Thursday, March 3, 2011

Healthy Meals for Less- A Book Review

I'm looking forward to a much needed blogging break. The goal: work on the baby book, go to adoration, stick with my challenge readings, and work on HB's birth record. The birth record is a cross-stitch. For those of you who aren't crafty, cross-stitching is basically a version of embroidery~a less elaborate one. I can't knit or crochet (something about the knots gets me), but I can sew and cross-stitch. It's something my mom taught me. She's actually won awards for her cross-stitch. I started in the second grade (I think) and sorta did projects here and there, but haven't attempted one in a long, long time. I sorta expected someone to already have whipped up a birth record since my mother cross-stitches, my grandmother (although maybe not so much), my mom's best friend (who did my birth record), my husband's grandmother (who did our wedding record and a baby quilt)....you get the idea. I didn't have any plans to do anything because I thought that my own skills would go to the way side for all the abundance of sewing in the family. But nobody claimed the birth record, so it's MINE I tell you ALL MINE. Nobody better claim that one. I've already started working on it. And if we have another baby, I'm claiming that birth record as well. IT'S MINE I TELL YOU! :) All jesting aside of course. I suppose I should do some other cross-stitches besides baby things. I might have Hubby pick something out for himself.

But you're not here to hear about my crafting adventures. (Although if you knit, I want to know exactly how you do it. I want tutorials, people. Tutorials when I get back.) You're here about the book.

It's an awesome book. It's called Healthy Meals for Less: Great Tasting Simple Recipes for under a $1 per serving by Jonni McCoy. The first chapter discusses her formatting for the recipes and how she manages to save you money. She has a section on slow cooking, one on vegetarian meals (for all those looking for ideas for Lent), and a whole chapter devoted to how to deal with your leftover Turkey from Thanksgiving. But there are many other chapters too. I'm just giving you the unique ones that I haven't seen from another cookbook other than ones devoted to the subject (such as a slow cooker book).

Each recipe comes with a nutrition guide and how much it is per serving. She bases her prices not on sales but on what is the standard market price. She also gives suggestions to make the meal different. Like for her meat loaf in a crock pot, she says you can also make mini meat loaves in the oven or to add a different type of topping to make it more like a cheese burger (great for picky eating kids).

She also gives great tips on how to use less meat in a recipe. As she explains, Americans eat too much meat anyway. It's also the most expensive food item that we buy. She tends to "trim" the meat and "beef" up her vegetables in her recipes. (Sorry couldn't resist.)

At the back, she gives helpful kitchen tips such as emergency substitutions. For the price of 7.32, you will definately make your money back when buying this book.

I'd tell you more, but I loaned my copy out. Fortunately, I've already posted one of our family favorites so I'll just copy and paste for you.

Tortilla Soup- Serves 6
1 lb. chicken cubed
½ cup finely diced onions
4 cloves garlic, pressed
6 cups water
1/3 cup chicken broth powder
10-15 oz can of tomato sauce
¾ teaspoon dry oregano
1/3 cup lime juice
1 tsp. chili powder
Bag of tortilla chips

Optional toppings: monte jack cheese, avocado, sour cream

In a large 4- quart pot, combine all of the ingredients (except the tortilla chips). Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked thoroughly. Serve with a handful of tortilla chips on the top of the soup. Garnish with optional toppings of your choice.

1 comment:

  1. I knit. :) I learned how from taking a class at my local JoAnn's. See if yours offers classes (they call them "Creative University" I think) and it's Knitting 101. It's excellent! There's also the original Stitch 'n Bitch book which includes detailed instructions on learning to knit. I own it, and really like it. It includes a great story at the beginning of how the author came from a crafty family, abandoned knitting as "unfeminist" as a young woman, and returned to it as an adult as a way to bond with other women and honor her knitting heritage. It's really good!

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