Sunday, February 21, 2010

Review: So Easy

Summary: As weekly host of the Food Network's Healthy Appetite, Ellie Krieger is known for creating light and healthy dishes that taste great and are easy enough for the busiest people to prepare. Now, Ellie has put together a collection of meal solutions for those of us who love food and want to eat well but struggle to make it happen given life's hectic pace. With 150 delicious, easy-to-prepare, fortifying recipes, Ellie provides dishes that tackle every possible mealtime situation. Illustrated with 50 full-color photos, there are recipes for:

  • Grab-and-go breakfasts for hectic days, as well as easy breakfast options for more leisurely mornings

  • Lunches to go, each road-tested in a cooler pack, along with at-home lunches for when you have the luxury of eating in

  • A month's worth of different rush-hour dinners-fabulous meals you can whip up in less than thirty minutes-as well as dinners for days when you have a little more time to marinate or roast, but still want it all to be effortless

  • Decadent desserts, some ready in minutes, others truly worth waiting for-all easily pulled together

  • As a mom with a full-time job, Ellie knows how busy life is when you're juggling your family's needs. Now, you can stop stressing over whether to eat healthily or to eat fast. The recipes here-from Cheddar Apple Quesadilla, Pork Piccata with Spinach and Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Marinated Flank Steak with Blue Cheese Sauce to Chocolate-Cream Cheese Panini Bites and Fig and Ginger Truffles-are ideal, regardless of the time, or experience, you have in the kitchen.

    When so much in life is complicated, isn't it nice to know that eating doesn't have to be? After making and enjoying the meals in this book, you will say along with the title, "That was SO EASY!" -- Wiley

    I can so blame this one on Beth Fish Reads! She featured SO EASY: LUSCIOUS, HEALTHY RECIPES FOR EVERY MEAL OF THE WEEK by Ellie Krieger awhile back, and I immediately checked it out of the library. SO EASY is my kind of cookbook because it is obviously very easy recipes that are also healthy. I have tried a number of recipes from this cookbook over the past few weeks, and SO EASY is without a doubt my favorite cookbook right now. I have to have this cookbook!

    Usually I am happy with a cookbook is I find one or two recipes that are keepers. The cookbook is divided up in sections according to meals: Breakfast - at the ready, Breakfast - at leisure, Lunch - to go, Lunch - at home, Dinner - rush hour, Dinner - kickin' back, Desserts - in a flash, and Desserts - extra special. My favorite section was definitely Dinner - rush hour because that's basically what I need to most. With all of the kids' activities, I'm lucky to get dinner on the table each night.

    In SO EASY, the first three recipes I made were absolutely fantastic. I first tried the Garlic Basil Shrimp, and my husband and daughter loved it -- my son couldn't try it since he is allergic to shellfish. We aren't huge fans of cherry tomatoes, so I substituted canned petite diced tomatoes instead. It was fabulous and so fresh!

    I then tried another shrimp recipe - Shrimp Fra Diavlo with Spinach which was amazing. I even got my husband and daughter to eat some spinach! Another big hit was the Tri-Color Pepper Steak. This was a very simple recipe that my whole family could eat -- even the boy! He absolutely loved it, and I was thrilled to find an easy, healthy dinner rather than making him an entirely different meal. My husband and I also enjoyed the Tortellini-Spinach soup from the Lunch-to go section which was extremely easy and definitely had a kick!

    There aren't a ton of chicken recipes in this healthy cookbook which makes it a little unusual; however, I already have some wonderful, healthy chicken recipes. When I picked up this cookbook, I was looking for some different recipe ideas. I did try the Savory Peach Chicken. I pretty much knew that it wasn't going to be a hit with my husband since he doesn't really like fruit all that much, but I thought it was worth a shot. He was less than thrilled with it so I won't be making it for him again. I enjoyed it though and the kids thought the chicken part was good (if they didn't have to eat the peaches!)

    I can't recommend SO EASY enough if you enjoy healthy and easy recipes -- you really can't go wrong with that combination in my mind. I have been raving so much about this cookbook that my sister just told me that she bought a copy for my birthday in April (I was too cheap to spring for the $30 price tag even though it is so worth that price!) Right now, I am going through withdrawal because I had to return it to the library, so April can't come soon enough for me!

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    rhapsodyinbooks said...

    That shrimp looks fantastic! I love "quick and easy" recipe books!

    Beth F said...

    Everything I have made out of this book was a hit with Mr. BFR -- even the mango pork recipe (and he too usually doesn't like fruit with his meat). So glad to have turned you on to a great book. I got another of her cookbooks and love that one too.

    bermudaonion said...

    I've only seen her show a few times, but enjoyed it when I did. It sounds like I need to get this cookbook!

    Dana said...

    I am cooking my way through this cookbook this month, and as a beginner cook I'm really enjoying the recipes! Great review!

    Kim said...

    Well, first off that shrimp looks fantastic! I think I may need to revise my menu plan for next week so I can fit that one in! And secondly, the cookbook sounds like it is so practical--I guess I need to go find me a copy.

    Ali said...

    I'm always looking for more healthy and easy recipes, so I'll have to keep an eye out for this one. Thanks!

    Beth Hoffman said...

    Oh my! I'm going to make this shrimp recipe -- it sounds divine. Thanks so much for posting it!

    Anonymous said...

    I'm on the hold list for this at the library. Wanted to test drive it before I plunk down the money.

    Bonnie said...

    This caught my eye after reading Beth Fish Reads review. The recipes sound great that you tried. My son is sensitive to shrimp even though he showed that he wasn't allergic in testing. He reacts to it when he eats it. Glad to hear that you found some recipes that your son could eat. I have a gift card and I think that I'll be ordering this cookbook very soon.