Supermarket Healthy

Supermarket Healthy  by Melissa d’Arabian
Rating:  3 out of 5 stars

I first became acquainted with Melissa d’Arabian when I saw her win Season 5 of the Food Network Star.  As a mom of young kids, I could relate to her.  Being budget-minded I also appreciated her show “Ten Dollar Dinners.”  So I was excited to see her new cookbook Supermarket Healthy on the Blogging for Books site.  For those unfamiliar, Blogging for Books is a site that gives bloggers free books to review on their blogs.  (You can check out the site and sign up here.)

Supermarket Healthy starts with an introduction of “Hot-Button Issues” like GMO’s, eating organic and allergies.  d’Arabian then provides a “Pantry Must-Haves” list.  The cookbook has eleven chapters including Breakfast, Snacks, Soups and Stews, Salads, Wraps and Sandwiches, Veggie Mains, Pasta, Fish and Seafood Chicken and Turkey, Beef, Pork, and Lamb, Sides and Dessert.  I like that d’Arabian offers several “Blueprints” throughout the cookbook, in which she gives an outline of a recipe and different variations to make it.  For example, for a frittata, she outlines a way to make it with meat or without, different preparations of vegetables and different cheese variations.

Prior to receiving this cookbook I had never cooked any of d’Arabian’s recipes.  I first tried the Moroccan Slow Cooker Chicken Legs and Chickpeas, since I love using the slow cooker on busy days.  The recipe called for ras el hanout (a Moroccan spice blend), which I did not have and didn’t plan on buying for this one recipe.  An alternative spice blend is provided, but no measurements are provided.  Overall, this recipe was just okay.

I then tried making the Raspberry-Banana Morning Boost Smoothie for the kids for an after dinner “treat.”  They have given up treats for Lent, so I’ve been trying to come up with healthy alternatives.  I think this recipe included too much of the healthy stuff.  These smoothies had old-fashioned rolled oats and chopped cucumber.  And I didn’t even add the white beans!  I do not like smoothies, but the kids love them.  They did not enjoy these though.  I agreed with their complaint that the smoothie tasted overwhelmingly of cucumber, even though there was only 1/4 cup.  The oats also didn’t break down very well in the blender, so the smoothie wasn’t exactly smooth.

Overall, I thought this cookbook was just okay.  Not many recipes jumped out at me as being new and interesting and I felt like the ingredient lists for many of the recipes were rather long.  I’d recommend this cookbook to beginning cooks who would like to eat healthier.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.  However, all my opinions are my own.