We talk about hearts all the time. It’s one of the most used emojis on a millennial’s keyboards and don’t even get me started on Valentine’s Day…it’s everywhere! Well, this next title talks about a different kind of heart, the one that’s linked to almost one in four deaths in the United States. Heart disease is serious business and for many people, it’s oftentimes caused by poor diet and a lack of exercise.
In this revised and updated 9th Edition, The New American Heart Association Cookbook, the American Heart Association puts together hundreds of recipes that recognize many of us don’t have a lot of time to cook when we get home from work.
This book is all about “quick and easy methods, including slow-cooker and one-pan recipes,” which makes picking out a recipe quite a painless task. The table of contents is pretty straight-forward: Appetizers/Snacks/Beverages, Soups, Salads/Dressings, Slow-Cooker, Seafood, Poultry, Meats, Vegetarian Entrees, Vegetables/Side Dishes, Sauces/Gravies, Breads/Breakfast Dishes, Desserts. I’d say that a pretty expansive list of dishes and the book itself is more than 500 pages of densely-packed recipes.
All of the recipes in this book are quite succinct-not one is more than half a page. That’s a huge plus because I like to read over a recipe before I start, just to get the gist of the dish, and if it’s too long, I could miss a crucial step that I might have to prepare ahead of time.
Another unique feature of this book is in addition to a quantity serving at the top (which is great for portioning out leftovers if you’re cooking for just one or two), but at the bottom, there is a per-serving breakdown of: calories, total fat, cholesterol, sodium, carbohydrates, protein, and dietary exchanges. In all honesty, I don’t pay much attention to these numbers because I barely make a normal calorie count each day when my symptoms are flaring, but I’d imagine these stats are helpful if you’re trying to cut sodium, saturated fat, calories, etc.
One major thing that I didn’t like about this cookbook was the fact that there were absolutely NO pictures. For me, that’s almost a deal-breaker as a cookbook connoisseur. That being said, I think the book definitely makes up for its lack of photography and plating techniques in quantity and variety of recipes. So if you’re not like me when it comes to picking out a dish based on what the picture in the cookbook looks like, then this may be a perfect match.
The recipes themselves are very straight-forward. There aren’t any fancy recipe names that’ll leave you wondering what a foreign word means. Each dish does come with a one or two sentence italicized description of what you’re in for, but personally, I’d take a photo over a blurb any day, but that might just be me.
Overall, I’d say this is a really great resource if you’re looking to cook healthier (and in doing so, to have a happier heart). I didn’t really find any “bad” recipes, as in super greasy, buttery, or otherwise unhealthy, so that’s a good thing! It’s tough trying to find something healthy to eat that tastes good too (and if you’re cooking for others that may not have the same health concerns, that would still like to eat your healthy food too). All in all, this is a worthwhile investment for the number of recipes you get and another plus is you wouldn’t have to get a different healthy cookbook for each category of food-it’s all wrapped up in one, from appetizers to desserts!
I received this book complimentary on behalf of the publisher, but all thoughts and opinions in this post are my own.
Score Card: Cover Art 3/5 | Content 3.5/5 | Ease of Read 5/5
Spoonie Adventures in Books, Beauty, & Bullshit
I'm a twenty-something year old recent law and business school grad living with a chronic health condition. Follow along on my shenanigans.