The Golden Door Cookbook

Michael Stroot, Author, Michel Stroot, Author
Michael Stroot, Author, Michel Stroot, Author Broadway Books $35 (320p) ISBN 978-0-553-06186-4
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When the renowned Golden Door spa of Escondido, Calif., opened its doors in 1958, its owners could not have anticipated the wide national swing towards low-fat healthy food that would soon be set in motion. So many of the Golden Door's techniques--and its California culinary style--have been copied over the years that some of the favorite recipes, such as California Rolls or Artichoke and Goat Cheese Pate, will seem familiar to many readers. Recognizable or not, the recipes here are clear, well-written guides to creating healthful, good-tasting and eye-appealing dishes. And Stroot does still have some surprises in store, including Spa Pesto (made with nonfat yogurt in place of oil) and Nonfat Pinto Bean-Oregano Dressing. Desserts are full of clever tricks as well: Spiced Apple Cake substitutes a banana for butter, and Yam-Banana Sorbet is intriguing. Among the stand-out vegetarian selections are Red Lentil and Seven-Grain Veggie Burgers with Grilled Onions, and Spinach-Zucchini-Asparagus Lasagne. Stroot even manages to be lavish with tofu in items like Apple-Lime Tofu Cheesecake. Signature concoctions like the spa's World-Famous Potassium Broth, with which guests refuel after exercise, are included. While the once-radical low-fat gospel of fish, fruit and seasonal produce has become almost an orthodoxy, it's nice to see that, at one of the pioneer venues of healthful cooking, chef Stroot is finding new ways of making good behavior taste delicious. (Aug.)
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