George Stella’s Livin’ Low Carb has little in common with diet books: In fact, it’s got more in common with a cookbook you might have bought for yourself when you first moved out on your own. The style is casual and approachable, with no tense lists of diet-related details or overly-complex recipes, and cooking techniques require little more than a working stove and a frying pan.
George Stella (along with pastry chef-wife Rachel) have developed a wide range of recipes designed to compliment Atkins and other low-carb diet regimens. Rather than relying on packaged convenience foods that meet these dietary standards, they focus on home-cooked meals that satisfy the demands of low carb life without tasting like they were baked up in a factory. Flavors include Chinese (Szechuan stir-fry), Italian-American (clams casino), Southern (fried chicken), and American sweets (chocolate chip muffins and no-bake Key lime cheesecake). Snacks, salads, entrees, and desserts all see equal amounts of attention.
There’s a heavy reliance on the sugar substitute Splenda, but in general this is real food for daily life. The condiment chapter contains homemade versions of ketchup, mustard sauce, barbecue sauce and even Thousand Island dressing, and makes a simple place to get started even if the only kitchen appliance you’re comfortable with is a can opener. Each recipe clearly notes “special equipment” (like 8-inch square pans) as well as the yield, net carbs per serving, and separate times needed for prepping and cooking.
Because of the sugar substitute and number of recipes that alter classics in ways that compromise traditional textures in favor of lowering carbs (such as noodle-free lasagna), the book is most likely to be used by dieters, rather than all home cooks. Still, if you’re looking for easy ways to tinker with your food intake that doesn’t involve packaged mixes from the diet industry, Stella offers plenty of tasty options. –Jill Lightner
5 Stars Great find
My husband is gluten intolerant and likes to eat low carb. This cookbook is great. I use sugar instead of splenda when I am cooking for the family (just 1/2 the amount), and the recipes still turn out great. It is definitely a keeper.
5 Stars Low carb lifestyle for me!
I bought this book on Friday, it is now Sunday night and I have spent the weekend trying out recipes. Muffins, snacks, pizza, mock potato salad. All simply sensational.
I loved the introduction written by George, I found it very motivational and am now a firm believer in low carb living.
The recipes in the book are easy to follow, the ingredients ar easy to obtain (aside from spaghetti squash which is nowhere to be seen in Australia!) and the results are tasty, healthy food. My one extremely small criticism is that it’s only in imperial measure. I can cope with cups and spoonfuls, but having to convert oven temps all the time does my head in. If you do another edition, could you please include metric measures as well?
The last word can be had by my slender, doesn’t-need-to-diet 16yo daughter (she always has to have the last word anyway), who after eating low carb pizza and mock potato salad for dinner tonight said “Mum, this is YUM! Can you please pack the leftovers for my school lunch tomorrow?”
5 Stars changed my life
I used to eat alot of rice and breads thinking they were good for me, until i got this book. I have lost over 40 pounds with the same amount of exercise i did before. Highly recommended, I run longer, have more energy, and feel better. you don’t feel like you are missing anything and the cauliflower pilaf is great. he has alot of good ideas for substitutions so you don’t feel deprived. Great book overall.
1 Star a bad buy
I am not a seasoned cook. I would not recommend to a friend. The recipes have a lot of ingrediants. Unless you are a huge cook dont buy this book. You will find yourself wondering around the grocery store trying to locate things you have never even heard of before ( thats what i was doing ) There are no pictures either, that was a big let down. I was looking for simple recipes – I felt overwhelmed when I read this – even more overwhelmed trying to find something I thought i could actually cook. I found I spent alot more at the store because each recipe had way to much stuff to buy.
5 Stars An easy-to-use cookbook, great recipes.
When I found this book on Amazon.com and was contemplating purchasing it, my wife pointed to the row of low-carb books on the bookshelf. Many were all about the how and why, while Stella’s book is about HOW to cook. I have done low carb for a long time, on and off again, but this book really gave me a lot of good suggestions. I just made the chocolate chip muffins and the pizza. It takes a little getting used to some of the preparation tricks and of course, I had to go out and buy soy flour, but for the most part George keeps the recipes simple but satisfying, especially for someone like me who doesn’t spend a lot of time at the stove.. I wish I had found this book years ago!