When the warm weather finally hit last weekend, I was more than ready to swap my jeans for jean shorts, swap my hot tea for iced, and swap my crock pot for my ice cream maker. In fact I was pretty much ready to swap out everything that reminded me of winter.
Thus, when Best Health magazine sent me a copy of their latest, The Swap & Drop Diet Cookbook, I was super-excited to check it out.
For years, I’ve been a fan of Best Health magazine; as a Canadian woman, I can relate to the wide variety of articles-ranging from food to fashion to fitness. And for years, I’d been tearing the recipe out of their magazines. So how perfect is it that they sent me a book containing over 150 of such recipes?
The premise behind this book is that by cooking food that is high in flavor but lower in fat and calories, you can eat well while losing weight. As I leafed through the book, quite a few recipes caught my eye and before long, I had ear-marked half the book. I couldn’t wait to try the Chicken, Avocado, and Alfalfa Club Sandwich; the Thai-style beef sandwich; and the Seafood Jambalaya. I finally settled on the Cucumber, Radish and Snow Pea Salad as an appetizer with the Grilled Salmon in Ciabatta for my main course.
I chose those two recipes specifically because they were both fresh takes on some of my family’s favorite foods. I have raw cucumbers and snow peas as the “appetizer” for almost every dinner and I try to make salmon at least once a week. Both recipes turned out amazing. While they both look gorgeous and super-gourmet, they were actually quite quick and easy to prepare. The vinaigrette on the salad was light and refreshing with just a touch of sweetness that took the bite out of the radish…which is perfect for trying to get my kids to incorporate more veggies into their diet. As for the salmon, I couldn’t get over how delicious it was; I would have never thought to marinate it in basil and lime but it really worked.
What’s great about this book is that the recipes aren’t just the old stand-bys reworked to be healthier; they’re just great recipes that also happen to be healthy. In between all these great recipes, they also give some great advice on how to eat healthier at all of our favorite Canadian fast-food joints, like Timmy’s. In addition, there are tons of interesting tips and facts beside many of the recipes, such as learning that certain veggies are actually healthier cooked vs. raw.
Overall, I really liked The Swap & Drop Diet Cookbook; it was definitely the kick-start my cooking needed as summer quickly approaches. It’s got tons of amazing recipes and a great energy that is getting me excited to cook and eat fresh, healthy, and fun meals again…all while wearing my tiniest jean shorts.
Contest Alert: Best Health Magazine was kind enough to send us an extra copy of The Swap & Drop Diet Cookbook. Just tell us your favorite swap and drop healthy eating tip and the book could be yours. Submit your comment in the space below by June 10, 2013.
Swap and Drop’s Grilled Salmon in Ciabatta
Juice of one lime
3 tbsp chopped fresh basil
4 4-oz salmon fillets
2 ½ tbsp. plain low-fat yogurt
2 ½ tbsp. light mayonnaise
½ tsp lime finely grated lime zest
4 ciabatta or whole-wheat rolls
s & p to taste
mixed salad leaves, such as arugula, baby spinach, and red chard
1. Mix the lime juice, 2 tbsp of basil, and salt and pepper in a non-metallic dish. Add salmon and turn fillets in the mixture to coat well. Cover and marinate in the fridge for 30 min.
2. Meanwhile, mix together the yogurt, mayo, lime zest, and remaining basil in a small bowl. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate.
3. Heat broiler to medium high. Remove salmon from the marinade and place on a foil-lined broiler rack. Brush with a little marinade, then grill until the fish is just cooked and the flesh begins to flake, about 4 to 5 minutes per side, brushing again with the marinade after turning. While the fish is cooking, place the ciabatta rolls, wrapped in foil, in the oven to warm for about 5 minutes.
Split the rolls in half and spread the cut sides with the basil mayonnaise. Put a cooked salmon fillet on the bottom of half of each roll and top with the mixed greens. Put the tops on and serve immediately.