Book Review: Good And Cheap: Eat Well on $ 4/Day
Title: Good And Cheap: Eat Well On $4/Day
Author: Leanne Brown
Publisher: Workman Publishing Company
Publication Date: July 14th, 2015
Genre: Cookbook, Budget
I am not usually a fan of budget cookbooks. These tend to be hastily written, or need ingredients that are really not for someone who is truly on a budget. It is similar to telling someone who has no money to save money by not going to Starbucks, when they never go to Starbucks in the first place – BECAUSE THEY CAN’T AFFORD IT.
Now, I am not – by a long shot, in need for a 4 Dollar a day cookbook, but, I do like to make some simple meals every once in a while (who has the time to cook gourmet meals all of the time? I know I don’t), so I did not only approach this cookbook from a budget perspective, but from how easy the meals were to follow along, and how many “out of the ordinary” ingredients, and tools one needs to create them.
Now, that is where Good And Cheap surprised me. I was happy to see, that the Author managed to make a wide variety of healthy, and tasteful meals, with limited ingredients, that did not take a lot of time, and still were yummy. Not only that, she accompanied the book with beautiful photographs, which made Good And Cheap look less a budget cookbook, but rather a book filled with comfort food, that everyone can enjoy.
Most of the meals are quick – they are even quicker if you prepare your legumes, such as lentils and beans ahead of time and freeze them. The recipes are easy enough to follow along, no matter what your comfort level in the kitchen is, which I loved.
Many of the recipes in this book are vegetarian, based on the truth that meat is a lot more expensive, but a not necessary protein source. I find that to be the truth, and reducing meat in your everyday cooking is much healthier. But, of course, there is something for everyone in here – and plenty of recipes for toppings of your favorite hot dog!
Overall, I truly enjoyed Good And Cheap – much more than I thought I would. The Cold Asian Noodles and the Brusselsprout Hash ended up being my two favorite recipes from the book.
Good And Cheap is by far the best budget cookbook I have read in a while.
5 out of 5 Stars
A perfect and irresistible idea: A cookbook filled with delicious, healthful recipes created for everyone on a tight budget.
While studying food policy as a master’s candidate at NYU, Leanne Brown asked a simple yet critical question: How well can a person eat on the $4 a day given by SNAP, the U.S. government’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program informally known as food stamps? The answer is surprisingly well: Broiled Tilapia with Lime, Spicy Pulled Pork, Green Chile and Cheddar Quesadillas, Vegetable Jambalaya, Beet and Chickpea Salad—even desserts like Coconut Chocolate Cookies and Peach Coffee Cake. In addition to creating nutritious recipes that maximize every ingredient and use economical cooking methods, Ms. Brown gives tips on shopping; on creating pantry basics; on mastering certain staples—pizza dough, flour tortillas—and saucy extras that make everything taste better, like spice oil and tzatziki; and how to make fundamentally smart, healthful food choices.
The idea for Good and Cheap is already proving itself. The author launched a Kickstarter campaign to self-publish and fund the buy one/give one model. Hundreds of thousands of viewers watched her video and donated $145,000, and national media are paying attention. Even high-profile chefs and food writers have taken note—like Mark Bittman, who retweeted the link to the campaign; Francis Lam, who called it “Terrific!”; and Michael Pollan, who cited it as a “cool kickstarter.” In the same way that TOMS turned inexpensive, stylish shoes into a larger do-good movement, Good and Cheap is poised to become a cookbook that every food lover with a conscience will embrace.