Bare Minimum Dinners Cookbook, a review by Tanya

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Bare Minimum Dinners: Recipes and Strategies for Doing Less in the Kitchen
Jenna Helwig

Published Sept 7, 2021 by Mariner Books

Amazon | Goodreads

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About the Book: 

Easy recipes and shortcuts to spend less time in the kitchen—with fewer ingredients, less cleanup, Instant Pot and slow cooker options, meals made in 30 minutes or less, and other smart strategies

Getting a home-cooked meal on the table every day is an admirable goal, but it shouldn’t get in the way of your life! In Bare Minimum Dinners, Jenna Helwig—food director at Real Simple magazine—shares delicious, easy recipes so you can spend less time in the kitchen and more time enjoying your meal…or doing whatever else you want! Chapters include: Bare Minimum Time (30 minutes or less); Bare Minimum Ingredients (7 ingredients or less, including salt and olive oil); Bare Minimum Hands-On Time (slow-cooker and Instant Pot meals); Bare Minimum Clean-Up (one-pot/sheet pan/skillet meals); and Bare Minimum Sides (super-simple vegetables, salads, and grains so you can feel good about serving healthy, well-rounded dinners). Throughout, Jenna offers helpful tips—for example, how to keep salad greens fresh and at the ready, easy substitutions, and suggested supermarket brands—as well as easy ideas for dressing up or rounding out your meal.

My Review:

Sometimes it’s all I can do to put food on the table at night for the family.  Half of the weekdays I’m completely exhausted by dinner and all my grandiose ideas of putting together huge meals or following big, long recipes just go right out the window.  When I saw the title of this Cookbook, I new that it would be right up my alley as I really need simple, no frill ideas for dinners that can be made really fast.

If simple, low-cost meals are your thing, check out this Cookbook.  There are so many good ideas for inexpensive meals that are simple and fairly easy to put together.  These are great for new cooks as well as for weeknights, after a busy day out.

The structure of the book is set-up nicely, providing explanations on equipment needed and how to use the book.

So many good, solid recipes that I have several now on my list to work in to my rotation with the family.  There were even several side dishes that I’m going to start making as well.

Here were some of my favorite recipes throughout:
– Provini Pasta
– Ginger-Scallion Turkey Burgers
– Tuna and White Bean Salad
– Sweet and Tangy Beef and Broccolli
– Summery Pesto Pasta
– Black Bean Burgers
– Magic White Bean and Tomato Stew
– Slow-Cooker Salmon with Lemon and Dill
– Eat-with-Everything Slaw
– White Beans and Sage
– Two Ways with Roasted Brussels Sprouts
– All Purpose Yogurt Dip
– Peas with Walnuts and Parm
– Quinoa Pilaf

There is even a whole section for Instant Pot users.  There isn’t anything over-complicated in this one and it’s overall very well rounded.  I think this would be a good staple in a new to intermediate cook’s kitchen.

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