I think I have a new favorite cookbook.
All I had to do was read the introduction of Tom Valenti and Andrew Friedman’s cookbook You Don’t Have to Be Diabetic to Love This Cookbook to know the pages contained my kind of food. For example: “There’s a common misconception out there that while diabetes is a disease that can be managed, it’s virtual death sentence for your dining pleasure. I’d like for this book to obliterate that way of thinking.” Sounds familiar, huh?
Valenti, chef/owner of New York’s acclaimed restaurants Ouest and The West Branch, and I were diagnosed with diabetes about the same time – 14 years ago. Over the years, we both came to the same conclusion: Any food can be part of a healthy lifestyle. Do you have to watch your intake of carbs, fat and sodium? Yes. But that doesn’t mean you have to give up taste.
Valenti says he’s learned to favor proteins and vegetables over pasta and grains. In his cookbook, you’ll find a lot of salads, soups and seafood dishes. He said he’s been amazed by how much energy he has since he’s changed his eating habits. He’s lost weight and his skin looks better too. I love that he uses real food in his recipes and doesn’t rely on fake this and artificial that. He does replace bacon with its turkey variation and uses low-fat and nonfat dairy.
All of the recipes in the book list nutritional information (calories, fat, saturated fat, trans fat, total carbs, fiber, sugar, protein, cholesterol and sodium). They also contain exchanges if you’re counting those.
“A Note on Salt” in the book’s introduction is a must-read. When he was told by a Certified Diabetes Educator that the recommended daily intake of sodium for people without diabetes is 2,300 mg or roughly one teaspoon, Valenti says “This amount was, to put it mildly, shocking to me, more or less akin to learning the world was round instead of flat.” He says he was stunned to learn how much flavor you could pack into a recipe with little or no salt.
My only complaint about the book is in its design. While it looks great, I like recipes to be completely contained on a single page or a two-page spread. I use a cookbook stand and hate having to remove the cookbook when I have messy hands to turn the page. But that’s really the only negative thing I have to say about this book.
If you’re looking for a “healthy” cookbook, whether you’re diabetic or not, I highly recommend You Don’t Have to Be Diabetic to Love This Cookbook by Tom Valenti and Andrew Friedman
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of You Don’t Have to Be Diabetic to Love This Cookbook by Tom Valenti and Andrew Friedman for review purposes. All opinions are my own.