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The 5-Ingredient College Cookbook: Easy, Healthy Recipes for the Next Four Years & Beyond Paperback – February 21, 2017
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About the Author
PAMELA ELLGEN is a food blogger, certified personal trainer, and author of several books on cooking, nutrition, and fitness, including The Healthy Slow Cooker Cookbook and The Gluten-Free Cookbook for Families. Her work has been published in Huffington Post, LIVESTRONG, Darling Magazine, and Spinning.com. A proud graduate of Washington State University, Pamela now lives in California with her husband and two sons.
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The recipes are broken down into the following categories: Breakfasts, Snacks & Small Bites, Salads & Sandwiches, Soups & Stews, Vegetarian and Vegan Mains, Seafood & Poultry Mains, Pork & Beef Mains, Sweet Treats, and finishes with Kitchen Staples. The recipes have very few ingredients (says 5 but then there's also spices/seasonings of course) and are easy to prepare. The ones I had my son try out were also very tasty. I especially like that there were optional variations for some of the recipes and in case you are cooking for someone with dietary restrictions, each recipe has details in the margin for tips such as gluten-free, vegetarian, etc. It evens mentions which ones can be made in the microwave in case you are in a hurry or the ones that are great for sharing in case you have study buddies coming over.
I highly recommend this for every college student BUT also for any beginner cook or someone moving out on their own for the first time.
The title is a tad misleading as a number of the recipes are more than 5 ingredients, but the concept of simple and easy to prepare will be a good thing for many. The book is well indexed, comes with a convenient graph identifying recipes that are gluten-free, vegan or have a vegan option, vegitarian, microwave friendly, good for sharing, or prep and serve items. Conversion charts are provided as an aid for temperatures, weights, volume, and Imperial to metric. A page about pesticide concerns for certain produce is also provided. Reference and a glossary of cooking terms should take some of the worry of cooking.
There are 224 pages total including the extra additions I mentioned earlier and recipes basically are 1 per page. Helpful tips, servings, prep time estimates, and per serving calories, fat, carbs, fiber, and protein information is included.
Although generally healthy, some recipes are rather high in calories and hopefully people are aware of proper portion sizing. Enough variety of styles of cooking are provided that new cooks may be willing to try flavors or cooking types they are not familiar with. At 400-600+ calories per serving, how you pair these recipes with each other and the things you have already eaten or plan to eat the rest of the day, some care may be needed for some eaters.
I'm not sure how many college rooms come with ovens and therefore some of the recipes will apply to those in off campus housing, and some refer to large pots or take more food prep that college kids may not have.
I like the book, and I think it will be good for some college students. Some are very basic (burger, grilled cheese, scrambled eggs, oatmeal, tuna salad, etc) that I would hope kids know before moving to college.
Maybe things have changed a lot since I was in college, but I don't remember many of us having blenders.
The section on knife skills should be useful if nothing more than a resource to remind you.
All of this is not to be negative, but rather informative for you the consumer. I think the author, Pamela Ellgen, put together a well laid out and thought out book for college age teens and adults. The style, layout, contents, photos, and knowlege sharing is well done. I think I would have given it a different title, but that's just me and I am not the author.
Consider your audience, their situation at college, their experience level, and if they are more likely to refer to this book or look things up online. I'm a printed recipe person or cookbook person myself, but the days of printed matter is quickly becoming a thing of the past.
I hope you found my information useful.
Simple cookbook with simple recipes that almost anyone can prepare.
Features at a Glance:
Outlines Essential Kitchen Tools
Basic Ingredients to have in the house
◦ Easy to use
◦ Great for everyday use
◦ Low cost
◦ While great for a person who may be starting out on their own or has never had the responsibility to prepare their own meals, this may be a bit too basic for the average person.
Overall, a very nice and simple cookbook!