Okay, I’ll admit it. I did what I said I would not. But I’m a hopeless addict; what can I say. I bought not one but two more cookbooks. I don’t know if this makes it any better but I used a gift certificate and only ended up spending $2.43 on both of them. I will say I have been using my other cookbooks more now than I had been previously so at least that’s something.
Last week I made all but 2 of my dinners from one of my new cookbooks and decided to do a review based on these meals. The cookbook is called SOS! The Six O’Clock Scramble to the Rescue: Earth-Friendly, Kid-Pleasing Dinners for Busy Families. Sounds promising! I’m all about healthy, quick meals. (I’m not too worried about the kid-pleasing part at this point because, so far, my daughter, 13 months, is a fantastic and adventurous eater.)
In my first perusal through the book, I saw that the book was divided into each of the four seasons, with the recipes capitalizing on produce that was in season, thus making it more economical, too. For each season, the author gives 5 weeks of sample menus along with a link where you can actually even print out the shopping list for that week. If there is a recipe or two that you know your family would not like on the list, it is easy to spot the ingredients on the list to mark them off for that particular recipe. The next page is a categorized list of all of the recipes in that section along with notations next to a recipe if it is vegetarian (or can be adapted to be vegetarian), if it can be made in 30 minutes or less and/or if it can be made ahead/frozen or made in a slow cooker.
There are sections throughout the book with tips on making your meals more earth-friendly, healthier, etc. I also really like that each recipe includes a sample side dish with instructions on how to prepare it as well as a way to spice up the recipe (called a Scramble Flavor Booster).
The first meal I made was the Tex-Mex Scramble. It is an egg dish with salsa, tortilla chips and cheese and some green bell pepper and onion (listed as optional but we used them). It was fast and easy to prepare and pretty tasty. The fresh salsa was on sale that week and I already had chips and eggs so this was pretty cheap to make, too. We definitely enjoyed it and plan on making it again. I think we ate this with fruit but I can’t remember for sure.
The next meal we tried was called Chicken Tricolore and was by far my favorite one we made. My husband really liked it, too.
It is a pretty dish and very simple to prepare. It does take a while to cook though which isn’t a problem for me but would have been when I worked since it takes about an hour in the oven. The recipe calls for a whole cut-up chicken or bone-in pieces and since the bone-in chicken was on sale, we used that. I was actually skeptical about this dish because it seems that
baked chicken usually ends up dry and only flavorful on the outside. Not so with this chicken! It was very moist and every bite was full of flavor. I didn’t expect so much flavor from only parsley, grape tomatoes, garlic, lemon, salt, pepper and olive oil. The tomatoes were extremely good! I know we will make this again and again. We served it with steamed corn which was on sale that week. I also liked that this dish can be prepared the day before and refrigerated until you are ready to bake it.
Lemon-pepper pork chops was our next dish. My husband hates lemon-pepper so we used a caribbean seasoning instead. My husband actually cooked this one and said it was pretty straightforward and easy to do. It took about 20 minutes total if I remember correctly. This recipe is nice if you have pork and some seasoning as there are very few ingredients besides that. It was juicy and tasty and we served it with spicy mustard per the recipe’s suggestion which was very good. We had it with brussel sprouts. I would also make this one again.
For our second meatless meal, we had Spaghetti Carbonara. I’m pretty sure I messed this recipe up. I’m not the greatest cook so it happens from time to time. 🙂 The recipe calls for turkey bacon but it does have sliced mushrooms as a substitute so I used that instead. I also think that may have affected the recipe possibly. The “sauce” for the spaghetti is an egg Parmesan mixture and I mistakenly used the grated in a can kind and I definitely think that was wrong as the mixture had way too much parmesan and it was clumpy with the eggs. It was also dry probably because I had no bacon fat since I used mushrooms. I would like to try this one again and maybe have my husband make it with the bacon and the correct kind of parmesan because the flavor was good but the recipe was just not quite right. We served this with asparagus because it was on sale that week.
The last meal we made was my husband’s favorite and we are actually using the marinade for chicken kabobs for tonight’s dinner. It was Grilled Island Chicken. It is marinated in a pineapple marinade with ginger, garlic, soy sauce (reduced sodium), oil and pepper. You can either broil or grill it and we chose to grill it. You serve it with grilled pineapple as well and the cookbook even includes a smoothie recipe for the remaining pineapple juice to serve alongside it but we didn’t make it. This is also a very cheap recipe since I just had to buy the pineapples since we had chicken in the freezer.
Overall, we have really enjoyed all of the recipes we made and are looking forward to trying more. We would definitely recommend this cookbook!