Food Network Magazine Great Easy Meals: 250 Fun & Fast Recipes is available for purchase through our online store or at local bookstores. For more information on this cookbook please visit HarperCollins Canada
Cookbook review written & photographed by
Put together by The Food Network, this cookbook (published by Hyperion, $24.99 USD) is a compilation of quick and easy dishes all geared towards busy weeknights when a lot of people find themselves reaching for takeout menus. Recipes offer a wide variety of options that are easily adaptable depending on dietary requirements or specific food cravings.
Helpful hints are scattered throughout the book, such as tossing cooked pasta with milk to prevent it from getting gummy. Works like a hot damn! However, if you purchase this book specifically because of the blurb on the cover that says it includes kitchen tips from Food Network stars, prepare to be disappointed. The insertions are not so much tips as personal trivia, which may be interesting to Food Network fans but is rather misguiding from the consumer’s perspective.
Side dish suggestions are often included at the bottom of recipes, allowing you to easily complete your meal. I tried a number of side dishes, including the Tomato-Basil Lima Beans, Bacon-Cheddar Mashed Potatoes, and Black Bean Salad. All of them were fantastic.
Not sure what to do with the leftovers? At the bottom of some of the recipes you will find a variety of tasty options, which are also designed to help you use up a particular ingredient that may have only called for a sparse amount.
If you are familiar with The Food Network Magazine, you will recognize the Mix & Match feature which offers a variety of different flavour options for the same basic recipe. For example; with chicken soup the book outlines a Mexican, Italian or Asian option outlined in a flowchart layout.
For those with more visual tendencies when it comes to preparing food, you will be happy to hear that there is a corresponding photo for each recipe. Even the index is arranged with a thumbnail pic of each dish. The overall layout and photographic elements are all bright and fresh, making you feel as if you’ve just stepped into a clean kitchen full of great light.
I really, really enjoyed reviewing this cookbook. Everything I tried turned out great, and I will definitely be keeping this one within easy reach for those busy weeknights. I appreciate the level of detail that went into the recipes as well as the overall layout. Highly recommend this one folks!