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The South Beach Diet Quick & Easy Cookbook
200 Delicious Recipes Ready in 30 Minutes or Less
By Arthur Agatston, MD
Published by Rodale
October 2005;$27.95US/$37.95CAN; 1-59486-292-3


This cookbook offers many easy and delicious foods that you can enjoy while you lose weight and improve your overall health. As you eat better, you'll not only look and feel better but also improve your blood chemistry and reduce your risk for prediabetes and a host of other diseases.

If you're already familiar with the South Beach Diet, you'll know that it's divided into three phases. Phase 1, which lasts for the first two weeks, will help you kick-start your weight loss while you learn what foods to enjoy and which to avoid. You'll be losing weight and improving your blood chemistry by ending the cycle of insulin resistance associated with cravings. While you eat plenty of lean protein, veggies, nuts, reduced-fat cheese, eggs, and low-fat dairy, you'll cut out all starches, including pasta, rice, and bread. You'll also eliminate sugar, which includes all fruits and juices. You'll eat three meals a day plus two snacks, and even a dessert snack.

In Phase 2, your cravings will have subsided, and you'll continue to lose weight at a steady rate. You'll gradually add more of the right carbs-- including whole-grain breads, whole-wheat pasta, and brown rice-back into your diet, and you'll reintroduce fruits and some root vegetables that were off-limits during Phase 1. You'll start to reintroduce these foods slowly and see how much you can enjoy while continuing to lose weight. Note that you can also start the diet in Phase 2 if you don't have much weight to lose (generally 10 pounds or less and don't have a significant problem with cravings) or are following this plan primarily for health rather than weight-loss reasons. Remember that even if you don't have any weight to lose, following the principles of the South Beach Diet is still the healthiest way to eat.

Finally, once you reach a healthy weight for you, you'll enter Phase 3. At this point, you'll know what you can eat while maintaining your health and your weight. Since there is no list of forbidden foods in Phase 3, you'll have more latitude when it comes to enjoying occasional items you were not allowing yourself in Phase 2. As long as you stick to the principles of your South Beach lifestyle and remember to monitor how your particular body responds to the foods you are eating, you'll continue to improve your health and maintain your weight, while enjoying a host of wonderful foods and a way of life that has now become second nature.

If you're looking after your family's health as well as your own, you're in luck. Kids will love the home-cooked meals you'll make from this book. Dishes like Baked Barbecue Chicken (page 206), Pork Fajitas (page 210), the South Beach Classic Burger (page 212), South Beach Macaroni and Cheese (page 249), and Tempeh Tacos (page 259) will appeal to the whole family. It is important that they learn the principles of good eating as early as possible.
I know how easy it is to resort to convenient drive-through restaurants, especially when time is limited. So I've included many recipes throughout this book that take less than 15 minutes to prepare, plus quick-cook ideas that don't even require a formal recipe (see page 40). In the same amount of time that it takes to pick up an order at a fast-food restaurant, you'll be able to pre- pare delicious, healthy meals. You'll see that it is possible to have a "fast-food" lifestyle that is also nutritious. In fact, the meals in this cookbook are so flavorful that your family may not even realize that they are also good for them!

Turkey and White Bean Chili

PREP TIME: 10 minutes COOK TIME: 30 minutes

This yummy chili can be made many different ways, if you want to experiment. Try using chicken instead of turkey or navy, black, or pinto beans in place of the white ones. Top it with a tablespoon or two of shredded low-fat cheddar or jack cheese, sliced scallions, or chopped cilantro. You can even use chipotle chili powder for a smoky taste, in place of regular.

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound turkey cutlets, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 (14.5-ounce) can Mexican diced tomatoes
1 cup lower-sodium chicken broth
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute more.

Add turkey, chili powder, and cumin; cook, stirring often, until turkey is no longer pink inside, about 5 minutes.

Add beans, tomatoes with juice, and broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until flavors blend, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.

Makes 4 (1 1/4-cup) servings

Per serving: 260 calories, 5 g fat, 112 g saturated fat, 34 g protein, 21 g carbohydrate, 6 g dietary fiber, 500 mg sodium

Baked Barbeque Chicken

PREP TIME: 10 minutes COOK TIME: 25 minutes

Enjoy tangy barbecue any time of the year with this simple oven-baked dish. Serve it with Eggless Caesar Salad (page 110) or in Phase 2 or 3 with Moroccan Cabbage and Carrot Slaw (page 121).

4 (6-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup South Beach Barbecue Sauce (opposite page)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat oven to 350'F. Season chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook until browned, 2 minutes per side.

Place chicken, in a single layer, in an ovenproof baking dish and spoon sauce evenly over the top. Bake until chicken is cooked through and sauce is bubbling, 18 to 20 minutes.

Makes 4 servings

Per serving: 200 calories, 3.5 g fat, .5 g saturated fat, 40 g protein, 2 g carbohydrate, 0 g dietary fiber, 290 mg sodium

South Beach Barbeque Sauce

PREP TIME: 10 minutes

This zesty sauce can be quickly made from scratch with a few basic pantry items. Store it in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
2 tablespoons white vinegar
2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon ground mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

Combine tomato sauce, vinegar, parsley, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, salt, pepper, and garlic powder in a resealable plastic container.

Refrigerate until ready to use.

Makes 4 (1/4-cup) servings

Per serving: 25 calories, 0 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 1 g protein, 5 g carbohydrate, 1 g dietary fiber, 380 mg sodium

Copyright © 2005 Arthur Agatston, MD