Review: The $7 a Meal Quick & Easy Cookbook
Despite what the media and politician’s (let’s face it; they are the same thing) keep saying, the economy is only getting worse. Americans love their sequels but I don’t think the Great Depression II is one they have been looking forward to. Never the less it is here. The big wigs in DC may not be feeling the pinch but the rest of us are and like our predecessors we are pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps.
Take Chef Susan Irby (the Bikini Chef) for instance who has just published her new The $7 a Meal Quick & Easy Cookbook (Adams Media, 2009). Irby is a cheflebrity who has cooked with the likes of Todd English and Ming Tsai and for the likes of Patrick Swayze, David Spade and Kate Segal. But in this 332 page guide she teaches you how to cook like a celebrity chef without blowing your fiscal or time budget.
The 301 recipes found within sound expensive but are not like the Grilled, Herb-Custed Pork Chops with White Wine Sauce ($6.96), Baked Tortillas with Crab and Basil ($6.60) and London Broil with Merlot Marinade ($7 flat). But what really sets Irby’s work apart from others is the way she gives you a basic recipe then teaches you how to elaborate on it. Take for instance the humble omelet; first the Bikini Chef gives her basic omelet recipe then she expands on it with the Roasted Red Pepper Omelet, Vegetarian Omelet and the Golden Apple Omelet made with both Parmesan and Bleu cheeses.
Each recipe is broken down with a chart that details prep time, cook time, total cost, calories, fat, protein, cholesterol and sodium content. The book consists of fifteen chapters thirteen of which are recipes. The first two are purely instructional with chapter one providing information for those new to the home cooking game include a list for a properly stocked pantry and freezer while chapter two is full of tips for shopping on a budget.
The $7 a Meal Quick & Easy Cookbook is perfect for the 20-something just starting out or the family that is having to reinvent itself because of trying economic times.