Linda Gassenheimer, author of the cookbook Delicious One-Pot Dishes, is a frequent voice on radio and television promoting healthy cooking. She’s collaborated with the American Diabetes Association to produce this small and valuable cookbook. She writes, “In the pages ahead, you’ll find the recipes for 60 delicious dinners. Some can be cooked quickly in a wok, some slowly in a casserole, or in a skillet on a burner. The slower-cooked meals mean more time to help your children with their homework, relax with a glass of wine, or do any of the chores that a busy household demands.”
By creating and collecting recipes that use low fat proteins, need little fat in the cooking, and contain creative seasonings to enhance the flavor, Gassenheimer has produced a handy cookbook that serves as a useful tool for producing healthy meals designed to manage the effects of diabetes.
In addition to a preface advising readers how to ‘shop smart’, the book contains sections on:
Each recipe has been created to serve two people, so I needed to do a bit of math to try recipes to feed my family of four. The Italian Sausage Frittata on page 70 was happily eaten by all around my table. I did add some cheese sprinkled on top to enhance the appearance, but it was a very healthy and tasty dish.
The Orange Apricot Chicken on page 74 was also well received in my house. The combination of flavors from dried apricots, black olives, oranges, balsamic vinegar, and capers was unique as well as savory. Because my oven was on to bake the rice and a loaf of bread, I thought I could bake the chicken in one pot. It was in the oven for an hour, and when I removed the foil covering it, I found the chicken was still fairly raw. At my altitude (9,000 feet), I should have known better. Fortunately, it was 30 minutes before dinner, so I put the pot on the stove, simmered it covered like the recipe said to do, and no one knew about the panic.
The Sausage, Potato, and Beer Stew on page 76 took 30 minutes, start to finish. The walnuts offered a nice contrast in texture, but I should have chosen a different beer to use – one that was a bit milder and less bitter.
The Cioppino, which was more like a fish stew than a casserole, has the potential to be a lovely, healthy seafood entree. However, in doubling it to serve my family of four, I doubled all of the ingredients including the red pepper flakes. It was so hot and burned our lips so much that we could hardly finish our bowls of the steaming soup. My husband ended up putting a big dollop of sour cream in his bowl, and that made it easier to eat. In hindsight, I would have just omitted the red pepper flakes knowing that they really don’t add flavor – they just make the dish hot.
Shopping Made Easy
Each recipe in Delicious One-Pot Dishes is followed by a shopping list. Readers can scan through the list, compare it to the contents of the refrigerator and pantry, and either make it or head to the grocery store with a ready-made list. The ‘Shop Smart’ tips at the end of each recipe offer healthy suggestions to look for in the grocery store. Some recipes provide Helpful Hints at the end that occasionally give directions for substitutions.
The cookbook’s instructions are clear and accurate, the flavors are interesting and creative, and the end results are healthy and tasty: all measurements of a successful cookbook. This little paperback by Linda Gassenheimer belongs on the kitchen shelf of every cook trying to provide healthy meals for someone who wants to avoid the negative side effects of mismanaged diabetes. The end result is healthier meals for everyone sitting at the table.—Review by Lisa George, RFT Cookbook Editor, Latigo Ranch, Kremmling, Colorado; Photo Hannah George, Latigo Ranch