Review of Supermarket Healthy (Book written by author Melissa D’Arabian)
Review of Supermarket Healthy by Melissa D’Arabian
As a wife and mother, it is my responsibility to provide my family with well balanced meals and snacks. Whether it is me providing a meal, or them reaching for a snack, I prefer that whatever food choice I make available to them are as healthy as possible. Unfortunately, when I go on a health kick due to a new health book I’ve found, often the meals provided are made of all natural foods, many abnormal ingredients, and are much more time consuming. In the end I’m not only spending more time in the kitchen, but I’m spending more in the grocery store as well, and that extra cost is usually spent on food my family doesn’t normally eat. It is a rather frustrating ordeal.
When I came across Melissa’s D’Arabian’s book, the title in itself spiked my curiosity. On the cover, the words “Recipes & Know-How for Eating Well Without Spending a Lot” had my full attention. I had to get my hands on this book. One of the first things about the book that I rather enjoyed is how it was laid out more like a recipe book then other “Eat Well Know How” books I’ve read. Chapter by chapter it takes you through not just the meals of the day in order from breakfast to dessert, but also by foods, such as salads, pastas, and meats. In other books I was always having to revisit the index in order to find recipes. This book has a much more familiar and easy to follow layout. The book starts off with a short guide, to show you how to make this book work for you, and a pantry list, to show you which foods to keep on hand and at the ready.
Next comes the chapter sections, starting with breakfast. Glancing through the recipes you will notice some come with strategies: Supermarket Strategies (tips on making the grocery store work for you), Kitchen Strategies (time saving tips, make-ahead advice, and at home swaps in case of a missing ingredient, and Entertaining Strategies (serving ideas, and spins for making dishes more party friendly). Other recipes come with blueprints, which I found to be a great idea. Blueprints show you how to break down a recipe into steps, allowing you to get a little creative should you wish, such as switching up ingredients, and making the recipe your own. And then of course you have your nutritional information, which is a great resource for those of us who care to know what really goes into our meals. Each recipe also provides you with serving sizes, preparation time, and cooking time, which becomes a big deciding factor for me in choosing to make a new recipe.
I found the layout of the book to be wonderful, and the balance of author’s stories, introduction, guide, and notes to be in perfect moderation, and easy to follow. Overall I found this book to be well written and quite creative. For an average family, many of the recipe’s ingredients were not overly common, or ones I would already have on hand, but they weren’t so complicated that I couldn’t easily find them at the store. The recipes themselves were more about being healthy, them simple, most of them having ten or more ingredients, but thanks to the books guides, it shows you how to go about making these more extravagant meals more affordable. Even the snacks, being more organic, require a few more ingredients and work, but some of them are good make-ahead snacks that I very much look forward to trying. The only aspect of the book I can find negative at all is that not all the recipes come with pictures, which wouldn’t be so negative, except when they involve ingredients you aren’t so familiar with, it’s hard to imagine how the dish is supposed to turn out. Although I am a very imaginative and creative being, without seeing the dish, it might deter a less imaginative person from wanting to try a dish they can’t see.
This book is a great book for anyone who is not afraid of a more complex meal, with great health benefits. Anyone who is eager to try new things would enjoy the variety this book provides, a variety of dishes which allow you to choose from a fun and easy Deconstructed Lasagna, or a more elegant and complex Shellfish Bouillabaisse. This book is one that I feel is worthy of a place among your favorite cook books.
-I received this book for free through Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.