By Jonni McCoy
Bethany House, $12.99, 266 pages
You are likely to be very skeptical reading the subtitle Great-Tasting Simple Recipes Under $1 a Serving. I was, too. But in checking the costs of the ingredients, I became convinced that this is possible, though you must buy your food on sale, preferably in bulk, and choose store brands. Each recipe gives the cost per person and the figures are optimistic. Nevertheless, most of the recipes are well below to slightly above the $1 per person cost. And as the author claims, these are healthy, mostly simple recipes using readily available ingredients. Any cook can prepare these with ease but the preparation times given are also optimistic—realistically doubling the times for the average cook is more accurate. Each recipe also offers nutritional analyses of the ingredients as well as very good kitchen tips. To keep costs low, mainly chicken, canned tuna and ground beef are the chosen protein foods. Recipes use generous seasoning.
The cookbook is un-illustrated except for black-and-white photos as chapter headings. Recipes are conveniently placed on single or facing pages. The good introduction lists pantry basics, equipment needed, and discusses nutritional information. An excellent index includes both recipe index and topical index. This book is great for the budget-conscious cook.