About a month ago, I started to review a cookbook for Cookbooker, a website for reviewing cookbooks and recipes from those cookbooks. There was a challenge involving a cookbook meant to provide lots of flavorful dishes with minimal time and labor. I didn’t own the cookbook but started with the freebie recipes. Thanks to my mom, I learned the website was giving away a copy of the cookbook, High Flavor, Low Labor, on their site blog. And I won!
Once it arrived, I made an effort to try an assortment of recipes from the sections: appetizers, main dishes, soups, sandwiches, sides and pasta dishes before the challenge was over. There are still five days left in the challenge and I”ll get through two or three more recipes but I don’t need to wait to call this cookbook a five spice hit. We’ve only had one thing not be a complete success and it was probably not the recipe’s fault.
Tonight, I made steak, marinated in garlic, lime, soy sauce and rice wine vinegar (seasoned for sushi). The steak is topped with an avocado and cilantro salsa which was tossed in some of the reserved marinade. To accompany this, we had mashed potatoes seasoned with dill and horseradish. Bonus for the Spartan-themed dish.
Go Green! Go White!
All week, we’ve been snacking on the tomato-bacon jam, either with cream cheese on a bagel or with goat cheese on sliced and toasted baguettes. I’ve also made the sloppy joes (subbing ground turkey for beef)
Tomato Bacon Jam with Goat Cheese
Sloppy Joes on Onion Buns
Other items made so far include chimichurri chicken with asparagus and roasted potatoes, pesto chicken and the previously reviewed steak and linguine. Before the challenge is over, I’m hoping to make the turkey & gouda pizza, a truffle oil extravaganza and something for Thanksgiving dinner but this book will see regular rotation as we work through all the recipes tagged with ‘try’, which just happens to be more than two-thirds of them!
While I can’t say this recipe is all super-healthy, its not horrible, nutritionally speaking. Well, except for those potatoes with the cream, butter and cream cheese. Importantly, the recipes live up to the goal of the book: lots of flavor, pretty easy to put together. I also like that many recipes have overlapping ingredients. We use a lot of balsamic vinegar so that is always on hand but when I buy a tub of goat cheese, its nice to know that I’ll be able to use it up in a week’s time by making at least two different, unique dinners.
The same author has written a vegetarian cookbook with the same focus on flavor first: Venturesome Vegetarian (amazon link) which I can’t speak for but is available used for $2.50! Kind of hard to go wrong in that case.