A friend gave me a cookbook recently, knowing that I collect them: Heart and Soul Cuisine by David Adjey, executive chef (and one-time personal chef to actor Dan Aykroyd’s family), and Janice Holley, registered dietician at Toronto’s Sunnybrook Health Science Centre.

What a lovely cookbook it is, too — 150 fabulous low-fat dishes running the gamut from Grilled Vegetable Broth to Toasted Angel Food Cake with Pumpkin Chiffon — heart-healthy cooking that tastes great, doesn’t take a lot of obscure ingredients once you’ve stocked up your herbs and spices, and actually leaves you feeling like you’ve had a real meal!

One of my favourite recipes here is a Honey Mustard Glaze for chicken and seafood — the smallest amount will perk up a dish wonderfully because the flavours are so concentrated. Honey gives a hint of rich sweetness to a blend of dijon and grainy mustards, but the real secret lies in using rice wine vinegar instreat of ordinary white vinegar, and whisking in a splash of chili oil. (You can get chili oil at many gourmet food shops, or make your own by steeping hot chili peppers in warm olive oil.)

There’s a nutritional breakdown for each recipe, giving calories, fat, saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium counts for each serving — very handy.

My only quibble with Heart and Soul Cuisine is that the gorgeous photographs by Curtis Trent are oddly bathes in a purple-tinted light. It’s extremely artistic, and the food itself is beautifully presented, but it’s hard to tell exactly what the various dishes would look like — how dark should this caramel sauce be? how well-done is the lamb medallion? — under ordinary dinner-table lighting conditions. But that’s a small point.

Coming from a gene pool that has an astonishingly high incidence of heart disease, and being naturally concerned about controlling my own cholesterol, I do have a fair number of books about “heart healthy cooking” — and this is definitely one of the ones I use most often.

It’s not a new publication, and doesn’t seem to be widely available any more (very odd, I thought you could fin almost anything online!) but health-conscious cooks looking for meal-time inspiration can pick up a second-hand copy from Turtle Creek Books via Biblio.com or Amazon.

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  1. Anonymous

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