By Becky Johnston
Women are picky about men. We are selective about men, but willing to eat any meat-like substance cooked by a teenager at the local drive-through. It is time for us to start applying the high standards we have for men to food. According to Candice Kumai, “Just like men, food can be held to various standards, and yours should be top notch.” Candice’s new cookbook, Cook Yourself Sexy, will show you how to raise the bar for the food in your life.
Cook yourself Sexy is a surprising new cookbook written by Candice Kumai, who is a former model trained at Le Cordon Blue California Cooking School. This new cookbook teaches women to revolutionize how they look at dieting and promises that with this new way of looking at food, “You don’t lose the taste, but you will lose a dress size.” That was a promise that I had to take her up on. The first recipe that jumped off the pages at me was Candice’s Gone Bananas Chocolate Oatmeal. This breakfast is a deliciously creamy combination of peanut butter, chocolate and healthy oatmeal that my kids cannot get enough of. It is on a regular rotation in my kitchen now.
As Moms, we start out parenting focusing on healthy food during pregnancy, but we quickly move to eating whatever comes from a drive through while taxiing kids from school to lessons and athletics. Cook Yourself Sexy can help Moms get back that skinny jean feeling through delectable healthy eating and living right. Candice’s book focuses on portion size, water, and fresh ingredients. There are no pills, starvation or gimmicks involved, and these are realistic changes that can be applied at home.
To get you started, here is a recipe for Mac and Cheese that is to die for:
Dreamy Butternut Squash Mac ‘n’ Cheese
Makes 6 servings
443 calories, 5 g fat, 16 g protein, 6 g fiber per serving
Mac ‘n’ Cheese
2 ½ pounds butternut squash, peeled, halved, and seeded, then quartered and sliced into triangles
6 garlic cloves
1 thyme sprig
2 cups unsweetened almond milk
2 cups chicken stock, or vegetable stock (vegan)
1 pound small elbow macaroni or mini shells
2 tablespoons grated Gruyere
Herbed Breadcrumb Topping
¾ cup panko breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 garlic cloves
¼ teaspoon sea salt
To make the Mac ‘n’ Cheese:
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a large saucepan, add the butternut squash, garlic cloves, thyme sprig, unsweetened almond milk, and stock. Cook until the butternut squash is fork-tender. Remove the sprig of thyme.
2. Place the squash mixture in a food processor or blender and puree until velvety smooth.
3. Meanwhile, cook the macaroni in salted water until it is al dente (semi firm). Drain and rinse with cool water.
4. Spread out the macaroni in a lightly greased 13-inch x 9-inch pan. Pour the squash puree over the noodles.
To make the breadcrumbs and bake:
1. Combine all the ingredients for the herbed breadcrumb topping.
2. Cover the mac ‘n’ cheese with foil, place in the oven and bake for approximately 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and evenly spread the breadcrumb topping and Gruyere cheese over the top. Transfer to the broiler and broil for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the cheese is brown and bubbly.
This recipe has been excerpted from Cook Yourself Sexy.