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The Big Book of Low-Carb
By Kitty Broihier and Kimberly Mayone
Chronicle Books, 2006
ISBN 0811845419
Review By William I. Lengeman III

You could say that the authors of this book attempted to take the middle path, pointing out right at the outset that it "is not a low-carb diet book" and that the recipes contained therein run the gamut from the low end of the low-carb range to the high.

This is indeed a big book, with 18 chapters presenting "250 simple, delicious, nutritious recipes." The proceedings get underway with a chapter on cooking basics and then it's on to Breakfast. Recipes here include Ricotta Pancakes, Banana French Toast and Walnut-Stuffed Baked Apples.

"Don't let apples scare you away," the authors implore. Bread and bread-like products also pop up in a number of recipes throughout the book - but it's low-carb bread, of course.

Next up are Appetizers and Snacks, including Sesame Dip and Stuffed Cubanelle Peppers. Then Salads and Dressing and after that Soups, Stews and Chilis, a chapter that includes the enticing Beer and Cheese Soup. The aforementioned low-carb breads and tortillas are much in evidence in the sandwich chapter, which features a Fried Bologna Sandwich as one of the standouts.

Five Ingredients Or Less is pretty much self-explanatory, presenting 11 recipes that are dazzling in their sheer simplicity. Among these are Lazy Turkey Parmesan and Cheeseburger Macaroni. The casseroles chapter includes a Layered Vegetable Casserole , among other things, and then it's on to four chapters worth of meat, fish and chicken entrees. The authors confess to a special fondness for the latter and the many delights contained in this section range from Asian Salmon and Coconut-Lime Chicken legs to Dijon Pork with Onions and Sirloin Puttanesca.

There's a chapter on Entertaining and one on Side Dishes (yes, you Southerners, there's even a low-carb corn bread). As things wind down the authors present chapters on Sauces, Relishes, Rubs and Toppings and Beverages (Hot and Cold). And, of course, the whole thing winds up with an array of carb-friendly Desserts, such as Eggnog Cheesecake and Maple Tiramisu.

You wouldn't really have to be a low-carb eater to derive some benefit from this collection of recipes, but if you are planning to embark on such a path, or if you're already there, this is a resource you should have on hand.

Freelance food writer William I. Lengeman III maintains Tea Guy Speaks, a Web site devoted to the appreciation of tea.

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