Book Review: The Kitchen Shortcut Bible

When I agreed to review The Kitchen Shortcut Bible, I assumed that it would be just a book full of tips and tricks to keep your kitchen uncluttered and make meal preparation easier. It is indeed that, and much more.

The Kitchen Shortcut Bible is a recipe book like many others, full of healthy, sumptuous dishes including breakfasts, appetizers, dinners, and desserts. There are lovely glossy photos of the foods just like in every other cookbook too. But, the Kitchen Shortcut Bible differs from typical recipe books because there are time and money saving shortcuts on every single page and larger sections of helpful instructions and advice before and after every chapter.

One of the things I liked about this book is that the authors promote make-ahead meals which allow readers to do some meal planning but still have the flexibility to change their plan when the need arises. One of my favourite ideas was the make-ahead chicken packets. Foil wrap boneless, skinless chicken breasts in one of the marinade recipes provided and place the packet on a baking sheet in the freezer. Once the packets are frozen, pile them up in the freezer. When you are ready to make dinner, simply pull out the frozen packet and pop it directly in the oven. If you make one or two breasts per packet, you just pull out the number you need to make dinner — super easy if you’re dining alone or if guests drop in at the last minute!

There are dozens of slow-cooker, one-skillet, and sheet-pan supper recipes that allow you to create flavourful meals with minimal clean-up. The authors advocate time-saving preparations such as buying pre-cut or frozen vegetables, dried pasta, and canned beans, and they tell readers how to work with these ingredients to obtain the best results. They also provide guidance on choosing fastest cooking fresh meats and fresh vegetables without sacrificing quality or flavour.

There are suggestions for vegetarian/vegan options including a section on Better Veggie Burgers. (I can’t wait to try these out!) In the margins of some recipes, the authors indicate which processed food used in the recipe contain not immediately obvious ingredients such as gluten, peanuts/nuts, or high amounts of salt. This is very useful for those with allergies or on special diets.

One thing that made me smile is how they turn some unitaskers such as the waffle maker, garlic press, and coffee press into multi-taskers. There are ten recipes that use a waffle maker and only one of them is actually waffles (and it is a super-quick recipe too!). The section entitled, Better Living with a Garlic Press, explains how to make great rubs and marinades by using a garlic press for ginger, cocktail onions, pickled jalapeños and more. The coffee press is given a new multi-tasker life by making flavourful teas and infusions.

To be honest with Unclutterer readers, many of the food preparation and time-saving tips are not new to me. I have a Master’s Degree in Food Chemistry and I spend quite a bit of time in the kitchen. However, I did need to be reminded of a few things and it is always good to try different recipes! The Kitchen Shortcut Bible would be an ideal gift for someone new to cooking, perhaps a young adult who has just moved out on their own or someone interested in reducing their dependency on ready-made and restaurant foods. I highly recommend The Kitchen Shortcut Bible. You will save time and money in a uncluttered kitchen and enjoy restaurant quality meals with very little work.

2 Comments for “Book Review: The Kitchen Shortcut Bible”

  1. posted by Kenneth in Virginia on

    An interesting thing about cookbooks is that you will almost never find the same exact recipe in two cookbooks. The old cookbook I ever saw included directions on how to build a fire in the cookstove. That’s pretty old, although I knew several people still using wood-burning cookstoves when I was still in public school and that was in town.

    Although I manage to freeze something and put it in the freezer for future use, portion-controller, for leftover things, like hamburger excess to what was required for some dish, it’s a sure way to fill up the freezer with things for which you have no memory. Anyway, cookbooks are essential when you didn’t have your mother teaching you all her tricks and what boy wants to learn to cook?

  2. posted by SkiptheBS on

    Calling one. It’s easy to recognize frozen burger patties. Other time savers are having on-sale half hams or fresh picnics sliced by the butcher and repackaging them at home for freezing as meal portions. ANYTHING can be labeled with cheap masking tape and equally cheap pen.

    Portioning is a huge saver for singles, especially. I’m rural so putting up my own canned custom-seasoned beans, fruits, tomatoes, soups with Mason jars and a pressure canner is a favorite. I allocate a full day and end up with well over fifty jars. Best practice here is buying a new canner and getting jars from a farm auction or making sure the recycling attendant has your phone number.

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