I must admit. (this is hard to do) We go to the grocery store almost every day. Not only is it more expensive not to meal plan but it also wastes a whole lot of time that could be spent doing something else. I tend to be a fly by the seat of my pants type of person with meal planning. We do eat very healthy meals most of the time, but with some simple planning our life could be so much smoother and a whole lot more economical with how we eat. So when given the opportunity to do a review for Mystie Winckler's Simplified Pantry ebook, Simplified Dinners I couldn't wait, and admit I read the whole thing the day I got it.
This is a description from her website-
Simplified Pantry is all about encouraging homestyle cooking with basic ingredients. It is possible to cook good, healthy food without a pantry full of specialized ingredients, and it is possible to make easy dinners without shortcut, preprepared products.
The concept is that if you have the basic ingredients there is no need to go to the store daily, which by the way I am starting to realize is a major time and money waster for us. Also, at times when we go to the store on a daily basis we tend to get more fast and processed food...to ironically, save time.
I will say the first recipe I made was not well liked by my family. (porch chops with a sweet and sour sauce) The reason? I was missing an ingredient and substituted an ingredient that *ahem* made the recipe fail. Note- you can not substitute Worcestershire sauce in the same quantity as soy sauce, yes I should know this. Which proves the whole point of the cook book because if I would have had my pantry completely stocked this wouldn't have happened. THANKFULLY I have a very polite family that didn't say a word about my mess up. Which is how I knew they didn't like it!
The cookbook starts with a Master Pantry List that includes a comprehensive list of: produce, seasonings, dry goods, bottled goods, canned goods, dairy, meat, and frozen foods. It follows with recipes for the slow cooker, soups, salads, side dishes, and pasta dishes. (just to name a handful of examples...there is much more) My favorites were the Taco Bar and Frittata, which was a totally new recipe for us to try. Some of the recipes like the homemade pizza were things we already did but often did not have all the ingredients on hand.
I highly recommend this book especially for non planners like myself as Mystie Winckler really simplifies it in terms even this typically unorganized meal planning mama can understand. It's also simple enough that I plan to include my 11 year old daughter, who loves to cook, in helping prepare some of the recipes.
Some of the other members of TOS Review Crew also reviewed these ebooks by Mystie- Simplified Gluten Free/Dairy Free & Paperless Home Organization so make sure to check out their reviews too!
The books are available as a PDF download for 12.99, but through June 3rd you can get 30% off when you enter TOS2013 at checkout.