From the Bookshelf: “The Skinnytaste Cookbook”

Article by Paige McKay-White

At the beginning of every year, everyone makes the promise to themselves to be healthy and eat better. Eating healthier and lighter doesn’t have to be boring, and with the help of The Skinnytaste Cookbook, eating healthy can be fun and delicious. Skinnytaste author Gina Homolka prides herself in her slimmed-down, lower-calorie recipes that are perfect for any lifestyle and have all the flavor of heavier dishes. Several of the recipes are even gluten-free, fat-free, and/or vegetarian, which makes them great for any dietary lifestyle.

Skinnytaste opens up with “The Skinny Basics,” which is essentially a guide on how to tackle eating healthier. It offers tips on meal prepping, grocery shopping, kitchen basics to keep on hand and how to portion your meals.

After a quick lesson on where to begin with this cookbook, the recipes start with the “Sunny Mornings” section with lots of tasty breakfast options. Find recipes like PB&J Overnight Oats, a Winter Potato, Kale and Sausage Frittata, Chocolate Chip Pancakes, and Cali Avocado Sandwich.

After breakfast, dive into “Skinny-licious Soups and Chilis” with options like Cinnamon-Roasted Butternut Squash Soup, Edamame Soup, Unstuffed Cabbage Soup, Chicken Pot Pie Soup, and Slow Cooker Santa Fe Chicken. Following a bowl of soup, there should always be a sandwich involved. Recipes for “Sandwiches on the Lighter Side” include Buffalo Chicken Melts, Greek Salad Pita Pizzas, Grilled Steak Sandwiches, Pear and Brie Grilled Cheese, French Bread Pizza Supreme and Summer Lobster Rolls. These sandwiches and melts have all the savory without the guilt of heavy deli sandwiches.

If you’re looking for light appetizers, look for “Skinny Bites” like Caliente Bean and Queso Dip, Loaded “Nacho'' Potato Skins, Baked Zucchini Sticks, Lemony Herb Hummus, Petite Baked Crab Cakes, Skinny Green Goddess Dip, and Garden Pico De Gallo. Any of these would be perfect for any party or gathering.

When it comes to salads, they don’t have to be boring plates full of just lettuce and tomatoes. Skinnytaste “Fabulous Main-Dish Salads” include salads like Buffalo Chicken Salad, Curried Chicken Salad, Wild Salmon Salad, Baja Grilled Flank Steak Salad, Roast Beef and Watercress Pasta Salad, and Greek Chickpea Salad.

If chicken dishes are more your speed when it comes to a main course, check out the “Perfect Poultry” recipes. Options range from Buttermilk Oven “Fried” Chicken to Cajun Chicken Pasta on the Lighter Side, Skinny Chicken Parmesan, Chicken Pasta Caprese, and Asian Peanut Noodles with Chicken. Or, if you prefer heartier meats, Lean Meat Dishes include Mongolian Beef and Broccoli, Colombian Carne Asada, Teriyaki Grilled Pork Chops, Grilled Lamb Skewers, and Sunday Night Roast Beef and Gravy.

Seafood lovers, you have not been overlooked. Choose from “Fabulous Fish” dishes like Sweet ‘n’ Spicy Sriracha Glazed Salmon, Shrimp and Grits, Cilantro Lime Shrimp, Thai Coconut Mussels, Spanish Seafood Stew, and Skinny Shrimp, Chicken, and Sausage Gumbo.

Whether you eat fully vegetarian/meatless or you’re just looking to lessen your meat intake, Skinnytaste also includes a “Meatless Mains” section chock full of veggie-filled recipes. Included are dishes like Quinoa Stuffed Peppers, Creamy Carrot Farrotto, Black Bean Burrito Bowls, Skinny Broccoli Mac and Cheese, Chickpea and Potato Curry, and Spicy Black Bean Burgers, Butternut Squash Lasagna Rolls.

Along with meatless sides, you can also find “Veggie-licious Sides” like Cheese Cauliflower Mash, Roasted Sesame Green Beans, Lemon-Roasted Asparagus, Maple Roasted Acorn Squash, Quinoa Tabbouleh, Grilled Mexican Corn Salad, and Vegetable Fried Brown Rice.

When it comes to dessert, it seems nearly impossible to remain mindful or healthy, but these “Skinny Sweet Tooth” dishes defy the odds. Curve any sweets craving with recipes like Double Chocolate Chunk Walnut Cookies, Silky Chocolate Cream Pie, Warm Apple Pear Crumble, Almost Sinful Maple-Raisin Bread Pudding, Watermelon Lime Granita, and Matcha Milkshake,

These Skinnytaste recipes are all so delicious that you won’t even realize that they are lightened up versions of your favorite dishes. Whether you’re looking to eat healthier or are just looking to widen your repertoire of vegetarian, gluten free, or healthier dishes, Skinnytaste is the perfect place to start. You can find the cookbook online at Amazon or any local book retailer.


Buttermilk Oven Fried Chicken

Serves 4

Chicken:

  • 8 chicken drumsticks

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika

  • 1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning

  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 1 cup buttermilk

  • Juice of half a lemon

  • Cooking spray or oil mister

Coating:

  • 2/3 cup panko bread crumbs

  • 1/2 cup crushed cornflake crumbs

  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

  • 1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley

  • 1-1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika

  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder

  1. In a medium bowl, season the chicken with salt, paprika, poultry seasoning, garlic powder and black pepper. Pour the buttermilk and lemon juice over the chicken and refrigerate for 6 to 8 hours, preferably overnight.

  2. Preheat the oven to 40 degrees F. Place a rack on a baking sheet and lightly spray with oil.

  3. In a shallow bowl, combine all coating ingredients.

  4. Remove the chicken from the buttermilk, dredge each piece in the crumb mixture, and put pieces onto the prepared baking sheet. Spray the tops of the chicken with oil.

  5. Bake until golden brown, about 40 to 45 minutes.

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