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LOW FAT GOES LUSCIOUS (article first published : 2003-02-15)

Low Fat Goes Luscious by Lauren Oostingh, is recommended for the person wanting to change their eating habits, either through necessity or the want of healthy eating. From the recipes, it can be seen that one can still enjoy exceptionally tasty meals, without the guilt afterwards. This would be a wonderful gift, not only for newly-weds who want to start their cooking skills in the right direction, but for people who enjoy good, wholesome food.

Lauren Oostingh was diagnosed with MS (multiple sclerosis) ten years ago and by following a diet since then in which the oil intake is strictly controlled, she has led a symptom-free life. I was very impressed by her remarkable courage and strong will, as she had to adjust her whole lifestyle because of her illness.

Low Fat Goes Luscious is filled with over 80 recipes and beautiful full-colour photographs for delicious breakfasts, soups, pâtés, dips and spreads, salads, dressings, rice, grains and pulses, vegetables, fish, chicken, pasta and baked goods.

The author’s recipe for falafel (chickpea fritters) seemed an excellent way to get children to eat chickpeas, and looked very easy to make.

I was, however, a little concerned about some of her advice. Does she really think that when dining out, a chef at a large busy restaurant will actually take the time to specially cook a diner’s food in a separate pot/pan (definitely not Teflon!) using their personally provided cold pressed oil? I can’t even see this happening in a small, not so busy restaurant, let alone a large popular one.

The listed raw vegetable salad suggestions are very useful. How many times have you started making the usual green salad and thought to yourself “what can I add that’s different, but palatable, looks good and also tastes sensational?” Readily available vegetables are listed for easy use in this section.

The salad variations are superb and one of her brilliant recipes is for preserved lemons, which can be used not only with salads, but also with fish and chicken. There are various suggestions for crudités, together with a superb smoked mackerel, cottage cheese and spring onion dip. Scrumptious!

There are appealing variations for fish, chicken and pasta and all the recipes are easy to follow and have their own little interesting stories. Each recipe also gives the fat and oil content of the meal.

Overall, Low Fat Goes Luscious is a real treat and shows how you can really enjoy tasty meals that are full of goodness. The photography is brilliant, making each health conscious meal very appetising. At the back of the book, Lauren Oostingh has also provided a list of products and brands of foods that she uses at home and in the recipes in this book, and she has included a shopping guide.

Low Fat Goes Luscious is published by Struik and retails at R99.95. – Sue Holloway




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