Eat What You Love

More than 300 Incredible Recipes Low in Sugar, Fat, and Calories


By Marlene Koch

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Over 250,000 sold!

Enjoy all the delicious foods you love — guilt free! Over 300 easy, healthy recipes for everyone’s favorite foods that taste great!

Imagine being able to effortlessly cut sugar, slash fat and calories, and curb excess carbs — all while enjoying the delicious foods you love. You can! With more than one million of her “amazing” cookbooks sold, New York Times bestselling author Marlene Koch is a “magician” when it comes to creating healthy recipes with crave-worthy taste.

With over 300 quick & easy, family-friendly recipes like cheesy Skillet Chicken Parmesan, crispy Oven-Baked Onion Rings and Unbelievable Chocolate Cake, this book is perfect for everyone (and every diet!). A proven guide for weight loss, diabetes, and simply utterly delicious everyday eating, this updated edition includes:

  • Everyday comfort foods, family favorites, and amazing recipes inspired by popular restaurants such as Jamba Juice (Berry Berry Lime Smoothie), Chili’s ® (Beef Fajitas), and Panda Express ® (Quicker-than-Take-Out Orange Chicken!)
  • Dozens of sensational dessert recipes like Amazing Peanut Butter Cookies (with 5 ingredients) and Key Lime Cheesecake “Cupcakes” that everyone can enjoy
  • Healthy cooking tips, easy-to-find ingredients and nutrition information for every recipe with smart points comparisons and diabetic food exchanges
Note: Current up-to-date downloadable Weight Watcher points addendums for all Eat What You Love books can be found on the MarleneKoch website.


What other readers are saying about Marlene's cookbooks:
Let me start by saying that not one of your recipes has been anything but
delicious! With your recipes we all get to enjoy really great food that is actually healthy
for the entire family and good enough to have family and friends ask when the next new
recipes are coming so that they can be first in line for the taste tests! Thank-you!
Cindy Gunnels, Goldsboro, North Carolina
I have your book Marlene Koch's 375 Sensational Splenda Recipes and am just
absolutely amazed. I try something new 1 to 2 times per week, and make notes on each
page after I try the recipe. Every single recipe I've tried has notes like "Fabulous!" "Incredi-
ble!" "The Best Dessert Ever!" ... every single one. Your cookbook is the only one I ever
reach for. I just wanted to thank you for superb work. I wish you were on the Food Network!
Sue Masterson, Littleton, Colorado
Your cookbooks have been wonderful. Using your recipes have helped to change our
lives. My husband, Kevin was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in May 2007. His A1C was a
14.4 (yes 14.4) and as a result of education, lifestyle changes, and using recipes from your
cookbooks Kevin's A1C was a 6.2 three months later. He continues to keep his A1C in the
6 range. With two of your fantastic recipes, we were even able to make the most wonderful
wedding cake, that not only we, but our whole family enjoyed. Thank-you.
Edith Schlinder, Cabazon, California
I have never written to an author before but had to send you a note. I am current Weight
Watchers member and have lost 46 pounds. I am now trying to balance my losing weight
with diabetes and it is no easy task. You alone however have made a huge change in my
life…with easy recipes that fit every one of my needs you have made living healthy so much
easier and delicious, not only for me but for my entire family.
Delores Hun-Thomas, Lanoka Harbor, New Jersey

To my family, friends, kind readers,
and all of those who love to eat.
May you always eat what you love,
and love what you eat.

I wear many hats, both professionally and personally. My professional hats are that of culinary instructor, registered dietitian, and successful cookbook author (with sincere gratitude to my many readers). But the truth is, the most important hats I wear are my personal hats: those of a mother, a wife, a daughter, a stepmother, a sister, and a friend. These roles are first and foremost in my life and they are what continue to inspire my work.
Like many of you, I come from a food-loving family. During my teen years I was the family baker, and now, as an adult, I am the go-to cook. Cooking for my family is no small feat. My family is large, and one of our favorite things to do is to get together and share our favorite foods. But like many families today, our nutrition needs are as varied as our personalities. For example, my stepdaughter has type 2 diabetes and my father (a bona fide dessert lover) was recently diagnosed. Then there is my older sister, and myself (and I am sure many of you), whose love for food is often challenged by the numbers on the scale. On the other end of the food spectrum, I have five hungry brothers, a myriad of relatives, in-laws, nieces, nephews, and my own two sweet-loving sons and husband, who have no greater needs other than that the food tastes great!
To satisfy the sweet tooth of all my family members, and other families like mine, I created a bestselling Splenda cookbook series, including Marlene Koch's Sensational Recipes: Over 375 Recipes Low in Sugar, Fat and Calories, which focused on all things sweet. But because all the foods we love to eat are not sweet, I knew it was time to come up with more delicious recipes that would meet everyone's needs and, more importantly, desires. That's why I am thrilled to offer this amazing collection of over three hundred brand-new sweet as well as savory recipes. Now you can enjoy all the foods you love—from delicious pasta dishes and luscious dips to juicy burgers and savory sides, along with plenty of the sweet, creamy, starchy, cheesy, and fried foods we so often crave—without any worries of sugar, fat, or calories.
I've also worked hard to include every type of dish, so you'll find familiar and beloved classics, restaurant favorites, and brand-new signature recipes with today's most popular flavor combinations. And I'm particularly thrilled to say to those of you who watch your carbs that I have combined my nutrition know-how with my kitchen tricks to make every recipe, including delicious pasta entrées and delectable sandwiches, fit easily into any carb-conscious diet. But of course this wouldn't be a Marlene Koch cookbook without scrumptious desserts, so there are four dozen new ones, including what I am convinced is truly the perfect cupcake recipe—my Perfect White Cupcakes (page 397).
I also understand as a busy Mom that every minute is precious, so all of the recipes are designed to be as quick and easy to prepare as they are delicious to eat. As in all my books you will also find lots of healthy cooking and baking information spread throughout the book. Look for my bite-size chef's tips under the heading "Marlene Says," entertaining and informative restaurant comparisons in Dare to Compare" and valuable information at the beginning of each chapter. Last, I am proud to say that this book delivers on my one passion—that no one should ever have to give up eating the foods they love!
From my family to yours,

Eat What You Love ... and Still Be Healthy
If you believe that eating for pleasure is different than eating for good health, you are not alone. When it comes to good health we all know the five recommended food groups: bread and whole grains, fruits, vegetables, dairy, and meats. These five groups comprise the foods we are supposed to eat everyday in order to stay healthy. But the reality is that many of us have our own favorite five food groups, perhaps best described as: salty, sugary, creamy, cheesy, and fried! These groups are comprised not of the foods we need, but of the foods we love—and for good reason. Research shows that we are naturally wired to enjoy foods high in sugar, fat, and sodium because they send signals to the reward center of the brain, which gives us pleasure. It's no wonder then that we love thick, creamy soups, melty cheesy sandwiches, crunchy coatings, and delectable sweets—it's only natural! My fabulous news is that eating for pleasure and eating for good health can be one in the same. I am thrilled to tell you that with this book you never again have to be deprived or sacrifice the foods you love for the sake of your health—yes, you really can have it all.
But before we get to the tantalizing recipes, in order to understand the healthy nutrition principles I have based them on, some nutrition basics are in order.


I'm starting off talking about calories for the same reason they're listed at the top of the food label and that's because calories are king when it comes to nutrition. A calorie is a measure of the energy we derive from the food we eat. Calories give us the energy we need to do everything in our daily life. If we didn't eat anything, we simply wouldn't have the fuel to survive. But just as the number of calories we eat has the ability to keep us in good health, eating too many calories makes us gain weight, which can lead to poor health. Unfortunately for our waistlines and our well being, eating more calories than we need is quite easy especially when you consider that the foods we eat today are richer, sweeter, and served in larger portions than ever before. When analyzing the nutritional content of the original restaurant dishes and traditional recipes that many of my healthier versions are based on, it became abundantly clear to me just how many calories we unknowingly consume. My assistants and I were stunned as time and time again we were confronted with the enormous number of calories (and sugar and fat and sodium for that matter) packed into many of our favorite foods. We found this information so compelling that you will find these comparisons shared in the Dare to Compare sidebars throughout the book. I am sure that you will be as astounded by the comparisons as we were, and yet delighted that you can have tasty and healthier versions of the same foods for just a fraction of the calories. (To put the Dare to Compare information into perspective, keep in mind that the USDA broadly estimates that the average American requires approximately 2,000 calories a day to maintain their weight. To calculate your daily calorie needs, go to and click on my Personal Calorie Calculator.)


When I began my career as a registered dietitian I worked in a hospital and counseled patients about their diets. At that time the message regarding fat was quite simple: fat was bad, but carbs were good. I vividly remember our education materials as they declared that butter and chocolate should be all but banned, but bagels and nonfat sugary foods (like nonfat frozen yogurt) were good for us. (It's no small wonder that bagel stores and yogurt shops proliferated!) Since that time, as new research has shed a better light on the good and bad health effects of fat, the message has not only evolved but has also become more complicated.
Nowadays we are bombarded with information on saturated fats versus unsaturated fats, monounsaturated fats versus polyunsaturated fats, and, let's not forget, the dangers of transfat. One day we are told we must lower the fat in our diets and then the next that it's the sugar, not the fat, that's making us fat. When making sense out of what's true (and what's not) here is what I've found:
1. Fat is fattening. The truth is we all need some fat in our diets for good health, but it is easy to eat too much. Fats are dense in calories with nine calories per gram and over 100 calories or more per tablespoon, and fats are the most concentrated source of calories in any food or recipe. The bottom line is that foods high in fat tend to be high in calories, and foods that are high in calories are the ones that most easily pack on the pounds. Consuming a diet that's modest in overall fat (no more than 35 percent of your total calories) is not only good for your waistline, it's heart and diabetes smart, and just makes sense.
2. All fats are not created equal. Saturated fats, found in meats, butter, whole-fat dairy, egg yolks, and full-fat cheeses, are not good for your health. (The current recommendation is that no more than 7 percent of your total calories should come from saturated fats.) Since trans-fatty acids, found in some margarines, pastries, and packaged goods, may be even more harmful, they should be avoided when possible, or minimized in the diet. Monounsaturated fats, or the "good fats," are found in olive oil, canola oil, nuts, and avocados. They are delicious and healthful additions to the diet but to control calories they too should be eaten in moderation (see #1).
3. Saturated fat raises cholesterol more than dietary cholesterol. It is prudent to keep an eye on cholesterol but even more important to monitor the total amount of fat, saturated fat, and trans fat in your diet. Thus, foods that are high in cholesterol but low in saturated fat, like shrimp and eggs, can be part of a healthy diet. Eating less than 300 milligrams of cholesterol a day is prudent for most people.
4. Low fat should never mean low flavor! Just as the science of fat has evolved, so has the science of healthy cooking and baking. For me taste is king, and the luscious recipes in this book are proof positive that you can have all of the satisfying taste of traditionally high-fat foods without worrying about unwanted fat and calories. I've made a point to explain how I created them, so that you can also deliciously reduce the fat in your own favorite recipes if you choose. In particular, I urge you to read my favorite tricks for creating delicious, nutritious quick breads on page 76 and healthy luscious dressings on page 171.There are also charts to help you select the best dairy products to minimize fat on page 56 and on how to choose perfectly lean meats on page 294. Last, it's important to remember that it takes great ingredients to create great recipes, so check out "Eat What You Love... Essential Ingredients" on page 24 for more information.


Every chef knows that salt makes everything taste better. Salt not only suppresses bitter tastes, it brings out the sweet, and the sour, flavors in foods while adding its own distinct flavor. Unlike sugar, the taste for salt (also known as sodium chloride) is not innate, but acquired. Studies show that as we eat more salt, we taste it less—but we crave it more. It's estimated the average American consumes more than 4,000 milligrams of sodium a day or the equivalent of 15 pounds of salt a year! The trouble with salt is that, on average, as our sodium intake rises so does our blood pressure, and high blood pressure leads to serious health concerns. The current recommendation is that we should consume no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium a day, which is less than one teaspoon of table salt. As I developed my recipes I made an effort to cut back on the salt by using reduced-sodium products whenever possible. These recipes contain ingredients such as reduced-sodium broth and light soy sauce, or instructions to drain and rinse canned beans. The result is that these balanced, flavor-packed recipes (even those that are a bit higher in sodium) contain far less sodium than those found in canned or frozen food, in the deli case, or at your local restaurant.


If you're like most people, when you think of foods that contain carbohydrates, the first thing that probably pops into your mind are foods full of starch, such as bread and pasta. But the reality is that there are several different types of carbohydrates (or carbs), and each has its own unique set of characteristics, both nutritionally, and when it comes to taste. The three main groups of carbohydrates are: complex carbohydrates (or starches), fiber, and simple carbohydrates (or sugar). (Note: On the food label the main heading "carbohydrates" is the total amount of carbs. The fiber and sugar content are then shown, like in my analysis, because of their healthy, or not so healthy, properties).


This is the group of carbohydrates most people think of when they think of carbs, and it includes breads and grains, beans, lentils, and starchy vegetables, such as corn, peas, and potatoes. Complex carbohydrates, or starches, are composed of long chains of glucose hooked together that break apart upon digestion to provide us with energy. While complex carbohydrates are often called "good-for-youcarbs" because they are packed with vitamins and minerals (and they tend to raise blood sugar more slowly than more refined carbs), they are also a dense source of carbohydrates. And it's their density that can make the calories, and carbs, in starchy foods add up quickly. Specifically, a single serving of a starch in most meal plans consists of an average of 15 grams of carbohydrate (See Carbohydrate Counting). In food terms a serving equals half a cup of mashed potatoes, a third a cup of pasta or yams, or a quarter of a large bagel. When those portion sizes are compared to what most people eat, it's easy to see why eating starchy carbs in moderation can be challenging. In this book you will find that I used my kitchen magic to give you more bang-for-your-carbohydrate buck. First I used whole grains and fiber-rich carbohydrates wherever possible, and second, I used creative tricks to slash the starchy carbs, so everyone, even those on carb-controlled diets, can enjoy all the foods they love.


When it comes to a good-for-you carbohydrate, it doesn't get any better than fiber. Fiber is composed of non-digestible carbohydrates, which add bulk to your diet without adding calories or raising your blood sugar. When added to an overall healthy diet, fiber has also been proven to promote weight loss and weight maintenance, as well as reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease. The recommendation when it comes to fiber is that we consume 20 to 35 grams a day by eating a variety of foods to ensure we reap the benefits of both types of fiber.
Soluble Fiber is able to dissolve in water and is known for its ability to slow the absorption of glucose, thereby lowering the glycemic index of foods and reducing cholesterol levels. Good sources of soluble fiber include whole grain oats, bran, beans, peas, brown rice, fruits, and vegetables.
Insoluble Fiber does not dissolve and provides the bulk that helps food pass more efficiently through the digestive tract. Significant sources of insoluble fiber include whole wheat breads and cereals, most other whole grains, nut seeds, and the skins of many fruits and vegetables.
This book includes a great number of wholesome recipes that make it easy, and delicious, to add fiber to your diet. For example, you'll find plenty of ingredients like whole grains, including white whole wheat flour and high-fiber tortillas, used along with fiber-rich oats and beans, instant brown rice, and a variety of great-tasting fruits and vegetables. Additionally, the bread chart on page 203 and the fruit chart on page 362 are designed to help you grocery shop with healthy fiber in mind.


Sugar, the simplest form of carbohydrates, may taste sweet, but it certainly gets a lot of not-sosweet press. The truth is that we are born loving the taste of sugar, so you can blame your sweet tooth on Mother Nature. From the moment we first taste our mother's milk, our taste buds motivate us to seek out foods that are sweet, and with good reason: we need sugar to fuel our bodies (and our brains). Unfortunately, while the sugars found in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and milk, may be what Mother Nature intended for us to eat, it is often the intense sweetness of "added sugars," such as granulated sugar, brown sugar, honey, and syrups, that we crave. The good news is that we all (including those with diabetes) can enjoy the sweet taste of added sugars in our diets—as long as we do so in moderation.
In reality, it's not the love of all things sweet that is the problem; it's the inability to limit the amount of sugar we eat that gets us into trouble. The consensus among most major health organizations, including the American Diabetes Association, is that an average person (with or without diabetes) can healthfully include 8 to 10 teaspoons of added sugars in their diet each day. This may sound like a lot, but sugars add up fast. So fast, that on the average we eat over 20 teaspoons of sugar per day (that's 170 pounds of sugar per year, per person). Unfortunately, consuming this amount of sugar does not come without health consequences. There are many false myths about the dangers of sugar (such as the myth that people with diabetes must avoid sugar completely), but there are also many truths as to its detrimental effects. Here are a few of the not-sosweet facts that inspire me to create lower sugar recipes:
Sugar offers no vitamins, minerals, or fiber, and is full of empty calories and carbohydrates. A single cup of sugar contains 768 calories and 192 grams of carbohydrate!
Sugar causes tooth decay and has been shown to significantly suppress the immune system. In fact, as few as eight tablespoons, the equivalent of the amount in a large smoothie, can suppress the immune system for up to five hours.
Excess sugar increases your risk of heart disease by raising triglycerides, and because sugar is both rich in carbohydrates and digests quickly, it can rapidly raise your blood sugar.
Excess calories from sugar can lead to weight gain and obesity, and excess weight increases your risk for many health concerns, including diabetes.
Like most Americans, I have a serious sweet tooth. I am also surrounded by people in my life who also love sweet treats, only they must watch their sugar intake more carefully because of diabetes. That's why I am thrilled to be able to share so many sweet new treats that we can all enjoy—without unwanted sugar or health consequences. If you are new to my recipes, you'll be pleased to discover how just a touch of real sugar and the addition of Splenda granulated sweetener curbs the sugar but never the sweet taste. By cutting the sugar I have significantly lowered the number of calories and amount of carbohydrates in the delicious hot and cold beverages and smoothies and shakes, but of course the savings are just as prominent in my extensive collection of incredible desserts. And while drinks and desserts may be obvious, you may be surprised to know that even seemingly healthful recipes, like glazed vegetables, salads with their sweet dressings, low-fat barbecue sauces, and Asian stir-fries, are often laced with hidden sugars. So you'll find I've eliminated the sugars in those recipes as well. You can learn more about Splenda sweetener on page 28, and for cooking and baking don't miss my Reduced-Sugar Baking Tips on page 382.


The word protein comes from the ancient Greek word meaning "of greatest importance ." Protein is a component of every part of your body, and of every function. In fact, when it comes to staying healthy, protein is vital. Protein serves as a major building block helping the body to maintain everything from strengthening bones and muscles to supporting skin and hair. Protein also helps to keep the immune system functioning and is a necessary element in creating vital enzymes and hormones, like insulin. But lately protein has gotten the most attention because of its ability to help control weight and blood sugar.
Recent studies support the fact that diets higher in protein and lower in carbohydrates may be more effective for losing weight, and for keeping it off. The reasons are not completely clear, but protein does help you feel full faster, and it keeps you feeling full longer. Eating more protein during weight loss also helps to preserve lean muscle mass. And lean muscle burns more calories than fat.
While exactly how much protein we need is a point of debate, what is agreed upon is that eating rich or fatty meats is not good for your waistline, or for your health. The trick to enjoying the power of protein is to use lean cuts of meat—in healthful preparations. On page 294 you will find a chart showing the lean meats and seafood I use to create the type of tempting protein-packed entrées that only taste off limits. I'll also show you how to recreate leaner versions of some of your restaurant favorites at home so you can save money as well as calories. It's all here: mouth-watering burgers, juicy steak, crispy fried chicken, and sweet-and-sour shrimp. When it comes to satisfying protein you can eat what you love.

Eat What You Love... Diabetes
It wasn't all that long ago that while most people had heard of diabetes, few people actually knew someone who had diabetes. Today, that has all changed. If you or someone you love has diabetes, you are not alone. It seems everyone I meet knows someone, whether it be a family member, a friend, or a coworker, with diabetes—and that includes me. My stepdaughter has had type 2 diabetes for ten years and just this last year my father was diagnosed. Diabetes can be a frightening diagnosis as it is a serious condition, but for many people what is just as frightening is the fear of having to give up the foods they love. A recent poll reveals that the greatest fear for people recently diagnosed with diabetes is that they will have to change their diet—even more so than having to take meds or be stuck like a human pincushion. With this book I hope to change all that for those with diabetes, and those who love them. Every recipe in this book fits easily into any diabetes meal plan. From sandwiches and pastas to starchy sides, cookies, cakes, and even milkshakes, eating what you love with diabetes has never been easier.


Diabetes is a condition in which blood glucose (or blood sugar) is not regulated properly. When you have diabetes your body either does not produce enough insulin and/or the insulin you make is not effective. Insulin, a hormone produced in the pancreas, is necessary for moving glucose (which is made from the food you eat) from your blood into your cells where it is used for energy. When glucose cannot be moved into your cells it builds up in your blood. The diagnosis of diabetes is made when blood glucose (or sugar) rises above normal levels.


On Sale
Apr 6, 2010
Page Count
448 pages
Running Press

Marlene Koch

About the Author

Marlene Koch is the award-winning author of numerous cookbooks including Eat What You Love and the New York Times bestseller, Eat More of What You Love. A regular guest on QVC, Marlene is a registered dietitian and culinary expert known for her extraordinary ability to deliver good health with great taste! Marlene and her recipes have been featured in Cooking Light, Woman’s World, Men’s Fitness, and Diabetes Health magazines, as well as on Today and the Food Network. She and her husband live in the San Francisco Bay area.

Learn more about this author