Review: The Dinner Plan
Recipes I cooked from this book:
- Linguine with cauliflower, lemon, and bread crumbs
- Baked penne with green chiles
- Skillet chicken parm
- Salisbury steak
- Ham and cheese frittata (in muffin tins)
- Foolproof carbonara
The authors of Keepers are back with The Dinner Plan, a cleverly categorized book for busy cooks. Recipes are categorized in several ways that are not mutually exclusive using a colorful tab system: make-ahead, pantry, staggered, one-dish, and extra-fast. These are pretty helpful for people who are scrambling to get food on the table at the last minute, and for the families who have kids with practice or someone who works a different schedule and don’t all sit down for dinner at once. There is also a table of recipes by category, which is helpful. On one cute “Think outside the plate” page, they suggest eating over the sink. Hey, finally some advice I can take! The cookbook covers the gamut from super healthy sushi hand rolls and salads to Salisbury steak and nachos. The recipes that I cooked had great flavor and were really fast honest-to-goodness weeknight recipes. I am actually going to buy a hard copy of this book for my shelf, it has a little bit of everything and I can see myself sitting down with it frequently to plan a week’s meals. The carbonara was my favorite, since it’s something my mom used to make all the time and just hits that nostalgia note for me. The last time I made carbonara I had to cobble two recipes together to make it work. This one really is foolproof! It’s a keeper. My husband loved the Salisbury steak and the kids even ate it. I can’t believe I made Salisbury steak, since that just brings back memories of sad school lunches, but it was pretty delicious and had a lot of flavor.
My only quibble with it is that there is a chapter entitled “Eggs, Rice, and Meatless” which is perfectly good though a bit sparse and as someone who likes to eat meat-free I was a bit dismayed, only to find out that there are tons of meatless recipes spread throughout the book, like in the Pasta chapter and in the sides chapters. Vegetarians could make good use of this book with the existing recipes and by substituting meat-free ingredients. I would definitely consider giving this book as a gift to busy parents or to a college student. It’s good for everyone.
The Dinner Plan by Kathy Brennan and Caroline Campion
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