We approached the Biggest Loser Cookbooks in a backwards direction. We reviewed two others before getting to the initial The Biggest Loser Cookbook entry. We'd started with the Flavors of the World and the Quick & Easy cookbooks. Both were immensely disappointing. So I admit we have quite low expectations when we began testing this one.
We were pleasantly surprised. There's a small amount of background, and character bios, before you get into the meat of the recipes, but not too much. I find it fairly silly that every recipe seems to have a photo of the CREATOR but not of the FOOD! I don't care what Wylie looks like. I want to see what his turkey goulash looks like.
We tested out Mark's Southwest Omelet. It's 122 calories / 8g per serving with egg whites as well as a bunch of minced veggies. It's fairly quick, easy, and tasty. We were impressed by the egg white method and have begun to convert over to it now. It saves an impressive number of calories.
Next was the Cocktail-Hour Tuna Tartare which does actually have a photo. This requires a TON of mincing plus quite expensive sashimi tuna. It ends up being at least $10/serving - and you also end up with lots of leftover mango and other items that you now have to find other uses for. Not that extra mango is bad, of course, but it means your actual shopping bill is far higher than $10/person.
That being said, it was tasty :). But was it $10 tasty?
The Spinach Skinny-Dip was not a hit for me, and I generally love spinach. The flavor was just off. Maybe it was the combination of sour cream and yogurt and mustard. I'm not quite sure.
The easiest recipe in the set was the Hazelnut and Lemon Green Beans. Boil fresh green beans. Toast some hazelnuts, toss in a few other items. Done. This was tasty and we've made it since then. What gets me on this one is the snarky comment made about it. "I was hired by a well-known producer ... they offered me 300 dollars per person [to cater] ... I still can't look at [this dish] without seeing dollar signs." What?? This is so opposite my own attitude in life that it is hard to even wrap my mind around it. Food should be about nourishing and helping people, not about "Ooooo I made $300 off of those people!!"
Some recipes are fairly silly. A roast beef sandwich. Some are questionable. Pour nacho cheese sauce over nachos (and of course add in Jennie-O Turkey). But I suppose they want something for everyone. The people who are just learning to cook will have something they can try.
Definitely this is FAR better than the other two Biggest Loser cookbooks we tested out. So that is a plus. But in terms of healthy eating, and actually "cooking" something, there is a mixed bag here. Some recipes are barely recipes. Some involve 30 minutes of mincing. I still don't understand why, if they were going to have a photo-book anyway, that they wasted all the space on the peoples' photos and not on dish photos. But in the end if you're someone who wants a real, physical book in your hands rather than googling the millions of healthy recipes that exist free on the web, then this does offer some good options.
I purchased this book with my own money in order to write this review.
Buy the Biggest Loser Cookbook from Amazon.com
Lisa Shea's Library of Low Carb Books