Wednesday, November 2, 2016

The Dude Diet: Clean(ish) Food for People Who Like to Eat Dirty by Serena Wolf (Review)

The Dude Diet caught my eye immediately because no matter how many times I try to instil in my hubby and now teen kids that certain foods are just not healthy, my rants are mainly ignored. Read on to see what I thought of this cookbook.

Book Details:

The Dude Diet: Clean(ish) Food for People Who Like to Eat Dirty by Serena Wolf
Harper Wave 
Published: October 25, 2016
Hardcover, 352 pages
Content Rating: PG-13 (contains profanity, including a few f-words)

Book Description:

From chef and creator of the popular food blog, 125 outrageously delicious yet deceptively healthy recipes for dudes (and the people who love them), accompanied by beautiful full-color photography.

Dudes. So well intentioned when it comes to healthy eating, even as they fail epically in execution—inhaling a "salad" topped with fried chicken fingers or ordering their Italian hero on a whole wheat wrap (that makes it healthy, right?).

There are several issues with men going on diets. First, they seem to be misinformed about basic nutrition. They are also, generally, not excited about eating "health food." You can lead a dude to the salad bar, but you can’t make him choose lettuce.

Enter Serena Wolf—chef, food blogger, and caretaker of a dude with some less than ideal eating habits. As a labor of love, Serena began creating healthier versions of her boyfriend’s favorite foods and posting them on her blog, where she received an overwhelming response from men and women alike. Now, in The Dude Diet, Serena shares more than 125 droolworthy recipes that prove that meals made with nutrient-dense whole foods can elicit the same excitement and satisfaction associated with pizza or Chinese take-out.

The Dude Diet also demystifies the basics of nutrition, empowering men to make better decisions whether they’re eating out or cooking at home. Better still, each recipe is 100% idiot-proof and requires only easily accessible ingredients and tools. With categories like Game Day Eats, On the Grill, Serious Salads, and Take Out Favorites, The Dude Diet will arm dudes and those who love them with the knowledge they need to lead healthier, happier lives—with flattened beer bellies and fewer meat sweats.

The Dude Diet includes 102 full-color photographs.

Buy the Cookbook: 

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

My Review:
Reviewed by Laura Fabiani

The Dude Diet caught my eye immediately because no matter how many times I try to instil in my hubby and now teen kids that certain foods are just not healthy, my rants are mainly ignored. So I dug into this cookbook to see what Serena Wolf had come up with. The first thing I noticed is that this cookbook is highly entertaining. Serena's funny and witty comments on how she came up with the Dude Diet were amusing and I can see why her food blog is so popular. She uses the same easy-going and personal style throughout the cookbook.

In the introduction, Serena tackles the most important thing: educating the reader. Again, she does this in a language most dudes can relate to because essentially most dudes know little about nutrition. She created the Dude Diet because (in her own words) her boyfriend Logan and love of her life was a nutritional idiot and biased against all health foods. (Thank you Logan for allowing Serena to put it all out there.) I believe knowledge is power so I truly appreciated this part of the cookbook. She also includes a list of pantry essentials, equipment essentials, 14 Dude Diet Commandments (which I'm going to photocopy and post on the fridge door!) and cooking tips. 

Her recipes are then broken into categories any guy would understand: Badass Breakfasts, Game Day Eats, On the Grill, Take-Out Favorites, and Sexy Sides, just to name a few. Every recipe is accompanied by an anecdotal entry, which I loved reading. They mainly tell you why and how she came up with the recipe, some of which had me cracking up. Very entertaining, I tell you. The ingredients are easy to find and I had no problem following her recipes.

I decided to make the "Taco Bell" Beef Tacos for this review. I was happy that I had most of the ingredients and that her recipe was very similar to mine. I made a few changes: I used organic lean ground beef, instead of regular lean, my mom's homegrown organic tomato sauce instead of the canned one, green leaf lettuce instead of iceberg and my homemade guacamole instead sour cream and I used tortillas instead of taco shells. It was so delicious, we scoffed down the whole thing! No leftovers!

What I like about Serena's recipes is that you can very easily adapt them to your own lifestyle habits, as long as they're healthy, of course. I snack a lot as I work, so I looked at her Chocolate-Almond Cookie Dough Bites, Quinoa Crunch Granola, Cherry Garcia Shake and her Dark Chocolate Power Bark that I am definitely going to make. These are my kind of treats as they are healthy and filling and can replace all those store-bought cookies and snacks. Most of the recipes have photos, which are enticing.

My only complaint is that the cookbook was not created to stay opened while following a recipe. I think this is a feature publishers of cookbooks should consider. There is an index in the back of the book but I wished it wasn't written in tiny font. Apart from these minor issues, I love this cookbook and have already planned several of the meals outlined in it. 

Recommended not only for dudes but anyone (men, women and teens) who want to eat healthier and have had difficulty making the changes in the past. Is there a dude in your life who loves to eat pizza and take-out? I'm sure Serena can help you, with her easy recipes and entertaining way of dispensing knowledge about eating right and why, because frankly we need to care enough about our bodies. I wholeheartedly agree with Serena who says to her boyfriend, "Your body is a wonderland."

Disclosure: Thanks to TLC for sending me this book for review. I was not compensated in any other way, nor told how to rate or review this product.

To read more reviews, visit Serena Wolf's page on TLC Book Tours

About the Author:

After graduating from Harvard in 2009, Serena followed her passion for food to Le Cordon Bleu Paris, receiving her cuisine diploma in 2011. Since then, she has put her culinary skills to work as a private chef, food writer, recipe developer, and blogger at

She is currently a food contributor for and a member of SELF Magazine’s SelfMade Collective (an elite group of 25 influencers in the lifestyle space), as well as the former private chef for two players on the New York Giants. She also creates regular video content for her growing YouTube channel.

Serena’s writing, recipes and photography have been featured on The Huffington Post,, SELF. Com,,, BuzzFeed and POPSUGAR among others. She has also appeared as a guest on The Dr. Oz Show and Martha Stewart’s Radio Show “Mostly Martha.”

Find out more about Serena at her website, and follow her on Instagram.

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  1. I think I need to get this for my son.

  2. I agree about cookbooks that don't stay open to a recipe. Why don't they all have spiral bindings? Still, this sounds like a good one!

    1. I'm not crazy about spiral bindings either, but I know of hard bound recipe books made especially to stay open.:-D

  3. Oh yes, this book would be PERFECT for my boyfriend - I'll definitely be checking it out!

    Thanks for being on the tour.


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