Livin’ Lean With Trader Joe’s {Book Review}

I recently was contacted about doing a review of Jamie Davidson’s new book, Livin’ Lean with Trader Joe’s.  Since January is the month of resolutions to eat better/lose weight/get healthy/et al, it seemed like the perfect time to share my thoughts with you guys.  I even have a sample recipe for you.

Livin' Lean with Trader Joe'sNote – I was sent a PDF copy of the book to review, free of charge.  All opinions are my own.  I was not provided with further compensation for this post.

About: The Author

Jamie has a master’s degree in Exercise Physiology and has been teaching people how to eat nutritiously and conveniently for over 20 years.  She is also the author of Quick and Healthy Meals from Trader Joe’s and Simmering Solutions, Healthy Slow-Cooker Recipes.  I don’t believe that she has any formal chef training, but she is quite adept at putting together meals that are balanced and flavorful while still being healthy.  While I think that Registered Dietitians should be the gold standard source for nutrition advice, Jamie’s background makes her far more qualified than most of the other authors of this season’s diet advice.

My Thoughts: The Book

Two thumbs up!  Adam and I loved all of the recipes that we tried – they were tasty, healthy, and a snap to prepare.

The first few chapters of the book focus on Jamie’s advice for weight loss and healthy living, followed by a comprehensive collection of more than 150 recipes.  As a Registered Dietitian, I think that her philosophy is solid.  She promotes exercise and a balanced diet (note – “diet” as in a lifestyle or way of eating, not meaning a short-term, quick-fix “diet”) and doesn’t make outrageous claims.  She does a great job of explaining why and how her recipes can help you lose weight.

Many of the recipes are simple assembly and prep, and if you are a more advanced cook this book may be too basic for you.  But if you are struggling in the kitchen or have made a recent commitment to prepare healthier meals – whether you are looking to lose weight or just lead a healthy life – I wholeheartedly recommend purchasing this book.

The Goods: Recipes I Made

{1} Lentil Tapenade (Wrap).

DSC07322This recipe combined some of Adam’s favorite flavors – lentils, olive tapenade, and feta – that I would not have thought to put together on my own.  It took less than 5 minutes to throw together and we loved the final result.

The recipe was for a wrap, but we made a (double) batch of the spread and served it as part of a cheese plate instead.

DSC07325Lentil tapenade, buffalo blue cheese kettle chips, green grapes, pesto gouda, and an amazing goat’s milk cheddar.

{2} BBQ Chicken over Polenta.

DSC07407This was one of those basic prep recipes; not something I would normally look for in a cookbook but a great find on a late night when I would have ordered take-out (for 8 billion calories) but spent 5 minutes throwing this together instead (for less than 200 calories a serving with 16 grams of protein).

Served with green beans.

DSC07400DSC07396FYI, I did skew my serving ratio a bit towards chicken versus polenta.

{3} Really Low Fat Greek Yogurt Dressing.

DSC07354Served on a salad, obviously.  With romaine, smoked almonds, raisins, and pesto gouda.  I liked the tang of this a lot.  And I loved that there were only about 35 calories a serving, because the husband tends to coat his salads in dressing.

DSC07352Served with…

{4} Eggless Egg Salad.

DSC07361This was our favorite recipe of the bunch.  It has a tofu base, but an avowed tofu hater wouldn’t know it was in there until you told them.  I don’t usually put so many veggies in my egg salad (though I totally should) so I tasted this before I added in most of the produce and yep, it tasted just like egg salad!

DSC07348This was delicious, and vegan to boot.  Definitely a recipe I plan on making again.  And you can make it too, since Jamie said it was ok to share the recipe with you guys (click on the image to enlarge) –

Eggless Egg SaladDSC07344Did you make any health related resolutions this New Years?

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