By the Book: Fast & Easy Weeknight Recipes from Food Network Mag

By: Kirsten Vala

I have to admit that working for Food Network, as well as Cooking Channel, I’m a little biased in my opinion of Food Network Magazine Great Easy Meals: 250 Fun & Fast Recipes. As a loyal fan and reader since the first issue of Food Network Magazine, the weeknight dinner recipes have become staples in my daily life. When the workday speeds by and I start wondering what I’m going to make when I get home, I often grab the latest issue stashed on my desk and flip to the “Weeknight Cooking” section. There’s always plenty of quick dinner ideas (preferably 30 minutes or less), covering a range of cuisine options and requiring very few ingredients I don’t already have on hand.

This cookbook takes my stack of magazines out of the picture and eliminates my flip-through routine by compiling a collection of favorite weeknight meals into one resource. The chapters follow the lead of the magazine, organized intuitively by dish, meat, and course, indexed by image . . . it’s like the editors read my mind. And apparently I’m not alone, since this cookbook reached the top of the New York Times bestseller list within three weeks of its release.

For menu planning and practical day-to-day cooking, you can’t beat tips like “Use the leftover basil in. . .” or “Try it with these sides. . .” But my favorite feature is a Mix-and-Match section at the back of each chapter. A wrinkled and splattered photo copy of Food Network Magazine’s Mix-and-Match Stir Fries used to have a permanent home on my refrigerator door, but now I can just bookmark page 217 in the cookbook. I might even try some of the others, like Mac and Cheese and Stuffed Chicken, since these “recipes” can help you use what you have on hand, “mixing and matching” ingredients to make your own dish.

Of all the cookbooks I’d like to have or would like to read, this is the work horse that will really earn its place on my bookshelf. I know I’ll turn to again and again as part of my nightly dinner routine.

Start cooking from Food Network Magazine Great Easy Meals: 250 Fun & Fast Recipes with these two 30-minute wonders:

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