Saturday, August 22, 2015

Cookbook Review: "Grill it, Braise It, Broil it, And 9 Other Easy Techniques For Making Healthy Meals" by American Heart Association

There are 175 recipes in Grill It, Braise it, Broil It, and 9 Other Easy Techniques For Making Healthy Meals. Unlike a lot of cook books that organized by meals or types of meats, this one from the American Heart Association is organized by cooking techniques. That isn’t the only thing this cookbook does that is different from the norm.

After some introductory pages regarding shopping trips, what to eat and what to avoid, as well as a number of lifestyle suggestions, it is on to cooking techniques. The first one is “Slow Cooking” and begins on page 6 with a listing of 14 recipes. Along with various soups, stews, and gumbos, there are also recipes for “Rosemary Steak Smothered In Onions” (page 19) and “New Mexican Meat Loaf” (page 22-23). Each recipe has a detailed ingredient list, detailed instructions, one or more bulleted cooking tips, and detailed serving info regarding calories, various types of fat, sodium, cholesterol, and more. Some information regarding preparation time is included in the more complicated recipes, but there is no overall estimate on each one how long it should take start to finish.

This same recipe format continues through the rest of the chapter sections. There are additional sections covering Microwaving (starting on page 29), “Blending” (page 50), “Grilling” (page 69) among others including “Broiling” (page 199), “Roasting” (page 220) and “Baking” (page 247).  A classic “Herb Roasted Chicken” recipe can be found on page 232 and it includes how to make gray from the pan. The simple act of making gravy from pan drippings continues to confound me.

After the recipes it is on to the interesting information such as stocking a heart healthy pantry (pages 272- 275). This includes pantry items as well as perishable items in terms of produce and more. So, it is not just pantry items as one would think of as it includes refrigerator and freezer items among other things.

Advice on kitchen safety and working with food, basic kitchen equipment, as well as serving size by calories level is included before leading up to the eight page index that concludes the book. The eight page index is organized by ingredient as opposed to recipe.

An anomaly with the cookbook is the 8 pages of random colorful pictures of dishes inserted between pages 58-59 in the book. Each picture of a dish has the name of it as well as the page number location for the dish. This is the kind of random cluster of photographs one normally sees at the very beginning of a cookbook. Instead, it is inserted here in the middle of the section on “Blending.”

Also worth noting is the fact that much of the information in small type has been placed inside of grey background boxes. This can be hard to see on older eyes.

Grill It, Braise It, Broil it, And 9 Other Easy Techniques For Making Healthy Meals is not a flashy and colorful paperback cookbook. It is a plain barebones cookbook packed with detailed information. Whether it works for you and yours is something you will have to determine. If you need a cookbook that will tell you exactly what is in the food you are preparing, this one is for you.

Grill It, Braise It, Broil it, And 9 Other Easy Techniques For Making Healthy Meals
American Heart Association
Clarkson Potter/Publishers (Crown Publishing Group)
June 2015
ISBN# 978-0-307-88809-9
Paperback (e-book version also available)
304 Pages

Material supplied by the good folks of the Plano Public Library System.

Kevin R. Tipple ©2015

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