I am a pushover for cookbooks so when I was asked to review Simply Suppers by Jennifer Chandler, I was like a kid in a candy store. Simply Suppers is a follow up to Simply Salads and promised to provide simple, family-favorite comfort foods and time-saving, budget-conscious tips families need.
As I flipped though the book quickly, I saw some familiar classics and many fresh ideas. Two sections of this book that really stood out to me were….
1. Tips: There are tips at the end of each recipe that are either a Cooking Tip, Variations, Do Ahead, Time-Saving, Back-To-the-Basics, and Freezes Well. For example, the Fish Taco Recipes has a ‘Time-Saving Tip’: Instead of shredding the cabbage for the slaw, pick up a package of shredded angel-hair coleslaw in your produce department.’
2. The Appendix Section XI: This section is like a cheat-sheet. You can flip to it and choose your meal quickly instead of going through the Index: 30 in 30 contains 30 recipes that can quickly be whipped up in about 30 minutes. Or 10 Leftover Chicken Makeovers, or 20 Freezer Go-To’s.
Not every recipe is quick or low fat however, the recipes are healthy in the sense that they are all ‘real’ food and you can modify them based on your dietary restrictions.
If you would like to enter to win a copy for yourself, please read my interview with Jennifer Chandler and enter the giveaway!
Curried Couscous – This could almost be considered a “no-cook” dish since the only cooking is boiling water. The rest is just assembly.
1 box (10-ounce) uncooked couscous (also available as gluten free)
1 cup dried cranberries
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
2 cups water
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
Freshly ground black pepper
In a large mixing bowl combine the couscous, cranberries, and curry powder. In a medium saucepan combine the water, 1 tablespoon of the oil, and a pinch of salt. Over high heat, bring the water mixture to a boil. Pour the boiling water over the couscous, stir, cover tightly, and let stand for 5 minutes. Uncover and fluff the couscous lightly with a fork.
Add the pine nuts, scallions, and parsley, and stir to combine.
In a small bowl whisk together the orange juice, lemon juice, remaining 3 tablespoons of oil, and the garlic. Pour over the couscous mixture and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm or chilled.
Cooking Tip: To toast pine nuts, spread the nuts evenly on a baking sheet and place in a preheated 325-degree oven. Toast, stirring occasionally so that the nuts evenly brown, until they start to turn golden and are fragrant, about 3 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. Pine nuts can also be toasted in your toaster oven.
Do Ahead: Couscous can be made hours ahead of time. Many prefer to make it in advance and let the fla-vors meld as it chills in the refrigerator.