February 7, 2011

Healthy Meals for Less

Jonni McCoy promises a lot with this cookbook just in the title: Healthy Meals for Less: Great-Tasting Simple Recipes Under $1 a Serving. The first week I ever tried menu planning, I looked through all my cookbooks and compiled a list of recipes without giving any thought to what those ingredients would cost. It was quite the wake up call when I ended up spending about twice what I normally would that week. It's nice to see a cookbook written by someone who doesn't expect you to have unlimited income.

I was a skeptical about this book though because "great-tasting" is very subjective, and I'm married to the pickiest eater I've ever encountered. As I suspected, the majority of these recipes would not work for us unless I made a lot of modifications. Many recipes have all kinds of spices in them, possibly because Jonni McCoy and her family lived in Pakistan for a time. There seems to be a prevalence of ginger (which Nathan hates) and curry powder (which he probably would hate). Some of the dishes seemed a little odd to even me. However, as I was going through the book page by page, I wrote down the page numbers and titles of 17 recipes that I thought would be worth a try, including 5 main dishes. We tried the first one, honey chicken, for lunch yesterday. I left out the curry powder and ginger and played around with some other spices, and I ended up with a slow cooker meal that Nathan and I both enjoyed.

This isn't the perfect cookbook for me, not that I believe there is one. I borrowed this book from the library to see if it would be worth buying, and obviously it's not. However, I do love the concept behind it and would recommend it to those trying to consider both the nutrition and cost of the food they eat. If you like vegetables and spices, you would probably get a lot more out of it.


  1. Ah yes. Picky eaters aren't a great match for that cookbook. A's usually pretty good about trying anything and then telling me if it's not worth cooking again. Most times he likes it. I haven't used that cookbook as much this year, but I like how it's broken down into cost per serving.

    You should try the freezer meatballs. (We leave out the Worcestershire sauce and I substitute onion powder for the onions the recipe calls for.) They are quite delicious additions to a plate full of spaghetti!

  2. Oh... something else I meant to ask. Did you benefit any from the kitchen tips? I really learned a lot about what can be substituted for other foods. Those helped me, a newbie cook, get a grasp on being creative.


Let me know your thoughts on this. I love reading all my comments!