A veteran of weight-loss surgery offers an empathetic, healthy approach for those recovering from similar procedures and for anyone looking for low-calorie dishes.
In her intro, Belkin (The Cosmetics Cookbook, 2008) offers a modest disclaimer: “I am not a doctor or a nutritionist.” She is, however, a former bariatric surgery patient who can offer advice to those learning to live with their new digestive limitations. Belkin points out that bariatric surgery doesn’t make you instantly shed 40 pounds. Instead, the term covers a number of procedures that reduce the stomach size to the point where overeating or consuming sugar and fatty foods may cause extreme discomfort or illness. This reduced digestive area often requires half-cup portions, so Belkin’s meals are small, nutritious, and tasty enough to be “pouch worthy,” a term that may make the uninitiated reader slightly queasy. She succeeds in tantalizing with low-fat versions of traditional snacking favorites, such as spinach and artichoke dips; protein-rich, tiny zucchini-chicken croquettes, and mini-quiche bites she calls “cheese and chives brownies.” Also noteworthy are fresh takes on ethnic standards, like cheese latkes and “lazy perogy casserole” with low-carb crepes. Some of Belkin’s directions seem excessively nit-picky, such as the crab cake recipe that calls for two tablespoons of scrambled egg rather than just going for broke and throwing a whole 70-calorie egg into a recipe for eight crab cakes. Several recipes are unimpressive, like the one for strawberry lemonade, which calls for adding frozen strawberries to water and a couple packets of sugar-free lemonade drink. Overall, however, this cookbook may be a boon for some, and Belkin’s descriptions of her own experiences and the principles of a bariatric diet are especially useful.
A thoughtfully presented resource for eating well after bariatric surgery.