With the Countdown to Turkey Day Series safely over, I’m ready to jump back into Home Ec 101 Cookbook Reviews.
This week I have Cooking Light’s Complete Meals in Minutes. This 5 ring binder style cookbook checks in at 532 pages with “over 700 great recipes.” Now most of you should know by now that I’m not a reduced fat kind of cook, but I’m still a pretty big fan of Cooking Light. Their recipes are consistent and usually pretty accessible for cooks in most regions of the US.
Keep in mind the recipes usually call for low fat or low sodium versions of some ingredients. Since I usually make my own chicken stock rather than using canned broth and I can completely understand using the low-sodium version.
The recipes in this cookbook are perfect for novice cooks. The directions, as is the case with all Cooking Light recipes, are clear and simple to follow. Throughout the book there are plenty of tips that are informative, how to choose portabella mushrooms for example, and are a great resource for those just finding their way around the kitchen. Moderate to skilled cooks may find some of the recipes a bit basic or would find this book as a great source of inspiration. Even though a recipe or technique is on file somewhere inside my head, sometimes I still need a reminder to use it once in a while.
The pictures in this book are plentiful, which makes paging through for ideas enjoyable and there are a lot of soup and sandwich ideas which can certainly help keep lunch from becoming boring.
I particularly liked the meatless main dishes section. While we usually do meatless for lunch or as a Monday or Friday (during Lent) night dinner, I’m always open to new ideas. Although I doubt the kids will spark to the chickpea and spinach curry, that just means more for me. Don’t worry, this book isn’t written only for the nut and granola crowd, there are plenty of great ideas for carnivores, too. My favorite suggestions are the Mongolian Beef (15 minutes) and a very simple Steak au Poivre (15 minutes). If you like peppery beef, I bet you’ll dig the au poivre.
So, who is this cookbook for? I wouldn’t suggest it for those on a very tight budget. The main dish recipes, for the most part, take advantage of quick cooking, convenient cuts of meat such as boneless skinless chicken breasts. While these recipes can be adapted for other cuts of chicken they lose their quick cooking bonus. I would highly recommend this book to new cooks and busy couples and families. It’d be a great resource for those trying to stay out of the drive through, which can be a big budget saver all on its own.
Now for the fun part. Here’s your chance to win my review copy of Cooking Light: Complete Meals in Minutes.
How does one enter this amazing giveaway? It’s pretty simple and open to residents of the US and Canada. Each reader can have up to 3 entries and the winner will be chosen by random selection. If you recently won a cookbook from Home Ec 101, please be courteous and give other Home Eccers a chance.
This giveaway runs through Monday December 13, 2010 at 9:00pm Eastern. The winner will be announced on Tuesday December 14, 2010.
This giveaway has closed, the winner was commenter # 24, also known as Kristy. Congratulations to her!
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- A plain, old-fashioned how ya doin style comment. Just tell me how excited you are to enter.
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If you’re curious, I have a policy explaining my cookbook review policy.