Book Review: The Eating Well in a Pinch Cookbook by Jim Romanoff

When I first received this book I was delighted. I thought, this might be a cookbook I’m actually going to use and not just read and put away! Six weeks passed, and for once my prediction turned out to be accurate.

Since the day “Healthy in a Hurry” arrived in the mail, each week’s meal plan includes at least two recipes from this book. The “Healthy in a Pinch” concept is great for modern moms who struggle to prepare healthy meals with little time to spend in that short window of time between the end of the workday and 6:30 p.m. soccer practice ( or whatever). As the book’s subtitle says, the recipes are appropriate for quick and easy everyday dinners. There’s not much here you’d want to serve up for special occasions, but the book features an almost endless variety of tasty weekend meals that can be whipped up in minutes.

Author Jim Romanoff, editor of EatingWell magazine, draws inspiration from a wide variety of culinary traditions. Meals are inspired by Southwestern, Thai, Japanese, Korean, Middle Eastern, Italian, Indian, Greek, and North African cuisines. About two-thirds of the 150 recipes are accompanied by beautiful, full-color photographs. Each recipe provides prep and cook time and nutritional information, as well as indicating whether the recipe is high fiber, low carb, or appropriate for a “healthy weight” lifestyle. “Nutrition Bonuses” are provided for recipes that contain 15% or more of the daily value of specific nutrients such as vitamin A, folate, or iron.

“Healthy in a Hurry” features more than just recipes. The book is divided into useful sections that can be helpful in meal planning, such as stocking your pantry, seasonal menu suggestions, and vegetarian meals. Three sections provide ideas, not strictly recipes, for “in a hurry” sauces, garnishes, and desserts. Special indexes help you select recipes for kids, healthy weights, and meals that are 30 minutes or less.

Some of the recipes we have enjoyed are: Marinated Pork and Potato Bundles, Vietnamese Style Beef Broth and Noodles, Grilled Eggplant Panini, Turkey with Cranberry Bread Sauce, Chipotle Flank Steak Tacos with pineapple sauce and beef medallions with tangerine.

Just a few of the delicious recipes I have yet to try are: Korean-Style Steak Lettuce Wraps, Spiced Pork Chops and Peaches, Grilled Filet Mignon with Vegetable Skewers, Green Shrimp Enchiladas, Turkey and Balsamic Onion Quesadillas and Shrimp and Sausage Express Jambalaya.

In my extensive selection of cookbooks there are some books that I return to repeatedly for good recipes for Sunday dinner or for special occasions. Others I love to read, dreaming of time consuming recipes with expensive or exotic ingredients that I would love to try… one day. But there are very few that I use regularly for my weeknight dinners. “Healthy in a Hurry” has proven to be one of them, and as such I highly recommend it as a worthwhile addition to anyone’s collection.

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