Ten years ago, author Dick Logue was a physical wreck. Diagnosed with congestive heart failure, he determined to get healthier by eating better and he became the author of a number of healthy “500” books – 500 Low Sodium Recipes, 500 Low-Cholesterol Recipes, 500 High-Fiber Recipes, 500 Low Glycemic Index Recipes, 500 Heart-Healthy Slow Cooker Recipes, and now 500 400-Calorie Recipes.
The idea behind 500 400-Calorie Recipes is appealing – eat your favorite foods, but make them less calorie dense. We’re talking yummy dishes like “Spinach and Bacon Special Omelet,” “Better BLT,” “Fried Rice,” Smothered Steak with Noodles.” And all of the dishes contain about 400 calories or less.
How does Logue do it? By reducing fat, substituting high-calorie foods with lower-calorie ones, increasing fiber, and adding lots of vegetables. He also ditches processed foods, which tend to be loaded with fat, sugar, and calories, and replaces them with fresh, whole foods. He also uses no salt (remember, he started his healthy recipe journey by being diagnosed with a heart problem and needed to eat a low-sodium diet).
Louge divides his tome (which weighs in at a hefty 456 pages) into Building Blocks (making-your-own dressings, baking mixes, etc.), Traditional Breakfasts and New Breakfasts (shrimp for breakfast?), Lunches, and Dinners (separate chapters for chicken and turkey, beef, pork, fish and seafood, vegetarian, and soups, stews, and chilies). He also has several chapters he calls Mix and Match, recipes that have fewer than 400 calories that you can mix with other recipes in the book to create your own meal plans. Each recipe lists the calories per serving, the fat (and type of fat), protein, carbs, fiber, sugar, and trace nutrients. The author also includes a helpful chapter with cooking terms, weights and measure conversions, and suggestions for kitchen gadgets you might find handy.
My only complaint about 500 400-Calorie Recipes is that there are no photos, not a one. I do like to be able to see the dishes before I cook them. However, it’s a minor objection. After all, how can you complain about 400-calorie pot roast? Not me. In fact, I’m going to have fun – and lose a few pounds—eating some of my favorite comfort foods like meatloaf, Lo Min, and burritos, all for under 400 calories. – Review BH