Marlene Koch shares expert knowledge on nutrition in this guide to eating healthy, without giving up the dishes you love. Her book compiles almost 200 recipes ranging from breakfast dishes to effortless drinks.Koch answers the age-old question, “Can you really indulge while watching calories?” Yes, you can. This book contains the most decadent dessert chapters ever captured by a dietician. Candy recipes like the chocolate-covered crispy peanut butter bon bons have been whittled down to just 75 calories per serving and are the perfect sweet treat.
In Eat What You Love Quick & Easy, Koch guides her readers through classic side dishes and innovative main courses, like the watermelon feta “pizza” salad. Koch wants us to fall in love with eating healthy and her how-to book makes it easier than ever.
We had the opportunity to catch up with Koch to find out more about her and her food:
The Daily Meal: What is your general philosophy on cooking?
Marlene Koch: I grew up in a large family where big family dinners were a daily event. My mother practically lived in the kitchen! She was a great cook, but even more so, she instilled in me that feeding those you love equals love. I think that cooking (and eating) should be easy, delicious, and fun — for everyone. As such, I cook with my family’s and guests’ tastes and needs in mind to ensure everyone feels great about what they are eating. Familiar comfort foods never fail to please!
And because, like most of us today, I’m usually short on time, I love sharing that with just a handful of ingredients and a few minutes you really can put a great tasting meal on the table.
How did it inspire the recipes you chose to include in this book?
Because I passionately believe that no one wants to give up the foods they love, nor should they have to, creating truly delicious, guilt-free recipes for the types of food people love is my passion. With this Eat What You Love cookbook, the emphasis is on quick and easy! Virtually all of the recipes can be made in 30 minutes or less (like my Easiest Ever Blueberry Pie that can be made from start to finish in 20-minutes!) — and the list of easy-to-find ingredients can be counted on your hands. When selecting the recipes, I knew each and every one would ultimately have to be able to pass the “quick, easy, healthy, and most all, tasty,” test. And they do.
Were there any recipes you knew from the moment you started the project that they just had to be included in this book? Why those recipes?
You can’t talk about the foods people love without including creamy, crispy, cheesy foods like pizza, pasta, and dreamy desserts, along with plenty of chocolate! I also knew that I had to include restaurant-inspired creations, as my readers l-o-v-e my guilt-free restaurant makeovers. Ultra-quick and easy breakfast and appetizer recipes were a no-brainer, as were lots of fuss-free chicken and slow-cooker favorites, along with quick-fix no-bake desserts.
A last-minute add-on that I personally love is the chapter of Quick & Easy Basics. It has recipes for everything from skinny Homemade Ranch Dressing to Easy Cheese Sauce and better-than-bottled Everyday Marinara. I find myself using a recipe from this “DIY” chapter most days of the week.
How do you hope readers will use this book?
To cook everyday! While there is a ton of great information in the book on how to cook and eat healthier, including how to stock a pantry or cook for two, and all the nutritional information you could ever need (from calories to carb choices, diabetic exchanges, and even “points”), at the end of the day the book allows you to whip up everything from creamy Chicken Nacho Dip for last-minute company, to Quesadilla Burgers for dinner, and 15-Minute Coconut Cream Candy Bar pie for dessert, easily, quickly, and with great-tasting results that everyone is sure to enjoy.
What is the ultimate take-away from this book?
That you really can enjoy the decadent taste of the foods you love, and be healthy too, no matter what your diet. Moreover, it can be quick and easy to do.
Is there anything else you would like to share about this book?
While the recipes may be low in sugar, fat, and calories, for me, taste always comes first. If a recipe doesn’t taste great, what’s the point? The recipes in this book are perfect for everyone from friends and family members who are trying to manage their weight or blood sugar, to their healthy-food-hating kids and husbands, and, yes, even foodies who I guarantee will love the easy recipes that produce great results and even better, great texture and flavor.