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The Sonoma Diet

This flexible and fun diet is big on taste from ALL food categories.
Use lean ground beef or lamb to make Burgers with Dill Sauce. Sour cream and cucumbers highlight the creamy sauce.
Two to try: Broccoli with Almonds and Hot Peppers; Mediterranean Pork Chops.

Hungry for a diet with robust flavor and fewer food restrictions? Here's one to try. The new Sonoma Diet translates the Mediterranean approach of savoring and enjoying meals to sun-drenched Sonoma County, California, home to distinctive wines and bountiful, farm-fresh produce. The result is a proven, sane, and completely savory way to stay fit for life.

The diet is featured in the new book, The Sonoma Diet, published by Meredith Corporation (publisher of Living the Country Life magazine). Author Connie Guttersen, a registered dietitian and Ph.D., explains how to lose weight without counting calories or eliminating a single food category. That's great news for U.S. farmers, who know their wholesome produce -- whether meat, grain, vegetables or fruit -- is part of a healthy diet.

Each year, diet trends become more extreme -- from raw foods to zero carbs -- with no impact on the losing battle against obesity, says Guttersen.

"The Sonoma Diet is like no other. You will lose every ounce of excess weight that you need to. But at the same time, you will enjoy eating more than you ever have in your life. Meals are a celebration, not deprivation," she says.

In addition to more than 300 delectable recipes, including the ones featured here, the diet includes balanced, invigorating menus. Have fun!

Burgers with Dill Sauce

Prep: 20 minutes
Broil: 12 minutes

1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon minced garlic (6 cloves)
1 pound lean ground beef or lamb
1/4 cup light dairy sour cream or plain low-fat yogurt
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard or whole-grain brown mustard
1 teaspoon chopped fresh dill or 1/4 teaspoon dried dill
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup chopped seeded cucumber

Step 1: In a large mixing bowl combine onion, parsley, salt, and garlic. Add meat; mix well. Shape into four 3/4-inch-thick patties.

Step 2: Preheat broiler. Place patties on the unheated rack of a broiler pan. Broil 3 to 4 inches from the heat for 12 to 14 minutes or until done (160 degrees F.), turning once halfway through broiling.

Step 3: Meanwhile, for sauce, in a small bowl combine sour cream, mayonnaise, mustard, dill, and balsamic vinegar. Stir in cucumber. Spoon sauce over burgers. Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition facts per serving: 304 calories, 22 g fat, 82 mg cholesterol, 491 mg sodium, 3 g carbohydrate, 0 g fiber, 23 g protein.

Broccoli with Almonds and Hot Peppers

Start to finish: 15 minutes

4 cups broccoli florets
4 cloves garlic, minced (2 teaspoons minced)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Step 1: In a large skillet cook broccoli and garlic in hot oil over medium heat for 5 to 8 minutes or until broccoli is crisp-tender. Stir in lemon juice. Sprinkle with almonds, crushed pepper, kosher salt; toss to combine. Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition facts per serving: 142 calories, 11 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 150 mg sodium, 9 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 4 g protein.

Mediterranean Pork Chops

Prep: 10 minutes
Roast: 35 minutes
Oven: 425 degrees F./350 degrees F.

4 boneless or bone-in pork loin chops, cut 1/2 inch thick (1 to 11/2 pounds)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
3 cloves garlic, minced (1-1/2 teaspoons minced)

Step 1: Sprinkle chops with kosher salt and pepper; set aside. In a small bowl combine rosemary and garlic. Sprinkle rosemary mixture evenly over both sides of each chop; rub in with fingers.

Step 2: Place chops on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Roast chops in a 425 degree F. oven for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F. and continue roasting about 25 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer inserted through side of chop registers 160 degrees F. (make sure tip of thermometer does not touch bone). Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition facts per serving: 147 calories, 4 g fat, 71 mg cholesterol, 288 mg sodium, 1 g carbohydrate, 0 g fiber, 24 g protein.

How to order

Get your copy of The Sonoma Diet: Enjoy Foods With Flavor, Lose Weight for Life (ISBN 0-696-22831-9) by Connie Guttersen, R.D., Ph.D. The 320-page, hardcover book has over 300 recipes and sells for $24.95. Order at 800/678-5752 or click below.

Click here to order from the Farm Home Collection Store

Tested for you

These recipes were tested by the same food authorities who approve all recipes for Better Homes and Gardens magazine, a sister publication of Living the Country Life magazine. For questions about the recipes, contact:

Living the Country Life Magazine Food Editor
1716 Locust Street/LS257
Des Moines, IA 50309-3023
E-mail: betsy.freese@meredith.com

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