Eat Well, Save Big Cookbook (Review and Giveaway!)
*** Congrats to our winners: Comments #7, 14, 37, 47, 55, 59, 63, 77 and two winners from our recent Tweet Chat!
If you’re like me, you’re a bit weary of cookbooks promising fabulous meals for under $2-3 bucks per person. They seem to be a remix of the same thing (ground beef, perhaps?) and make dining on a budget seem like a sacrifice. The latest cookbook from All You magazine, however, was a bit more refreshing than most. >Read all about it, and enter to win a copy of your own at the end of the article!
The newest cookbook from All You magazine is one that I’ll come back to often. Why? First of all, there is a picture of every single recipe in full-color within the cookbook. I don’t know about you, but this is a big deal for me. (I rarely try new recipes if I can’t see what they’ll look like when prepared.) In addition to featuring fabulous photos, the book itself is broken down into categories that make sense: Chicken and Turkey, Beef and Lamb, Pork, Fish, and Vegetables. You may think that this means the book leaves out other items like bread and breakfast foods, but they cleverly center these items around your most expensive main ingredient — meat.
Following the theme of saving money, each main dish has a calculated cost per serving, with a total of 248 dishes under $2.50. (Note: The wording may be a bit misleading, as it calls each of the recipes “meals.” I would consider them “dishes,” as you still need to add your sides — at an additional cost, of course.) Families who need to feed a family of 6 on just $.50 a person will find the dishes to be a bit out of their budget, if taken at face value — however, these same families are probably very savvy in their shopping, and could easily find ways to buy things on sale or make simple substitutions to cut costs even further.
Those who read All You magazine regularly (which is currently only available in Walmart stores or by subscription) will recognize many of the dishes as being reprints from the magazine. I personally have clipped several for inclusion in my recipe collection. Even after subscribing for over a year, however, I find most of the dishes to be new. (Plus the benefits of having it all in one book, organized, is well worth the $15 list price.)
All in all, this cookbook has more dishes that I would actually make than some others I’ve looked through. Foodies with both a flavor for diverse dishes and traditional comfort foods, alike, should find something to please their family on a budget. (The book also comes with six high-value grocery coupons, valid until the end of 2010.)
***Editor's Note: Several commenters have asked about whether nutritional info is provided. For each recipe, there is information for calories, fat (sat), cholesterol, fiber, protein, carb, and sodium. Thanks for bringing up this question!***
Here’s a sample dish from the book (You can also preview 9 other dishes on the website, or print out a $1.00 coupon on your purchase of the cookbook):
Butternut Squash Ravioli with Sage
Prep: 1 hr.; Cook: 10 min. (Cost per serving: $1.13) Yield: Serves 8
- 1 1-lb. butternut squash
- Salt and pepper
- 9 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup finely chopped shallot
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped sage plus 2 Tbsp. thinly sliced leaves and 8 whole leaves
- 1/4 cup ricotta
- 1/4 cup plus 4 Tbsp. Parmesan
- Pinch of nutmeg
- 48 wonton skins
- 4 slices pancetta, chopped
1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Halve squash and remove seeds. Season with salt and pepper and place, flesh side down, on a baking sheet. Bake until tender and a knife comes out easily, about 40 minutes. Use a spoon to scoop out flesh; puree in a food processor or blender until smooth.
2. Melt 1 Tbsp. butter in a skillet. Add shallot and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Add chopped sage, squash puree, ricotta and 1/4 cup Parmesan. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg, and cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.
3. Place one wonton wrapper on work surface, keeping the rest covered with a damp cloth. Brush wrapper with water and place 1 tsp. squash mixture in center. Place another wrapper on top and seal together with fingers, taking care to push out air bubbles. Use a 3-inch round cookie cutter to cut filled ravioli into circles. Keep finished ravioli covered while you work.
4. In a skillet over medium heat, fry pancetta until crispy, about 5 1/2 minutes. Remove from pan and drain on paper towels. Wipe skillet out.
5. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Melt remaining butter in skillet over very low heat, then add sliced sage. Cook butter and sage until butter turns light golden brown, about 5 minutes; remove from heat. While butter is browning, add ravioli to boiling water, stirring gently so they don't stick together. Cook 4 minutes, then carefully drain.
6. Place 3 ravioli on each plate, top each with 1 Tbsp. browned butter and garnish with 1/2 Tbsp. Parmesan, some crumbled pancetta and one sage leaf. Serve hot.
********We are giving 10 copies of the All You: Eat Well, Save Big cookbook to our readers! To be entered to win, follow one of these 2 methods:
- Post your thoughts on the cookbook below in the comments (what you might like, the recipe you find most interesting or another food-related comment). You have until January 21st at 11:59pm CST to get your entries in, or
- Tweet your answer during our live Tweet event today (Thursday, January 14, 2010 at 4:00 pm CST). Include both "@wisebread" and "#WBChat" in your tweet so we'll see it and count it. More details about our weekly chat here.