Pretty Delicious: Lean and Lovely Recipes for a Healthy, Happy New You: A Cookbook

Pretty Delicious: Lean and Lovely Recipes for a Healthy, Happy New You: A Cookbook

by Candice Kumai

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When was the last time you indulged in a sumptuous eggs benedict, an herbaceous and aromatic pasta with pesto, or a soul-satisfying cup of creamy tomato soup with a grilled cheese on the side—without a moment of guilt? The too-good-to-be-true recipes in Pretty Delicious not only look and taste great, but they are as easy on the waistline as they are on the wallet and will keep you lean, sexy, and very, very happy.

The secret? Former model-turned-chef Candice Kumai skips "diet" food in favor of smart swaps and delicious real foods that keep fat and calories to a minimum while boosting flavor and plate appeal to the maximum. And by loading her dishes with FWBs (that's foods with benefits, of course!), she ensures that every enticing bite provides the key nutrients your body craves to stay healthy and look amazing.

From sliders and mac' and cheese to a lightened-up veggie lasagna and guilt-free BLTs, nothing is off-limits in the Pretty Delicious kitchen. Love Cali-fresh flavors? Try Candice's 470-calorie Fabulous Fish Tacos and a soul-soothing Albóndigas Soup. Making an intimate dinner for two? Almond Pesto Fettuccine with Pan-Seared Scallops or Grilled White Pizza with Mushrooms, Artichokes, and Parm are made to order. Hosting a crowd for brunch? A breakfast burrito bar or make-your-own-mimosas spread will start the weekend off right without weighing you down.

And proving that you don't need to be a millionaire to eat like royalty, Candice shares her tips for being fab and frugal, as well as ideas for making smart switches in the kitchen that will save you calories and fat grams without compromising on flavor.

For entertaining, for easy weeknight meals, and for simple snacks and everyday indulgences (to be enjoyed in moderation), Candice Kumai's collection of smart, sexy, and truly irresistible recipes is proof that even the most health-conscious cook can dish it up with style and flavor!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781609613273
Publisher: Potter/Ten Speed/Harmony/Rodale
Publication date: 02/01/2011
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 1,106,963
File size: 46 MB
Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

About the Author

CANDICE KUMAI received her culinary training at Le Cordon Bleu California School of Culinary Arts and has worked in several Los Angeles restaurants. After appearing on the first season of Bravo's Top Chef, she became the host of Lifetime's hit series Cook Yourself Thin and was a contributing writer to the #1 New York Times bestseller Cook Yourself Thin: Skinny Meals You Can Make in Minutes. She has also appeared on TLC's Home Made Simple and Cooking Channel's Unique Eats and has contributed to various food and lifestyle publications. Candice continues her journey of spreading her love of pretty delicious cooking, good health, and living a fabulous life in New York City.

Read an Excerpt

2 Berry Creamy Oatmeal 3 Ricotta, Berry, and Runny Honey Parfaits 5 Lemon-Cran Scones 6 Raspberry-Oat Muffins 8 Bright-Eye Blueberry-Bran Muffins 11 Toasted-Almond Sticky Buns 13 Tofu Scramble with Fresh Basil and Sun-Dried Tomatoes 14 Skinny 3-Veg Scramble (: substitute crumbled firm tofu for eggs) 16 Green with Envy Eggs and Ham 18 Skinny Eggs Benny 19 Dirty Marys 21 Candice's Can-Do Mimosas 22 Peaches and Cream Crepes 24 Pumpkin Pie Pancakes with Apple Butter 27 Country Girl Waffle Stacks

= vegetarian = vegan


Brekki & Brunch

Good morning, sunshine! Morning is a critical time to fuel up with healthy and lean proteins, filling fiber, and antioxidants that will keep your glow on. If my schedule is super jam-packed, I'll start off with a pure energy booster like a 3-Veg Scramble (and take it to go in a low-cal whole wheat wrap if I don't have time to enjoy it at home). On lazy weekends I'll invite some girlfriends over for brunch (and gossip!) and cook up faves, like crepes loaded with juicy peaches or seemingly sinful sticky buns. Of course we can have our cake (or crepes!) and eat it, too--we just need to know how to get our skinny on. With some smart substitutions and swaps, you don't have to sacrifice pancakes or lemony scones for a skinny waistline.

If you think that oatmeal is for kids and grannys, then think again! This oatmeal recipe is anything but boring thanks to creamy nonfat yogurt and a few sweet berries. Oats are packed with protein, fiber, and iron, plus they're easy on the wallet. They're a seasonless pantry staple! FWB: Oats

Berry Creamy Oatmeal


3 cups quick oats 1 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt 1/4 cup honey Pinch of ground cinnamon Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg Pinch of sea salt 1/2 pint blueberries, raspberries, or strawberries (about 1 cup) 4 teaspoons dark brown sugar (optional) 1/2 cup toasted sliced almonds (optional)

Bring 3 cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Add the oats, stir, cover, and turn off the heat.

Once the oats are plump, about 4 minutes, stir in the yogurt, honey, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Gently fold in the berries. If desired, sprinkle each serving with 1 teaspoon brown sugar and 2 tablespoons almonds. Now how easy was that?

Per serving: 366 calories, 5 g fat (0 g saturated, 0 g trans), 14 g protein. 8 g fiber, 25 g sugars, 120 mg sodium, 68 g carbohydrates, 0 mg cholesterol

Individually packed pouches of flavored quick oats are often high in sugar and contain more calories than you'd suspect. Be your smart self and DIY to save calories and change. Add in brown sugar, cinnamon, and raisins to taste.

These simple parfaits deliver everything I want in the morning: a speedy healthy sweet, low-fat, and antioxidant-packed start to the day. If you're more of a Greek yogurt goddess than a ricotta-mama, try it instead--it'll add a tangy tingle to your morning routine. FWB: Berries

Ricotta, Berry, and Runny Honey Parfaits


2 cups strawberries, halved 1 cup raspberries 1 cup blueberries or blackberries 1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese Pourable honey, for serving 1/2 cup slivered almonds

Place the berries in a large colander and gently rinse under cold running water. Turn out onto a paper towel--lined baking sheet and shake the pan to dry the berries.

Divide the berries among 4 dessert bowls. Top with 2 tablespoons of ricotta, a drizzle of runny honey, and 2 tablespoons almonds. Then dig in and put those antioxidants to work!

Per serving: 189 calories, 9 g fat (1.5 g saturated, 0 g trans), 8 g protein, 6 g fiber, 16 g sugars, 77 mg sodium, 25 g carbohydrates, 10 mg cholesterol

For a little extra zip, grate a pinch of lemon, lime, or orange zest over the berries before topping with the ricotta, nuts, and honey.

Whenever life hands me lemons, I make these lusciously lemony scones! They're best served with a sip of tea, great gossip, and your best friends-- all the necessary ingredients to turn your day around in an instant. The Raspberry Cream Spread (page 9) is the perfect accessory. FWB: Dried cranberries

Lemon-Cran Scones


3 cups all-purpose flour plus extra for shaping 1/2 cup sugar Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon salt 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes 3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce 1 cup dried cranberries 1 cup confectioners' sugar

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Whisk the flour, sugar, lemon zest, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl. Add the butter and work it in with your fingertips until there are no pieces larger than a small pea.

Whisk the buttermilk and applesauce together in a large liquid measuring cup. Add half of the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture and stir with a fork. Pour in the remaining buttermilk mixture and add the dried cranberries. Stir until just combined.

Lightly flour a work surface. Divide the dough in half and sprinkle the top of each piece of dough with a little lour and then pat into a 1-inch-thick round that is about 5 1/4 inches in diameter. Using a long sharp knife or pizza wheel, divide each round into 6 wedges (like a pie). Place the wedges on the baking sheet and bake until golden, 15 to 18 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes on the pan before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

While the scones cool, make the glaze. Whisk 1/4 cup of lemon juice and the confectioners' sugar together in a small bowl. Use a spoon to drizzle the glaze over the cooled scones. Hold your horses for at least 5 minutes (to let the glaze set up) before serving.

Per scone: 259 calories, 4 g fat (3 g saturated, 0 g trans), 4 g protein, 1 g fiber, 26 g sugars, 349 mg sodium, 52 g carbohydrates, 11 mg cholesterol

Back in my surf-bum days in Hermosa Beach, I finished off most mornings at the best little cafe on LA's west side and always ate the same thing--a raspberry-oat muffin and a big cup of joe. I don't usually try to knock off recipes, but I had to try to re-create these muffins (with a healthy applesauce twist), if only to relive my carefree days of surf, sand, and SoCal fun. FWB: Oats, berries

Raspberry-Oat Muffins


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1 cup quick oats 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon baking soda Pinch of sea salt 2 large eggs 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce 2 tablespoons honey 1 cup frozen raspberries Confectioners' sugar Raspberry Cream Spread (page 9)

Preheat the oven to 400°F Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.

Whisk the flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl. Whisk the eggs, applesauce, and honey together in a medium bowl. Stir the applesauce mixture into the flour mixture until completely incorporated. Gently fold in the frozen raspberries.

Using a 1 1/2-ounce ice cream scoop, portion the batter into the paper cups, filling each about three-fourths full. Bake, rotating midway through cooking, until golden brown, the center of a mufin resists light pressure, and a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, about 20 minutes.

Let cool for 20 minutes in the pan, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Dust with confectioners' sugar and serve with the Raspberry Cream Spread.

Per muffin (without Raspberry Cream Spread): 180 calories, 1.5 g fat (0 g saturated, 0 g trans), 4 g protein, 2 g fiber, 20 g sugars, 122 mg sodium, 38 g carbohydrates, 35 mg cholesterol

Frozen berries are tons cheaper than out-of-season fresh berries! Plus they're picked at their peak deliciousness, so they often taste a whole lot better, too.

So you're thinking, bran? Not so sexy. Well I beg to differ! Bran keeps you healthy, and feeling great is the most important ingredient for being the sexiest one on the block. Another cool bonus is that this batter can be made the night before, so in the morning all you have to do is scoop it into the pan and bake for a hot-from-the-oven treat. FWB: Wheat bran

Bright-Eye Blueberry-Bran Muffins


1 1/2 cups wheat bran 1 cup all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon baking soda Pinch of sea salt 1 large egg 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar 2 teaspoons honey 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce 1 cup frozen blueberries Confectioners' sugar, for dusting Sweet Honey Spread (opposite page) or Apple Butter (page 24), optional

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners.

Whisk the wheat bran, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl. Whisk the egg, brown sugar, honey, and vanilla together in a large bowl, then whisk in the buttermilk and applesauce. Stir in the flour mixture in three additions, mixing just until a few dry spots remain before adding more. Gently stir in the blueberries and mix just to incorporate (take care not to overmix so your batter doesn't toughen up and turn blue!).

Using a 1 1/2 -ounce ice cream scoop, portion the batter into the paper cups, filling each about three-fourths full. Bake, rotating midway through cooking, until golden on top, the center of a mufin resists light pressure, and a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Let cool for 20 minutes in the pan, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Dust with confectioners' sugar.

Per muffin: 112 calories, 1 g fat (0 g saturated, 0 g trans), 14 g protein, 4 g fiber, 13 g sugars, 126 mg sodium, 26 g carbohydrates, 18 mg cholesterol

Sometimes I'll bake a batch of muffins in a mini muffin tin and freeze them. Just 15 seconds in the microwave for a delicious solution to a sweets craving.

5 Skinny Spreads to Live By

Bagel with a schmear may be a quick breakfast fix, but it's not the smart way to start your day. I save a ton of calories and fat grams by making my own quick and easy skinny spreads. They're creamy and dreamy and will change your perception of "diet" food completely! Try these on English muffins or toast. And don't reserve them for breakfast; they're great with crudites or baked tortilla chips, or in wrap sandwiches.

Creamy Salsa Spread 1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese & 2 tablespoons salsa & 2 tablespoons chopped roasted red peppers

Sweet Honey Spread 1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese & 1/4 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt & 1 tablespoon honey & 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Totally TDF Guacamole Spread 1 ripe Hass avocado mashed with 1/2 cup nonfat Greek yogurt & 1 squeeze lemon or lime juice & 1 tablespoon salsa & salt and pepper to taste

2-Second Honey-Mustard 1/2 cup Dijon mustard & 1 tablespoon honey

Raspberry Cream Spread 1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese & 1/4 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt & 1 tablespoon raspberry all-fruit spread & 1 tablespoon honey

Of course you can have hot buns! These skinny stickies are made with less butter, less sugar, and no eggs for a slimmed-down version of the fat- packed original. Gooey and delicious, they're still finger stickin' good. FWB: Cinnamon

Toasted-Almond Sticky Buns


1 1/2 cups sliced almonds 1 package active dry yeast 1 teaspoon sugar 1/4 cup warm water 1 cup unsweetened almond milk, at room temperature 3 tablespoons plus 1/4 cup honey 1/2 teaspoon sea salt 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, sifted, plus extra for kneading 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place 1 cup of the almonds on a rimmed baking sheet and place them in the oven until golden brown, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer the almonds to a large plate and set aside to cool.

Whisk the yeast, sugar, and water together in a small bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside for 5 minutes.

Whisk the almond milk, 3 tablespoons of the honey, and the salt together in a large bowl. Add 1 cup of the flour and whisk until smooth. Pour in the yeast mixture, then stir in the remaining 2 1/4 cups flour, mixing with a wooden spoon. Once the dough gets too difficult to mix with the spoon, use your hands to gently knead it until it comes together to make a ball.

Transfer the dough to a floured work surface and continue to knead it until the dough is completely smooth, about 6 minutes. Grease a large, clean bowl with 1/2 tablespoon of the butter. Place the dough ball in the bowl, turn over to coat in butter, and cover the bowl with a warm, damp towel (I like to wet a kitchen towel, wring it out, and microwave it for 45 seconds). Let the dough rise in a warm, draft-free spot until it has doubled, about 40 minutes.

Coat a 10-inch round cake pan with cooking spray and set aside. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and roll it into a 12 x 13-inch rectangle about 1/4 inch thick. Mix the toasted almonds, 1/4 cup of the brown sugar, the cinnamon, and nutmeg together in a small bowl. Melt the remaining 1 tablespoon butter on the stovetop or in the microwave. Brush the dough with the melted butter and sprinkle evenly with a thin layer of the almond-spice mixture.

Cut the dough lengthwise into twelve 1-inch-wide strips. Roll the strips up, forming a tight roll. Place the buns spiral side up in the cake pan. Cover with a warm, damp towel and set aside until they've increased in size slightly, about 20 minutes.

Spread the tops of the buns with the remaining 1/4 cup honey, 1/4 cup brown sugar, and 1/2 cup almonds. Bake until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Serve warm.

Per serving: 282 calories, 8 g fat (1.5 g saturated, 0 g trans), 6 g protein, 3 g fiber, 20 g sugars, 100 mg sodium, 48 g carbohydrates, 4 mg cholesterol

Even my mom questioned my logic on this one--why not just roll the entire piece of dough into a log and then slice crosswise into pieces instead of slicing and rolling individually? I tried it both ways and because the dough is so lean, the buns are just prettier made this way. For me, these hot numbers are as much about the "wow!" factor as they are about taste!

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Pretty Delicious 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
Teyana More than 1 year ago
I have the NOOK version. The recipes appear to be easy and delicious. We've tried the Berry Oatmeal and the Fabulous Fish Tacos with Tequila Lime Sauce. Both were fantastic. The Fish Tacos were actually pretty sweet with the Pickled Slaw on it. The lime flavoring really shined. The pictures in the book are beautiful. My problem is with the NOOK version. If it says something is on a certain page, it is not. For example, the Tuna Curry Salad on page 96 is actually on my NOOK's page 132. If you go to page 96 you'll see Grilled Nectarine Salad. However, when you see a page number it is usually highlighted as a link so when you click on it, it'll take you directly to where you need to go. Because of that, it isn't too annoying. Overall, I am pleasantly surprised and I can't stop reading it and looking at the pictures. It has inspired me to cook better foods for my family.
Roxxan More than 1 year ago
For a hi-level assessment, this cookbook is FANTASTIC! Let me begin by saying I am an extremely picky eater. Therefore, when it comes to food, cooking and self-preparation are always my best bet. I am not a novice, nor an expert, but have to admit this is the first cookbook I have ever purchased. Let me tell you, it was worth every penny (for the elegance and style alone). I have had it one week and already used 2 recipes and have also tagged many more (ps, they were both delicious). Having studied graphic design and based my career in the visual communicative arts, I was of course immediately intrigued by the amount of thought and detail put into the design of this book. My copywriter would say I'm not one for many words on the page, but when they are laid out so beautifully, all you want to do is read-on. From the typography choices, to the images, to the way the notes and tips are called-out, everything just seems perfect. This would even make a non-cooker want to tie on an apron and pearls (maybe a couple of sparkly bangles too). The book is written in a fun and light tone, never condescending or vague--which is the problem I find with many of the recipe books I've skimmed through or taken notes from over the years. The promotion of health and happiness through good foods (or FWBs--food with benefits as she would say) really comes from the heart, and not from some newfangled fad dietician. It shows in her recipes and notes, the love that she put into this amazing compilation of delicious, healthy recipes. I am beyond satisfied with my purchase of this beautiful cookbook. You will be too.
AmyMT More than 1 year ago
This is such a great and beautiful cookbook! Candice is so cute and down to earth. I've seen her on TV and she comes across with the same spunky personality in this book. The recipes look delicious! I can't wait to try them and her tips are priceless for healthy eating on a budget. She breaks down healthy fresh cooking into a lingo we can all understand and easily follow. Yummy!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not only are the recipes better for you, but they are tasty.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have this book in print and it was a recommendation from a friend who has similar tastes. The recipes are pretty easy to follow. Everything I have made so far tastes really good. There is also a focus on heathy eating but still a bit of cheating in moderation.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
foodluvr12 More than 1 year ago
After indulging a little too much during the holidays, I wanted to buy a new cookbook that showed me how to make the slimmed-down versions of my favorite comfort foods. Enter former Top Chef contestant Candice Kumai!! I was blown away by the beautiful photography throughout this entire book- I was practically drooling over the food before I even started cooking!! Candice has showed me that you can definitely stay "lean and lovely" while creating flavorful, fun and sexy dishes!!
clare87 More than 1 year ago
As a culinary school grad, I own a LOT of cookbooks. But time and again I pull out my copy of Pretty Delicious. Not only are the photos beautiful, but the recipes, tips and tricks are spot-on. I am in love with the Gone Bananas Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies! I can also vouch for the Datenight Rack of Lamb, Swiss Chard, Tomato Soup and TDF Hummus. All the recipes use easy-to-find wholesome ingredients. It's truly the anti-diet book. I am planning on buying this book for my sister for Christmas!
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mommy2girls More than 1 year ago
Im in no way a good cook, but I bought this book after seeing the author on the Today show. The receipes are amazing and simple. I tried the Shrimp ceviche right away and my husband and 2 kids couldnt get enough of it. Im really excited to try more and more of these recipes!!! Its a must!
StrollerMama More than 1 year ago
This is one of my favorite cookbooks! Not only is it beautiful to look at, the food turns you into a gourmet cook. It is tasty and so good for you! Almost better than the food is the author - reading this book is like having a conversation with Candice herself - she is upbeat, cheerful, and has her own language. You'll notice all of this as you read her book and enjoy the food she has created for you! Your tummy and your waistline will thank you for it! Oh, and buy two - you'll want one to cook out of and one to display on the coffee table! It's gorgeous!
Jamie331 More than 1 year ago
I'm a novice in the kitchen, but Pretty Delicious inspires me to cook. With Candice Kumai's entertaining voice woven throughout her provocative recipes and fun advice, I now look forward to creating special meals for my family and friends to enjoy. What a transformation... I was never satisfied in the kitchen, feeling overwhelmed, anxious, and inept to prepare dinner, but I finally found my best friend to help me fall in love with cooking! The beautiful layout of Pretty Delicious makes each recipe easy to understand and its story, relatable. This is a cookbook that will live on your countertop or coffee table. The recipes are stylish, healthy (she substitutes ingredients but truly maintains key flavor), and unique. The "Food w/ Benefits" (FWB) chart, tips and advice, and vegetarian/vegan symbols are user friendly and very informative! This cookbook is for every woman out there. Cheers!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago