The SparkPeople Cookbook

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The

SparkPEOPLE

Cookbook Love Your Food, Lose the Weight

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Praise for The SparkPeople Cookbook “Everything you need to know for cooking and eating healthy—and losing weight in the process. Packed with easy recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner; techniques for maximizing flavor and cutting fat; and tips for stocking a healthy kitchen, this is an indispensible guide to getting good-for-you meals on the table fast.” —Betty S. Wong, editor in chief, Fitness magazine “As our country faces both an obesity epidemic, as well as a hunger and nutrition crisis in many communities, it is more important than ever that we all learn how to eat less expensive but more nutritious alternatives to fast food and ‘junk’ food. This book offers great tips, tools, and recipes; and proves that we can all enjoy eating good food, while getting healthier.” —Dan Glickman, former Secretary of Agriculture “Meg is one of the leading voices for putting sound nutrition into practice. Her commonsense approach to cooking, eating, and activity is one every physician and parent can easily embrace.” —Christopher F. Bolling, M.D., pediatrician, Pediatric Associates; program chairman, American Academy of Pediatrics, Provisional Section on Obesity “When Meg cooks for her family, she serves a large helping of sensibility. She believes in cooking and eating good food, and eating it together. This book will appeal to anyone who wants to embark on a journey of better health through the door of the kitchen.” —Maggie Green, LD, RD; author of The Kentucky Fresh Cookbook “The SparkPeople Cookbook is inspirational, motivational, and informational. And best of all, it features real feedback about healthy living from real people—people I can trust because they’ve been there and done that. I particularly love how each recipe comes with a handy chart so you can tell, at a glance, how many servings of veggies or fruit are in the dish or whether the recipe would be great for a dinner party. No gimmicks, no tricks—just healthy, fresh food and concrete advice from the wonderful members of SparkPeople.” —Caitlin Boyle, blogger of HealthyTippingPoint.com, editor of OperationBeautiful.com, and author of Operation Beautiful

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“The SparkPeople Cookbook is unlike any other cookbook I’ve read. It gives you the knowledge and know-how to make permanent lifestyle changes to your eating habits. Healthy eating should be simple—and even fun—and The SparkPeople Cookbook provides straightforward, interesting, and satisfying recipes that will help you lose weight without leaving you feeling deprived.” —Tina Haupert, author and blogger, Carrots ‘N’ Cake

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Also from SparkPeople.com Books The Spark: The 28-Day Breakthrough Plan for Losing Weight, Getting Fit, and Transforming Your Life

CD The Spark: The Breakthrough Plan for Losing Weight, Getting Fit, and Transforming Your Life

DVDs The Spark: Fit, Firm, & Fired Up, with Coach Nicole SparkPeople Cardio Blast, with Coach Nicole

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The

SparkPEOPLE

Cookbook Love Your Food, Lose the Weight

Meg Galvin

and Stepfanie Romine Food photographs by Randall Hoover Photography

HAY HOUSE, INC. C a r l s b a d , C a l i f o r n i a • N e w Yo r k C i t y London • Sydney • Johannesburg Va n c o u v e r • H o n g K o n g • N e w D e l h i

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Copyright © 2011 by SparkPeople, Inc. Photo copyright: see page 467 Published and distributed in the United States by: Hay House, Inc.: www.hayhouse.com • Published and distributed in Australia by: Hay House Australia Pty. Ltd.: www.hayhouse.com.au • Published and distributed in the United Kingdom by: Hay House UK, Ltd.: www.hayhouse.co.uk • Published and distributed in the Republic of South Africa by: Hay House SA (Pty), Ltd.: www.hayhouse.co.za • Distributed in Canada by: Raincoast: www.raincoast.com • Published in India by: Hay House Publishers India: www.hayhouse.co.in Project Editor: Marisa Bulzone Indexer: Jay Kreider Interior design: Tricia Breidenthal All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced by any mechanical, photographic, or electronic process, or in the form of a phonographic recording; nor may it be stored in a retrieval system, transmitted, or otherwise be copied for public or private use—other than for “fair use” as brief quotations embodied in articles and reviews—without prior written permission of the publisher. The authors of this book do not dispense medical advice or prescribe the use of any technique as a form of treatment for physical, emotional, or medical problems without the advice of a physician, either directly or indirectly. The intent of the authors is only to offer information of a general nature to help you in your quest for emotional and spiritual well-being. In the event you use any of the information in this book for yourself, which is your constitutional right, the authors and the publisher assume no responsibility for your actions.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Galvin, Meg. The SparkPeople cookbook : love your food, lose the weight / Meg Galvin and Stepfanie Romine ; food photographs by Randall Hoover Photography. — 1st ed. p. cm. Includes index. ISBN 978-1-4019-3132-2 (hardback) 1. Low-calorie diet—Recipes. 2. Low-fat diet—Recipes. 3. Cooking, American. 4. Cookbooks. I. Romine, Stepfanie. II. Title. RM222.2.G345 2011 641.5’6384—dc22 2011015662

Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4019-3132-2 Digital ISBN: 978-1-4019-3134-6

14 13 12 11 4 3 2 1 1st edition, October 2011 Printed in China

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To SparkPeople members everywhere, and to anyone who thought they had to give up the foods they love in order to be healthy.

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Contents Introduction by Chris Downie

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Part I

Get Ready

Chapter 1

Satisfying, Sustaining, and Stress-Free Eating

Chapter 2

The Science of Satisfaction

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Chapter 3

The New Healthy Kitchen

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Part II

Get Cooking

Chapter 4

Breakfast

Chapter 5

Salads & Sandwiches

103

Chapter 6

Soups & Stews

147

Chapter 7

Main Dishes with Poultry, Meat & Fish

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Chapter 8

Meatless Mains, Pasta & Pizza

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Chapter 9

Whole Grains

277

Chapter 10

Vegetables

305

Chapter 11

Snacks & Desserts

331

Chapter 12

Herbs, Spices & Seasonings

361

Afterword

Raising Kids to Be Healthy Eaters

389

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Appendices Appendix A: Weekly Meal Plan

397

Appendix B: Healthy Pantry Checklist

403

Appendix C: Choosing a Cooking Oil

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Appendix D: Create a Healthy Grocery List in 4 Easy Steps

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Appendix E: How to Keep Fruits and Veggies Fresh

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Appendix F: 25 Good, Cheap Foods

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Appendix G: Metric Equivalent Charts

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Appendix H: Nutritional Guidelines Chart

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Endnotes

437

Recipe Category Index

439

Index

447

Photo Credits

461

Acknowledgments

463

About the Author

466 Note to readers of E-books:  Any page numbers referred to (e.g., see page xv) correspond to the printed version of the book.

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Introduction by Chris Downie, Founder, CEO, and Motivation Expert of SparkPeople.com, and best-selling author of The Spark

Back in 2007, the scale was inching closer to 300 pounds for Birdie Varnedore. Her closet was filled with sizes 26, 28, and 30, with some 24s for her “skinny days.” (Though she admits: “The 26s only fit on a good day!”) Despite living in Orlando, Florida, where temperatures in winter can top 80 degrees, she owned no clothing that came above the knee or elbow. She was tired. She was obese. She was tired of being obese. Birdie ate up to 6,000 calories a day, mostly in the form of simple carbs and junk food: cookies, cakes, ice cream, chocolate. “My meals were giant heaps of spaghetti, multiple dinner rolls with butter, large servings of rice and beans,” she says. As if medical school and then her fledgling career as a physician weren’t hard enough, Birdie and her husband, Nick, were also building their family and today have five children. At night, when she studied, her appetite raged. To deal with the stress, she ate. Cartons of

Chinese takeout, bags of Snickers candy bars, entire pizzas. I’m a smart woman, a doctor, a neurologist! So why am I abusing my body? she thought. As a physician, science and math are supposed to be my strengths! It’s just calories in versus calories out. What’s my problem? She was unhappy with her body and knew she was abusing herself, but she reasoned, “How else was I going to cope with the pressures of medical school, being broke, and raising a family? I kept piling on stress when I knew I couldn’t handle it, but I didn’t want to change, didn’t want to give up my drug.” Birdie’s drug? Food. Then, on July 23, 2007, she took the first step—after downing half a sheet cake at her youngest child’s first birthday party. For a few weeks, she struggled on her own. Then she found SparkPeople, shed 140 pounds, and became the wife, mother, and physician she always knew she could be. It wasn’t easy, but through

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Birdie and Nick before

Birdie, Nick, and family after

exercise, calorie counting, hard work—and sheer determination—she reached her goal, even posing in a size 8-bikini in People magazine. Despite her initial success with weight loss, there was an area of healthy living she had yet to tackle, one that she knew could be the key to keeping her weight off and staying healthy for the long run: cooking. Birdie has plenty of reasons to grab takeout or rip open a box at mealtime. But, as you might have guessed, she isn’t a woman who gives up easily. Saving money and improving her family’s health—not to mention monitoring her sodium and saturated fat intake—are the driving forces behind her culinary education. And once again she has turned to SparkPeople and our

healthy-cooking site, SparkRecipes, for help. Meal by meal, and step by step, she and Nick are making the time to cook and becoming more comfortable in the kitchen. Their dinners aren’t always gourmet, and they’re not always eaten together, but they’re healthy, made with love, and budget friendly. Most important, they’re quick to prepare. “I make the time,” Birdie says. “Sometimes I prepare dinner very late in the evenings and the kids have to eat separately because I can’t expect them to wait for me. I’m still trying to balance it all.” We all are. Long before I started SparkPeople, I was an eager new graduate with an enviable first

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job: staff accountant for Procter & Gamble. But despite my success, I was stressed. My life revolved around work. I was certain I needed to make healthy living a priority. As I wrote in our first book, The Spark: The 28-Day Breakthrough Plan for Losing Weight, Getting Fit, and Transforming Your Life, “I realized there had to be a better way to fulfill my life. During lunch breaks I began reading goal-setting and leadership books, speckling the pages with ketchup. For the first time I made myself seriously focus on what I wanted for my future—to specifically name and visualize it.” I knew the answer was a combination of things that are good for your body, like exercise and healthy food, and things that are good for your mind, like stress management, goal setting, leadership, and community support. I developed a program to help me reach my goals using these principles, and I soon began to thrive. Using my newfound energy and confidence, I left my job and then began an online company called Up4Sale.com with three friends. Eventually, after a couple of years of working 100 hours a week and struggling along the way, that company was sold to eBay just before it went public. The stock from our sale exploded, and we were all millionaires many times over. A few years later when I was ready to leave eBay, I returned to my dream of sharing my own program with others since it had worked so well for me, I started SparkPeople, using these same principles that had helped me gain momentum in my own journey to be happy and healthy: 10-minute bursts of fitness, small goals set along the way to achieve larger ones, a tight-knit network to offer support, and healthy, easy-toprepare food to fuel an active life.

As SparkPeople grew, we realized that our members loved to eat but needed help tracking their favorite recipes and finding healthy new ones. SparkRecipes, which is now the web’s largest healthy-recipe site, was born. In the tens of millions of comments on the site, we’ve been told that, to fit into a weight-loss plan, a recipe must meet some key criteria: it must be easy to make, it must be delicious, and it must be healthy enough to fuel your body and hearty enough to keep hunger at bay for a few hours. In 2008, to further expand SparkRecipes, we brought healthy-cooking expert Meg Galvin on to our team. Her “Healthy Home Cooking” recipes, videos, and blogs were an instant hit with members. Not too long after, we published The Spark, along with our groundbreaking Secrets of Success survey. In it, we learned that cooking has a profound effect on members’ weight-loss success, bolstering what they’d been telling us anecdotally for years. The findings prompted us to write The SparkPeople Cookbook. It’s unlike any cookbook you’ve ever read. Like the site that inspired it, this cookbook is intended to guide you, step by step and goal by goal, to become a healthier you. We don’t expect you to become a gourmet healthy chef overnight. Instead, you can take it at your own pace and find ways to improve your diet by cooking one meal at a time. It’s an approach that’s worked for countless members, including Leah Reed, aka SPRING4FAL, who was featured in our first book. Back then, Leah was struggling to get comfortable in the kitchen. Now 60 pounds lighter and armed with quick and easy healthy recipes from Chef Meg and SparkRecipes, she says she’s made great progress and actually enjoys cooking.

I nt roduction

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Though Leah, a marathon runner, doesn’t cook every night and sometimes reaches for lowsodium frozen meals supplemented with extra vegetables, she sees healthy cooking as an ongoing goal. She says, “The biggest lesson I have learned in the kitchen is to continue to try and don’t give up!” She can’t wait to try more recipes in the book. Written by our very own Chef Meg, SparkRecipes editor Stepfanie Romine, and the SparkPeople team, this cookbook shows that healthy eating can be simple and fun. Even better, it shows that eating for health and weight loss can be delicious and satisfying—that you can eat to lose weight but still absolutely love your food. In fact, it proves it! While developing the cookbook, we conducted a formal taste test and follow-up pilot program to show that if people ate flavorful, satisfying foods, prepared to optimize taste but minimize fat and calories, they could eat fewer calories without even realizing it, yet be more satisfied while losing weight! (You might be shocked to know this, but we learned that 68 percent of “dieters” still believe you have to eat bland foods you don’t like in order to lose weight—and of course, SparkPeople had to prove them wrong!) If you haven’t yet tried one of Chef Meg’s healthy and satisfying recipes, you’re in for a treat. We call her “Chef Meg,” but in the culinary world she’s known as Meg Galvin, one of only 20 women with the designation of World Master Chef. Chef Meg is an instructor at the renowned Midwest Culinary Institute at Cincinnati State  Technical and Community College, where she teaches classes in both classical cooking and healthy cooking. She is classically trained, with a certificate from Le Cordon Bleu in London and several awards from prestigious culinary associations. At first one might think it ironic that a

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healthy-cooking expert trained as a French chef, learning to make the perfect hollandaise sauce and the flakiest pastries with gobs of real butter! But, once you taste Meg’s healthy foods, you then understand that the classic training and primary focus on flavor and taste have given her an arsenal of tips and tricks to get the most flavor and pleasure from foods—without all the fat and calories. Cooking this way allows you to eat the foods you most love, without the guilt or extra pounds. It has to taste good or Meg isn’t satisfied! Chef Meg’s cooking philosophy—a result of her upbringing on a farm, her classic culinary training, and her passion for health and fitness— and SparkPeople’s nutritional guidelines, which our head dietitian Becky Hand outlines in Chapter 2, perfectly align: an abundance of real foods like fruits and vegetables; plenty of whole grains, lean protein, and low-fat dairy; and salt, fat, and sugar used in moderation. No food group is excluded (she even uses ingredients long-considered taboo for dieters like butter and bacon!), and our plates are full of colors, flavors, and textures. Even better: our “diet” (really a healthy eating plan) bans bland diet foods, meager portions, and growling bellies. Our recipes replace extra fat with added flavor, extra calories with great tastes. You’ll learn to love the food you eat, ditch the diet forever, and still lose weight. My own family follows this same philosophy, with some modifications because of my oldest son’s severe food allergies. Finding a diet that works for us all has been difficult, but my wife, Karina, has been amazing in meeting this challenge. She has fun transforming ordinary recipes into dishes that are both healthy and flavorful, and one of our favorite moments as a family is coming together for a meal—especially the HoneyGinger Salmon on page 227. This experience

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has helped us focus on real foods, and best of all, our son’s allergies have improved. We believe Karina’s healthy, delicious cooking is at least partly responsible for that. Karina and I are a great team. She helps me stay on track with nutrition, and I help motivate her with fitness. Our collaboration highlights one of the most important reasons for cooking this way: in addition to the pleasure of eating good food, we want to experience the most out of life. Fueling our bodies the right way lets us have energy to really live life! As parents, we also feel the responsibility to give our kids a great start since what they eat now can have a tremendous impact on their future. (If you’re struggling with the same concerns for your children’s eating habits, see Raising Kids to be Healthy Eaters on page 389.)

Because of my experiences both with my own family and my SparkPeople family, I’m so excited to share this cookbook with you. I hope it helps you learn to love the food you eat and reach your most important goals in life. SparkPeople is America’s largest healthy-living website because we deliver straightforward advice, manageable steps toward a better you, and support that really works. This book takes the same approach. We believe that once you’re armed with the knowledge and the recipes that let you eat what you want most, you can optimize your health and lose weight without deprivation! Best of all, it’s an approach that works for everybody. You don’t need expensive kitchen gadgets, special foods, or a culinary degree—just a willingness to learn to cook the food you love.

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Part I

Get Ready

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Chap ter

1

Satisfying, Sustaining, and Stress-Free Eating I’m Meg Galvin, otherwise known as Chef Meg. I’m a culinary instructor, decorated chef, and healthy-cooking expert at SparkPeople .com. Healthy living is a deep passion of mine, but so is good food. I fell in love with cooking partly because of the warm, happy memories of life on my family’s farm—with fresh, abundant food always at the center. Today I’m also a distance runner and a mom. Those two roles steer my palate and my passion away from the heavy “mother sauces” and rich meats I learned to prepare in culinary school, toward delicious food that provides pleasure for all who eat it—without adding pounds to anyone’s waistline. “How do you do it?” friends, neighbors, and colleagues ask. “How do you cook like this and look like that?” Simple. I’ve found a way to cook the food I love to eat in ways that satisfy me without breaking the calorie budget. I pack flavor and nutrition into every bite, without adding

excess fat, calories, or carbs; which means I’m never deprived and I enjoy everything I eat. By adopting this attitude and cooking and eating only foods that you love, you’ll feel satisfied at every meal, and when you’re satisfied, you’re less tempted to overeat or graze later on. As the country’s largest health and fitness website, we encourage everyone to make life an adventure, set goals and reach them, one step at a time. After The Spark became a New York Times bestseller, we heard from people that our quick bursts of fitness and endless motivation were helping them change their lives—but they still needed help in the kitchen. Money, knowledge, but, most important, time were keeping them from fully reaching their nutrition and health goals. Twenty-something Alexa is down 90 pounds, thanks in large part to the healthy attitudes and affinity for “real food” she’s developed

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over the last four years on SparkPeople. Living in San Francisco means she has access to fresh and interesting ingredients, but her fast-paced life can leave her with limited time to cook them. For Alexa, any recipe “needs to be simple, fit my nutritional needs, and most of all, it must taste good.” This sentiment also echoes Birdie and Nick’s experiences as they adopt cooking at home as a new way of staying fit.

An Education in Healthy Cooking We wrote this book for Alexa, Birdie, Nick, and everyone else we know who’s trying to balance healthy living with real life. After months of testing and tasting, we’ve created what will become your new favorite cookbook. It’s more than a collection of recipes; it’s an education in how healthy recipes can taste great and let you lose weight. SparkPeople is decidedly of the “teach a man to fish” school of thought, so we viewed each recipe as a learning experience, a chance to practice a healthy-cooking technique and integrate it into your everyday life. Soon, you’ll be removing the training wheels and creating healthy recipes of your own. While calorie counts, ingredient lists, and nutrition info can make healthy eating seem like a great deal to digest, after cooking just a few of our recipes, you’ll soon find that healthy eating really involves a natural, common-sense approach—real foods in the right proportions, packed with great taste and nutrition. For me, food has always had to taste good and fuel me throughout my busy life—and it has to satisfy my family as well. These recipes have all been

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tested by my three teen sons and my husband. With few exceptions, they never would think of what they were eating as “diet” recipes or “health food.” And, as a chef, I really have to be committed to eating well and not overeating because gaining weight is a real hazard in my line of work! I battled my weight while in culinary school and after my sons were born, so I have learned firsthand how to balance eating to live and living to eat! I also weaned myself away from baking and then eating as an emotional outlet. What works for me—aside from my regular early-morning workouts—is creating food that is every bit as delicious as it is good for me. I’m a chef; I love food! So, I can’t do deprivation. Instead, I’ve committed to making healthy food taste good and making every bite count. I have some other tricks to keep the weight off, like sampling little bites of lots of fabulous foods rather than eating whole platefuls and “saving” room in my calorie budget by eating less at some meals so that I can indulge at others. But strategy No. 1 is eating foods I love so that I don’t feel deprived, and loving the food I eat so much that I will be satisfied with a meal that fits my diet plan. How do I create such great food that helps keep me slim? I draw heavily from my training. I rely on simple swaps of nutrient-dense ingredients; low-calorie, flavor-maximizing cooking techniques; food choices and combinations that complement the other tastes in the dish; plus plenty of spices, herbs, and seasonings that make food irresistible without excess fat or calories. Coupled with my use of whole, fresh, hearty foods that have innate qualities that satisfy us, these techniques yield meals that are healthy and delicious. While some low-fat products are

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fantastic, I steer clear of overprocessed “diet” foods because they don’t satiate me and I end up eating more. Instead, I cut calories and fat by choosing low- or non-caloric cooking techniques and save room for some rich and savory ingredients like a little bit of butter, cream, bacon, or full-fat cheese—the ones that make your taste buds quiver with excitement. If you use those ingredients in the right amounts, you get the benefit of their flavors and satisfaction without breaking the calorie bank. From family favorites like Dark Chocolate Cake (page 360) and Slimmer Sloppy Joes (page 221) to exciting flavor combinations like Grilled Shrimp with Jicama-Grapefruit Slaw (page 119) and Baked Sunburst Fries (page 319), we have dishes for every mood and every night. Because we believe in flexibility, we’ve included tips to help you fit these dishes into your budget and schedule. SparkPeople members share how they’ve adapted these recipes, and we’ve added my chef secrets that streamline the cooking process. Whether you’re a novice cook taking the first steps to improve your health, or just looking for new, nutritious recipes to add to your repertoire, this cookbook can help you. This will become your healthy-cooking bible. In The SparkPeople Love Your Food, Lose the Weight Cookbook you’ll find: • More than 160 recipes, plus hundreds of variations—all guaranteed to be satisfying, sustaining, and stress-free! • “Slim It Down” options for dozens of the recipes, so that those of us who are on stricter weight-loss

plans can eat well on even fewer calories. • Full nutrition info for each recipe. • “Make It a Meal” features—quick and tasty suggestions to turn every main dish into a well-balanced meal in just minutes. • A full 150 meal ideas and recipes that take 30 minutes or less to prepare—plus dozens of other, more elaborate meals for days when you have more time to cook. • Expert tips and tricks to increase flavor and satiety while cutting unnecessary calories, fat, and salt. • A healthy pantry checklist, a list of cheap but nutritious foods, and sidebars on new-to-you “superfoods.” • Two weeks of meal plans—with breakfast, lunch, dinner, and two snacks—all for 1,400–1,600 calories. • Stories of how real people like you used these recipes and our plan to lose weight and eat the foods they love. • Step-by-step guides to all the healthy cooking techniques you’ll need, plus a list of equipment for a healthy kitchen. You’ll also read all about our “Ditch the Diet” Taste Test, which proved once and for all that you don’t have to eat boring and tasteless food to

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lose weight. In the taste test, we saw that many yo-yo dieters think that to lose weight, they have to deprive themselves and eat the blandest or most stripped-down foods possible. Some dieters will even choose foods they don’t like eating because they believe they’ll lose weight faster! We proved to them that our tasty foods were not only more nourishing but also contained fewer calories. In the follow-up pilot program, participants raved about our recipes—and were shocked to discover the meal we served them had 100 calories less than a typical diet meal. Not only did they say they felt satisfied, they still felt sustained when they went home three hours later.

Once they cooked these recipes for themselves, they raved about how stress-free the dishes were. Turned loose with a few more of our recipes and two weeks to try them at home, our eager taste-testers reported impressive results. Renee lost 6½ pounds—and broke through a plateau—while Tara (you’ll meet her later in the book) came within one pound of her goal weight, which she reached one week after that.

Changing Lives, One Family Dinner at a Time This cookbook—and the SparkRecipes that inspired it—has already changed lives. By focusing on satisfaction and flavor, our healthy recipes can sway even the diehard meat-andpotatoes crowd, as SparkPeople member REVELATIONGIRL learned. She lost 30 pounds and changed the way her family eats forever: “I love to cook, but I am a country cook— big, heavy, full-course meals to feed an army. We always loved our salad, as long as it was accompanied by meat, mashed potatoes and gravy, creamy veggies, and dessert. Through SparkPeople, I’ve made one little change after another until my suppers today really do not resemble those of the last 25 years. I’ve dropped the sauces, and my family has discovered that they love roasted veggies. The meat is more often a lean chicken cooked with a recipe I’ve found on the site. I have introduced things like whole-wheat pasta, whole-grain breads, and low-fat cheeses, which have become staples. “Using SparkPeople has made me very aware now of what we are lacking and how many empty or unhealthy calories my family was consuming. My family is everything to me and

Meg and the summer harvest

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feeding them well, instead of feeding them too much, has become the goal. My younger son has also lost 30 pounds with the changes we’ve made in the last six months. My daughter-in-law has lost 25 pounds and is very close to her goal weight. Although my husband and older son are at healthy weights, I am pleased knowing they are eating properly now and getting the nutrition they need.” In contrast to diet programs that expect perfection, focus on deprivation, and set you up for long-term failure and disappointment, SparkPeople’s recipes fit into your real life and allow you to enjoy food without feeling guilty. We want you to eat what you love and never feel deprived! We hope that you’ll add these recipes to your daily life, and that they’ll help you be healthier, happier, more satisfied, and less stressed at mealtime.

Maintaining a Satisfying, Sustaining, and Stress-Free Diet These days, everyone keeps saying we’ve forgotten how to eat. But if you look around you’ll see that, with waistlines expanding and life expectancies decreasing, we’re actually quite good at eating. In fact, what we’ve forgotten how to do is taste. The good news is that retraining your palate is not as hard as it seems, as REVELATIONGIRL and her family learned. Food That’s Satisfying. To lose weight, get healthy, and forge a healthy relationship with food, you need to like the food you’re eating. It’s not enough for the food to just be nutritious. It must also be delicious, or eating will feel like

punishment. Unlike most diet recipes, which strip away ingredients and flavor, SparkPeople recipes focus on adding ingredients and layers of flavor so that every bite is satisfying. Close your eyes and think about the most memorable meals of your life. I think first about my mom’s homemade chicken pot pie, made from scratch and at my request, on all special occasions: flaky crust, made with real butter, that she’d rolled out by hand. Tender, juicy chicken we’d raised ourselves, crisp and sweet vegetables from the garden, and just enough rich, creamy sauce to bind it all together. I remember watching her in the kitchen as she made enough to feed six growing kids and her hard-working farmer husband. Her food was simple, but it was made with love and it lingers in my memory more than 35 years later. My mind travels 15 years forward, across the ocean, to a little Indian restaurant called the Bombay Brasserie. It was my mom’s last night in London, and we dined with my two uncles, who would be looking after me while I was in culinary school. Tandoori spices tickled my throat and brought tears to my eyes. The raita, a balance of cool, acidic cucumber and creamy yogurt, soothed my mouth, while the perfect simplicity of the lentil soup that accompanied it made my mind race. The next day I would begin training to become a chef, but tonight, I was still a farm girl from Kentucky, with a palate more accustomed to Swiss steak and roast chicken than to the spicy garam masala that lay before me. Years later, I had another standout food moment, this one with no remarkable environmental influences. I remember the most perfect apple, impulsively grabbed to quiet a rumbling stomach while grocery shopping for my own family.

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The Granny Smith’s taut skin gave way to the crisp flesh, with just the right balance of sweet and sour. Juices ran down my hand as I closed my eyes and enjoyed a moment of pure peace, sitting in my car, giving in fully to the experience of smelling, tasting, and feeling that simple, flawless piece of fruit. We all have meals that conjure memories, but when we delve deeper, we realize that there’s more to those experiences than eating. It helps to understand that it’s not just the food—it’s what (and who) surrounds the food that counts. Food That’s Sustaining. How many times have you eaten at a restaurant, only to come home hungry? When was the last time you were “on a diet” yet ended up gaining weight because you couldn’t stop eating? How often do you find yourself staring mindlessly into the fridge or the pantry after dinner, looking for something that hits the spot? We’ve all been there. Diet foods are bland (we proved that while writing this book—and we’ll tell you all about it in the next chapter) and the portions are too small. If you are lucky enough to find a healthy restaurant option, it’s usually as lacking in substance as it is in flavor. Healthy living doesn’t have to be that way. SparkPeople never would have grown into America’s largest healthy-living community if that were the case. We believe that eating right is not about deprivation. It’s not about the word “no.” It’s definitely not a time to be a food martyr, sacrificing all flavor and joy for the sake of a few measly pounds. With the help of a few key principles like heart-healthy fats, lean proteins, fiber-rich whole grains, and voluminous fruits and vegetables, these meals will keep you—and your entire

8

family—comfortably full and happy until the next one. No growling bellies, no meager portions, and no bland food—we promise! Food That’s Stress-Free. This cookbook is not part of a fad diet that will help you achieve the perfect body. It isn’t about standing over a hot stove for hours on end. And it isn’t about spending your whole paycheck on obscure ingredients and expensive products. (If I couldn’t find an ingredient at my neighborhood supermarket in northern Kentucky, it didn’t make it in the book.) It’s about finding that balance between food and the rest of your life, about eating the way we were meant to eat, and about making the right choices for you and your family. It’s about eating more but being satisfied with fewer calories. It’s about using fat, sugar, and salt judiciously; appreciating the natural flavors of food; and reaching for other flavor-enhancing ingredients and techniques whenever possible. At our SparkPeople conventions, our head dietitian, Becky Hand, delivers a presentation about determining your eating style. Before she starts speaking, she hands out a small packet of trail mix (find the recipe on page 338). A snack during a talk on nutrition? Members aren’t sure what to expect. She asks them to open the packet, select a piece, and place it in their mouths. Then they chew, closing their eyes, allowing all of their senses to take over. Instead of reaching immediately for a second piece, they pause, reflecting on the bite they ate. Those almonds, peanuts, raisins, and chocolate candies have a lingering effect, and they’re eating with full awareness and enjoying single bites and moderate portions more than ever before.

T h e s pa r k p e o p l e c o o k b o o k

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Successful SparkPeople members apply that principle to their own meals and their own lives. They allow their senses to really experience the food. They eat, but they don’t overeat because what they eat satisfies them. They don’t turn down dessert, and they don’t skimp on flavor. They indulge at times and abstain at others—and make sure every bite counts. The effects of healthy eating permeate members’ entire lives, to which SASSYBEAN1 can attest. At almost 50, the hospice nurse from Austin has been overweight her entire life, but that’s changing “10 percent at a time” with the help of SparkPeople. “I feel so positive about everything, and I love to exercise (never thought I’d say that!). My tastes have changed so much that I am putting less sweetener in my coffee or tea, and I have a feeling that eventually I’ll stop sweetening it. Fruits are the sweetest things I’ve ever tasted now. I reach

for fruits and vegetables for snacks, and high-fat foods leave a layer of sludge on my tongue.” Because eating is only half of the equation, let’s take a look at how the simple act of cooking (and cooking simply) can help you lose weight, feel better, and become a healthier person. These recipes will help you recapture the joy of eating, retrain your palate to appreciate food’s natural goodness, and resurrect the family meal. In each chapter, you’ll learn how to make over a meal with healthy and easy-to-follow recipes that load up on flavor in the right proportions. We delve into the science of satisfaction, introduce new and nutritious ingredients, teach you the basics of cooking, and help you integrate healthy habits into your life so you can love your food, lose the weight, and ditch the diet forever. Like the SparkPeople plan upon which this cookbook is based, we rely on small steps to achieve great results—and change lives forever.

Satisf y i ng, Su sta i n i ng, a nd St res s - F ree E ati ng

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Spring Cupcakes with Citrus Icing

Slim It down:

Axe the icing (20 calories).

Cupcakes are all the rage these days, and for good reason. These diminutive desserts are automatically portion controlled, and they’re just darn cute! Instead of traditional vanilla and chocolate, we chose a garden variety: Carrots and zucchini aren’t just for salads; they add moisture and texture to desserts as well. There aren’t enough veggies to count for one of your daily servings, but you are getting a tasty treat that has more fiber and less fat than even a slice of traditional carrot cake. Carrot cake usually has a spicy taste, but we lightened that up by adding a fresh orange flavor. These cupcakes are perfect for an Easter brunch, a children’s birthday party (no need to tell them the “confetti” inside comes from vegetables), or a graduation celebration. These cupcakes were a hit during our taste test!

Makes 18 Servings: 1 cupcake per serving

1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Fill 18 muffin cups with cupcake liners.

45 Minutes to Prepare and Bake

2. Combine the eggs and brown sugar in a bowl, then beat at medium speed with a hand mixer for 2 minutes. Add the carrots, zucchini, oil, and orange zest to the mixture and stir to combine.

1 egg, at room temperature 1 egg white, at room temperature 3

⁄4 cup brown sugar

2 cups grated carrots 2 small zucchini, grated (about 1 cup, excess moisture pressed out with a paper towel) 1

⁄3 cup canola oil

1 tbsp orange zest (see Note) 1 tsp baking powder 1

⁄2 tsp baking soda

1

⁄2 tsp cinnamon

1

⁄4 tsp salt

2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour For the Icing: 1 tbsp orange zest (see Note) 2 tbsp orange juice (see Note) 1

⁄2 cup confectioners’ sugar

348

3. In a separate bowl, combine the baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and flour using a fork; then add to the wet mixture. Using the mixer, blend just until combined. 4. Divide the batter among the muffin cups, and bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a cupcake comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes. (If your oven has hot spots, rotate the pans halfway through cooking.) 5. Allow to cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then remove and cool completely on a wire rack. 6. While the cupcakes are baking, prepare the icing by whisking together the orange zest, the orange juice, and sugar. After the cupcakes have cooled, top each one with 1 teaspoon of icing. Note: You should be able to get plenty of zest and juice for both the cupcakes and the icing from one large orange. Per Serving: 145.8 calories, 4.9 g total fat, 11.8 mg cholesterol, 114.7 mg sodium, 24.6 g total carbs, 2.4 g dietary fiber, 2.6 g protein

T h e s pa r k p e o p l e c o o k b o o k

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Spring Cupcakes with Citrus Icing

C hef M eg’ s T ips : • Use the grating blade on a food processor to shred the carrots and zucchini. If you don’t have a food processor, use a box grater and give your arm a workout! • For even easier prep, buy a 10-ounce bag of shredded carrots, place in the food processor, and pulse 3 to 4 times. • If you overmix the batter, you’ll cause “tunneling,” which means that your cupcakes will contain holes and hollow tunnels throughout. Mix just until the wet and dry ingredients are combined. • If you can’t find whole-wheat pastry flour, you can use two parts whole-wheat flour to one part cake flour (available in the baking aisle). You can also use regular whole-wheat flour, but your cupcakes will be much denser. Sn ack s & Des ser ts 349

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Acknowledgments

The authors would like to thank: SparkPeople founder, CEO, and resident motivation expert Chris Downie, for his unbridled enthusiasm and devotion to SparkPeople and its mission to make healthy living a reality for everyone. Without his passion and commitment to SparkPeople, none of this would be possible. Chris has helped us all learn how a small team of people can “spark” a grassroots movement that’s changed tens of millions of lives along the way. This cookbook fully reflects the philosophy he has created in the last decade. And, Karina Downie, who gave us valuable input early on and inspires us with her passion for and commitment to “real food.” Our President, Tami Corwin, for getting this book idea kicked off and for her expert guidance and keen eye over the entire project. Her legendary insight transformed this manuscript into the healthy cooking “bible” you’re reading today. SparkPeople Head Dietitian Becky Hand for reading every chapter multiple times and for her entertaining and educational spin on nutrition. Her effervescent personality and positive attitude are contagious. SparkPeople healthy-eating expert Tanya Jolliffe, for reviewing nutritional content and guidance with meal plans. Editor Marisa Bulzone, for her attention to detail and help throughout the project. Her tremendous experience was much appreciated. Other SparkPeople team members past and present who directly worked on the cookbook: Kelly Berger, Beth Cavanaugh, Nicole Nichols, and Jenny Uhlmansiek. The rest of the SparkPeople team, without whom none of this would be possible: Dominic Acito, Anne Allen, Kevin Carroll, Bruce Corwin, Catherine Cram, Samantha Donohue, Paul Elfers, Andy Cougs Firsich, Brian Franklin, Elliott Giles, Angie Heilmann, Dave Heilmann, Nancy Howard, Tom

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Kennedy, Josh Knepfle, Jeremy Martin, Sean McCosh, Tim Metzner, Jen Mueller, Natalie Nichols, Jeff Rezer, Denise Tausig, and Rachel Von Nida. Every SparkPeople member working hard to reach goals and spread the spark around the world. A special thanks to our editor, Patty Gift, for her flexibility and guidance throughout the process. Our gifted team at Hay House, led by Louise Hay and Reid Tracy. Others on the Hay House Team include Margarete Nielsen, Laura Koch, Sally Mason, Tricia Breidenthal, and Christy Salinas. Stephanie Tade, our agent, for continuing to believe in us. From the proposal through the final recipe testing and beyond, she rolled up her sleeves and helped us in every way imaginable. Photographer Randy Hoover, who took all the beautiful, mouthwatering food photos throughout the book, along with his incredible team: studio manager Sarah Diebold; food stylist Lynne Morris and her team, Gail Gattas and Jessica Baesel; hair and makeup artist Diane Amon; and assistant Allison McAdams. We spent plenty of long days putting together the photos for the book, and what fun it was! Set stylist Nora Martini assisted with the shots at Meg’s house. Photojournalist David Stephenson, who spent a day on the Barton family farm shooting Meg and her family. He captured amazing images of her in “real life.” That same day, Chris Higginbotham and Tim Cantrell, our awesome video team, patiently worked around photo shoots to tape videos for the web. Our Success Story photographers—Sarah Diebold, Adam Wiggall, Michele Kranik, Elma Blum, Harrington Photography, and Limelite Studios, along with food stylist and blogger Julie Fagan, and hair and makeup team Jennifer Ramos and Annette Cobos—ensured our hard-working members’ “after” photos looked great! The participants in our “Ditch the Diet” taste test and follow-up cooking class. Thanks for letting us show you that you can love the food you eat! Mark Krumme and his team at Prestige AV & Creative Services, for their help with the “Ditch the Diet” followup. The Galvin and Barton families for all the support and use of your beautiful homes. The faculty, staff, and students of the Midwest Culinary Institute at Cincinnati State Technical and Community College for the use of their facilities and their name, along with their tremendous support.

Meg would like to thank: My family: husband, Mark; and boys, Noah, Ian, and Josh. The book would not be possible without you. Thank you for all the nights of experimentation, evaluation, and clean-up. It sure did make for some fun dinner conservations. Stepfanie, “the voice of the SparkPeople,” for all her help with a new venture of writing a book. We did it!

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My neighbor, Amy Kindt, for being the official guinea pig who was sworn to secrecy. Chef-in-training Peggy Neal, as the tester for every recipe in the book. Her meticulous documentation was amazing. My Aunt Margaret “Cissy” Williams and my oldest brother, John, for their work on making the farmhouse and garden picture perfect. My mother, Jill, my first culinary instructor. She taught me to love food and embrace the experience of the meal. My dad, James W. Barton, for all the years of life lessons on ethics, farming, cooking, and most importantly the art of storytelling! He taught me to write as I would speak—letting my voice tell the story. And the story begins . . .

Stepfanie would like to thank: Tami Corwin, for her unwavering faith in me, her tremendous experience, and her amazing advice. You trusted me to wear so many hats during the writing and production of this book, and it represents a real-life education that is infinitely valuable to me. Thanks to you, I’m an author! My talented, generous, and incredibly humble co-author, Meg, for her hard work and everpresent smile. We did it! What are we going to do now? My Papa, Jim Romine, for teaching me to show love through food and my Gramma Willie Pfeiffer for passing along her love for baking. My mother, Janet Buechner, for always welcoming me into the kitchen, and raising me to become the woman I am today. She taught me that, even from 7,000 miles away, foods can bring the people you love into your life. All the friends and family scattered across three continents who welcomed me into their kitchens, handed me an apron, and taught me their native cuisines. Chris Downie, Dave Heilmann, and the entire SparkPeople team for creating such a wonderful work environment. I love waking up and coming to work each morning. Randy Hoover and his entire team for helping me learn the ropes of art direction and set styling. You all taught me so much! Sam, for his endless support and confidence in me.

A ck nowledg ments

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About the Author

MEG GALVIN At SparkPeople.com, Chef Meg Galvin develops healthy recipes, tests member-submitted dishes, and teaches the fundamentals of cooking through informative and entertaining videos and articles. A World Master Chef since 2005, Chef Meg was the host of the regional television show The Dish, which aired on a local CBS affiliate and online. Meg now hosts cooking videos on the local FOX affiliate. Galvin earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Eastern Kentucky University and a certificate of culinary arts from Le Cordon Bleu in London. She is certified as an executive chef by the American Culinary Federation and is working toward her court of master sommeliers wine certification. Galvin is a faculty member at Cincinnati State Technical and Community College, home of the Midwest Culinary Institute (MCI), an American Culinary Federation certified college. In addition, she oversees one of a handful of programs in the country that allows culinary students to transfer to earn a four-year degree in the culinary arts. Raised on a large family farm in central Kentucky, Galvin now lives in northern Kentucky with her husband and three teenage sons—including twins. On any given day, she can be found hitting the pavement on long runs or cheering on her sons at their numerous sporting events. She balances her busy schedule by incorporating her home life and career, bringing her kids into the kitchen and testing recipes on—and with—her family.

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STEPFANIE ROMINE Stepfanie Romine is editor of SparkRecipes.com and dailySpark.com, SparkPeople's healthy living blog, where she writes about topics such as cooking, yoga, and stress relief. A vegetarian and runner, Romine has studied ethnic cuisines on three continents. She is a longtime practitioner of Ashtanga yoga and became a certified yoga teacher in 2009. With degrees in French and journalism from Ohio University, Romine started her career in newspapers, first as a copy editor, then as a business reporter, food blogger, and columnist. She joined SparkPeople in 2008, thus marrying her passions for writing and healthy living. Romine lives in Cincinnati, where she and her boyfriend fuel long runs and bike rides with healthy homemade meals.

SPARKPEOPLE.COM SparkPeople.com is one of the leading diet, fitness, and healthy living destinations on the web, with more than 10 million members; free weight loss, nutrition, and fitness tracking tools; and a positive community of people who are committed to reaching their goals and supporting one another along the way. SparkPeople combines the science of nutrition and fitness with the science of motivation and the power of social networking. The company has seven websites, including SparkReci pes.com, with more than 300,000 healthy and delicious recipes. Join us online! Use special code SparkBook2 to get your SparkPoints.

A bout t he Aut hor

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Hay House Titles of Related Interest YOU CAN HEAL YOUR LIFE, the movie, starring Louise L. Hay & Friends (available as a 1-DVD program and an expanded 2-DVD set) Watch the trailer at: www.LouiseHayMovie.com THE SHIFT, the movie, starring Dr. Wayne W. Dyer (available as a 1-DVD program and an expanded 2-DVD set) Watch the trailer at: www.DyerMovie.com ● ●

THE CORE BALANCE DIET: 4 Weeks to Boost Your Metabolism and Lose Weight for Good, by Marcelle Pick, MSN, OB/GYN NP A COURSE IN WEIGHT LOSS: 21 Spiritual Lessons for Surrendering Your Weight Forever, by Marianne Williamson FULL: A Life Without Dieting, by Michael A. Snyder, M.D., F.A.C.S. HEALTH BLISS: 50 Revitalizing NatureFoods & Lifestyle Choices to Promote Vibrant Health, by Susan Smith Jones, Ph.D. JUST 10 LBS: Easy Steps to Weighing What You Want (Finally), by Brad Lamm

All of the above are available at your local bookstore, or may be ordered by contacting Hay House (see next page).

● ●

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We hope you enjoyed this Hay House book. If you’d like to receive our online catalog featuring additional information on Hay House books and products, or if you’d like to find out more about the Hay Foundation, please contact:

Hay House, Inc., P.O. Box 5100, Carlsbad, CA 92018-5100 (760) 431-7695 or (800) 654-5126 (760) 431-6948 (fax) or (800) 650-5115 (fax) www.hayhouse.com® • www.hayfoundation.org ● ●

Published and distributed in Australia by: Hay House Australia Pty. Ltd., 18/36 Ralph St., Alexandria NSW 2015 • Phone: 612-9669-4299 • Fax: 612-9669-4144 • www.hayhouse.com.au

Published and distributed in the United Kingdom by: Hay House UK, Ltd., 292B Kensal Rd., London W10 5BE • Phone: 44-20-8962-1230 • Fax: 44-20-8962-1239 • www.hayhouse.co.uk

Published and distributed in the Republic of South Africa by: Hay House SA (Pty), Ltd., P.O. Box 990, Witkoppen 2068 • Phone/Fax: 27-11-467-8904 • www.hayhouse.co.za

Published in India by: Hay House Publishers India, Muskaan Complex, Plot No. 3, B-2, Vasant Kunj, New Delhi 110 070 • Phone: 91-11-4176-1620 • Fax: 91-11-4176-1630 • www.hayhouse.co.in

Distributed in Canada by: Raincoast, 9050 Shaughnessy St., Vancouver, B.C. V6P 6E5 Phone: (604) 323-7100 • Fax: (604) 323-2600 • www.raincoast.com ● ●

Take Your Soul on a Vacation Visit www.HealYourLife.com® to regroup, recharge, and reconnect with your own magnificence.Featuring blogs, mind-body-spirit news, and life-changing wisdom from Louise Hay and friends. Visit www.HealYourLife.com today!

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ORDER The SparkPeople Cookbook from your local bookseller or online.

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