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Canyon Ranch Cooking [Hardcover]

Jeanne Jones
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

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Book Description

March 26 1998
The two Canyon Ranch spas are rated No.1 and No.2 (they alternate positions) over and over by readers of the Conde Nast Traveler. Part of the allure are their stunning locations -- in the hills of Tucson, Arisona, and in the Berkshire mountains in Massachusetts -- but one of the best parts of a visit to Canyon Ranch is the food.

Jeanne Jones developed and supervised the Canyon Ranch menu, and in Canyon Ranch Cooking,  she offers everyone a chance to eat the spas' low-cal, low-fat delicious food. The recipes all have detailed nutritional breakdowns to help you plan a healthy meal with a lot of variety. Perhaps best of all are the tips and techniques to help enhance flavor without adding calories. Why does spa food taste so good when nearly all the fat has been removed?Jones reveals all the secrets -- such as adding citrus or vinegar to lift "flat" flavors; grilling over aromatic wood; marinating meat and vegetables; cooking at low temperatures for long periods to "marry" flavors; roasting rapidly for crispy crusts and tender interiors; using dried fruit for rich and creamy fat-free sauces; and much, much more. Try the Canyon Ranch Guacamole, Osso Bucco and Cheese Enchiladas; enjoy Chocolate Mint Cake and Cherry Streusel Pie.This is not a cuisine of deprivation -- the food is wonderful, and the recipes for making it easy and sensible.

This book can't give you a workout or a hike, but it does tell you how to plan your own spa weekend at home, with suggestions for exercise, relaxation, even theme parties for special Saturday night dining.The wonderful recipes and the luscious photographs are here to delight and inspire. With Canyon Ranch Cooking, the spa comes to you.

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Product Description

From Amazon

This intimidatingly beautiful book on low-fat spa cooking takes the chi-chi out of spa food and actually makes it accessible to the average cook. Although the easy-to-prepare recipes in Canyon Ranch Cooking rely mostly on fresh produce and meats, Cook It Light expert Jeanne Jones offers alternatives to and substitutes for ingredients you might not find during certain times of the year (such as frozen berries and vegetables in place of their fresh counterparts). Also, many of the recipes incorporate carbohydrates and grains such as pastas, white and brown rice, couscous, and bulgur, which are easier to find year-round. The tone of the book is not restrictive or didactic--Jones really wishes to make the food accessible and friendly, as well as healthful--and the language used is positive and intended to empower the cook both in building a low-fat pantry and in trying new cooking methods. In addition, calorie and nutrient analyses of each dish are provided with portion sizes that are realistic and possible to visualize.

Jones suggests using spices to add dimension to dishes and, from cooking a number of them, we would have to agree--main courses such as Turkey Meatloaf and Polenta Crusted Sea Bass were a little bland. However, the corn salsa that accompanied the sea bass jazzed it up a bit and made it taste both fresh and healthy. The Banana Bread and Fruit Muffins, both of which used whole-wheat flour and minimal oil, were low-fat hits with office tasters. Garbanzo Nuts, or oven-baked, spiced garbanzo beans, are the perfect mid-afternoon snack fix. The salad and dressing ideas are all zesty and quick to make, but finding the fresh ingredients could prove challenging for most of the year. With more than 200 wonderful recipe and menu ideas, the book could end up paying for itself in more healthful and flavorful meals than one could get dining out. The "Canyon Ranch Weekend at Home" ideas in the back of the book will inspire more than a weekend of pampering oneself and eating with one's health in mind. --Gilia Angell

From Publishers Weekly

Syndicated food columnist and menu designer for the upscale Canyon Ranch fitness resorts, the prolific Jones (Healthy Cooking for People Who Don't Have Time to Cook, etc.) offers well-flavored, healthful recipes. She restricts fat calories to about 20% and keeps careful tabs on protein-rich foods. The usual healthful helpers (e.g., defatted stocks, fruits and vegetables, herbs and spices) play major roles. Substitutes abound. Instead of the fatty avocado, asparagus and light sour cream make Canyon Ranch Guacamole. Nutritional breakdowns are given for all recipes, and Jones is a firm advocate of portion control. One pound of extra-lean ground round yields eight Canyon Ranch Burgers. Seared Ahi Tuna on Warm Potato and Leek Salad with Sun-Dried Tomato Dressing makes a fine luncheon. Fish 'n' Chips ingeniously dips fish in egg white, then in flour and bread crumbs before baking at 450 degrees. A spicy Indonesian Chicken with Grilled Bananas arouses the palate. There's also room for modestly sized Steak au Poivre and Osso Bucco. Desserts are either fruit-based, such as Pear in Phyllo, or pared-down fare like Chocolate Mocha Cheesecake made with light and nonfat cream cheese. This is an appealing collection for disciplined eaters, spiced with helpful tips that might inspire cooks to apply some of Jones's methods to their own recipes. Author tour.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

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4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous, delicious April 23 2004
I have thoroughly enjoyed every recipe I have tried from this beautiful book, and I have tried several.
The baked fish and chips impressed some of my non-healthy eating guests so much they wanted the recipe and plan to never deep fry again. The price may seem high, but was worth it for some of the unusual techniques alone. I never thought of smoking food with tea inside of a steamer basket.
There are two reasons I did not give the book 5 stars. One, because I do not like the hardback format - this is a cookbook to be used, not some pretty picture book to lay on the coffee table. Secondly, the book has margarine listed as an ingredient listed in several recipes. The latter is a very small complaint that is actually addressed by the author in the introduction, apparently Canyon Ranch switched away from margarine while the book went to press, and the introduction lists proper substitutions. Maybe both will be corrected if there is to be a second edition.
I highly recommend this healthy eating cookbook - for its delicious foods, beautiful photos and layout, unusual techniques, and proper nutritional analysis with each recipe.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Putting Health Back Into Our Cooking March 25 2004
We might have turned the corner. So many of us are now buying into changing our diets for the better, and cookbooks such as this beautiful one are great helps.
For here is outstanding, healthy and good tasting dishes that look great as well. I especially find here some wonderful main entree type recipes which are "relatively" easy to prepare if one has good sources available: "Seared Ahi Tuna on Warm Potato and Leek Salad with Sun-dried Tomato Dressing"; "Escallopes of Salmon with Horseradish Sauce"; "Mahimahi With Basmati Rice Cakes and Napa Cabbage Slaw"; "Raspberry Cornish Hens"; "Marinated Duck With Blueberry-Maidera Sauce"; "Zenzero Grilled Lamb Chops with Cucumber Sauce";
Of course there are yummy salads, soups, appetizers, desserts, shakes and smoothies---all healthy oriented, with complete nutrional breakouts for each recipe, and great color photography. Also included are Menu Ideas and Weekend Canyon Ranch Style Outing.
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5.0 out of 5 stars After several years, I still use this cookbook! Feb. 14 2003
Several years have passed since I wrote this review...I still hold to it...oddly at that might seem....
My friends (quite a few, now, from Silicon Valley) over the years(indeed, those who could afford to do so) have been to Canyon Ranch. Someday, I will go there as well....
Our friends from Paris love the Rack of Lamb.... the Turkey Mole. from those who are used to truly rich Sonoran Mexican cuisine, is to die for!
The notes on basic stocks (easy to make, and so much cheaper than those in the gourmet sections of the finest grocers') are incredibly worthwhile...please do simmer these on your stove during a chilly grey day...and your entire home and heart will fill with content!
Please do enjoy this book.............here is a copy of the first review! It is still quite accurate!
BTW, I've never written such a review before...this book is really a good one as cookbooks go!
The old review:
I know people who go to spas, and they have mixed reactions about the food at Canyon Ranch. Some say that they starve to death because the portions are so small, and others claim that the entire eating experience is out of this world. Although I've not been to Canyon Ranch, I must say that this cookbook inspires me to think seriously about it.
First of all the layout is truly a graphic masterpiece. The photographs and information are laid out in a very logical, colorful and exciting way. The visuals make you want to rush out to the store and start cooking as soon as you open the book.
This book truly offers healthy food with real taste. The top choice for menus that we've tried in our house were: the duck breasts with blueberry sauce, spaeztle (German noodles) and braised cabbage. Dessert was blackberry cobbler.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Way beyond my expectations Jan. 22 2003
I like to cook for friends, and I don't mind accommodating their dietary needs. In fact, I consider it a challenge. In that light, the words "low fat" struck fear into my heart.
I bought this book with the expectation that the food would at least look good. I didn;t expect that it would rock my gastronomical world.
From our first nibble of Canyon Ranch Guacamole to our last morsel of Pears in Phyllo (filo to me) the tastes were amazing.
I made:
Canyon Ranch Guacamole
Five Onion Bisque
Hearts of Palm and Endive Salad with Papaya Vinagarette
Mashed Potato and Shallot Casserole
Mustard Topped Rack of Lamb with Spinach Salad
Pears in Phyllo
Granted that this might be a bit more, quantity-wise, than would be expected at the Spa, but it was low fat and it left the diners, myself included, in thrall.
It also helped that I started with a show-stopper, the guacamole. It had a rich somewhat salty flavor - a good trick with little salt and negligible fat. Here is the spoiler: It is made from asparagus! Nobody could figure it out.
The book is no-nonsense and, while stating the benefits of a low fat diet, it doesn't preach. It also assumes a pretty good level of technique and access to decent ingredients.
One low fat cooking caveat: Ignore instructions that tell you to spray no-fat cooking spray on baking sheets. Use non-stick sheets or parchment paper. If you really need the spray, spray it on the parchment paper. It took an exhauystin half hour to get this stuff off of my baking sheets.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Guide to healthful, delicious cooking
I recently purchased this book and have been very happy with the recipes I have made. Over the holidays, I cooked corn bisque and teriyaki steak and they were big hits. Read more
Published on Jan. 6 2004 by Silver Springer
5.0 out of 5 stars Delicious and fun recipes
I love this book! There are so many classic dishes presented as low calorie, low fat, that are quite simply delicious.
Published on Sept. 25 2002 by Patricia A. Hamilton
5.0 out of 5 stars Heart Smart Gourmet Cooking Made Easy
Following a cath proceedure to reopen two small blockages in arteries around my heart, I have eaten about 80% of my meals from "Canyon Ranch Cooking. Read more
Published on Aug. 1 2002 by Dallon Weathers
5.0 out of 5 stars Delicious!
This is not your average "low fat, healthy eating" book. This is a book for someone who LIKES TO COOK and LIKES TO EAT. The recipies are inspired. Read more
Published on Jan. 30 2002 by ParisPieInTheSky
5.0 out of 5 stars Great, easy and healthy cooking!
I have to admit, this book caught my attention because of the cover, but now I have come to love it. The recipes are very simple to make, and they taste great. Read more
Published on June 26 2001 by emt0402
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for those who hate diet food
This cookbook combines nutrition and gourmet tastes for those of us who hate to feel deprived. I cook from this book at least once a week, and have found lots of new inspirations... Read more
Published on Dec 5 2000
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Reading........Even if You Don't Cook
Great ideas, great food, tasty and healthy. Fun to read. Coffee Table Cookbook! Makes a great gift.
Published on Nov. 6 2000 by Tizzie Muriah
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow!
I have fallen in love with this cookbook! The recipes are delicious (the lemon chicken recipe yielded a PERFECT chicken! Read more
Published on May 10 2000 by Paige Myers-mcnamara
5.0 out of 5 stars Delicious!
This book contains wonderful and easy recipes. The text, however, isn't as enjoyable to read as other cookbooks. Read more
Published on Sept. 1 1999
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