Fast Review: Your new favorite book for seasonal meal plans– and we mean plans. This book takes you through every step of a meal plan: grocery shopping, repurposing add-ins, lunch options, and the best way to reheat your leftovers. The best part is that it’s all food you want to eat!
Food 52 was started by Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs. Their goal was to bring people together from every corner of the world to share recipes, ideas, tips, tricks and support. These partners crafted this book to help others with a common problem. A common problem for many people is “what to make for dinner?” This can get especially hard during a tense work week, a busy evening with schlepping your children to practice, or just because there’s a mountain of laundry to do. Amanda and Merrill’s solution? After years of figuring it out— cook most of your food on the weekend! The biggest obstacle to eating well isn’t the cooking, it’s the organizing. In Food 52’s “A New Way to Dinner”, they’ve taken care of the organizing for you.
Who’s Kitchen Would You Find It In:
Fans of Food 52’s website, meal plan fanatics, folks looking for seasonal cooking ideas with a focus on minimally processed foods
Nuts and Bolts:
The book begins with a short “Introduction.” Amanda and Merrill give you the story behind how they got started with meal prepping. As always, it reads like you’re talking to two friends. There is a snapshot of “How To Use This Book” that gives you a rundown of things to expect– when you first start out your cooking times might run longer than the stated time allotted (you’ll get faster the more you cook, the more you plan) or that the cooking time might run shorter if you have a partner. All the recipes were tested for a single person completing the menu. It is helpful to note that the menus are all designed to feed a family of four but can easily be scaled up or down to fit your own needs. Make sure you have plenty of storage containers at the ready and while the recipes don’t call for that many crazy tools (no spiralizers here!) you will need multiple pots and pans. If you don’t have that many, a suggestion is to borrow from a neighbor or a friend for the weekend (or spread your cooking over a couple of days so you can reuse the same equipment). The sections on storing fresh ingredients, storing cooked food, reheating and freezing are chock full of information to help you feel more confident in your preparation. From here, the book jumps straight into the first season.
The seasons are split between Merrill and Amanda. They each offer two menus per season. Each menu begins with “The Week Ahead.” This section outlines the recipes with page numbers and shows you how they come together with each dinner numbered one to five, a small “to do today” section and ends with a section on “brown bag lunches”. Before you get into the recipes, there are two more sections. “Game Plan” and “Grocery List.” The “Game Plan” tells you what to make over the weekend and illustrates how to pull it off. The “Grocery List” lets you know what you need to pick up and even helpfully lists out what aisle you’d find it in which will minimize the time you spend roaming the grocery store.
From here, we get into the recipes. Each one is headed by a small story, step by step how to’s, and notes from the authors. There are variations listed for picky eaters, tips for time-saving techniques, dos and don’ts. The authors really thought of everything with this book.
Can’t wait to get cooking? Swing by Relish Decor today or pick up your copy here!
What to Make:
Spring: Sugar Snap, Asparagus, and Pea Shoot Salad with Preserved Lemon Cream and Merguez (p. 14) for the Preserved Lemon Cream alone or Roasted Rhubarb with Clementines and Cardamom (p. 53)
Summer: Spicy Peaches Wrapped in Prosciutto (p. 79) or Blistered Tomato, Avocado, and Crab Tartine with Capers (p. 134)
Fall: Baked Sweet Potato with Sausage Ragu (p. 155) or All-in-One Lamb Salad with Horseradish, Watercress and Celery (p. 198)
Winter: Chocolate Ginger Ice Cream Sandwich (p. 220) or Brothy, Garlicky Beans (p. 264)
What to pair with this book at Relish:
Food 52’s A New Way to Dinner is by Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs