cover image The Ultimate Weight Solution Cookbook: Recipes for Weight Loss Freedom

The Ultimate Weight Solution Cookbook: Recipes for Weight Loss Freedom

Phillip C. McGraw. Free Press, $26 (240pp) ISBN 978-0-7432-6475-4

Dr. Phil, who once dispensed folksy tough love on the Oprah Winfrey Show, is now America's favorite living diet guru, penning the bestselling The Ultimate Weight Solution and an accompanying food guide. With this companion cookbook, Dr. Phil expands the brand further, although the doctor, by his own admission, doesn't""do a whole lot of cooking."" Instead, he's assembled a roster of""culinary and nutrition experts"" to create his recipes, many of which are designed to mimic unhealthy favorites (shepherd's pie, meatloaf, grasshopper pie), minus the salt, fat and sugar. It's a great idea, but it can involve a lot of chemicals: Banana Cream Pie uses crunchy banana cereal, light margarine spread, fat-free powdered dry milk and sugar-free, fat-free vanilla yogurt, among other ingredients, to create a lifeless dessert with a medicinal aftertaste. Enchiladas with Barbecued Greens ask for both liquid smoke and packaged low-fat shredded Mexican cheese blend, which may cause some readers to wonder: why not just make a salad? Dr. Phil's recipes are much more appetizing when he keeps them simple. His Herbed Beef Tenderloin is faultless, and his soups are uniformly delicious. Dr. Phil also includes some worthy, commonsense advice: exercise, make time for breakfast and get that ice cream out of the kitchen. He also includes a 14-day diet plan, which is nutritionally and calorically excellent. Readers who skip the desserts (Vanilla-and-Orange Parfaits made with tofu; Pumpkin Custard made with sugar-free maple syrup and sugar substitute) may find the weight comes off even faster--and they won't be missing anything.