Light and Spicy

Barbara Gibbons, Author HarperCollins Publishers $22.95 (160p) ISBN 978-0-06-055153-7
``Forgettable food is the most insidious inducement to overeat. Unable to fulfill the psyche's desire for flavor satisfaction, it feeds the search.'' Gibbons's ( The International Slim Gourmet Cook book ) 14th cookbook sets out to ``invoke . . . your attention with assertive seasoning'' doled out in low-sugar, -salt, -fat and -cholesterol fare: Mexican, Indian, Chinese, Cajun, Thai. Highly spiced foods may help the body burn calories faster: according to one study cited, chili peppers eaten with a 700-calorie meal ``erased'' 45 of the calories consumed. But whether or not they cause calories to vanish, recipes here will safely rouse the appetite. Beginning with an annotated list of herbs and spices, Gibbons moves on to salad and soup recipes, such as Mexicali beef and beer soup (with turkey as an alternate, one serving totals 210 calories). Carnivores need not fear: whole chapters are devoted to beef, lamb and veal; poultry; and seafood, with barbecued meats earning separate treatment. Vegetables get somewhat shorter shrift. Designed for preparation with a minimum of fuss and bother, Gibbons's meals may not convert those for whom cream sauces, butter and sugar are a way of life, but dieters put to sleep by bland deprivation will wake up. Better Homes & Gardens Book Club and Troll Book Club selection; author tour. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/01/1989
Release date: 09/01/1989
Paperback - 160 pages - 978-0-06-096361-3
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