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Neo Soul: Taking Soul Food to a Whole 'Nutha Level Hardcover – 19 Jan 2006

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews
36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great start, but check the conversions 2 Feb. 2006
By Mom of Steel - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I saw Lindsey Williams featured in Newsweek and I went immediately and bought this book for a friend of mine. She's been trying to find ways to lighten up her down-home cooking and I thought this was right up her alley.

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.
24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars He made tofu high fat/calorie 30 Jan. 2006
By sh39918 - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I had high hopes for this cookbook after hearing his

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.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Adds a healthy twist to a cuisine often associated with unhealthy fats 25 May 2006
By Midwest Book Review - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Other books have been written on soul food but here's something with a difference: it comes from the godson of Harlem's soul food cook Sylvia Woods and adds a healthy twist to a cuisine often associated with unhealthy fats. Author Lindsay Williams struggled with weight all his life and had to make some drastic changes when at 400 pounds he found food affecting his health. NEO SOUL reflects these changes, which caused him to lose more than half his weight, and provides readers with a new brand of healthy soul cooking which retains the ethnicity without the dangers.

Diane C. Donovan, Editor

California Bookwatch
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Recipes 6 Mar. 2006
By Chaz Atkinson - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Lyndey Williams is a remarkable person who has come a long way. His journey from unhealthy and obese to fit and eating well is fantastic. His word is just as good as anybodies because he has been "there." I purchased two cookbooks, 1 for me and 1 for my mother. We tried numerous recipes and they turned out great. With these recipes you can substitute the high fat without substituting the great flavor. If you aren't looking for low fat try regular Syvlia's Soul Food in Harlem, hands down some of the greatest soul food available.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Neo Soul can offer Neo Hope for anyone struggling to manage lifestyle changes pertaining to food management 8 July 2006
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book was very encouraging. I've eaten in Sylvia's Restaurants in Atlanta and New York and the food was GRRRRREAT!!!!!!! Being a Southerner I know the challenges of resisting good old down home stick to your ribs cooking! I love books like this one and Pattie LaBelle's Lite Cuisine because many of the recipes offer good options for making food that taste good and at the same time is good for you. I think that this book can stimulate the thought processes regarding changing how you prepare the standard recipes you typically eat at home. Most people cook a standard rotation of menus in their homes. Books like this make you think about healthy options and how to substitute ingredients for your meals at home.
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