Disclosure: I received a sample of The DASH Diet 30-Minute Cookbook for review purposes. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience using the book. I was not financially compensated for this post.
I am always looking for easy, delicious, and healthy recipes. When you lead a busy life (who doesn't?) and have a family to feed, these three factors are very important for your daily cooking. When I can find recipes that are all three of those things in one, it is a major score. So naturally I was eager to try some recipes from The DASH Diet 30-Minute Cookbook by Christy Ellingsworth, since the book was all about healthy recipes that were quick and easy.
Overall, I recommend this cookbook. All the recipes I tried were easy, and several of them were stand-up-and-shout good. Given that you can get it at a great price on Amazon, I wouldn't hesitate to buy it if you are looking to add some easy, healthy recipes to your meal plan. I can also attest to the health aspect, as the meals are all very clean, and I have felt better and leaner this week after eating from the DASH diet recipes. Read on to see photos and reviews of some of the specific recipes that I tried.
If you are not familiar with the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) Diet, it is meant to help you lower your blood pressure and lose weight, as the meals are low in sodium and fat, yet full of whole foods. If you'd like to learn more about the diet in general, check out this article by the Mayo Clinic, or see DashDiet.org.
Christy Ellingsworth has come up with a collection of 175 DASH Diet-approved recipes. I only tried 10, but that was enough for me find some recipe keepers, and intrigue me to keep trying more from the book in the future. Here are my individual recipe reviews from the DASH Diet 30-Minute Cookbook.
Maple Turkey Sausage and Diner-Style Home Fries
This was a delicious breakfast combination of two recipes from the cookbook. This was the first meal I made from the cookbook, and I loved how quick and easy they were (especially given the homemade sausages). They were both very well-seasoned, but definitely low in salt. I am a salt addict, admittedly, so it was a little hard for me at first. Unless you are at the salt-loving level that I am starting with, you probably wouldn't even notice anything was missing given how much flavor most of these recipes have. Unlike other low-sodium recipes, these were far from bland. Very rich in flavor!
Easy Wonton Soup
This is one of my favorite recipes made during my week trial of DASH Diet cooking. So easy, but so savory! I added a little bit of sesame oil and low-sodium soy sauce, and it was amazing! My kids even gobbled it up then asked for seconds.
Cheesy Potato Chowder
By tasting this, you wouldn't believe it was as low in calories and fat as it is. Savory and creamy -- surprisingly creamy considering how little dairy it contains. Definitely a keeper. My husband remarked that it would be great with a bit of bacon or ham, and I agree that would have been a great addition. However, the soup was perfect on its own.
The Best 3-Bean Salad Ever!
This was the quickest recipe I tried... it took all of five minutes to make. This is great for a protein-packed lunch. Very simple, but a delicious contrast of savory and sweet. I added a bit of garlic powder (I add garlic to everything). My husband can't wait for me to make it again.
Lemon Thyme Turkey Meatballs
This was my favorite entrée recipe of the ones I tried. The meatballs had a moist center but a lightly crisp outside, and the sauce was lick-the-plate good. A testament to how good it was is the fact that I didn't even get a photo of my plate before I started ravenously tearing into the meatballs. The one drawback to this one is that it took longer than 30 minutes to make. Though I would definitely give those extra few minutes for the result. YUM.
Cajun-Style Dirty Rice
This is another really good dinner that is surprisingly low in both calories and fat. Not an authentic Cajun dirty rice, but a savory, hearty meal with just the right amount of kick. The flavor was so good that my boys didn't even mind the spice.
Mushroom and Eggplant Curry
This meatless meal felt meaty and hearty thanks to the eggplant and mushrooms. The curry powder and other seasonings resulted in yet another full-flavored (though low-sodium) meal. I served it over rice.
Fat-Free Oven Baked Fries
No photo, but I also tried this side dish. Mrs. Dash and black pepper replaced the traditional salt, and olive oil cooking spray replaced the deep-frying oil. Very savory and satisfying for being a fat free meal!
Chewy Pumpkin Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
OK -- this recipe alone would make buying this book worth it. I made it even lower in calories by substituting Splenda for the sugar. That made me feel less guilty about the fact that I couldn't stop with these. Honestly, they were addictive. The whole family went nuts over them. I am thinking about whipping up another batch as I type this now.
Let me know if you have any questions, and click here to get your own copy of the DASH Diet 30-Minute Cookbook.