Monday, August 8, 2016

Cookbook Review: Healthy Slow Cooker Cookbook for Two

I am taking a break from the Foodie Friday segment as I have a lot of projects going for this blog, Fashion's Sense, YouTube, and SheKnows. One of the projects for this blog is to review this delightful cookbook from Pamela Ellgen called Healthy Slow Cooker Cookbook for Two. This book is all about preparing healthier meals using your slow cooker. This review will discuss the layout of the cookbook, the usefulness of the extras, and of course the comprehension of the recipes. I will also list the dishes that my household will plan on experimenting with.

The Layout

For the most part the layout of the book is straight forward. It is set up for easy navigation so you can find the type of dish you'd like make. I like how there is a separate section for side dishes that are not cooked in the slow cooker. I love that in the side margins there is nutritional information. My household has dietary restrictions because of diabetes, hypertension, and food allergies. So having these labels in the margin along with substitutions is great. Now, I only have one issue with the layout/format and that is the first chapter.

Chapter One is titled "Easy Meals for Health-Conscious Pairs". When I read that chapter title I thought, "Oh, how cute? She is beginning the book with healthy recipes for couples to share." I was wrong. This chapter is sort of forward discussing nutrition labels, planning ahead, shopping tips, and storage tips, and other useful bits of information. I love having this type of information in a cookbook, I just felt that the chapter title was misleading.

Usefulness of Additional Content

As I mentioned earlier the first chapter does not contain recipes but gives tips and information on nutritional labels, food shopping, food storage, etc. This chapter is useful information to have. I can say that I learned a few things from it.

The side dish recipes. I personally found it useful. Some might not. I had one family member say the like for cookbooks such as these to only have recipes that pertain to slow cookers. I like the section and feel it will be useful, especially to those who don't know much about cooking. I do think the side dishes were a bit lacking in diversity. Sure there were different salad and grain recipes. However, they still were just salads, rice, and other grains.

Comprehension of the Recipes

I found the recipes easy to understand and follow. Nothing felt out of order. They all were pretty straight forward.

Side Notes

Since this book had salads, a roll recipe, and lot of main courses, I felt maybe there should have been a slow cooker dessert section. Personally, such a section would have made the cookbook feel complete. So if a new edition of this cookbook comes out I hope desserts are added.

I also took issue with the names of certain dishes. Some dishes have names that are incorrect based on how they are being prepared. For example, the dish called Tofu Stir-Fry made me cringe a bit. There is no stir fry technique happening with a dish that takes four to six hours to cook. Again, that is my own personal bias.

Dishes My Household Wants to Try

  • Pumpkin Black Bean Chili
  • Chicken in Mango Chutney
  • Coq au Vin Blanc
  • Cassoulet
  • Cranberry-Glazed Pork Tenderloin
  • Greek-Style Lamb Shoulder & Lemon Potatoes
  • Osso Buco

**I received this cookbook at a considerable discount to review. All opinions expressed are my own.**