Thursday, March 29, 2012

The 17 Day Diet Cookbook

By Dr. Mike Moreno
New York, Free Press, 2012
198 pages   Cookbook

Last year, the 17 Day Diet book was published to great acclaim and climbed the charts of the best seller lists. Although I had read about it, I knew very little about the diet before I received The 17 Day Diet Cookbook from the publisher. 

The diet is based on four 17-day cycles: Accelerate; Activate; Achieve; and Arrive. The cookbook focuses on the first three cycles, accelerate, activate and achieve with a set of recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for each cycle as well as menus utilizing the recipes. Each cycle is briefly explained, so it would be difficult to follow the diet by just having the cookbook.

This is a very attractive cookbook with lots of white space, easy to follow recipes, and color plates showing a few of the recipes. The recipes feature a lot of grains, some of which I have used very infrequently. I had to search the grocery store shelves for barley. I tried four recipes in the Activate section of the cookbook. We ate from the cookbook for two evenings and then ate the leftovers for lunches. In all cases, I followed the directions exactly and didn’t vary the recipes at all.

The first evening we ate the Slow-Cooker Cuban Ropa Vieja (p. 83), which is a full-bodied pulled beef recipe made with flank steak. We both really liked this recipe, although flank steak is somewhat expensive to use for barbeque-style beef. On a positive note, however, it was delicious and the flank steak shredded nicely. Another time, I would make it with a cheaper cut of beef. We also had mushroom barley sauté (p. 92), which my husband liked because he really likes mushrooms. On the next night, I made fajitas out of the left-over flank steak and added cheese and sour cream to the meat which we ate in flour tortillas. Very good. 

Another evening we had chicken posole (p. 78) made with chicken breast, hominy, and green chilies. This stew was also good, and since I had never cooked with hominy before, it was a new taste treat. It was delicious the second day as well. I also made a brown rice biryani (p. 87) which we ate a little of with the stew, but ate it again for lunch the next day. I found the biryani to be very easy to make. It called for frozen mixed vegetables, but I think it could be made with any vegetables and would probably be healthier made with fresh vegetables in season. On the second day, my daughter called to ask me to find something to take down to the daycare for my granddaughter’s lunch. She’s 10 months old. I took the biryani for her lunch, and the child care workers told me that she loved it and ate up every bit of it. Apparently she is a big fan of Indian food and is gaining a love of sushi as well.
I am going to keep this cookbook and not pass it along like I do many of the books I receive. I know I will be making those recipes again and trying out some of the others, as well. I am always on the lookout for healthy recipes that use fresh fruit and vegetables. This cookbook fills that need.
Here is the link to the 17 Day Diet and some additional recipes:

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