Good and Cheap: Eat Well on $4 a Day by Leanne Brown
I couldn't resist the concept of this one - good food that was inexpensive to prepare? Sign me up! We'll be paying 2 college tuitions this year and I'm definitely looking for ways to cut expenses.I'm always a little hesitant about cookbooks that focus on budget though because in my experience they can rely on cans of cream of whatever or mixes. There's nothing wrong with that it's just not my preferred food. But the cover look intriguing and when have I been known to resist a cookbook?
To start off with we have the normal chapters that seem to be the standard for cookbooks - what kitchen equipment you need and what the pantry must haves are. What I really liked about this one is that the equipment is relatively inexpensive and multi-purpose. There's no stand mixer or lots of specialized stuff. It's things like a good chef's knife (okay this one can get pricey), cutting boards, measuring cups, and casserole dishes. It'd be a good guide for someone just getting out on their own. There's also a page on smart shopping and while I didn't find anything groundbreaking I think it would be really useful to someone starting out and trying to get the hang of menu planning and budgeting.
Now for the food! This isn't one of those cookbooks that only has a few recipes or focuses on one certain type of food. The chapters here include: Breakfast, Snacks and Small Bites, Dinner, Big Batches, Pantry Staples and Flavors, and Drinks and Desserts. The recipes vary in difficulty and a few don't really count as a recipe - for example the recipe for Broiled Grapefruit goes like this:
Cut a grapefruit in half, sprinkle with brown sugar (either light or dark) and broil 3 to 8 minutes or until the sugar bubbles and reaches desired brownness.
The book has it in actual recipe format but that's the basic idea. Also in breakfast is a chart for different flavored oatmeals that look really fun. There's standard Apple Cinnamon all the way to Coconut and Lime as well as a more dessert themed Baklava. There's also a lot of more international offerings such as a recipe for Dahl in the soup chapter, Bubble and Squeak in the Small Bites, and a delicious sounding Filipino Chicken Adobo in the Dinner chapter. The Pantry chapter has recipes for pizza dough, tortillas, flavored oils and a number of different sauces. Each chapter offers a number of options for Vegetarians that would be great for Meatless Mondays for non-Vegetarians. There's lots of lovely photographs and most recipes have not just the cost per serving but the cost of the entire recipe.
The recipes are definitely on the basic side and if you're used to whipping up tasty exotic meals than this one probably isn't for you. However if you're just starting out or are looking for a little variety without breaking the bank this is a great one to try! Not sure? You can download a PDF of this book at Leanne Brown's Website
I'm linking up with Weekend Cooking hosted by Beth Fish Reads