Dana Carpender - 500 Low-carb Recipes: 500 Recipes, from Snacks to Dessert, That the Whole Family Will Love

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One of Our Favorite Low Carb Cookbooks.... 500 Low-Carb Recipes

Dec 18, 2003
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Large Variety of Low-Carb Recipes

Cons:No Pictures, Limited Nutritional Chart Information

The Bottom Line: 500 Low-Carb Recipes includes a splendid variety of snack, meal and dessert choices and the contents are nicely organized.


One of our favorite low-carb recipe books, so far, is 500 Low-Carb Recipes by Dana Carpender. This cookbook contains numerous recipes that we have successfully introduced into our dietary regimen. The food items are easy to prepare, take little time and taste wonderful. I highly recommend this cookbook to those investigating or sticking to a low-carb dietary style. In fact it is my view that this author truly grasps the concept of low-carb eating, providing usable recipes and inspirational tidbits.

In the opening section we are served this statement by Dana Carpender: "What's the hardest thing about your low-carb diet? And what's the most common reason that people abandon their low-carb way of eating…. Boredom…" Such a true sentiment, especially if you have stuck to the Atkins Induction Phase. My husband decided to stay on the Atkins Induction Phase until he had lost 45 pounds. With the exception of a handful of meal times, he did precisely that. By the end of that phase he was rather bored with food choices and looking forward to introducing low-carb recipe variety. 500 Low-Carb Recipes has provided numerous meal and snack time options.

Further this author has provided affirming sentiments and statements of inspiration within the introduction section and at various other places in 500 Low-Carb Recipes. Dana Carpender shares about her personal experience adjusting to a low-carb regimen, provides an easy-to-understand synopsis of carbohydrate intolerance, and explains the content of the book and how it is recommended for use. She defines the Usable Carb Count and gives helpful general hints toward maintaining a low-carb regimen.

I was interested in her opinion regarding Low-Carb Specialty Foods, finding it interesting that she warned that while these foods might help people stay on a dietary plan, they generally are highly processed foods and unlikely to offer an appropriate nutritional value. She also expressed concern with the fact that most Low-Carb Specialty Foods are too expensive. After stating her opinion and extending caution she defined the ingredients found in them, such as Polyols (sugar alcohols), and explained the possible adverse affects they might have.

Additionally Dana Carpender shares about The Importance of Reading Labels and moves forth to explain Ingredients You Need To Know About, including: eggs, fats and oils, flour substitutes, liquids, vinegar, nuts, seasonings, sweeteners, vegetables, yeast, and yogurt and buttermilk. All of the information provided in the beginning of this book assists toward understanding the adaptation to a low-carb dietary regimen. As mentioned it is presented in a manner that is easy to understand. Most of the information presented wasn't new to us, however it affirmed what we had already read in other books. If the low-carb style is new to you, it is likely that you will glean much from this author.

The recipes are presented within thirteen categories:
Hors D'oeuvres, Snacks and Party Nibbles,
Eggs and Dairy
Breads, Muffins, Cereals, and Other Grainy Things
Hot Vegetable Dishes
Side Dish Salads
Chicken and Turkey
Fish
Beef
Pork and Lamb
Main Dish Salads
Soups
Condiments, Seasonings, and Sauces
Cookies, Cakes and Other Sweets

Each recipe category opens with an introduction from Dana Carpender. This portion includes notes of encouragement, what to expect within that section, and helpful hints for obtaining recipe success. Most of the recipes are presented one per page, with the exception of recipes that share resemblance (i.e. dips, stuffed eggs, pancakes, and dressings). Although the pages are mostly black and white (there are a few gray boxes), they refrain from clutter via maintaining appropriate margin space. An improvement I suggest is inclusion of pictures, as they would assist toward enticing recipe experimentation. However this author does a great job of sparking interest via her personal notations.

A portion of the recipes are complimented with personal sentiments, such as the following (found with Tootsie's Pesto), "Tootsie is my friend Kay's mother, and this is her recipe. Store-bought pesto is okay for us, but it's awfully expensive and not nearly so fresh and good! This makes a highly concentrated product; feel free to thin it a bit with olive oil before you use it." Additionally the author accompanies several of the recipes with storage or make-ahead hints.

Some of the recipes that we prefer include: Peanut Butter Cookies, Hazelnut Shortbread, Mom's Chocolate Chip Cookies, Oatmeal Cookies, Heroin Wings, Chinese Peanut Wings, Low-Carb Margarita Mix, Fajita Frittata, Turkey Club Puff, Greek Beans, Ginger Stir-Fry Broccoli, Our Favorite Salad, Pizza Chicken (minus the mushrooms and boneless breasts in lieu of quarters), Spicy Peanut Chicken, Chicken-Almond Stir-Fry (minus the mushrooms), and many more.

One evening a fellow low-carb friend and myself made the Zucchini Crusted Pizza and were pleasantly surprised with the result. Pre low-carb days my husband adored pizza, so he runs from any supposed alternative, stating that it would merely make him crave the 'real thing'. Although I was apprehensive to try the Sour Cream Coffee Cake I found that it was actually tasty, as were the Sour Cream, Lemon and Poppy Seed Muffins.

I was sorely disappointed with the Cheesecake to Go with Fruit as I was expecting a cheesecake taste and detected a hint of the cottage cheese included in the recipe (I don't like cottage cheese). However the Blackbottomed Mockahula Cheesecake (made for a birthday celebration) was scrumptious, with a yield of 8 grams of usable carbs per serving, as was the Pumpkin Cheesecake (a Holiday choice) with a yield of 7 grams of usable carbs per serving. Recipes such as these allow us to stay within the low-carb guidelines even at dessert time.

As indicative by the above, we have experimented with numerous recipes from this book and have been satisfied with most. The preparation for each recipe varies (most fall within twenty minutes) but all of the items have been easy to prepare and would fit the needs of novice cooks. It is important to preview the recipe because it is possible you might not have items such as rice protein powder, soy powder, whey protein powder, Splenda, or various other ingredients.

As indicated above, we are pleased with 500 Low-Carb Recipes and recommend it to those whom are seeking low-carb recipes. In addition to being a good cookbook for those on low-carb diets, this book would also assist those entertaining guests that are sticking to a low-carb regimen. I appreciate the fact that we have added recipes to our meal choices that the whole family likes, making it easier to adapt to a low-carb lifestyle. My daughters really like the cookie recipes. Although this isn't a 'diet' book I will state that adapting to a low-carb style has assisted our entire family. My husband has lost over 50 pounds, myself I am down four pant sizes and feel more healthy.

The author has organized this book nicely and she definitely included a splendid variety of snack, meal and dessert choices. However I still wish that this book offered pictures. In addition to the lack of pictures, this cookbook lacks true nutritional charts. The recipes do offer nutritional blurbs such as: "4 dozen cookies, each with 3 grams of carbohydrates, a trace of fiber and 5 grams of protein. This carbohydrate count does not include the polyols used to sweeten the sugar-free chocolate, since it remains largely undigested and unabsorbed." The nutritional information provided will suffice if you are merely watching carbs, however it is safe to say that there are people who would benefit from a whole nutritional disclosure.

====****====****====****====****====
500 Low-Carb Recipes
"500 recipes from snacks to dessert, that the whole family will love"
Dana Carpender

Table of Contents
Introduction
Ingredients You Need to Know About
Hors D'oeuvres, Snacks and Party Nibbles
Eggs and Dairy
Breads, Muffins, Cereals, and Other Grainy Things
Hot Vegetable Dishes
Side Dish Salads
Chicken and Turkey
Fish
Beef
Pork and Lamb
Main Dish Salads
Soups
Condiments, Seasonings, and Sauces
Cookies, Cakes and Other Sweets
A Refresher on Measurements
Acknowledgments
Index
====****====****====****====****====


2003 Lisa_J


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