For those of us in the United States, it's back-to-school season where school is already in session again or is just about to start. For busy moms who are planning meals, or for anybody struggling to put good healthy food on the table in a short amount of time, the new Make It Easy: 120 Mix-And-Match Recipes To Cook From Scratch with Smart Store-Bought Shortcuts When You Need Them cookbook by Stacie Billis is for you.
Stacie is the founder of One Hungry Mama and the Managing Editor of Cool Mom Eats from the publishers of Cool Mom Picks. She is a busy working mom of two active boys, and lives a fast-paced life in Brooklyn with her family. So, Stacie knows a thing or two about multi-tasking and getting things done in an easy and efficient way.
I first met Stacie in California at the Earthbound Farm headquarters a couple of years ago, and we've been friends ever since. I recently had lunch with her when she visited L.A, and what I love about this woman is her easygoing, flexible approach to her life and work. This relaxed and inviting approachable is at the core of her cookbook.
What I love about this book is that there are no rules. You don't have to just be a scratch cook and make all homemade foods, and you don't have to label yourself a convenience cook. You can be both, and there's no shame in using quality store-bought ingredients to make life easier to get healthy meals on the table for your family.
In the book, Stacie helps you navigate the grocery store minefield with her handy shopping guide; figure out what's best fresh and when convenience products make sense; manage your time to meal plan effectively; stock your pantry and fridge for quick success; mix and match recipes that use the same ingredients to make shopping easier and save waste; and let go of any guilt, self-imposed rules, or pressures that make you want to bolt from your own kitchen!
Stacie's quick easy recipes strike a nice balance between simple and sophisticated, and there are options for omnivores, vegans, and picky eaters. Some of my favorites include: quick berry jam, sunflower seed butter, red enchilada sauce, quick pickled red onions, sweet and salty granola, hearts of palm dip, pineapple "orange julius", curried cauliflower and red lentil soup, avocado miso dressing, shaved asparagus and fennel salad, mushroom and lentil bolognese, and gingered peach crisp.
The coolest thing about this book is that each recipe lists other recipes in the book that utilize similar ingredients or have complementary flavor profiles so you can menu plan as you browse. This is such a useful book for busy families.
I love homemade salsa and pico de gallo, and I typically cut up my own fresh tomatoes. But, there's no denying roasted tomatoes deliver the most fabulous flavor. This fire-roasted tomato salsa combining canned and fresh ingredients is a glowing example of how Stacie brings together scratch and convenience elements to inspire flavor fever.
When tomatoes are sweet and juicy, fresh salsa is sensational. But when your tomatoes aren't so fab, canned fire-roasted tomatoes bring a depth of flavor that's hard to beat. Stacie adds in quick pan-roasted garlic and jalapeño, fresh cilantro, onion, lime juice, and salt for a sensational salsa that you can enjoy in 10 minutes. This salsa is awesome served with tortilla chips and guacamole.
Make it Easy with this book, and learn more about Stacie Billis.