Pros: nutritional information is included, easy to find ingredients, simple recipes
Cons: not enough pictures, smaller print
First of all, I absolutely love cookbooks! There is something very relaxing to me about sitting down and going through a cookbook. 365 30-Minute Meals by Better Homes and Gardens definitely did not disappoint. All of the recipes were very simple, a definite bonus during the busy week. I like to make elaborate meals and sometimes I forget about the simple stuff. This cookbook helped to bring me back to those simple recipes. The book is divided into ten chapters including sections for: breakfast, sandwiches and pizza, soups, main-dish salads, meatless, pasta, beef and pork, chicken and turkey, seafood and grilling. There seems to be something for everyone in here. Some of my favorite recipes included the chicken and gorgonzola cheese pasta, chicken-pasta soup with pesto, and herbed steaks with horseradish. Recipes are also marked to indicate if they are healthy or kid-friendly.
While this book had a lot of advantages there were a couple of things I wasn’t thrilled with. For the 365 recipes in this cookbook there weren’t a lot of pictures. There’s something to be said about eating with your eyes and pictures really draw me in. This is also a very basic cookbook and it definitely serves a purpose providing quick and simple recipes, but the recipes may not be challenging enough for some. This would be a great book for someone that is just getting into cooking or just doesn’t like to cook that much.
Overall, I enjoyed the 365 30-Minute Meals cookbook. I probably wouldn’t recommend it for a seasoned cook, but it did inspire me to try out some new and quick recipes that I may not have thought about. It’s also great for those days that you don’t feel like spending that much time in the kitchen or life just gets too hectic.
Chicken-Pasta Soup with Pesto
2 – 14 ounce cans reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves or thighs, cubed
1 – 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes with basil, garlic, and oregano, undrained
½ cup dried orzo pasta (rosamarina)
1 cup chopped zucchini (1 small)
1 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Ground black pepper
4 to 6 tablespoons basil pesto
In a large saucepan combine broth, chicken, tomatoes, and pasta. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 6 minutes.
Stir in zucchini, lemon peel, and lemon juice. Return to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 3 to 4 minutes more or until chicken is no longer pink and pasta and zucchini are tender. Season to taste with pepper. Top each serving with pesto.