By: Good Bite
Edited By: Sepideh Saremi
Photographs By: Matt Armendariz
Publisher: John Wiley and Sons, Inc.
Publication Date: September 2011
Reviewed By: Cory Bickel
Reviewed On: September 16, 2011
If I had known that cooking really good food could be this easy, I would have eaten a lot less pizza over the years. Good Bite Weeknight Meals is full of great recipes designed with busy, working people in mind. Developed from the Good Bite’s website, where bloggers share their favorite simple recipes, the book has recipes that require few ingredients and little prep time for those who are “wondering whether you have the time or energy to cook dinner at all.” (pg. 11). Good Bite also has tips for stocking the kitchen so that the ingredients for quick meals are always on hand as well as a section on “favorite secret ingredients,” which can be added to make any quick dish seem as fancy as something that took hours to prepare. Some technique tips and a list of time-saving kitchen equipment also help to get food on the table faster.
While the recipes are designed to be quick and easy to prepare, these are not plain, boring dishes. The Seared Fish with Green-Mango Pico de Gallo was not only easy to make but more interesting and tasty than similar dishes I’ve had in restaurants. I was really happy it turned out so well, because I’ve wanted to learn how to make something like this for a long time, but always figured it would be too complicated. This recipe showed me how wrong I was. The Fresh Tomatoes and Capellini was also surprisingly easy for how good it was. Some grating and chopping tomatoes, adding a few seasonings, and cooking the pasta made a really nice, light summer dish. The Spicy Bean-Stuffed Peppers were listed under side dishes, but were filling enough to make a meal of their own. I was really happy to find a meatless recipe for stuffed peppers, and it was as good as any I remember with ground beef. I had a hard time finding the bulgur that the recipe called for, but this recipe, like many in the book, had possible substitutions listed to make it easier to cook with what is already on hand. I tried some quinoa instead and it turned out fantastic. This was also a great dish for making a quick snack or lunch once the filling was made up. I used the leftover filling the next day and had a great lunch in 20 minutes.
For the recipes I tried I only had to purchase a few items, mostly the fresh vegetables, since the seasonings and such were common kitchen items. There are some recipes that call for more exotic ingredients, but after testing these three, I’m sure the extra purchases would be worth it. The pictures that accompany the recipes are lovely, and it was a pleasant surprise to turn out a dish that looked as good as the pictures with such little time and effort involved. Many recipes have “make it easy” tips to simplify them even further if necessary. Good Bite definitely lives up to its promise of quick recipes for busy people that turn out fabulous results.
Quill says: A wonderful cookbook with fantastic recipes for hectic weeknights. With minimal prepping and cooking, half an hour later you’ll have a dinner that makes you feel like Martha Stewart.