I guess that just the word “diet” will have half of my dear readers turning the page (if they were able to do such a thing on a website) and the other half waiting with bated breath for the next word that will change their lives completely. For those diet-haters I ask you to read on. For those who expect a magic solution for weight loss with no effort I must tell you there will never be one, but you might just find that this book helps.
Kimiko Barber is an award-winning author of books on Japanese cooking. The Chopsticks Diet is slightly different from others of Kimiko that I have reviewed. They focused on taste and some of the renowned health-giving properties of Japanese food. The Chopsticks Diet takes a slightly different and rather revolutionary approach, that of the combination of appropriate foods and the use of chopsticks.
The dishes that Kimiko offers are tempting to the taste buds and a feast for the eye. I am not a great lover of health foods that are bland and unappetising. We shouldn’t consider weight problems as an illness that can only be treated by unpleasant medicine in the shape of unpalatable meals. That just feels like punishment and reinforces the impression that we have been “bad”.
The key is in the title “Chopsticks”. If you use chopsticks to eat your food (OK, we will exclude soup) then you are bound to lose weight. You will naturally eat slower and take smaller mouthfuls and this fools you into thinking that you have eaten more than you have. Meals will be smaller but you will not feel deprived or hungry.
Yes, you could continue to eat your habitual foods with chopsticks and you would probably lose some weight, but how much nicer it is to enjoy a dish that is attractive and looks like it SHOULD be eaten with chopsticks. If you are going to make changes then have some fun.
The recipes in The Chopsticks Diet are enticing. There are just a few uniquely Japanese ingredients but they will be readily available from larger high street supermarkets, or online if you are a computer-savvy shopper. The basics are fresh vegetables, fish and noodles and will be healthful even if eaten with a fork.
The Domburi recipes are perhaps my favourite. The Chopsticks Diet has a selection of these dishes that are quick and easy to prepare. It’s rice with a variety of toppings and I think Domburi should be as well-publicised as its cousin, sushi. Egg and Spinach Domburi is comfort food Japanese style. The egg creates a sauce for the rice and gives a marvellously silky texture. A classic.
The Chopsticks Diet is a fresh and welcome approach not only to weight loss but to healthy eating in general. The recipes are stunning but not difficult. Gone are the days of cardboard crackers and calorie counters. Eat well and enjoy your food. It’s doing you good.
The Chopsticks Diet
Published by: Kyle Cathie
Cookbook review by Chrissie Walker © 2018