“Dinner Made Simple: 35 Everyday Ingredients, 350 Easy Recipes” by the editors of Real Simple, Oxmoor House, $24.95, 352 pages, paperback
When you don’t have much time to spend in the kitchen or you’re craving a dish with one of your favorite ingredients, get help from a new cookbook from the editors of Real Simple.
If your favorite thing is the versatile avocado or shrimp, you’ll find 10 easy-to-prepare recipes using that ingredient in “Dinner Made Simple: 35 Everyday Ingredients, 350 Easy Recipes.”
The cookbook is organized from Apples to Zucchini, with such quick-to-make recipes as Apple Vichyssoise; Broccoli and Pepper Stir-Fry; Grilled Beef and Pepper Fajitas; Salmon with Creamed Spinach and Quinoa; and Tomatoes with Ranch Dressing.
As lagniappe, the book includes a Sweet Endings section with recipes for cookies, bars, cupcakes and pies.
Each recipe is accompanied by a full-color photograph of a single serving.
One downside is recipes fail to explain how to portion the completed dish for serving. The cook is left to do a bit of math: for example, dividing 6 cups of salad greens into 4 (1½-cup) portions.
Nice features are the “kitchen cheat sheets” for baking pan substitutions, measuring conversions, cups to grams, and meat to cooking temperatures.
And, the back of the book also includes a nutritional guide for each recipe with a key noting if the recipe is quick cooking, a healthful pick, made in a slow cooker, a one-pot or big-batch dish, whole-grain, vegetarian, gluten-free or family-friendly.
This is an especially good choice for the home cook without a lot of time who wants to prepare tasty, creative dishes.
Cheramie Sonnier is a food writer and columnist. Contact her at email@example.com, and follow her on Twitter, @CheramieSonnier.