It’s been a long, strange month for those of us fighting the battle of the post-holiday bulge while trying to get our exercise routines back on track.
By mid-month, we had witnessed a jaw-dropping array of emaciated, X-ray actresses giving out Golden Globe awards. Forget the Caveman diet. These women must be on the Flavored Water diet.
Then, just last week, the Queen of Southern Cuisine Paula Deen revealed that she has suffered from type 2 diabetes for years. Was anyone really shocked at that announcement? It would be surprising if you lived in the South, drank sweet tea every day, and didn’t get diabetes.
Now, at 10 p.m. this Thursday Jan. 26, the Food Network is rolling out “Fat Chef,” a six-episode show about morbidly obese chefs that have turned their passion for food into a full-blown addiction.
Welcome to the yo-yo world of Jack Sprat, who ate no fat, and his wife Joan, who could eat no lean.
Along the same lines, the non-profit Physicians Committee for Responsibility has released a list of the five worst cookbooks of 2011, which is topped by British chef Jamie Oliver, who has been on a mission to revolutionize school nutrition.
“The high-fat meals in these cookbooks are real recipes for disaster,” said Susan Levin, the nutrition education director for PCRM. “The real key to healthful eating is moving away from high-fat, meaty meals that increase the risk of obesity, heart disease and cancer.”
In “Jamie Oliver’s Meals in Minutes,” the committee found that one serving of the Meatball Sandwich contains more fat than a Big Mac and more than double the calories, cholesterol, sodium and saturated fat.
Coming in second place was Santa Rosa’s own Guy Fieri, whose recipes in “Guy Fieri’s Food” include the Jambalaya Sandwich, loaded with bacon, pork butt or pork loin, smoked sausage, Andouille sausage, chicken thighs and Havarti cheese.
Deen, who made it into the PCRM’s Worst Cookbooks of the Decade list two years ago, was dinged for her latest cookbook, “Paula Deen’s Southern Cooking Bible,” which includes recipes like Burgoo, a stew calling for three pounds of chicken, two pounds of beef and two pounds of lamb.
Meat is great, but don’t forget those two sides of vegetables.
Coming in fourth was “The Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook,” boasting more than 50 pages of recipes centered around grilled meat.
We love Christopher Kimball, but he is a guy, after all.
Pulling up the rear was “The Neelys’ Celebration Cookbook,” featuring recipes such as Bourbon Bread Pudding, saturated with butter, Half & Half and whole milk.
My favorite recipe for dessert? Skip the pudding and enjoy a shot of bourbon with a piece of dark chocolate.