In The Fat Chance Cookbook, Dr. Robert Lustig teams up with Cindy Gershen, a Bay Area restaurant owner, to give us more than a hundred soul-sustaining recipes that are easy to make and can be ready in under thirty minutes. Although the majority of the recipes contain no sugar, in the “Scratch Baking” section of the cookbook you’ll find recipes such as Whole-Wheat Banana-Veggie Bread, New York Cheesecake, and Cindy’s Super Awesome Chocolate Chip Cookies with about half to one third the sugar of a normal recipe. But you’ll never notice the difference.
Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner sections of The Fat Chance Cookbook feature easy, healthful, and tasty recipes such as Pasta with Crushed Tomatoes, Beef, and Spinach.
Lustig and Gershen really know how to create meals that, through simple adaptations, significantly increase fiber and nutrient value, while lowering insulin levels, in ways that even the pickiest of eaters (i.e. my kids) can’t detect. To my delight, the Pasta with Crushed Tomatoes dish was chowed down in no time with hushed sounds of “mmmm. . . “ in the air. Or was that me?
In addition to delicious recipes to keep you satisfied and healthy from sun-up to sundown, The Fat Chance Cookbook is about nutritional and lifestyle education, making it the essential cookbook for the whole family.
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Cindy’s Super Awesome Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes: Thirty 1-oz. cookies
Active Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
1 cup packed brown sugar
4 ounces (1 stick) butter, unsalted, at room temperature
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups of the best chocolate chips
1 cup rolled oats (not quick-cooking or instant)
1-1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Step 2: Mash together the brown sugar, butter, and oil in a large bowl with a fork. Don’t use a mixer! You want the butter and sugar to be combined well. The ideal is not chunky, but not whipped super smooth either.
Step 3: Beat the egg in a small bowl and add it to the creamed butter mixture. Mix with a wooden sppon. Add the vanilla and baking soda and mix.
Step 4: Add the chocolate chips, oats, and flour.
Step 5: Mix with your hands, pulling and pushing the ingredients until they come together. The mixture will be very dry. Don’t overmix.
Step 6: Line two cookie sheets with parchment or waxed paper. Pull off little balls of dough and place 2 inches apart on the cookie sheets.
Step 7: Bake for 10 minutes with racks on the upper third and lower third of the oven. Rotate and switch cookie sheets halfway through baking to allow for oven hot spots. Remove when just starting to brown, let cool and serve.
This recipe can be doubled.
Per serving (1 cookie): Calories 180, Calories from Fat 80, Total Fat 9g (14% DV), Saturated Fat 5g (25% DV), Trans Fat 0g, Cholestrol 90mg (30% DV) Sodium 85mg (4% DV), Carbohydrates 20g (7% DV), Dietary Fiber < 1g (3% DV), Sugars 13g.
Protein 5g, Vitamin A 4%, Vitamin C 0%, Calcium 4%, Iron 4%.
Pasta with Crushed Tomatoes, Beef, and Spinach
Makes: 2 quarts sauce
Active Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
3 teaspoons salt
¼ cup canola oil
1 cup peeled and chopped yellow onion
¼ cup peeled and chopped garlic
2 pounds ground meat
¼ cup Italian seasoning
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
8 cups Marinara Sauce or two 28-ounce cans crushed tomatoes
2 pounds pasta, any kind
2 pounds fresh or frozen spinach, Swiss chard, or kale
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Step 1: Fill the stockpot two-thirds full with water. Add 1 teaspoon salt to the water, cover, and place over high heat until it boils.
Step 2: Pour the oil into a second stockpot. Add the onions and cook gently over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 2 more minutes.
Step 3: Add the meat to the onions and garlic. Cook until the meat loses it pink color, about 5 minutes. Add the Italian seasoning and crushed red pepper flakes and stir together with the meat. Add the Marinara Sauce. Simmer uncovered on medium heat for 20 minutes.
Step 4: Add the pasta to the boiling water in the first stockpot. Cook until tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the spinach to the pasta water 30 seconds before the noodles are done. Drain the pasta and spinach. Spray a large serving dish with cooking spray. Pour the pasta and spinach back into the pot. Pour the sauce over the pasta and mix. Transfer to a serving dish and top with the cheese. Serve.
· Use fresh or frozen kale or chard
· Add two cups white or red beans to sauce
· Add 2 pounds of cooked ground beef, turkey, or Homemade “Sausage” (see recipe in cookbook)
· Add roasted zucchini and bell pepper
· Add fresh basil just before serving
Per serving (1 cup sauce, 2 ounces pasta): Calories 420, Calories from Fat 110, Total Fat 12g (18% DV), Saturated Fat 4g (20% DV), Trans Fat 0g, Cholestrol 40mg (13% DV), Sodium 810mg (34% DV), Carbohydrates 57g (19% DV)m Dietary Fiber 5g (20% DV)
Makes: 2 quarts
Active Time: 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour, 15 minutes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup peeled and diced onion
2 tablespoons peeled and chopped garlic
3 cans (28 ounces each) crushed tomatoes
½ cup water
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Salt and ground black pepper
Step 1: Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until brown and tender, 3 to 5 minutes.
Step 2: Add the crushed tomatoes, water, salt, Italian seasoning, and cayenne. Reduce the heat and simmer the sauce for 1 hour.
Step 3: Taste for seasoning, adding more salt as necessary and black pepper to taste.