Raise your hand if you made a resolution to cook more meals at home this year — likely with words like "healthier" and "better for me" thrown in there for good measure. Yup, me too. There's no better way to jumpstart this resolution than with a new cookbook full of fresh ideas for weeknight meals. To wit, Weeknight Wonders by Ellie Krieger, our guide to meals that are fresh, tasty, and fast.
• Who wrote it: Ellie Krieger
• Who published it: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
• Number of recipes: About 150
• Recipes for right now: Savory Carrot-Cashew Soup, Mushroom Sloppy Joes, Chipotle Beef-Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms, Chicken Enchiladas with Avocado Sauce, One-Pot Dominican-Style Chicken and Rice, Taco Pizzas, Honey-Mustard Glazed Salmon, Ravioli with Savory Pumpkin Sauce, Two-Minute Mango Coconut Sorbet, "Caramel" Popcorn-Peanut Balls
• Other highlights: These feel like recipes that could very quickly become part of our monthly meal rotation. They are simple and un-flashy, while still being very appealing — put another way, not necessarily the kind of dishes you'd make to impress a new date, but most definitely the kind of food you crave after a long day. Perhaps most importantly, they feel doable. Some rely on remembering to pick up fresh fish fillets or a rotisserie chicken at the store on the way home from work, while others can be sourced entirely from the pantry.
I usually put promises of 30-minute meals in the same category as unicorns and low-fat croissants: I'll believe it when I see it. But the recipes in this book have good potential. Krieger skips much of the pre-sliced, pre-cooked, pre-everything food products on which many 30-minute recipes rely and instead focuses on keeping the recipes themselves streamlined. I also appreciate that she puts the prep steps right in the recipe itself, which I find very useful for meal-planning purposes.
One thing to know is that a well-stocked pantry is an absolute must for these recipes to be easy and fast. Krieger includes a substantive list at the beginning of this book for all the pantry items she thinks are useful to keep stocked at all times. Nothing too strange or esoteric here: we're talking about things like cider vinegar, brown rice, spices, and bags of nuts. As you go through the recipes in the book, you'll see these items used again and again. You could buy ingredients as you need them for each recipe, of course, but knowing that you have most ingredients already stocked makes home cooked meals one step easier.
• Who would enjoy this book? Busy folks who like good food, parents with small children still at home, new cooks
Find the book at your local library, independent bookstore, or Amazon: Weeknight Wonders by Ellie Krieger
• Visit the author's website: Ellie Krieger
Apartment Therapy Media makes every effort to test and review products fairly and transparently. The views expressed in this review are the personal views of the reviewer and this particular product review was not sponsored or paid for in any way by the manufacturer or an agent working on their behalf. However, the manufacturer did give us the product for testing and review purposes.
(Image credits: Emma Christensen)