The Skinnygirl Dish: Easy Recipes for Your Naturally Thin Life by Bethenny Frankel
Published by Fireside, an imprint of Simon & Schuster
Bethenny Frankel, star of the Bravo TV series The Real Housewives of New York City, creator of the Skinnygirl Margarita, and bestselling author of Naturally Thin, has a no-nonsense approach to eating and cooking and in The Skinnygirl Dish, she lays it all out there for her readers – what to eat, how to cook it, basically how to make eating and cooking an easy, fun part of life. She teaches readers how to start with the basics, cook with what you have, and make recipes that are uniquely yours. And, of course, she teaches readers how to be a Skinnygirl while loving food and cooking.
I have been a fan of Bethenny’s since she was on Martha Stewart’s version of The Apprentice and I have watched her on The Real Housewives as well as on her new show, Bethenny Ever After. I think she is hysterically funny, the kind of sarcastic funny that I like to think I am on my best days, and also extremely smart and has a great attitude about life. I don’t personally love the phrase “Skinnygirl” mostly because I know that a person does not have to be skinny to be happy, but I get where the concept is coming from. Most women want to be thin and in shape, and Bethenny’s goal is to show women that you can be those things without starving yourself or exercising for hours upon hours each day. You can be “Naturally Thin” as she puts it.
What she does in this book is give women (and men, I suppose, although the book is geared toward women) the tools needed to eat healthfully without it being this huge, complicated ordeal. She talks about how she creates meals for herself and her family, how she works with whatever ingredients she has in the house, and how she shops intelligently so that she will have important ingredients on hand for when she needs them. All great tips – and I found many tips in here that I plan to use for my own cooking.
She also provides recipes in the book, and while there weren’t a ton of recipes, the ones that she did include seemed easy and delicious. Many of them were lower-fat, lower-calorie versions of foods many people love to eat (such as Spinach and Artichoke dip and Macaroni and Cheese), and others were new-to-me flavor combinations and interesting ideas. I’ll be making several more of her recipes in the months to come, but immediately after I finished the book, I did make a soup she had featured. It turned out delicious – much more tasty than I would have expected for such a healthy meal! The recipe will be featured below.
I definitely enjoyed reading The Skinnygirl Dish. Bethenny Frankel has a great attitude about cooking and eating and she does an excellent job passing that attitude on to her readers. This is a must for any beginner cook trying to cook and eat more healthfully.
For more about Bethenny Frankel, including more recipes and information about her other endeavors, check out her website.
White Bean and Spinach Soup (serves 4)
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, smashed
1/2 red bell pepper, minced
4 cups vegetable broth
1 can white beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups fresh chopped baby spinach
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon of salt, plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon pepper, plus more to taste
1. In a nonstick pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and saute until it softens, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and bell pepper and saute until the pepper softens, about 5 more minutes.
2. Add the vegetable broth, white beans, spinach, bay leaf, salt, and pepper. Simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the soup is hot. Remove the bay leaf and the garlic with a slotted spoon and throw them away.
3. Puree the soup with an immersion blender until it is completely smooth or leave some of the beans chunky if you prefer. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed. Serve hot.