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Aug 1, 2007 12:00 PM

cookbook for weeknights

I am having serious weeknight dinner burnout and need some cookbook inspiration.
I make dinner for my husband and myself most every evening, which has always been my favorite part of the day. But after work and all else lately, my creativity is lacking and I find myself gravitating to pasta and omlettes a little too frequently.
Looking for a cookbook that focuses on simple, fairly healthy cuisine, no huge preparations being key.
Any good suggestions?

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  1. The Cooks Illustrated Best 30 Minute Recipes book revolutionized my approach to weekday cooking. Lots of ingenious approaches to foods that would never occur to you on a Tuesday night... I have bought at least a dozen copies now for friends and families. It's available on the Cooks Illustrated website as well as on Amazon. The Skillet Lasagna is killer, lots of great soup ideas too. Good luck!

    1 Reply
    1. re: delaneymae

      fantastic idea. I adore their magazine, but wasn't aware they had a quick cookbook.
      definitely will check it out.

    2. I know it gets scorned, but Rachel Ray's 30-Minute Meals cookbooks are a good place to start, if not for the exact recipes but for ideas and concepts. Plus, she has menus put together that group sides, entrees, and another dish.

      I also used to subscribe to Martha Stewart's Everyday Food magazine. They always have a weeknight section where you make 3 meals and then 2 more using leftovers from the first 3.

      Real Simple magazine (which I read for all its articles, not just the food ones) has a similar section that starts with a weekly shopping list and then compiles quick weeknight dinners.

      I know those aren't all cookbook suggestions, but it's where I pull from when I'm lacking ideas. Other than that, I've never gone wrong with a Cook's Illustrated book.

      1 Reply
      1. re: leanneabe

        I love the magazines too, for seasonal and just refreshing updates to my recipe collection. But sometimes I just need to sit down and read an actual concrete book... plus they're so much easier to reference later on.
        As for Rachael Ray, I was given one of her books a few years ago and I just can't stand the format of items in meals.. I want all of one course in a section as is traditional. Even if there might be something inspirational in there, I just can't stand to have to flip around so long to find it!
        Thanks for the suggestions!

      2. I recently got "Hands-off Cooking - Low-supervision, high-flavor meals for busy people" and while I've only tried 2 things, I'm very happy with it so far. It isn't a huge book, but it is in paperback, and I think I paid about $12 for it on amazon, so you don't have to make a huge investment in order to try it. I've made the chick-pea and potato curry, which was a HUGE hit, and pumpkin enchiladas, which were a medium hit, but given how easy they were I will make them again.

        1. Someone bought this for me and I've used it a few times for ideas. I wouldn't say it's "gourmet", but certainly good for some simple weeknight dinners.