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Bobby Flay's Grilling for Life: 75 Healthier Ideas for Big Flavor from the Fireby Bobby Flay
First things first: I am not a nutritionist. I am a chef. I am not looking to create a new diet fad. Nor am I trying to jump on somebody else's bandwagon. What I am looking to do is to show how a healthy lifestyle can be enhanced by delicious meals from the grill. And this isn't just any food, for there are plenty of diet books and magazines with nutritionally sound (and a lot of bland) recipes out there already. This is the food that people want to eat — exciting, full of flavor — and it just so happens that you can make all of it while keeping within the guidelines of many of the current popular diets. Modifying the way you eat doesn't mean that you shouldn't really enjoy your food or that you can't feel proud to serve it to family and friends. I could never put a dish on the table that I didn't feel met both of those standards.
I'm not talking no carbs or low carbs, nonfat or low-fat. I am talking about the right carbs, the right fats. I can't write a book about something I don't believe in. I have always been a supporter of all things in moderation, and this book has nothing but heart and body healthy choices all the way.
You would have to be living under a rock not to have noticed the carbohydrate-cutting diets that have flooded the media and, in turn, totally changed the way Americans eat. I haven't spent one night in the kitchen of one of my restaurants in the past year without someone sending back the breadbasket or saying "No potatoes with that steak!" So I did a little research. And I think that some of these diets may be on to something--up to a point. But when I looked at the low-carb products and recipes out there — the revised breads, the barbecue sauces — I knew that I could never cook or eat that way. Soy flour may have its place, but it's not in my kitchen. And Splenda — what is that? Beyond the taste, it's just not natural. Sucralose (the base of Splenda) is a chlorocarbon. I'm not eating chlorine.
I can make some adjustments, but this can't be about substitutions. Too many recipes out there advocate the use of fake, processed food. I care too much about taste (among other things) to do that. I believe in purity of flavor. I'm not going to use sugar substitutes or imitation anything, but I do present a variety of dishes that will fit perfectly with today's carb-conscious lifestyle.
Healthy grilling seems too simple to even need a book. Maybe you think that grilling is nothing more than a hunk of meat tossed on the grill. But if you know anything about me and the way I cook, you know that I can never leave it at that. I want taste! I want excitement! I'll show you how to take your proteins from basic to outstanding without using the unwanted carbs found in many of today's prepared sauces and marinades. I think that the grill is the perfect instrument for preparing healthy, flavorful food. The grill, however, isn't the true focus of this book. Well-balanced and delicious food is. So go ahead and use a charcoal grill, a gas grill, a grill pan on the stove, or pop something under the broiler. In this instance, I think it's fair to say that how you cook is less important than what you cook.
And this book is not all meat — no way! I believe that we need a full and balanced diet to be happy and healthy. Like I said earlier, it's all about making the right choices with the right foods, all without overloading on artery-clogging fats. Heart-healthy oils like olive and canola, omega-3-rich fish like salmon, tons of veggies chock-full of fiber — they are all in here. I wanted to include some fantastic complex carbohydrates, too, with grilled buckwheat flatbread, salads with great grains like farro and bulgur, and whole-grain bread as the base for my sandwiches and burgers. Not only are they delicious, but complex carbohydrates are also so good for you — they fight heart disease and are slower to break down in your body, leaving you feeling fuller longer.
I have a signature style, and I want to demonstrate how that style can be used to enhance the flavors of all of your carb-conscious favorites and show you the way to a few new ones. And, yes, I might have to make some modifications to reduce carb intake. But remember, it will still be all about flavor! I would never do anything less.
I set out to write this book because I felt that people were getting too caught up in this crazy, carbless nonfat world. I believe that we should be able to eat everything — in reasonable portions. That being said, I wanted to find a way to bring good nutritious foods — and especially good carbs — back into the mix, while keeping my emphasis on flavor. I have definitely made concessions in order to keep the numbers in check, but this is not a low-calorie, low-fat, low-sodium book. There are many recipes in here that do meet those standards, and if you are eating by the numbers, you should be able to find quite a few options. I don't know anyone who wants to eat a big steak or lobster with butter every night of the week, and you shouldn't. Remember — moderation! That also means, however, there should be a time to indulge. I've made space for those indulgences. Don't cut out all carbs or fats; just pick the right ones. Don't indulge in heavy food every night; know when to celebrate with a special meal. I promise you can do it all, and with more flavor than you ever imagined. Just start with some good carb grilling!
Copyright © 2005 by Boy Meets Grill, Inc.
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