Cookbook Review

About the Editor
    Jim Romanoff is the food editor and a recipe developer for EatingWell magazine. He has been a cook in a restaurant, a caterer and is a home cook.
About the Cookbook
    The EatingWell Healthy in a Hurry Cookbook is just what it purports to be -- a cookbook that's designed to feed you healthy meals without tying you to the kitchen for hours at a time. It does that by offering a blend of recipes that cover a wide variety of ethnic cuisines, preparation techniques and ingredient selections. It begins with the basics, however, and stresses the importance of planning and having the right tools on hand to aid your efforts. It even offers a basic pattern you can follow to insure healthy eating and recommends a series of menus for everything from seasonal gatherings to dinner with the family.

    The 150 recipes in this cookbook are organized into a series of typical chapters with each recipe including such useful information as the "active" time required to make a dish (that is, how long do you need to be focused exclusively on the preparation of the dish), the total time required to make the dish, basic nutritional information, a section titled "nutritional bonus" that highlights valuable health benefits of a particular dish, a brief description of the dish (along with some suggestions on how to serve it), serving sizes, the recipe itself and, in some cases, an ingredient note or kitchen tip that is appropriate. In addition, the cookbook has a nice, simple way to indicate if a dish is high in fiber, low in carbohydrates, or something appropriate for a diet focused on weight loss. Simple symbols along with a two-word indicator are included in such recipes.

    This cookbook is focused on helping you prepare and serve suppers in 45 minutes or less. Given that goal, the recipe chapters follow a typical pattern found in cookbooks devoted to the evening meal. These recipes are organized into the following chapters:

    • Dinner Salads
    • Soups and Stews
    • Vegetarian
    • Chicken, Duck & Turkey
    • Fish & Seafood
    • Beef, Pork & Lamb
    • Sauces in a Hurry
    • Sides in a Hurry
    • Desserts in a Hurry

    To give you an idea about the kind of recipes included in The EatingWell Healthy in a Cookbook, I'm including some recipes from its pages on the following pages.

Bacony Barley Salad with Marinated Shrimp

Here's a great example of how to cook a healthy dish in minutes -- simply cook the bacon in the same pan as the barley to enrich the flavor, add some purchased cooked shrimp, a few aromatic vegetables, and you've got dinner (or a hearty potluck dish) in no time flat.
  • 3 strips bacon, chopped
  • 1 1/3 cups water
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup quick-cooking barley
  • 1 pound peeled cooked shrimp (21-25 per pound; thawed if frozen), tails removed, coarsely chopped
  • 1/3 cup lime juice
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ½ cup finely diced red onion
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 avocado, peeled and diced
1. Cook bacon in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring often, until crispy, about 4 minutes. Drain on paper towel; discard fat. 2. Add water and salt to the pan and bring to a boil. Add barley and return to a simmer. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until all the liquid is absorbed, 10 to 12 minutes. 3. Combine shrimp and lime juice in a large bowl. Add the cooked barley; toss to coat. Let stand for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, to allow the barley to absorb some of the lime juice. Add tomatoes, onion, cilantro and the bacon; toss to coat. Add oil and pepper and toss again. Stir in avocado and serve.

To Make Ahead: Prepare without avocado, cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Stir in the avocado just before serving.

  • Makes 4 servings, 1¾ cups each.
  • Active Minutes: 40
  • Total: 40 minutes
  • Per Serving: 393 calories; 18 g fat (3 g sat, 11 g mono); 228 mg cholesterol; 30 g carbohydrate; 31 g protein; 7 g fiber; 671 mg sodium.
  • Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (50% daily value), Fiber (29% dv), Iron (25% dv), Folate (15% dv).
  • High Fiber

Asian Tofu Salad

The best thing about tofu -- besides its nutritional value -- is the way it carries other flavors, such as the tanginess of this sesame dressing. Serve this warm salad with crunchy breadsticks and a tall glass of iced jasmine tea.
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 teaspoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 14-ounce package extra-firm, water-packed tofu, rinsed, patted dry and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 8 cups mixed salad greens
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled, halved lengthwise and sliced
  • 1 large cucumber, chopped
1. Whisk canola oil, vinegar, honey, soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger and salt in a bowl. 2. Place tofu and 2 tablespoons of the dressing in a large nonstick skillet. Cook over medium-high heat, turning every 2 to 3 minutes, until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes total. Remove from the heat, add 1 tablespoon of the dressing to the pan and stir to coat. 3. Toss greens, carrots and cucumber with the remaining dressing. Serve immediately, topped with the warm tofu.

To Make Ahead: The dressing (Step 1) will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Whisk just before using.

  • Makes 4 servings.
  • Active Minutes: 25
  • Total: 25 minutes
  • Per Serving: 237 calories; 16 g fat (2 g sat, 8 g mono); 0 mg cholesterol; 16 g carbohydrate; 11 g protein; 5 g fiber; 454 mg sodium.
  • Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (180% daily value), Folate (41% dv), Vitamin C (38% dv), Calcium (29% dv).
  • Healthy Weight
  • Lower Carbs
  • High Fiber

Express Shrimp & Sausage Jambalaya

You don't have to sacrifice the traditional smoky punch of this Cajun favorite just because you're short on time. All you need is some purchased sausage and quick-cooking brown rice to create a rich, satisfying dinner on any weeknight. Have some sliced berries for dessert to cool off your palate!
  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • 8 ounces andouille sausage (see Note) or low-fat kielbasa, cut into ¼-inch-thick slices
  • 1 16-ounce bag frozen bell pepper and onion mix
  • 1 14-ounce can reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups instant brown rice
  • 8 ounces raw shrimp (26-30 per pound), peeled and deveined
1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add sausage and pepper-onion mix; cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables soften, 3 to 5 minutes. 2. Add broth to the pot and bring to a boil. Add rice, stir once, cover and cook for 5 minutes. Add shrimp and stir to incorporate. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, until the shrimp are opaque and cooked through, 5 to 6 minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve.

ingredient note: Andouille sausage is a smoky, mildly spicy pork sausage commonly used in Cajun cooking. Look for it near other smoked sausages in large supermarkets or specialty food stores.

  • Makes 4 servings, 1½ cups each.
  • Active Minutes: 15
  • Total: 25 minutes
  • Per Serving: 412 calories; 10 g fat (3 g sat, 1 g mono); 142 mg cholesterol; 44 g carbohydrate; 31 g protein; 3 g fiber; 685 mg sodium.
  • Nutrition Bonus: Selenium (31% daily value), Vitamin C (25% dv).

Turkey & Balsamic Onion Quesadillas

Soaking onions in balsamic vinegar brings out their sweetness. Just don't use an expensive aged balsamic for this quick treat. To make these easy tortilla sandwiches into a meal, serve them with simple sautéed vegetables or a tossed green salad.
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 4 10-inch whole-wheat tortillas
  • 1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 8 slices deli turkey, preferably smoked (8 ounces)
1. Combine onion and vinegar in a bowl; let marinate for 5 minutes. Drain, reserving the vinegar for another use, such as salad dressing. 2. Place 2 tortillas in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat (they will overlap); warm for about 45 seconds, then flip. Pull the tortillas up the edges of the pan so they are no longer overlapping. Working on one half of each tortilla, sprinkle one-fourth of the cheese, cover with 2 slices of turkey and top with one-fourth of the onion. Fold the tortillas in half, press gently with a spatula to flatten and cook until the cheese starts to melt, about 2 minutes. Flip and continue cooking until the second side is golden, 1 to 2 minutes more. Transfer to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm. Make two more quesadillas with the remaining ingredients. Serve warm.
  • Makes 4 servings.
  • Active Minutes: 15
  • Total: 20 minutes
  • Per Serving: 261 calories; 10 g fat (5 g sat, 0 g mono); 56 mg cholesterol; 25 g carbohydrate; 23 g protein; 2 g fiber; 702 mg sodium.
  • Nutrition Bonus: Calcium (22% daily value), Magnesium (12% dv).
  • Healthy Weight

Shrimp Enchiladas Verde

Shrimp with spicy tomatillo-and-cilantro sauce, a common combination in coastal Mexican cuisine, make bright-tasting enchiladas. Precooked shrimp help get them on your table in a hurry.
  • 1 pound peeled cooked shrimp (21-25 per pound; thawed if frozen), tails removed, diced
  • 1 cup frozen corn, thawed
  • 2 4-ounce cans chopped green chiles (not drained)
  • 2 cups canned green enchilada sauce or green salsa, divided
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 1 15-ounce can nonfat refried beans
  • 1 cup reduced-fat shredded cheese, such as Mexican-style, Monterey Jack or Cheddar
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
1. Preheat oven to 425ºF. Coat a 9-by-13-inch glass baking dish with cooking spray. 2. Combine shrimp, corn, chiles and ½ cup enchilada sauce (or salsa) in a microwave-safe medium bowl. Cover and microwave on High until heated through, 2½ minutes. 3. Spread ¼ cup enchilada sauce (or salsa) in the prepared baking dish. Top with an overlapping layer of 6 tortillas. Spread refried beans evenly over the tortillas. Top the beans with the shrimp mixture, followed by the remaining 6 tortillas. Pour the remaining sauce (or salsa) over the tortillas. Cover with foil. 4. Bake the enchiladas until they begin to bubble on the sides, about 20 minutes. Remove the foil; sprinkle cheese on top. Continue baking until heated through and the cheese is melted, about 5 minutes more. Top with cilantro and serve with lime wedges.

To Make Ahead: Prepare through Step 2, cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day. Allow the cold baking dish to warm slightly before placing in a hot oven.

  • Makes 8 servings.
  • Active Minutes: 20
  • Total: 45 minutes
  • Per Serving: 320 calories; 9 g fat (4 g sat, 1 g mono); 136 mg cholesterol; 37 g carbohydrate; 26 g protein; 7 g fiber; 538 mg sodium.
  • Nutrition Bonus: Fiber (28% daily value), Vitamin C (25% dv), Calcium (20% dv), Iron (20% dv).
  • High Fiber

Korean-Style Steak & Lettuce Wraps

These wraps should be served with lots of condiments: kimchee, for sure, but also nonfat yogurt and shredded carrots dressed with rice vinegar. Serve the various components of the dish separately and let your family or guests build their own wraps to taste.
  • 1 pound flank steak
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup diced peeled cucumber
  • 6 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced shallot
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 head Bibb lettuce, leaves separated
1. Preheat grill to medium-high. 2. Sprinkle steak with salt and pepper. Oil the grill rack. Grill the steak for 6 to 8 minutes per side for medium. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes. Cut across the grain into thin slices. 3. Combine the sliced steak, cucumber, tomatoes, shallot, mint, basil and cilantro in a large bowl. Mix sugar, soy sauce, lime juice and crushed red pepper in a small bowl. Drizzle over the steak mixture; toss well to coat. To serve, spoon a portion of the steak mixture into a lettuce leaf and roll into a "wrap."

To Make Ahead: The steak mixture will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 1 day.

  • Makes 4 servings.
  • Active Minutes: 35
  • Total: 40 Minutes
  • Per Serving: 199 calories; 7 g fat (3 g sat, 3 g mono); 45 mg cholesterol; 9 g carbohydrate; 24 g protein; 1 g fiber; 465 mg sodium.
  • Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (35% daily value), Vitamin C (20% dv), Iron (15% dv).
  • Healthy weight
  • Lower Carbs
Where to Buy
    If you are interested in purchasing The EatingWell Healthy in a Hurry Cookbook edited by Jim Romanoff, you can buy it online right now for over 30% off the list price by clicking here. The publisher's list price for the cookbook is $24.95.