Southern Living Magazine sent me a copy of their newest book, Southern Living What’s For Supper: 5 Ingredient Weeknight Meals by Vanessa McNeil Rocchio to review.
They sent it to me several weeks ago when I was overwhelmed with what life was throwing at me. Summer vacations, sick kitties, first days of school and so much more was taking up 121% of my time. I glanced over it and then life hit me with another wave. It wasn’t until two weeks ago that I had a chance to really delve into the book.
When I finally sat down to read through it, I was amazed at how many good recipes there were in this book. I was expecting a lot of convenience foods and shortcuts that I don’t use at home. While there are some, many more of the recipes are part good old-fashioned common sense and a little kitchen magic too.
The book has the daring task of making good weeknight meals with only five ingredients. Those five ingredients don’t include kitchen staples such as herbs, spices, oils, vinegars and condiments so many of the recipes actually contain more than five ingredients, but whose counting? The recipes are fast, easy, family-friendly and tasty.
There were so many good recipes that I had well over a full week of dinners already planned out for me. The first dinner I tried was the Grilled Chicken Caprese. The Twinkle Twins both ate huge mouthfuls of chopped tomatoes tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper, and all the kids loved the plain and simple grilled chicken. It was Hubby and I that got to enjoy the fully-composed meal along side a simple salad of arugula tossed with olive oil and vinegar. I did make one small change and put the cheese under the broiler for a melted cheese experience. It was one of those meal where you look at the recipe and wonder why you never did it exactly like this yourself; simple and very tasty.
The next day I was hoping to try another recipe from the book when Miss Magoo woke up early from her nap. The twins are at the age that I started working with Little Guy in the kitchen, so I decided to try out the insanely simple four-ingredient recipe for chocolate chip cookies. Miss Magoo loved stirring the dough and trying her best to roll it into balls for the cookies. It was a great first try at cooking for her, and the result was nothing short of alchemy. While certainly not a classic Toll-house version of the recipe, the cookies were delicious, gluten-free, dairy-free, fast and chocolatey.
There are a surprising number of meatless meals in the book too. From pastas, gazpacho, and pizzas, the options for fast and easy meatless meals is impressive. I was immediately drawn to the Mushroom and Butternut Squash Pizza though because it contains only ingredients on my list of favorite foods: mushrooms, squash, Fontina cheese, and pizza dough (as well as rosemary, olive oil, salt and pepper).
Not surprising to me, this meal was not welcomed by Little Guy, but it was so easy to pull off some of the dough for him to have his own cheese pizza, that it still felt like everyone was eating the same thing instead of my frequent feeling that I am doubling as a short-order cook. Miss Magoo loved this pizza and her eyes lit up when she saw all the mushrooms.
I will say that I substituted a package of sliced Shiitake mushrooms and a half package of Crimini mushrooms for the gourmet mushroom blend. I am always annoyed when recipes call for the uber-expensive packages of gourmet mushroom blends when you can just buy individual packages of the different mushrooms for less than half the price.
I finished up my week of five-ingredient cooking with a Leek and Fontina Quiche and Baked Shrimp Risotto – both also delicious. It was such a treat to have such simple, fast and tasty meals all planned out for the week. I know I’m going to be using this book a lot this fall.
Want a chance to see what recipes will simplify your dinner routine? Southern Living Magazine will send one person a copy of the book to enjoy! Enter now and good luck!