Book Review: Skinny Meals in Heels

skinny-meals-in-heelsFor my birthday in January a good friend bought me a “joke” cookery book called Skinny Meals in Heels, by Jennifer Joyce. He thought it was funny because I’m always talking about trying to lose weight (due to the amount of eating I do so that I can write articles for this blog). He also thinks in the right heels and dress I would make a great drag queen lol. I took a quick glance at it and I didn’t it’s style or the “joke” element and threw it with the rest of my cookery books, not expecting to use it.

Well that was wrong of me as my other half was bored one evening recently and started looking at Skinny Meals in Heels. He said he would like to try Tomato, Chickpea and Cumin soup and when I looked at the recipe I agreed with him. It tweaked my interest in the book, so I decided to take a longer glance and realised there were some great recipes in it.

As you can tell by the name of the book and the writing on the cover “Figure-friendly dishes for girls on the move” It is aimed a woman – well duh…which also put me off. I actually thought the book was about dieting with low calorie recipes and I didn’t fancy reading it. But taking a longer look at the book I realised it was more about light recipes rather than diet recipes, as the books says “quick mouth watering recipes that happen to be low in fat….” Although not all the recipes are “healthy” as there are recipes for pizzas and we all know they aren’t always healthy, low in calories or low in fa, depending on the toppings.

The opening section talks about how to sustain a constant weight, like no snacking, quit eating when full, vary what you eat etc etc. It then goes into the recipe sections like the average cookery book, starters, soups and salads. Then not so normal, weekday dinners, weekend cooking. The weekday recipes take well under an hour including prep time, in fact most of them take about 30 minutes or under, where as the Weekend section include recipes that take a lot longer to prepare and cook. The dessert section is called Skinny Puds and as you might guess there is nothing heavy like sticky toffee pudding, teracle tart etc, but some wonderful light recipes, roasted plums with star anise and cinnamon, pineapple and mint granita are a couple of examples. All the recipes have two tips, one called Prep Ahead, which is self explanatory and the other called The Skinny, which talks about why it’s healthy, how to make it lower in fat etc.

The recipes are varied, but as it says in the introduction, they are more on the light and healthy side. Examples are sashimi tuna with yuzu dressing, tomato tratines with goats cheese with a caper, mint and balsamic dressing in the starter section. Then we have wonderful sounding recipes from the Weekday section, like pork and fennel tray roast with lemon and coriander paste, a Vietnamese dish of chicken, ginger and green bean hotpot, which are both easy and quick to prepare and make. With recipes like poulet au poule with salsa verde, slow-roasted pork with spice crust and pomegranate glaze, they take a lot longer to prepare and cook, hence they are located in the Weekend section when we tend to have more time to spend on cooking. But there are quicker recipes in the Weekend section like pork tenderloin with charred tomato and chipotle chilli sauce.

They say you should never judge a book by it’s cover and this is certainly true this time. If you want some light and flavoursome recipes then you won’t go wrong with this book. I can see why they marketed this book towards woman, but it’s a shame because there are a lot of enlightened men that eat more than just steak and would enjoy these recipes.

So, a big apologies to my friend Jeff, for being so dismissive to the present he bought and also a big thank you to him for giving me a book that is going to give me many enjoyable, tasty and light meals that won’t be belt busting on my ever expanding waist line.

Click here to buy the book on Amazon.

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About Keifer Derrin

Having worked in IT for over 20 years, Keifer Derrin quit his job to do something new. Not claiming to be a Gordon, Heston or even a Delia, Keifer’s passion for all kinds of food includes trying out new recipes whether they take 10 minutes or 8 hours to prepare. He also enjoys eating out - anything from The Ledbury to Pizza Express and even a local greasy spoon! Keifer also does voluntary work for the Food Chain, a charity that supplies food, meals & nutritional education to people who are HIV+. Check out his food blog at
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