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Cooking Thin with Chef Kathleen: 200 Easy Recipes for Healthy Weight Loss

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The Food Network's newest star, Chef Kathleen Daelemans, is living proof that great-tasting food and dramatic weight loss can go hand in hand. A decade ago, she was unexpectedly chosen to become head chef of one of the world's most luxurious spas in Hawaii. One problem: she weighed 205 pounds and was a size 22 -- not exactly an advertisement for the joys of low-fat eating.
But Kathleen wasn't about to give up her love of food, and she set out to create a cuisine she could be proud of. Her ground rules were simple. Every dish had to satisfy. Pleasure must rule. No one should have to weigh or measure food. And the "d" word was banned -- unless the "d" stood for outrageously delicious.
Spa guests, movie stars, recording artists, sports figures, and supermodels flocked to the restaurant's tables. Critics from the New York Times, Esquire, Food & Wine, Bon Appétit, and the Los Angeles Times raved. Kathleen herself lost seventy-five pounds.
Now, in this book, Chef Kathleen shares her sassy philosophy and the secrets of her weight-loss success story while giving you the tools to make healthy changes for yourself. Falling in love with her food is easy, with recipes like Split-Roasted Chicken and Potatoes, Buttermilk Baked Onion Rings, Sesame Ginger Shrimp, Green Beans with Lemon and Parmesan, and Dark Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake, and the book is packed with shortcut tips, comments from real people, and suggestions for transforming one meal into a second, equally delicious one. With COOKING THIN, the journey to vitality starts now.

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Another "cooking light for weight loss" cookbook? Upon first glance such a reaction is understandable, especially if you're not familiar with chef Kathleen Daelemans, who has been in the trenches of the weight-loss war and not only quickly commands attention with her writing but excites a mind and lifestyle change. Cooking Thin with Chef Kathleen freely shares the author's own experiences and struggles with weight as a child and an adult, and explains how this trained chef went from a size 22 to a 6. Daelemans has what it takes to be an empathetic role model for those who need to make changes to their diets for physical or mental health reasons. Her advice and recipes are aimed at real people.

Her self-effacing stories are at times painful (such as babysitting the night she should have been going to the prom), but the road that led her to healthy cuisine and weight loss is almost comical (though she certainly didn't believe it to be too funny at the time). After the excitement of moving to Hawaii to launch an Italian bistro at a seaside resort, the author, then a robust 205 pounds, was deflated when she arrived to find she had been replaced and put in charge of the establishment's spa cuisine.

The 200 recipes, as expected, are a mixture of healthy ways to prepare beef, chicken, fish, and vegetables. She has even included some full-fat recipes, such as a rich Lemon and Pecan Loaf. These are accompanied with reminders that it is OK to indulge occasionally, but a trip to the gym or eating "light" during the other parts of the day are the necessary balances to achieve weight loss. Even if it is not weight loss, just a healthier approach to eating you seek, Daelemans's book will inspire and entertain. --Teresa Simanton

About the Author:

Chef Kathleen Daelemans is the host of Cooking Thin with Chef Kathleen, a nationally broadcast weekly show on the Food Network. She is a regular contributor to The Today Show. Her weekly newspaper column, “Ask Chef Kathleen,” is syndicated across the Gannett Wire Service.

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