New Spa Food

Edward J. Safdie, Author, Maria Robledo, Photographer Clarkson N Potter Publishers $27.5 (154p) ISBN 978-0-517-57534-5
The proprietor of a Connecticut health spa, Safdie ( Spa Food ) persuasively presents dieting, best known as a process of self-deprivation, as a luxurious thing indeed. Voluptuous color photos accompany more than two weeks' worth of fully planned menus that illustrate first ``the spa program'' (1250 calories per day) and later ``Yankee ingenuity,'' a 1500-calorie-a-day maintenance diet. Safdie's fare--low in sodium and cholesterol as well as in calories--is delicious, varied and inventive. For example, filo dough, held together with vegetable spray instead of butter, dresses up spinach pies, forms tulip ``shells'' to hold vanilla ice cream (made with skim milk and low-fat cottage and ricotta cheeses), and replaces standard pastry in chicken pot pie. Omelettes are made with a combination of whole eggs and whites, and are puffed up under a broiler during the last stage of cooking. Clever applications of nontraditional ingredients--fructose, unusual grains, etc.--will teach home cooks to adapt their own favorite recipes. One caution: those unused to the aesthetics of abstention may find themselves unhappy with Safdie's portion sizes (a 10-inch cranberry-apple pie is said to feed 16, at 247 calories per serving; a mere six ounces of pasta contribute to a dish for four). (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 10/01/1990
Release date: 10/01/1990
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