Thursday, November 25, 2010

Cookbook Review: Healthy Cooking for Two

Strangely enough, the cover image here is completely different then the copy I own. Also strange, I can find no images of the book-cover I have. Even stranger, the copy I have still lists Cornish Game Hens and Mango Salsa as the cover recipes even though my cover has a bean salad and crab cakes on it. Huh.

While weird, it doesn't deter my rather glowing review. Although I haven't tried every recipe in Healthy Cooking for Two (Or Just You) ...there are over 200. Most actually look appealing to me, but certainly not everything (I don't cook seafood this far inland...I just don't). I have tried five at this point, however, and have been extremely pleased with each. If I make more, and my opinion changes, I will certainly update this review!

Of course, I was too busy eating to take pictures of my pretty foodstuffs.

The recipes I did try out were:
  • Roasted Greek Potatoes (p. 247)
  • New Boston Baked Beans (p. 143)
  • New Potato Salad with White Wine Vinaigrette (p. 97)
  • Carrots in Lemon-Walnut Vinaigrette (p. 92)
  • Szechuan Chicken in Lettuce Bundles (p. 159)
Yes they are mostly side-dishes, but that's what I have the most trouble producing come meal time! It's easy to come up with a main dish that sounds good, but whatever should I serve with it?

The Roasted Greek Potatoes were delicious, although next time I would probably use less lemon and extend the cooking time (I must have cut my potatoes a bit thick because when I made this recipe I had to nearly double it's stay in the oven).

My husband and I thought the New Boston Baked Beans were just about the best thing ever. Especially nice and chilled. While it certainly doesn't look appetizing (it is baked beans after all) it is so satisfying and sweet and tangy. It certainly doesn't taste low-calorie but it is.

The New Potato Salad was also quite good, with a great consistency (not too mushy) but once again I think I would cut down on the lemon.

The Carrots in Lemon-Walnut Vinaiggrette were crunchy and refreshing, a basic shredded carrot salad that could accompany sandwiches, chicken, beans, or just about anything.

I admit that I skipped out on the lettuce bundles, and so Szechuan Chicken is probably a better name for what I whipped up the other day. To be honest, it had a bit of bite to it that the lettuce would have really complemented and I regret being too lazy to wrap the bundles! This stir-fry recipe includes chicken, fresh ginger, peanuts, green onions and peppers. It has a lot of flavor for very little work, just as the subtitle claims.

Price writes a very personal cookbook, with each recipe she shares an anecdote or origin story for its inspiration. However, it never gets "too personal" or weird, and I enjoyed sitting and reading through the recipes. Price provides two columns for each recipe, conveniently listing the amount of ingredients you will need depending on the amount of servings you wish to create (usually one person, two people, or four people). I highly recommend this for anyone who cooks for a small family (1-4 people), who is trying to eat healthier but still maintain a varied and exciting diet, or who just wants something dependable and easy to whip up.

New Boston Baked Beans (From Healthy Cooking for Two by Frances Price)
2 servings

1/2 small onion
16 oz canned Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup water
2 TBSP molasses
2 TBSP ketchup
1/2 tsp dry mustard
pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 300F.
Put the onion in a deep 3-cup casserole and cover it with the beans.
In a small saucepan, combine the water, molasses, ketchup, mustard, and pepper. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Pour the mixture over the beans.
Set the casserole on the middle shelf of the oven and bake for 1 hour without stirring, until the beans are glazed on top and most of the liquid has been absorbed. Serve hot or lukewarm.

Per serving: 248 calories, 1 g. total fat, 0 g. saturated fat, 0 mg. cholesterol, 171 mg. sodium, 11.8 g. protein, 49.6 g. carbohydrates, 7.4 g. dietary fiber.

Price, Frances. Healthy Cooking for Two (Or Just You): Low-Fat Recipes with Half the Fuss and Double the Taste. (location isn't listed!): Rodale, 1995.

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