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Poor Girl Gourmet: Eat in Style on a Bare-Bones Budget Paperback – Bargain Price, June 1, 2010

4.2 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

As a successful freelance producer for network and cable television, Amy McCoy once enjoyed gourmet food with little concern for price. Then the recession hit and the freelance work all but disappeared. But in the economic downturn, McCoy found her mission: to eat the best food she and her husband could while spending as little as possible.

To that end, McCoy created her blog, poorgirlgourmet.blogspot.com, where she offers up her insights alongside delicious gourmet recipes that are inexpensive to prepare. McCoy lives on a gentleman's farm in southeastern Massachusetts.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing; Original edition (June 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0740789902
  • ASIN: B004E3XIFS
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 7.5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,941,593 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A customer TOP 500 REVIEWER on February 3, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Poor Girl Gourmet cookbook by author Amy McCoy offers up some tasty recipes that are aimed for the budget cook. Some of her recipes would fall within my budget range while others are less budget friendly to my pocketbook. Overall, the recipes offered are varied and have a gourmet flair. She writes "Each of the meals on these pages serves at least four people for $15 or less." The bracketed information showing the servings and costs are from the recipes found in her cookbook.

Here are some of the recipes you will find in her cookbook:

Spicy Carrot Ginger Soup (Serves 4 for $5 to $10)
Harvest Balsamic Salad with Honey-Balsamic Dressing (Serves 4 for $10 to $15)
Perfect Roasted Chicken with Spicy Orange Sauce (Serves 4 for $5 to $10)
Sweet Italian Sausage with Apple and Fennel Seed (Serves 4 for $5 to $10)
Ginger Soy Sirloin Tip Stir-Fry with Mushrooms (Serves 4 for $10 to $15)
Roasted Carrots with Thyme (Serves 4 for $5 or less)
Butterhorns (dinner rolls) (Serves 24 for $5 or less)
Apple Crumble with Dried Cranberries (Serves 6 to 8 for $5 to $10)

As you can see if you created a meal with a salad, main course, bread and dessert the meal could be considered gourmet but a tad expensive. To break it down further here's a sample menu using some of the recipes listed above:

Harvest Balsamic Salad with Honey-Balsamic Dressing is $2.50 per serving
Perfect Roasted Chicken with Spicy Orange Sauce is $1.25 (I assumed $5 for the recipe not $10)
Roasted Carrots with Thyme is $1.
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No pictures for most of the recipes.

And many recipes seem a little basic, like things you could think of yourself.

I'm not a cook or culinary expert. I never make fancy meals. So by basic I just mean really really not creative, just easy and expected college kid style stuff, like stuff that could be a revelation for a 10-16 year old.

It says "gourmet", so I thought there'd be a little sophistication in the meals. Or at least something that could surprise you, excite you, and broaden your mind. Maybe like many different cultures, maybe some meals people haven't heard of. I thought it was a book that allows you to be gourmet on a low budget, which you can do and many people do.

That seems like a lofty criticism, but it SAYS gourmet! So it's fine, but just slightly misleading.
I think it could still be exciting for maybe an 18 year old.
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I was browsing in a local bookstore one day and Poor girl Gourmet caught my eye. Now the last thing I need is a new cookbook, since I have too many already and also suffer from a clinical inability to actually follow recipes: I like to improvise and do it my own way. But after skimming the introduction and the tips and leafing through some of the recipes I decided to add the book to my cookbook library. My husband scoffed at me when I showed him my purchase, he agreed I did not need another cookbook, but as I have made many of the recipes over the past month or two (I estimate I've tried about 30 recipes so far) my husband keeps telling me the book has definitely been a winner, and I agree!

The Roasted Cauliflower is to die for. I previously had a very favorite roasted cauliflower recipe but this one blows it away. My husband laughed at me when I told him how much better it was than the recipe we have been using for years (involving balsamic and parmesan) but when he tried it he was amazed at how delicious it really was. The Braised Pork Shoulder is the best pork recipe I have ever made, hands down. Of course I had to substitute apple juice for cider but I think the author would approve with her frugal approach: why buy a new ingredient when something on hand will work just fine? The Meatballs and Sauce were equally amazing, this coming from someone who already has The World's Best Sauce recipe in her repertoire. When I made Panzenella with the last tomatoes of the season from our CSA farm box I thought my husband would protest a dinner of bread and tomatoes but he loved it! Last night I made Ribollita (using canned beans and chicken broth instead of dry beans and water) and we both thought it was excellent!
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This is a wonderful cookbook, filled with beautiful photos of the finished receipes. Using her witt and humor Amy has personalized this cookbook with entertaining stories about the shananagins of her & JR's worldly travels! After enjoying mine as a coffee table book, I just had to buy one for my daughter, my sister, Ray in AZ.... and at such resonable prices on Amazon.com, it's easy to share! Being a "townie" in the area Amy and JR grew up in, it's a thrill to see a local girl done good. Congratulations!
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I like a cookbook that has a lot of user friendly recipes. There are so many great recipes and ideas in Poor Girl Gourmet that i'm looking forward to trying. I'm reading it cover to cover and am enjoying the recipes as well as the personal stories that are linked to each one!! I would recommend this cookbook to anyone - on or off a budget.
-Shelly
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