Jennifer Iserloh spends all day, every day thinking about, talking about, cooking and taste-testing food…And she looks like this. —->
Why wouldn’t we want to know her secrets? Secrets of a Skinny Chef (Rodale, 2010) is a compendium of 100 guilt-free recipes that Jennifer developed throughout her career as a celeb chef and apprentice to culinary greats such as Scott Bryan and Tyler Florence. She has also developed recipes for major media outlets including SELF, Prevention, The Today Show and InStyle.
With low-calorie, low-fat recipes such as Hot “Wings” with Spicy Sauce and Italian Cheesecake, it’s “the foods that you already love… just a little healthier,” explains Jennifer. But does stripping recipes of fat and calories mean we lose the flavor too? FOF Book Guru Sharon Murner cooks the book, then weighs in here:
1. Did you enjoy this book?
Yes, and I still am. There are some awesome recipes that make you think that you ought to be gaining weight, such as the delicious Italian Cheesecake and the Tiramisu Parfait, but you won’t.
2. What was unique about this cookbook?
The recipes themselves and the tips, such as her skinny secret for ‘Good’ party dips like her Creamy Mexican Bean Dip with Whole Grain Tortilla Chips. (You’ll have to read the cookbook for the ‘secret.’)
3. What would you want to ask the author, now that you’re done reading?
I’d love to know what brand of nonstick cooking spray she prefers since many of the recipes call for this ingredient.
4. Would you recommend this to other FOFs? Did you find yourself telling friends about the book as you were reading it?
I would definitely recommend this cookbook. I did tell friends about the recipes I tried and loved.
6. What recipes did you try and love?
I’d recommend the Maple Apple Waffles. I also liked the Cream of Broccoli Soup with Cheddar which is altered to be ‘skinny’ by using reduced-fat cheddar cheese and sour cream, taking it down to 126 calories for a 1 cup serving–yea! I also loved The Baked Meatballs with Zesty Marinara and the Scalloped Potatoes with Ham. I loved the trick of using sweet potatoes as well as red potatoes and reduced sodium ham to make this recipe ‘skinny.’ Last but not least, I enjoyed the Blueberry Cobbler with Yogurt Topping for dessert. Of course, there are many more, but these were my faves! Hope I didn’t make anyone too hungry.
7. What cooking substitutions from this book would you implement in your own recipes?
Jennifer’s substitutions such as reduced fat milk, greek yogurt and sour cream have been easy to implement in my own cooking.
8. Is this book similar to any other books you have read? Which?
The other go-to diet cookbook I’ve used for years is The Complete Scarsdale Medical Diet by Herman Tarnower and Samm Sinclair Baker. I find I like Jennifer’s recipes better because they are more varied and modern.
9. If you had to classify this book would you call it a “must own” a “pass” or a “skim it” cookbook?
It’s a ‘must own’ in my opinion especially if you want to eat well and not have to worry about gaining weight.
10. Any other thoughts you’d like to share?
This cookbook inspired me to try different recipes [than I'd normally cook] such as Buttermilk Yogurt Dressing and Supermoist Turkey Burgers (you really can’t tell the difference between turkey and beef in this one!). I’ve truly liked every single recipe I’ve tried.