Tanya Rosen, nutritionist, weight loss consultant, personal trainer and retail packaged food developer, has just authored a new book, “Cooking with Tanya,” published by Menucha Publishers (ISBN 978-1-61465-532-9).
“Cooking with Tanya” is a nutritionally sound, inviting and easy-to-use cookbook for people on Rosen’s weight loss plan or anyone who wants to cut calories without sacrificing flavor. Although she doesn’t cook herself—she freely admits her husband does all the cooking at home—she knows what a good, healthy meal plan should look like. The recipes were developed by her associate, Basya Kovacs, under her guidance.
“Cooking with Tanya” strives to hit the sweet spot in food prep: healthy, tasty, lower calorie and not difficult to make. Rosen gets there by taking away some of the sugar, fat and carbs—without restricting them entirely—and using plenty of herbs and spices.
“On my program, we make sure we’re having fun,” she writes in the introduction. “There is no detox and there is no yo-yoing. There is balance, portion control and a maximized metabolism.”
At a recent book signing, held at Sender’s Smoke Joint, a new Teaneck restaurant specializing in smoked meats, she made the point that people who are on a weight loss journey can choose from most of the restaurant’s menu selections but control the portion size. She said she often asks servers in a restaurant to pack up half the plate for her to bring home before she even starts, so she’s not tempted to overeat. She also recommended drinking lots of water, especially when eating salty foods.
“Cooking with Tanya” is divided into color coded food categories, with a section on Shabbat and Yom Tov that includes recipes with a little more elegance. Most of the recipes are designed for one person and can be multiplied to serve more. Each recipe has a recommended serving size and tells you the category if you are tracking food for her plan.
I made a cross section of the book’s recipes, and now have several new dishes to keep in my repertoire:
Oatmeal Peanut Butter Banana Mini Muffins
These muffins have many of our favorite ingredients, including chocolate chips. The key here is to practice mindful eating. Two mini muffins are considered one breakfast, but one muffin is probably three bites, at most. If you savor each bite, you are in breakfast heaven. And if you resist the temptation to eat more, you can feel really good about it.
Kofta Kebabs, Garlic String Beans and Caesar Salad
Kofta kebabs are Middle Eastearn spiced skewers of ground meat, usually beef or lamb, but Tanya suggests using lower fat turkey instead. I cheated a bit and drizzled tahini sauce over the kabobs as I do when making this dish with lamb. I paired the kebabs with Tanya’s garlic string beans and pareve Caesar salad. The dressing had the requisite Caesar flavor and I didn’t miss the cheese.
By Bracha Schwartz