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Review: Fresh Start
Apr 25th, 2005

I pulled out Julee Rosso's Fresh Start cookbook as the latest entry in my cookbook challenge. I've had this cookbook a while, it was published in 1996 and while that's not so long ago, the book feels very dated because it's such a good example of the '90s obsession with taking the fat out of everything. She wants you to eat lots of pasta and potatoes, chicken breasts, ground turkey, nonfat cottage cheese, and egg whites. To be fair, there's some sensible advice in the book about limiting portion sizes and making vegetables and fruits the centerpiece of your meals rather than meat, and I recall a lemon-poppyseed quick bread recipe that I used to like. But I had not cooked anything from it in years before I got it out a few weeks ago.

After reading throught the whole book, there are about 12 or so sticky notes sticking out of the top, marking recipes I want to go back and try - so that's not a huge ratio of interesting recipes, but not so bad either. I had some time on Sunday, so decided to make a whole meal inspired by Fresh Start: Turkey Sausage patties, Oven-Fried Vegetables, and a Lemon-Pepper dipping sauce (based on, what else, cottage cheese). The turkey patties looked good because you start with ground turkey and add your own flavorings and spices, and the oven-fried vegetables are kind of lite version of tempura. I used all white meat ground turkey, as I was sure the author would want me to, but honestly it would be better with the kind that has a bit more fat in it - the all white meat turkey is just too dry. The oven-fried veggies are nice, although I would recommend cauliflower, zucchini, and portobello chunks rather than the cauliflower, broccoli, and button mushroom combo she calls for. They don't reheat well, so only make as much as you can eat in a sitting. And the dip was surprisingly nice - Jim liked it the best out of all - I'm not sure he knew it was cottage cheese!

Recipes to follow.


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© 2006, Kimberly Cooperrider | kymmco@excite.com