Rachael Ray's 30-Minute Get Real Meals

Other Books by Rachael Ray

Rachael Ray’s 30-Minute Meals: Cooking ’Round the Clock

Rachael Ray’s 30-Minute Meals for Kids: Cooking Rocks!

$40 a Day: Best Eats in Town

Get Togethers: Rachael Ray’s 30-Minute Meals

30-Minute Meals 2

Veggie Meals

Comfort Foods

Rachael Ray’s Open House Cookbook

30-Minute Meals

To my Gran’pa Emmanuel. He is no longer with us, but in writing this book, I have come to realize he was a real forerunner in low-carb cooking. My Gran’pa Emmanuel had diabetes but he never gave up his pasta or bread. He made pastas that were high in protein and full of vegetables with just a little pasta mixed in. He made things sweet with fruit, fresh or dried, or a drizzle of honey, rather than with refined sugar. He grew tons of fruits and vegetables and nuts and kept his recipes down to earth: simple and full of herbs and stocks. Every one of these lower-carb recipes only echoes his thinking, his teachings, and his cooking. How lucky am I to have had such a good example! I think he’s been reading these recipes over my shoulder and I hope he’s smiling and maybe a little hungry, too!

Thank-You Notes

Thanks to Emily, who helps me embrace all the hard stuff, like low-carb cooking. You rule! I like you as much as spaghetti!

Thanks to Wes for helping me embrace almost-baking. This is the first time 30-minute desserts have appeared in a book of mine. If you like them, send Wes a sweet thank-you note, too.

Thanks as always to the army of talented people who work at turning my piles of computer files full of craziness into pretty books and shiny TV shows.

Thanks to my family for not disowning me during the grumpy days of writing book number ten! I love you all and, Mom, your food remains the best on earth!

Thanks to my yummy fella, John. Just thanks, ya know, for whatever and all of it.

Thanks to my beloved dog, Boo, who always supported her very busy mom. You were the tastiest treat ever!

As you are reading this, I’m willing to bet that I have just eaten, and that whatever it was I ate, I had a big bowl of it and it contained carbs. I cannot and will not eat without them.

On the other hand, when I do eat fewer carbs, I get to buy and wear better clothes because I look better in them.

I do not like extremes, especially when it comes to my food. I have been working in food for twenty years now and I have barely survived the crazy trends: from the teeny-tiny mini portions of Nouvelle “Cuisine” (more like snacks) to the megasize portions of tasteless, sugar-enriched, barklike offerings of the “fat-free” years.

Still, I’ve always been customer oriented. The public is always right when you grow up in the hospitality business. So, I developed a personal strategy over the years of taking an extreme trend and teaching recipes that reined in the concept yet creatively attempted to respect the principles of the movement. In fact, I originally designed 30-Minute Meals as a cooking class to sell more groceries because the trend of the early 1990s seemed to be no one has any time for anything, period.

Low-carb has been the toughest trend to weather, hands down. I have been miserable and angry for months, trying to churn out pastaless, breadless, tomato- and fruitless food for the show. One night I just screamed, in a very
moment, “Enough, already!”

So, I came to a very happy place: low-er rather than no-carb 30-Minute Meals. In this book (the biggest challenge for me and my pots to date), you’ll find lower-carb living is easy when you can have takeout-style foods, burgers, and yes, even pastas! I have an entire section of pasta dinners that are mostly meats and veggies and just a half pound of pasta per every four adult entrées! Would you rather eat “low-carb” cardboard fake pasta precooked and packaged with eight net carbs or a couple of spoonfuls of the real deal mixed in with veggies and protein? (See, I’m going to win you over here, right? All things,
in moderation
! It’s a cliché for a reason.)

Bottom line: Eat fewer carbs and maintain a better bottom, waist, and everything else. But, do not go to such extremes that you deny yourself and those who eat with you to the point of damaging your relationships, your own personality, and possibly your health. Try eating fewer carbs and moving more and I bet you’ll feel as good as you look for as long as you like!

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