Now Eat This! Diet: Lose Up to 10 Pounds in Just 2 Weeks Eating 6 Meals a Day! is Rocco DiSpirito‘s seventh book and second in the Now Eat This! series.  I was thrilled to get a chance to check out his new book and share it with you.

I’ve been a fan of Rocco’s since his days on the NBC reality TV show, The Restaurant, back in 2003/2004.  Through the show I fell in love with his Italian mama and his flare for theatrics.

He went on to do several other guest spots including Top Chef, Biggest Loser, Biggest Loser: Families, and he even competed on Dancing with the Stars.  But what I really love him for is his service to the community, including supporting the fight to get better food in schools.

This new cookbook is written for people looking to lose a few pounds so it’s full of information on food, exercise, dieting, and the like.  The first third of the book takes on the topic and how to make the “diet” work for you.  The rest of the book has 75-recipes that include breakfast, entrees (including some fabulous homemade pizza crust that can be made ahead and frozen), beverages, dessert, and snacks.  There are so many great recipes and I was thrilled to find that he focuses on real food for the most part, with the exception of using sugar-free (aka artificial sweeteners) in his beverage section.  That was disappointing, but since I’m not a smoothie drinker, it’s not a section I’ll be using anyway.

Diet or not, the food looks delicious and there are color photographs for every recipe – a must for a cookbook if you ask me!  I can usually tell from a photo if it’s a recipe I want to tackle, one my husband would like, or what it’s supposed to look like so I know if I accomplished the task.  Rocco’s writing style is homey – it felt like him and the way he talks – so it was fun to read.  He sometimes gives background information to the recipe or the ingredients, or hints and tips on how to prepare the recipe or select the ingredients.  He also add brand names on many recipes so if you have trouble finding a specific ingredient in your local grocery store, you can take the information to your store manager and ask for a special order.

The recipes were certainly not fussy and looked hearty and nutritious. There are several I’ll be trying in the next week or two for the hubby and a few I’ll be adapting to vegetarian for me.  I enjoyed this book so much I’ve already reserved several of his old cookbooks at the  library. I like to check out a book before buying – I have to plan on making about half of the recipes to invest in it.  This is one I’d invest in.

Will you lose weight if you follow his “14 Day Fast Track Plan” for kick-starting weight loss?  I won’t, because most of the recipes are not vegetarian, but reading reviews it appears plenty of people are.  His Facebook page is full of photos from people who’ve tried his recipes and questions from those who’ve had issues.  It’s a great resource.

Rocco’s Dinner Party Premiers on Bravo June 15, 2011

By the way, if you’re a Rocco DiSpirito fan, too, he has a new show premiering on Bravo TV on June 15th. His new show, Rocco’s Dinner Party, is a competition show where three chef’s compete to prepare a signature dish.  Only two will make it to the next round where they’ll put together a meal, including decor and theme, in a dinner party duel for Rocco and his high-profile guests.  The winner takes home $10,000.

I’ll be watching the show and I’ll be looking forward to seeing what he comes up with next.  I also want to get my hands on Mama’s famous meatball recipe.  She’s a sweetheart and was a huge joy to watch on The Restaurant.

No-Boil Mushroom Lasagna by Rocco DiSpirito
Author: Rocco DiSpirito - reprinted with permission - "YEARS AGO, after she came to Hollywood and became an international film star, Sophia Loren gave the media her most sultry pose one day and reportedly said, “All you see, I owe to pasta.” Americans now know what Italians and others have known for centuries: Pasta is cheap, chic, and healthy. I don’t like diets that give you scheduled feedings of birdseed, so, my friends, thank you for coming back to the pasta fold. This recipe uses noboil noodles. Mushrooms and no-boil lasagna noodles were made for each other. Because mushrooms release a lot of water during cooking, they essentially steam the noodles, thereby cooking them."
Prep Time: 
Cooking Time: 
Total Time: 
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 2 cups reduced-fat ricotta cheese, such as Sargento
  • cup chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh fl at-leaf parsley
  • 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 ounces (about 8 sheets) no-boil whole wheat lasagna noodles, such as Dalallo
  • 10 ounces sliced cremini mushrooms
  • 4 ounces white button mushrooms
  • 1 cup shredded reduced-fat mozzarella cheese
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Coat the inside of an 8 x 8 x2-inch baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, add the ricotta, basil, parsley, and ¾ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano. Mix with a spoon until blended. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
  3. Line the bottom of the prepared baking pan with two lasagna sheets. Top with ½ cup of the cheese mixture. Using the back of a spoon, spread the mixture so that the noodles are covered. Top with a layer of mushrooms. Repeat the procedure two more times. On the last layer, place two lasagna sheets on top of the mushrooms. Spread a layer of the remaining cheese mixture on top. Scatter the mozzarella and remaining Parmigiano-Reggiano on top.
  4. Cover tightly with foil and bake in the oven for 30 minutes.
  5. Raise the temperature of the oven to 425°F, and bake for another 15 minutes. Uncover the dish and continue to bake for another 15 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
Serving size: ¼ Calories: 388 Fat: 15g Saturated fat: 8g Carbohydrates: 34g Fiber: 3g Protein: 28g Cholesterol: 57mg


Follow Rocco for Now Eat This Diet Tips on Twitter (#NowEatThisDiet)

  1. Reduce the fat when cooking by using egg whites or egg substitutes instead of whole eggs!
  2. Use lime juice on salads & other foods instead of vinaigrettes to reduce the fat!
  3. Use evaporated skim milk, yogurt, or silken tofu instead of cream when making rich, creamy desserts!
  4. Saute vegetables in a pan coated with nonstick vegetable spray instead of oil to reduce the fat!

Rocco’s DiSpirito’s Booklist

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION – I have a material connection because I received a gift or sample of a product for consideration in preparing to write this content. I was/am not expected to return this item or gift after my review period.

  • Easy and Light Chicken Fettuccine Recipe Just 10 Weight Watchers PointsPlus (
  • Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cupcakes – 3 Weight Watchers PointsPlus Points (
  • Healthy Oatmeal Peanut Butter and Raisin Cookie Recipe (
  • Gluten-Free Black Bean Mocha Brownies – 2 Weight Watchers PointsPlus Points (
  • Celebrity Chef Rocco DiSpirito: You Don’t Have to Sacrifice Your Diet When Eating Out (