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Cookbooks

July 24, 2012
by Erin B

I have to admit that sometimes I cook based on “good enough.”  Food that isn’t super yummy, but is good enough.  Stuff that is healthy and not too much work or too much money and doesn’t make too many dishes.  Food that is filling.  It isn’t my favourite, but is OK.

I know that isn’t a glowing recommendation.  I also suspect that everyone out there does it too.

On that note, lately I have been cooking out of this cookbook:


Glorious One-Pot Meals: A Revolutionary New Quick and Healthy Approach to Dutch-Oven Cooking by Elizabeth Yarnell

I can’t really sing it’s praises as wonderful delicious meals.   Frankly, I don’t think it lives up to the word “Glorious.”   They are perfectly fine.  The are easy.  They balance starch, protein, and veg and really only take one pot…. and sometimes a mixing bowl, but close enough.

I have to wonder if part of the problem is that I am using my cute little Lodge instead of a Le Creuset.  Maybe two quart is relative.  I sometimes think my pot must be smaller than the one the author is using.  I don’t know.  The author spends a lot of the introduction talking about how this is a new way of cooking and how it is very temperature sensitive and how you have to balance the moisture of the ingredients.  It is possible that if my pot is a cup or so smaller, that I am not getting the balance right and that’s my problem.  I’m not keen to buy a $300 pot just to find out.

I have borrowed this book from the library to try out.  So far I have made “New World Shrimp” page 68, “Chicken Marengo” page 148, and tonight I am making “Red Curry Chicken” page 136.  Not counting tonight (because I haven’t tasted it yet) the food has been a little bland, but OK.  I think some of that may be cultural…. I notice that most American cookbooks feature blander recipes than I make for myself or than I find in Canadian books.

So, how does it fair on my cookbook wish list?

Picture of every recipe – no, in fact the only picture is the cover shot.
Nutritional information – yes…. but it’s subtle at the bottom of the page, I didn’t notice it at first
Carbohydrate count suitable for diabetics – Sort of, about average for most cookbooks.*
Ingredients I can buy locally – yes
Pairing suggestion or full meal plans – yes
Easy – yes
Not too many dishes – yes.
Edible – yes. This is a harder than you might think. Dinners that are total failures are just not on. I pretty sure I have read that if a cookbook only includes 1/3 repeatable recipes, it is considered a success by the cookbook industry, but I can’t double check to be certain, because it was in a cookbook I didn’t like and sold.

The bottom line. So far everyone eats the food! It isn’t as yummy as some of the stuff I can make. But I can have everything ready to pop into the oven then get on with organizing small children or what not. All the food touches the other food, so I have to separate it before Little Girl sees that. But she eats it…. as well as anything.

I will likely buy this book just due to ease factor…. Even if the meals aren’t “Glorious” they are perfectly acceptable.

UPDATE: I should add I think the serving size is wrong.  One two quart pot of dinner feeds all five of us.  Officially, it feeds two.  That is a big part of how we can make this work for diabetic portions.  Tonight was the highest carb dinner I have made out of the cookbook.  Two servings = 105g carbs per serving. But since it is feeds five (I don’t count Little Girl.  We all ate and there is one serving left for T’s lunch) 210g/5 servings = 42g per serving.  C gets 48g at supper, so she still has room to include a serving of milk.

Also, the Red Curry chicken was about a B-.  That really is the thing.  No F so far but no A+ either.

 

*Even diabetic specific cookbooks aren’t necessarily that great, the individual dishes are generally OK, but you can’t always make a whole meal out of them.

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