Additional cookbooks for busy people

I had no idea this morning when I posted the Semi-homemade cooking for busy people article that it would be such a controversial topic! Apparently, Sandra Lee is a hot button issue. Who knew?!

One of the good things that has come from those comments is that a handful of people have made suggestions for alternative cookbooks than the one I suggested. Instead of having you pore back through all of those comments, I decided to pull out the cookbooks that have been named. If you have other fast and easy cookbooks to add to the list, please feel welcome to put them in the comments to this post.

Hopefully this post will be more beneficial to our busy readers!

Fast and simple cookbooks:

54 Comments for “Additional cookbooks for busy people”

  1. posted by gir on

    I learned a lot from How to Cook Without a Book by Pam Anderson (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obi.....tterer-20/. It has tips for smart shopping to stock the pantry and how to use the available ingredients to cook a quick meal any night of the week.

  2. posted by hunter on

    I recommend “While the Pasta Cooks.” http://www.amazon.com/exec/obi.....tterer-20/ It’s out of print, but worth tracking down. It’s 100 recipes for pasta dishes that can be thrown together in a few minutes. Six or seven of the recipes have gone into our standard rotation.

  3. posted by Josh Baugher on

    Jacques Pépin’s “Fast Food My Way.”
    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obi.....tterer-20/

  4. posted by Natasha on

    These are great recommendations, however, I want to throw my two cents in on Nigella. I adore her, and love watching her show and reading her stuff, however, I NEVER have any luck with her recipes. I think it has to do with the Metric > English conversions, I’ve made several recipes out of the above-mentioned book, the muffins come out too bland and the marinated chicken comes out too liquidy, etc. Just a heads up!

  5. posted by Avlor on

    Thanks for closing comment on the previous post. I appreciate you gathering together recommended cookbooks for quick meals. I had several held for me at the local library. ;) Looking forward to

  6. posted by Avlor on

    (oops …continuation of comment) seeing what new treasures there will be.

  7. posted by Abby O. on

    I really don’t have a problem with Sandra Lee – I got one of her books toward the end of college – and her recipes were a good transition from drive-thru’s & Ramen noodles for me, post-college.

    My preference for speedy cooking is a periodical made by Weight Watchers that comes out a couple times a year in the Magazine section of the grocery store – it’s called the “5 ingredient, 15 minute cookbook”. Healthy and fast – unique recipes too!

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISA.....%3DS%252BI

  8. posted by Tea Party Girl on

    My absolute favorite, and I’ve bought a plenty, is Alice Water;s recent release, “The Art of Simple Food”!

  9. posted by angorian on

    James Barber (the Urban Peasant) is also an excellent cookbook writer for those looking for simple, unfussy things to make.

  10. posted by Kate on

    I’m a big fan of the allrecipes website. I’ve made several recipes – with success! They also have a fab ingredient search feature.

  11. posted by JenK on

    I’m a fan of French Cooking in Ten Minutes, which focuses on different cooking methods which can be used with multiple types of food.

  12. posted by Croila on

    I got the Nigella book a while ago, and whilst the stuff in it doesn’t usually take too long to make, eat out of this for a week and you’ll put on a stone! Seriously, even READING it you can feel your arteries furring up! ;-)

  13. posted by Michelle on

    My absolute fave is the Monday to Friday Cookbook by Michele Urvater, which started me cooking after I got out of college and was my only cookbook for a couple of years. Many of her recipes include variations as well as suggestions for transforming leftovers.

    The Six O’Clock Scramble (book or e-mail subscription newsletter) is great for busy families with young children–she gives you a week’s menu and side dish suggestions, plus a shopping list. All the recipes are easy & most are delicious.

    For more gourmet types, Seriously Simple by Diane Rossen Worthington has proven pretty tasty as well. I just got it so I haven’t cooked more than a handful of recipes, but so far, so good!

  14. posted by angie on

    I love MS’s “Everyday Food” magazine. It is tailored for healthy, quick and cost conscious menus that are dependably tasty. It has served me and my family well for years.

  15. posted by Andrew Flusche, Virginia Lawyer on

    Erin,

    I love this post, as well as the Sandra Lee one. I’m all for quick-and-easy cooking ideas. Don’t let the negative people get you down. :)

    By the way, WP Chunk is a great plugin that prettifies long URLs in comments. Even Daily Blog Tips recommends it.

    Best wishes!
    Andrew

  16. posted by Marsha on

    Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home is another one for the list. This book features the food that members of the Moosewood Collective cook in their own homes. Most recipes take under 30 minutes, and a few take an hour; all are clearly marked at the beginning with the total time. Aside from a short chapter on fish, all the recipes are vegetarian.

  17. posted by Kate on

    For even less clutter, Saving Dinner can be entirely web-based. http://www.savingdinner.com. I especially love their freezer menus.

  18. posted by allen on

    I love using my slow cooker. It saves me time, and effort. :D A meal is ready for me when i get home!

    I have tried many differnt slow cooker recpieis over the years, and I encourage ppl to search recipie websites (like allrecipies.com) for “slow cooker” or “crockpot”.

    Three cookbooks from a quick Amazon search:
    Only 3 ingrediants, would seem simple

    One for only 1-2 ppl. I actually have been trying to find something like this, since most recipies for slow cookers seem to assume cooking for 6-8!

    And here’s one if you need a familiar name to go with your cookbook: Better Homes & Gardens

    Warning: i’ve never tried any of these, just showing that there are options out there! Good hunting!

  19. posted by Paula Hewitt on

    I think semi-homecooked meals are a great idea. A packet of frozen veggies, or cans of chickpeas/tomoatoes can make a relatively simple/cheap/healthy meal. Its a better alternative to eating out, and saves the ‘clutter’ of slimy veggies in the fridge if you can only go shopping once a week. We eat fresh at the start of the week, and add a few frozen bits towards the end of the week, and it works well. I was astounded at the vitriol in the comments on your last post about this. I dont know the author,book or show, but I think most people commenting missed the point, and just wanted to vent their spleen. I can understand why you closed the comments.I’m a big fan of meals that can be made from scratch, or using tinned/frozen goods, depending on time and availability of fresh produce.

  20. posted by Zora on

    Has anyone mentioned making your own frozen dinners? I cook big pots of stew or curry, make casseroles, etc., divide them into a number of small plastic containers, then freeze them. If I’m tired, food is a few minutes away. Best meals for this are “meal in a pot” recipes that combine protein + starch + vegs. Another time and money saver is cooking large pots of beans and freezing the beans. That way I can have legume-based meals in minutes, rather than having to plan many hours ahead.

  21. Profile photo of Erin Doland

    posted by Erin Doland on

    @Andrew — Thank you for the head’s up about the plug-in! We’ve installed it and it’s already running.

  22. posted by Dee on

    Love the cookbook links – thanks for the great info, I appreciate the sentiment behind simplifying time and money spent getting the ever so burdensome task of cooking and shopping for said cooking. Who knew time saving cookbooks could be controversial – lol? In the same vein as Zora’s comments on frozen dinners – I stumbled on this by accident but its been a go to meal for me ever since. I pre-make stuffed peppers and freeze them raw then plop them (still frozen) in the slow cooker with some sauce on low for 8 hours – presto, dinner served! Believe it or not, no need to cook the rice or par-boil the peppers. Anyone who might be unsure – give it a whirl, it works everytime.

  23. posted by blue on

    Thanks for sharing the list, I will be checking them out. I have been cooking since high school, parents worked late, so I was in charge of cooking for 4 on week nights. We never spend too much more than half hour to cook the meal, usually rice, soup, 1-2 new dishes, 1-2 left overs. During college I had to adjust to cook just for one, the portion size was weird to cook for, so it ended up being a lot of noodle or rice with just one thing. Now I cook for two, which is different from cooking for 4 or 1. Still trying to keep it down to half hour, always starving by the time we get home so can’t really take too long. I think the main reason my cooking is fast is there is no appetizer or dessert.

  24. posted by blue on

    Sorry, I rambled too much. I guess what I meant to say is, most of the recipes I see are just not practical for my cooking style. So I’m glad to see these.

  25. posted by Sean on

    Camilla Saulsbury writes easy and delicious (and award-winning) recipes for cakes, cookies, brownies, and even panna cotta, using pre-made ingredients. You can find her books on Amazon, and on her blog, http://enlightenedcooking.blogspot.com/.

  26. posted by Susan on

    I’m with Zora-
    Since the last thing I want to do at the end of the day is even THINK, my favorite thing ever is this site: http://www.savingdinner.com/
    They have whole menus for two, four, or more, and their “Freezer Menu” lets me cook meals (main dish, side dish, dessert even!) and then whip them out and get dinner on the table within 20 minutes with minimum dirty dishes.
    You can get low-carb, vegetarian, heart-healthy and low-budget menus all put together by a nutritionist. Very cool.

  27. posted by Peony Moss on

    I second the recommendation for “How to Cook Without a Book.” It teaches basic recipes and techniques — seared meat with a pan sauce, pasta sauce, stir-fry, frittata, etc. — with variations. It’s very easy to customize the recipes to fit your needs (and the contents of your pantry.) If you have twenty minutes to cook dinner and have nothing of significance in your fridge except six eggs, a little cheese, and half a cup of cold cooked spaghetti, this is the book that will help you turn it into something yummy.

  28. posted by Robin M. on

    I’ve had really bad luck with The Moosewood Collective Cooks at Home. Nothing ever turns out.

    I’d strongly recommend Quick Vegetarian Pleasures by Jeanne Lemlin.

  29. posted by Patrick on

    It may have been mentioned, but Mark Bittman’s “The Minimalist Cooks at Home” and “The Minimalist Cooks Dinner” are my two go-to quick-and-easy cookbooks. And it’s real food, not an advert for McCormicks Spices.

  30. posted by Peggy on

    I read this post early this morning and thought ‘How clever!’ and then remembered that one of my favorite television cooks is Sam the Cooking Guy. He has a new book just released today titled ‘Just a Bunch of Recipes’. You can check out his website at http://www.thecookingguy.com where he lists, among other things, recipes and the cities where his show is broadcast. This is really short-cut cooking and Sam is a very creative guy. Bon appetite!

  31. posted by Diana on

    I usually just lurk on this site (LOVE IT!), but as a cookbook editor, I feel I have to throw my hat in.

    First, I LOVE Nigella. However, I can understand the point about problems with the metric to imperial conversion. What do I do? Buy her UK editions via amazon.uk (or when I’m in London). First of all, the American editions (ok, I have all of these, too…) edit out her naturally and fabulously British voice. Secondly, it’s so very easy nowadays to just buy a kitchen scale that weighs both metric and imperial. I got an inexpensive one at Wms Sonoma, and must say, I use it all the time (in the spirit of not cluttering). Every time I’ve ever made anything out of any of her cookbooks, the food has always come out perfect. I kid you not. And I’ve made a LOT of her food. While not all of it is fast, all of it is DELISH!

    Second, Ina Garten (Barefoot Contessa) is also a very reliable chef. Her recipes are not only amazingly simple, but they taste wonderfully. There is a lot to be said for using a few GOOD ingredients. I have all of her cookbooks and use them regularly. The first time I made her homemade pancakes–seriously–I threw out the nasty old box of Bisquick. Never again!!

    Third, I have to plug one of my own books, which will be out soon. Not only b/c it is GORGEOUS, but also b/c the recipes are reliable and amazing. And take the whole sustainability-garden-to-table consciousness into account. It’s called Blue Eggs and Yellow Tomatoes, written by Jeanne Kelley. It should be out soon.

    Rick Bayless’ cookbooks are also tremendously reliable, and he is a very conscientious cook. If you like Mexican, check him out! (Take it from a Mexican!)

    On a side, uncluttering, note–Erin, have you seen the new book One Year to An organized Life by Regina Leeds? I just read through it in a week–ok, it was supposed to take a year, but I was SO excited about uncluttering, I did all of January, February, and March in one weekend! I highly recommend it.

    This is a great thread!

  32. posted by Chris Chisholm on

    I have to second Josh Baugher recommendation of Jacques Pepin’s “Fast Food My Way.” If you have the chance and your public television station is airing the shows, Watch Them! Jacques has to be one of the most amazing chefs and his recipes are very quick to make and of course very delicious.

    I also believe one of the best investments anyone can make is taking a basic cooking class. One that covers knife skills, some cooking science fundamentals and how to arrange everything in your kitchen “Mise en Place”. Having these skills can cut a huge amount of time off of cooking each evening and more importantly make cooking enjoyable.

  33. posted by Carolyn on

    One publication that I’m surprised hasn’t been mentioned is Cooking Light. If you don’t want the clutter of the magazine in your house, all of their recipes are available in a searchable online database.

    http://www.myrecipes.com/recipes

    They have tons of quick
    recipes and one doesn’t have to worry about whether they are nutritionally dubious or not. The recipe rotation at our house consists almost exclusively of their dishes.

  34. posted by Rebekah on

    Does anyone have a great resource for learning how to stock your pantry? What are basics that we should always have?

  35. posted by Little Miss Moneybags on

    I love the book Small Batch Baking by Debby Maugans Nakos. She does all the conversions so I can make six cookies, or two scones, instead of several dozen, which is perfect for backing for one or two.

  36. posted by Mary on

    @Rebekah – Entering “pantry basic list” into Google returned a ton of hits … I’d post a few but you’ll probably want to check them out and select one that fits your style.

    I keep good olive oil (often $20/5 liters at Kroger), almonds, whole wheat pasta, wheat berries (we grind our own flour), oatmeal, walnuts, cans of beans, almond butter, flax seed and quinoa (a neat grain that cooks quickly.) I have a few brands of soup that we really enjoy and I try to keep some of those along with containers of organic chicken broth.

  37. posted by allen on

    @Rebekah:

    Assuming you are not a vegitarian:

    Butter
    Noodles (i suggest two types. Macaroni/Elbow & Spaghetti will get you ALONG way!!)
    Canned Tomatoes (becuase they’re basically only fresh for like 2 weeks). You might want to try various sizes
    Flour (if you aren’t used to cooking, feel free to get the small size. you WILL want a tupperware/rubbermaid container to keep this in!)
    Sugar (same as above, please!)
    Salt
    Pepper (Grind your own. if you don’t have a grinder, they sell little pepper-containers with a built in grinder, till you get used to it all!)
    Cinnemon (as with all spices, buy small, until you start cooking alot. Spices go bad)
    Garlic: Fresh is Best, but if you’re not used to it yet, and you are scared, then go with the canned pre-cut [cue arguments here. The point is if she is NOT READY. :P]
    Olive Oil
    a differnt oil with a much higher smoke point: Maybe Canola or Peanut
    Basil leaves
    Vinegar (if you buy white, you can also use it as a cleaner. Mmmm)
    You can’t go wrong with Rice. (Warning: The stuff is so cheap, you’ll have to plan on where to store it! :D Keep it in a sealed container as well to keep out the riff-raf.)
    Crisco-like stuff.
    a cooking sray (like PAM), if you want to make your life easier. :D
    YUMMY YUMMY EGGS!!
    [Bacon is not a staple, but i wish i could justify it as one]

    Some ppl like beans. These ppl are ones i can not understand. ;)
    Vegitables: It is better to get these frozen if you can. Canned items are cooked in their can, and veggies can loose SOME vitamins, minerals, &c when you cook ‘em. Frozen: they ain’t cooked in the can. Most frozen veggies and fruits are frozen at the peak of freshness as well, so they’re often better choices then the limped greens you get in the “produce” isle that was flown in from half-way across the globe.

    If you want to bake:
    baking soda
    Baking powder (these are two differnt things)
    Canned Milk (condensed & sweetened are two differint kinds. You may want to just buy these as you need at first)
    Baking Mix: (like Jiffy or Bisquick) this really simplifies your life, as it’s already bascially pre-mixed. Often, just add eggs and milk (maybe), and you’re set. :D

    GEAR:
    Frying pan, non-stick
    Large pot, get one that can go in the oven.
    Lid for both
    small{er} pot (sauce pan)
    Glass 9×13 inch (USA! USA!) pan
    Glass 8×8 inch pan
    Cooking rack
    Cookie Sheet (get one with a lip, and you can use it to put under things that might spill over, like a Quiche)
    Paper Towel
    Dish Towel
    Rolling pin (you can use an empty bottle of wine (or a full one if it’s got the screw-cap))
    One Decent main knife (chef’s knife, or a San…Santuroum? I can’t spell it. A Chef’s knife has a curve up, and the other kind has the cutting edge basically straight. You only kneed one of them)
    A pairing knife
    [for knives: Go for a bit more quality, and you won’t be replacing them in 2 years. Do NOT choose on colour/&c. Choose on quality, on how it feels in your hand, &c. Make sure to get from a place with a decent return policy, so you can try it out on some carrots, meat, potatoes, &c)
    A Ballon whisk: Keep in mind the size/make of your pans. In general, the more tines (bits ‘o metal) the whisk has, the more useful it is. Ones with under 7 tines are just ornemantal. If you have pots/pans with non-stick coating, then metal whisks will DESTROY THEM! :D
    A good woooden spoon. Maybe two, if you want to multi-cook.
    a small set of mixing bowls. They even have colapsable ones!
    a collander (for noodles, &c). They have colapsable ones of these, too! In gerneal, the more holes a collander has: THE BETTER. do NOT get ones with holes only in the bottom!
    a flipping spatula (same advice as to what your pans are as whisk)
    a miking spatula (same advice as to what your pans are as whisk)

    Fancy:
    Muffin tin (want to save yourself the trouble of having to keep muffin/cupcake wrappers on hand? Get the Silicon ones!)
    Bread Pan (same advice as above)
    Pie pan: I consider this a necesity. ^_^

    Quick Tip: Save yourself some clean-up when you make meat-loaf: skip the bread pan. Just make it, and then plop the meat-mix onto the cookie sheet (one with an edge, or you’ll be cleaning your fridge!) and form into a shape you like! :D Even easier: Line the pan with tin-foil first.

    I’m sorry if this isn’t as conscise as some would like, but outfitting a WORKING kitchen from scratch does take some equipment. Please feel free to suggest something i’ve forgotten

  38. posted by allen on

    * that should have been “Cooling Rack” not “cooking rack”.

    It’s for cookies and the such. Putting cookies onto paper-towel or worse brown-paper bags just lets them sit in their own grease/oil, and get yummy paper falvour. Mmmmm. Also: Next to impossible to “cool” w/o Air-flow.

  39. posted by Celeste on

    “Desperation Dinners” has a pantry list.

    Another thing people might be interested in is Once A Month Cooking, http://www.once-a-month-cookingworld.com/

    This is a technique for doing a lot of work on a weekend, and freezing the results to use over a period of time. Of course it all depends on your schedule, but one tip of theirs that I use often is to brown ground beef and freeze it. Then you can come home and turn it into a meal quickly, either in a casserole or some soup/stew/meat sauce recipe that you like while rice or pasta cooks.

    I’m glad something good has come of the comments about the Sandra Lee book. I am looking forward to trying some of the other resources listed!

  40. posted by Jasi on

    Martha Stewart: Everyday Food- Great Food Fast

    Amazing cookbook divided seasonally. Simple, clean, elegant, easy recipes for everyday life. Surprisingly easy to follow.

    And on Sandra Lee, my father adores her cocktails. Her cooking show is based on entertaining graciously without a lot of work in the kitchen. She seems to have no children of her own and isn’t very concerned with nutrition. And hey, that’s cool. I remember having a different life not too long ago. Don’t condemn. We’re not all on the organic, whole food, anti-nugget, AP mom bandwagon. Heh, I am though.

  41. posted by Tiara on

    My husband and I both work and by the time we pick up our daughters and get home, it’s 6:30, just in time to put our youngest to bed! I purchased 365 Last-Minute Meals (Better Homes & Gardens) and have saved dinner time. We used to go out all the time. Now, as part of my new year’s resolution to eat at home more, we’ve started cooking at home more.

    I love this book because there’s one for every day of the year and the recipes are sorted by season! A lot of soups for fall and winter, and salads and such for spring and summer. It doesn’t have all the recipes for the side dishes, but we solve that by quickly steaming veggies or some rice or something.

    I plan out and buy the ingredients on Sunday evening, then make a list of 3-4 recipes per week. That way, if I’m running late my (wonderful) husband can take over!

    While not all the recipes are that great, some are very good and I’ve marked them for future use. Most recipes use every day items you can find in any grocery. I noticed that Rachel Ray’s books (which I own) sometimes carry ingredients found only in Whole Foods (which I can’t afford).

    Here it is on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obi.....tterer-20/

  42. posted by Margaret on

    I really love this book by Mark Bittman: The Minimalist Cooks at Home: Recipes That Give You More Flavor from Fewer Ingredients in Less Time

    It has very simple recipes with a small ingredient list but he has lots of simple modifications you can incorporate if you have time or the ingredients on hand. Great basic cookbook.

  43. posted by Nat on

    @ Allen. That’s a comprehensive list. However, we do classify bacon as a staple in our house. Ever since using “Everything Tastes Better with Bacon”, I’ve found all sorts of ways adding a little bacon for flavor.

    Anyway…I used to have a pantry focused cookbook in which the author listed what she thought should be in a basic pantry and then based all the recipes around it. Unfortunately, it was British and the conversions made it more inconvienent. Also, I found that the dishes just didn’t match what I’d eat.

    It’s not fast, but learning how to cook basic dishes and then learning how to hack them to any ingredients you have around the kitchen has worked much better for me. For instance, I can make risotto out of anything as long as I’ve got arborio rice around. I’ve also found stir fry is also a good use anything we’ve got type of recipe as long as there’s soy sauce and oyster sauce. Note, you see my pantry may not look like your pantry. In any case, being able to fit the ingredients to the recipe has been very useful, especially since we subscribe to an organic veggie delivery service (like a CSA only year round.) Opening the box is a little like playing Iron Chef.

    BTW, I do keep canned tomatoes and beans and some frozen corn around b/c sometimes we just need it, and I don’t like running to the store just b/c we need something specific. I’ve been invited to friends’ houses in the past only to have dinner held up b/c somebody had to go buy missing spices b/c they just couldn’t eat unless the recipe was done exactly as written. Wasteful on time and gas b/c they always drove.

  44. posted by allen on

    @Nat: Thank you!

    I suppose the most essential thing to be found in the pantry is the confidence to experiment. You’ll mess up some meals, we all do. Just keep trying, and you’ll learn it right. :D

  45. posted by twosandalz on

    My favorite quick cookbook is Cooking Light’s Superfast Suppers. It was a bit pricey, but well worth it. I’ve liked most of the recipes I’ve tried from it and some have become favorites. For novice cooks it provides a “game plan” stating in what order to prepare the meal components to save the most time.

  46. posted by sls on

    I think people will argue until the cows come home which is the best cookbook or website. It’s all personal taste in the end.

    I regularly use: Cooking Light (website), Epicurious, MS Food, Joy of Cooking, New Best Recipe. I also skim some food blogs when I get stuck in a rut and want to see what other people are cooking.

    With the above, I can find almost anything I want to make, in varying degrees of time and difficulty – Anything from quick weeknight suppers, to using up leftovers or misc. produce, to long weekend projects.

    PS. to allen — spell check is your friend.

    happy eating all.

  47. posted by Carrie at Natural Moms Talk Radio on

    Another cookbook that needs to make this list is: Glorious One Pot Meals.

    For one, all the recipes are very healthy and have a ton of veggies, good quality protein and whole grains. They go from prep to table in one hour. And they use ONE pot – an enameled cast iron Dutch oven. What’s not to love? I wrote a review here: http://naturalmomstalkradio.co.....pot-meals/

    I’ve tried most of the recipes in the book and so far, every one has turned out beautifully and even my kids love them too.

  48. posted by Jen on

    –“The nutritional difference between frozen vegetables she often suggests using and fresh vegetables is minimal” That fact is true, however one must take into consideration that freezerburned corn or that wilted, old, spinach (which is still tagged as “fresh”) is less likely to be eaten in general, because, well, GAG!”

    I couldn’t resist commenting on the frozen vs. fresh again because the truth is that if you don’t live somewhere that has local vegetables fresh year round, frozen is actually MORE nutritious than “fresh” in most instances. Frozen is frozen immediately, virtually in the field. The “fresh” vegetables at your store may have been picked 1-4 weeks before they finally get home with you. They are stored, shipped, unpacked and then sit for unknown lengths of time at the store too. They’re exposed to temperature changes, light, etc.all of which can affect nutritional content.

    So, in the summer, we depend on our CSA for really fresh, organic veggies, but in the winter? Bring on the frozen!

  49. posted by Marie on

    I’m a big fan of Giada di Laurentiis and her cookbooks. And most of her recipies are really pretty simple and quick.

  50. posted by larochelle on

    As the ultimate in unclutter, how about no dinner?

    Most weekday nights, instead of making a full meal, we just have appetizers or “assembly nosh”. It helps that my husband & I do not have children which are a HUGE source of clutter.

  51. posted by Peg Bracken Fan on

    I am amazed that no one has mentioned Peg Bracken’s ’60s classic, “I Hate to Cook.” It is readily available in used book stores. As Peg says, the book is for people who would rather wrap their hands around a dry martini rather than a wet flounder at 5:30 PM… i.e. people who like good meals but really don’t have the time–or are disinclined–to slave over a hot stove for hours.

  52. posted by Brooklynchick on

    I second the Moosewood Cooks at Home for vegetarians, and any of Mark Bittman’s Minimalist cookbooks. His international one is particularly good. (How to cook everything?)

  53. posted by Christine on

    Thanks to Carrie at Natural Moms Talk Radio for recommending Glorious One Pot Meals. I read through the entire list of comments because I knew someone would mention this book. I have a degree in Home Economics and my husband was a nutrition/diabetes educator for 25 years. It’s pretty much the only cookbook we use now because the recipes are soooo easy and the food is healthy, interesting and very tasty! We don’t have time to cook every night, so we always make enough to serve four. The nights we don’t cook, we eat (excellent) leftovers. We turned a friend on to this cookbook and she gave out 7 copies as Christmas presents! Before GOPM we used Cooks Illustrated 30-min Meals. We liked that book a lot, too.

  54. posted by WilliamB on

    For fast, simple meals for beginners, try the “365 Ways to Cook..” series. I particularly like the chicken one.

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