Actor Lopez expands his cookbook series to encompass families.
A new father, the author shares sage advice for parents about the importance of diet and nutritional awareness for their children. While his first book, Extra Lean, focused on balancing carbohydrates, fats, proteins and portion size, here Lopez introduces more mindful food choices via a three-part regimen of understanding, preparing and applying his lean-family principles to everyday life. Other sections describe how food influences metabolism and why carbohydrates are so addictive, and the author stresses the importance of Omega acids, fiber, water intake and keeping a food journal. Lopez’s comprehensive five-week meal plan includes a grocery list, time-saving tips and food suggestions heavy on fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Big-dish dinners include Spicy Turkey Chili, “Paella-Style” Chicken and Rice and Bacon and Cheddar Macaroni Casserole—all healthfully reinvented. Curry-Roasted Shrimp with Cashew Couscous, Ginger-Garlic Shrimp and Chili-Rubbed Pork Chops tempt with the robust flavors of cumin, curry and lime juice. For the blander palate, recipes for Homemade Fish Sticks made with cod and cornflakes, omelets and turkey meatloaf are offered alongside several realistic dessert recipes—e.g., premium ice cream is encouraged for sundaes, just limit the portion size. Outside of graphs and nutrient charts, the visuals are not the book’s strong point. Mundane photos of baby carrots, eggs and sliced bread hardly complement Lopez’s stock, stiffly posed photographs. However, the author effectively demonstrates how parents can effectively coach their children about healthy snacks, vitamins and how to “dejunk” life. A must-have for Lopez fans, but this one’s written for families who want better control over the dining-room table.