Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your e-mail address or mobile phone number.
|Print List Price:||£18.97|
Save £12.98 (68%)
|This price was set by the publisher|
Against the Grain Kindle Edition
|New from||Used from|
Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
But this book goes further than great recipes: it is low carb, grain-free, gluten-free, mostly dairy-free, and mostly paleo. It is by far the best low carb cookbook out there; I have them all. The emphasis is on fresh vegetables, fresh meat/poultry/fish, olive oil, and Mediterranean flavor ingredients like olives, capers, etc.
I've made more than a dozen of the recipes so far, and each has been great. Not just good, but exceptionally good.
I can only hope that the author will write a second volume (and third, and fourth ...).
This book raises the issue that while the Mediterranean cuisines are commonly thought to be so healthy, why is it that not only carbohydrates, but especially carbohydrates from processed white flour are such a bit part of classic Mediterranean cuisines in bread, pasta, couscous, and dumplings of various sorts. The author answers part of this question when she cites that until quite recently, white flour and its products were simply not available to people with average or low incomes except on special occasions. However, one of the most basic poor people's staples, chestnuts and chestnut flour are very high in carbohydrates with little collateral nutrition in the calories. Another part of the answer is that the `healthy Mediterranean diet' story arose from a demographic study of residents of Crete, which is a very small sample of the whole Mediterranean cuisine.
In opening this book, I feel it is actually more difficult for it to attain a high rating than a straight cookbook on Mediterranean food. This is because in addition to presenting good recipes, the book aims to present recipes that will help you loose weight. Bobby Flay's latest book, `Grilling for Life' takes a very similar tack, in that he is using a nominally healthy (low fat) food preparation technique and telling us what the (negative) nutritional analysis of each dish is. By negative, I mean the amounts of all the things we wish to avoid on one or another style of diet, that being calories, saturated fat, cholesterol, sodium and total carbohydrates, plus the good stuff, fiber and protein. Neither book deals at all with the principles behind the various diet regimens. This means that these books are probably not really going to help you unless you know the ropes of your diet of choice. Kochilas does spend a little time discussing the difference between saturated and unsaturated fats and how the latter (olive oil) is better than the former (animal and tropical fats), but neither book explains how the nutritional analyses were done and neither book has a nutritional expert as a co-author.
Kochilas nine chapters are:
Eggs for Breakfast, Brunch, and Dinner
Small Plates of the Mediterranean
The Mediterranean Garden in a Bowl
Side Dish and Main Course Vegetables
The Mediterranean Soup Kitchen
Fruits of the Wine-Dark Sea
Chicken and a Few Duck Dishes
The Sacrificial Lamb
The Ubiquitous Pig and a Few Beef Dishes
The first two chapters really puzzled me, as the calorie, fat, and sodium counts on so many of these recipes seemed rather high. On the other hand, it was interesting to see some of the tricks to keep some basic carb flavors, such as potato, in some recipes without adding much potatoes (its done with potato peels). In the vegetable, soup, and fish chapters, it was not surprising to see all the bad stuff drop to reasonable levels. Even the chicken and lamb dishes were pretty reasonable, especially with calories. I guess Ms. K. wanted to end on a luxuriant note when her last recipe is the French Bistro classic, Steak au Poivre done with shell steaks and weighing in with 594 calories per serving.
In spite of the winnowing of carbs from grains and selected fruits, I confess that almost all the recipes look very, very tasty. As with all of Ms. K.'s books, I find this a fascinating read, even considering the dismal subject. There is plenty here to enrich your insight into Mediterranean cuisine. And, it is important to note that the book does cover the entire Mediterranean and even goes pretty far inland to get some all time favorite recipes.
Ultimately, I give this five stars because of the great culinary storytelling, the quality of the recipes without limiting oneself to one method of cooking, and the fact that the list price, $24.95 is far below the conventional $35 for a new celebrity cookbook.
This cookbook was written when the author was struggling with her weight and learned that a low carb approach worked. This is basically an informed selection of naturally low-carb recipes from the Mediterranean repertoire. Some of the recipes have been tweaked to be lower carb. She uses real food, no pre-fab shortcuts. She does not include any desserts - desserts are not her passion and she dose not use sugar substitutes. She recommends fresh fruit in moderation.
Recipes are not limited to Greek food. One of my favorites is the next to the last one in the book, "A Simple French Country Beef Stew" - a classic Provencal Daube which captures the essence of that recipe with appealing simplicity. (The recipe is also excellent when substituting pork shoulder for beef). I wish there were more recipes for beef and pork but the ones included are great. And there are plenty of seafood, egg, chicken, lamb and vegetarian recipes.
An inspiring book. I follow a primal diet and these recipes are all good choices. Some of the recipes are quick, some take hours, but all are basically simple. They do assume that you know how to cook - this is not a primer.
Recommended for all who love Mediterranean food. Recommended for all who love real food.