Neo Soul: Taking Soul Food to a Whole 'Nutha Level Hardcover – 19 Jan 2006
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
We paged through the book together and checked out the recipes - which are fantastic. Mr. Williams' personal story was also a highlight, as were tidbits like celebrity favorites. My friend recognized familiar recipes immediately and was pleased her new cookbook.
Naturally, being health conscious, we looked at the nutritional information. That's when we started to get confused.
For one, the calorie and fat counts for some of the desserts were very high. I know - it's DESSERT! If the re-done version was still bad, I figured it must mean the "original" version must have been far worse. And I know you don't eat it all the time, anyway. But I've never seen a "light" cookbook feature a recipe with 4 sticks of butter in the ingredient list. As tempting as the pound cake sounds, I'm afraid it would be something I couldn't eat on my plan.
Secondly, I'm convinced that the nutritional counts are inaccurate. Some recipes had 40 or 50+ grams of fat in them - which is just astronomical for one serving. The calorie count would seem appropriate for a serving, but fat (and sometimes sodium) seemed like it might actually apply to the whole dish. There were so many great LIGHT recipes that we looked at, scanning the ingredient list only to find healthy ingredients but non-attractive nutritional counts. It didn't make sense.
It's such a good cookbook with really great re-mixes of traditional recipes. Even after the confusion, my friend still liked the book. I just wish I could pick Mr. Williams' brain over some of the recipes & techniques.........Why not reduce the amount of high-fat coconut in the coconut cake recipe? Why actually FRY the fried apples when there are other ways to cook them without 3 cups of oil? Do we really have to use 4 sticks of butter in the pound cake or is there a way we can sub out some calories? Why would chicken & peaches have 24g of fat?
Bottom line: the book has some fantastic recipes. I would just recommend for those who are nutritionally aware to do your own calculations (and maybe make a few more of your own substitutions) and I'm sure the numbers won't look so bad.
interview on NPR so I got one the next day. I was worried
when just glancing through I found a number of recipies
starting with two sticks of butter; even Paula Deen only
calls for one and she doesn't claim to be making healthy
food. I took it to work so that I could have a co-worker
who is a better cook than I am look at it and she pointed
out that most of the recipies are high in fat and that he
managed to make a Lemon and Garlic Tofu with 630 calories
and 48g of fat per serving with 1/2 a stick of butter and
1/4 a cup of olive oil. His Uptown Buscuits are 235 cal. &
14g of fat per bisquit. With breakdowns like that; I
think I'll have better luck just making it the old fashioned
way and cutting down on the serving sizes.
Diane C. Donovan, Editor