dry.
    A few moist crumbs on the pick means you will have fudgy brownies.
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About Becky Coleman