Pros: Delicious, healthy food; quick meals; handy tips; nice photos
Rating: 5 out of 5
Review book courtesy of The Countryman Press.
Normally I find EatingWell’s fare to be a bit on the bland side, which makes me ambivalent about their otherwise handy books of healthy recipes. This time, however, I very much enjoyed the EatingWell Healthy in a Hurry Cookbook.
The book starts out with a brief section of instructions in case you aren’t wholly experienced with home cooking. This includes planning ahead tips, grocery shopping tips, kitchen equipment you should have, how to approach your cooking, and even food safety concerns. Since there are plenty of inexperienced cooks who might be tempted to pick up a book of quick, healthy meals, this is a handy set of things to include.
Recipe chapters include dinner salads; soups & stews; vegetarian fare; chicken, duck & turkey; fish & seafood; beef, pork & lamb; sauces; sides; and yes, even desserts. There are also some notes on substitutions & equivalencies. There are multiple indexes: a comprehensive index as well as one of recipes that take only 20-30 minutes (most in this book take 45 or less) and one of family-friendly recipes.
I always have a hard time faulting EatingWell’s other cookbooks for producing what I consider to be bland recipes, since there’s a sizable audience for that kind of fare. However, I was incredibly relieved to find myself wholly enjoying the very flavorful recipes that we made from Healthy in a Hurry. There’s a vegetarian chili that is surprisingly delicious, with a simple yet effective spice mix that adds a lot. Recipes range from the elegant (grilled lobster tails with nectarine-avocado salad) to the homey (chicken & white bean soup). These recipes make use of some wonderful international flavors to spice things up in recipes such as roast chicken dal and tandoori chicken with tomato-cucumber raita. A vegetable and sausage skillet supper was absolutely divine, and provides a marvelous way to use up bits of leftover veggies of all kinds. The authors seem to have found a better balance between keeping the recipes simple (without using tons of ingredients most cooks might not have) while still interjecting flavor.
Recipe information includes active minutes, total time, make ahead instructions if relevant, nutritional information (calories, fat, fiber, etc.), and even notations on recipes that suit certain dietary needs, such as low carb recipes.
Many recipes include mouth-watering photos, and the recipe layout is clean, plain, and easy to make sense of. Directions are broken down into simple steps.
This is one EatingWell cookbook I can whole-heartedly endorse!