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Recipe Book Roundup: Uber-Easy Home Cooking

Recipe Book Roundup: Uber-Easy Home Cooking

I love good, homemade food, but I often don't have the time, energy, or patience to search for specialty ingredients, do intricate prep work, or spend hours at the stove. In my kitchen, if it's not uber-easy, it's just not happening.

I also have dietary restrictions (no gluten due to celiac disease, no dairy due to a milk allergy), but I'm not a big fan of "health food", so I tend to seek out cookbooks with recipes that allow me to make substitutions without sacrificing flavour or texture.

Luckily, I've amassed a collection of cookbooks that help me to prepare delicious food that fits my dietary needs with not a lot of time investment. Here are five of my faves:

Simple: The Easiest Cookbook in the World by Jean-François Mallet

My all-time favourite cookbook. It doesn't get easier than this. Each recipe has no more than four steps or six ingredients, and photos of each ingredient and the finished product make things a breeze for visual learners like me. The focus is on flavour and I've never made anything from this book that didn't turn out deliciously. Complete your collection with Simple 2, Simple Healthy and Simple Desserts. Favourite recipe: Coconut Curry Noodle Bowl with Shrimp.

Mandy's Gourmet Salads by Mandy Wolfe, Rebecca Wolfe, and Meredith Erickson

Two years ago I discovered the Mandy's restaurant on a trip to Montreal, and have been dreaming of their mouthwatering salads ever since. So I was thrilled when they released a cookbook last year and I could recreate their menu at home. I can truly say that I'm eating way more salads since I bought this book, and enjoying every bite. Favourite recipe: "The Fave" with Honey Mustard Dressing.

Instant Pot Soups by Alexis Mersel

Instant Pot + soup = almost zero-effort cooking. The recipes in this book are diverse enough to suit any mood, and range from classic Chicken Noodle to fancy Thai Pumpkin Green Curry. My fave: Rustic Beans & Greens.

Beautiful Boards by Maegan Brown

I self-gifted a gorgeous charcuterie board from Cary's Cutting Boards for Christmas and needed the perfect book to go with it for inspiration. I settled on this one because it seemed the most substitution-friendly. Any of the spreads in this book would be a wonderful way to wow your dinner companions with not a lot of effort. Favourite "recipe": Date Night In Board.

Toast: The Cookbook by Raquel Pelzel

For the days when you can't be bothered, turn toast into a meal with these creative recipes. I love that the book is organized by season - it's a great way to use up leftover produce. Favourite recipe: Almond-Orange Flower Toast.

Do you have a favourite ultra-easy recipe or recipe book? I'd love to hear about it! Please share in the comments below.

Take care of yourself,


Debra Purdy is the owner of ShopEco, a voracious reader, and a bona fide skin care fanatic. Current skin care obsession: Faerhaven Strawberry Lip Balm. Current read: Set Boundaries, Find Peace by Nedra Glover Tawwab.

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CARY LAMOURE - March 29, 2021

thanks for the link to my cutting boards Deb! I appreciate the exposure.

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