Top positive review
57 people found this helpful
quick, wholesome and healthy
on 21 February 2008
This is one of the main books I use for weekday cooking - the recipes are easy, quick to prepare and make use of ingredients that you have in your cupboard or fridge. Don't expect sensational and spectacular dinner party solutions in here, because this is not the book to wow your guests with; however, it does result in healthy, hearty recipes that taste very good and nutritious in a traditional, simple sort of way, perfect for the weekday cook who does not have 3 hours to whip up a meal. This isn't a book with long lists of ingredients - in fact, its simplicity of ingredients and seasonings is just what I like about it. On those nights when your fridge is empty and the shop is closed or you just can't be bothered to go to one, this book will provide you with numerous suggestions on what you can do with your last remaining egg and 3 leaves of lettuce.
Another thing I really like about this book are the various variations that the author provides for every recipe, as well as the countless suggestions for alternative products that could be used instead. Nearly every recipe has suggestions about other vegetables or grains that could be used instead, and a list of variations which are easily accomplished by tweaking with the ingredients a little bit and allowing you to be flexible with your ingredients.
And finally it is refreshing to see a wide range of Mexican and South American dishes feature widely in this recipe book. I find that British recipe books contain many suggestions for curries and other Middle Eastern foods, but not enough of cuisines from other parts of the world. With his knowledge of Mexican influences on American food, Bittman provides you with many ideas for corn, beans, quinoa, spelt, tortillas etc, and so there is always something new, unusual, and original to try. Plenty of fantastic ideas if you like experimenting with unusual, healthfood-shop foods.
Some people might be put off by the complete lack of illustrations, but the preparation is so easy that you don't need photos to tell you what to do! This is a fantastic collection of hundreds of quick, healthy and tasty recipes from around the world which I would recommend to anyone who likes to experiment in the kitchen and try out new flavours.