Review: America’s Test Kitchen: Light and Healthy 2011

  Everything from appetizers to desserts–lightened up, as promised, by the cooks at America’s Test Kitchen. I wanted to sample a recipe from each chapter but ended up sampling most of them. The recipes were “light” if you define  light as low in fat, carbs,  and calories, as most of us do.”Healthy” though, was debatable. I was really concerned by the high sodium content of some dishes, particularly those that called for canned soup. I was under the impression that healthy meant “less processed the better.”

To sum up here are what I thought were the Cons

  • Wordy; lengthy explanations of their process but  not enough pictures of each recipe
  • Good: nutrition information told me how much fat, carbs, and calories were in each dish and its variation so I could become more aware of healthy eating habits.
  • Bad/unhealthy: high salt content of some recipes, e.g. Vietnamese Rice Noodle Soup with Beef

And now, the Pros

  • Helpful: “Notes from the Test Kitchen,” e.g.  forming a press-in tart crust
  • No-brainer: “Notes from the Test Kitchen,” how to prevent wooden skewers from burning–cover them with foil! Now, why didn’t I think of that?
  • Best Test Kitchen Makeover: Chicken and Dumplings p.49
  • Awesome: “Notes from the Test Kitchen” on testing meat for doneness (table, p. 91)

Though I was disappointed in the amount of salt in a supposedly “healthy” cookbook, there were more pros than cons. America’s Test Kitchen recipes have been thoroughly tested and I haven’t been disappointed yet. This cookbook gets my thumbs up!