View Full Version : Book review: Squeaky Gourmet

02-13-2010, 01:45 PM
Ok, I wrote this review for another site but figured a lot of people here could benefit from it too, so here it is.

By this time, anyone that pays attention has figured out that I love not only food, but nutrition and health as well. Because of that, I spend a lot of time reading about new ideas for finding the best combinations of healthy and tasty. When I was recently asked to take a look at and review a new health food cookbook by one of the authors, I jumped at the chance to get some new ideas from someone thatís been working on the same problems.

Squeaky Gourmet (http://www.amazon.com/Squeaky-Gourmet-Simple-Clean-Food/dp/0979560608/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1266036996&sr=8-1) is a healthy cookbook thatís all about making good choices. Beyond that, itís really the only one I know of that takes families into account. All of the recipes are built on the importance of lean protein, balance of healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates.

The authors (Maureen Jeanson and Jamie Wilson) both have families and know what itís like to have a limited amount of time to get dinner on the table. Maureen holds personal training certifications from both the ISSA (http://www.issaonline.com/) and ACSM (http://www.acsm.org/) and has worked as a trainer with the US Navy in addition to running a web based fitness consultation service at YourFitnessJourney.com (http://www.yourfitnessjourney.com). She is also a mother of four. Jamie is also a busy family-woman and spends a lot of time traveling for work. Her background working in professional kitchens made her an obvious choice for the partnership. This book was the end result of the collaboration.

The only thing that disappoints me about the book is that it isnít spiral bound. I like spiral bound books because they lie flat on the counter and can be folded over to take up less space. At the same time, there are a painfully small number of spiral bound cookbooks these days so I donít hold it against them and the book has so much more to offer that itís easy to overlook this very minor gripe.

I spent the last 4 days preparing multiple recipes from as many sections of the book as possible just to get the best sampling. On one of those days, I had someone who was a relative novice to the kitchen follow two of the recipes in the book and both turned out extremely well. I spend enough time in the kitchen that I can whip things out without much thought at all. Turning the kitchen over to someone that has far less confidence and having the end result turn out so well speaks very highly of the quality and clarity of the instructions for each recipe.

The layout of the book is very clean and very simple. Each recipe is on its own easy-to-read page and contains a complete macronutrient breakdown per serving both in grams and illustrated on a pie chart as a percentage of calories. This is (obviously) very important for people who need to track macros and measure their overall daily intakeÖwhich includes just about everyone interested in fitness and health.

Beyond the recipes, the beginning of the book contains the authorsí biographies and qualifications followed by sections that give a very helpful introduction to each of the three main macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates, and fat). Each section explains the function and importance of its respective macronutrient as well as providing a bit of differentiation between subcategories of each. There is also advice on setting and sticking to realistic, attainable goals and making the best use of your time in the kitchen by preparing food in bulk.

Overall, I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for some variety in their healthy food choices but especially to those with children that need some help with relatively quick and healthy meals (several recipes take less than a half hour) that will give them a solid nutritional foundation so they can make their own good food choices down the road.

For the price, I canít think of a better practical resource on healthy food choices for the average person.


02-13-2010, 07:52 PM
Thanks for the review! As someone who ordinarily is not interested in cooking, this book sounds very appealing.

02-18-2010, 09:05 AM
I find a lot of my recipes searching on the internet. What would be the major advantage of this cookbook. I must admit that I've never purchased a cookbook before.

02-18-2010, 11:22 AM
Mostly for new ideas. The book has new and different approaches to things you've done before and things you've probably never tried. None of the recipes are just other recipes with healthier substitutions, they're all built from the ground up with the goal of balancing healthy ingredients, taste, and simplicity. If you haven't noticed, it's really not easy to balance those three things, You can usually get two out of three.

FWIW, I don't buy many cookbooks either. I'll pick up one if I see something interesting on a clearance shelf at Borders or something but, most of the time, I only use them for reference. This one is something I actually want to use.

02-18-2010, 12:20 PM
It would've been helpful to cite specific examples from the cookbook that actually demonstrate how easy/tasteful/healthy the recipes are.

There's very little in this review that would "hook" me into finding out more. I'm not saying it's a badly written review -- on the contrary, it reads well and contains quite a bit of information; it just lacks a certain oomph.

02-19-2010, 08:05 AM
Well, you could always click the Amazon link that was provided and read the sample pages.

Beyond that, I don't have permission from the authors to reproduce portions of the work for the review.

03-25-2010, 10:09 PM
ach recipe has the nutrition facts with a cute little pie chart of the amount of protein, carbs and fat, which is most important for myself, when tracking my meals. At the bottom of some of the recipes are some ďOther Good IdeasĒ about how to change up the recipe, which makes for even more ideas.

03-26-2010, 06:22 PM
Just bought it. Not so much for myself but if I like it I'll start referring it to my clients as most of them have families. Thanks for the review.

03-28-2010, 09:14 AM
Just bought it. Not so much for myself but if I like it I'll start referring it to my clients as most of them have families. Thanks for the review.

That's pretty much what it's designed for.

I hope you'll share your thoughts when you get a chance to go through the book.

03-30-2010, 10:48 PM
Bought the book a few weeks back and have tried a few recipes. One thing that I've noticed is that the recipes seem to be missing an ingredient -- the food tastes a tad bland. For example, the Cuban Pot Roast was just ok, until I went out to the back yard, grabbed a lime off of the tree and squeezed it into the meat, it became instantly incredible and great over brown rice.

Lots of ideas though, I'm really glad that I bought it. Oh, and the Cool Avocado Dip works really, really well as a topping for fish tacos. :thumbup: