A Little More Each Day

One working mama learning to run & to maintain my 100+ pound weight loss!

Southern Living 5 Ingredient Weeknight Meals Review & Recipes

on October 28, 2014
A month or so ago, I got approached regarding a cookbook review. I spent quite a bit of time thinking about it before I decided to accept the opportunity, because this is and will remain a non-profit blog. I use this space to share my personal experiences rather than as a monetary venture (not that there’s anything wrong with blogs that are monetized! It just isn’t something I’m interested in!). However, both of these cookbooks were things I’d be likely to read or purchase on my own if I’d seen them somewhere. Thus, I accepted the opportunity to look at them and share them with you guys (including giveaways below) but have not been compensated for these reviews and the opinions are entirely my own.First up is the Southern Living What’s for Supper series’ 5 Ingredient Weeknight Meals: Delicious Dinners in 30 minutes or less. This is definitely right up my alley, as a working mom who likes to cook for my family but usually has a very chaotic 20-30 minute window in which to accomplish this after getting O home from daycare.
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This was just released by Oxmoor House this year ($19.95) and at first glance, is bright, breezy and approachable. It’s 250 pages and filled with colorful pictures of the finished products of these recipes (although no step-wise photos).Southern Living 5 ingredient 30 minute meals

The first section includes tips on stocking your pantry with go-to ingredients and tools to put dinner on the table quickly and general tips about boosting flavor while minimizing prep time. None of the tips were earth-shattering for me, but they would be a helpful starting place for someone who is new to cooking and a little intimidated at the idea of getting started.

These pizzas sound fabulous!

These pizzas sound fabulous!

The recipes include a chapter on grilling, no-cook suppers, gorgeous pizzas and pastas, breakfast for dinner (my favorite dinner food!), one-dish meals, easy sides and 3-ingredient desserts. The focus of these recipes is on quick and simple, so there’s definitely a semi-homemade approach with some pre-made options like prepared pestos and pizza crusts. I love cooking from scratch on the weekend, but I definitely appreciate shortcuts like these on busy weeknights! None of the recipes included exotic or difficult to find ingredients. Everything should be available at your local mega-mart. They do stretch the idea of “5” ingredients in many cases, but things are definitely simple and straightforward. The techniques are also really approachable.

In testing recipes themselves, I was surprised to see that there were several recipes in here that were variations on go-to recipes I already use! This includes Korean Flank Steak (very similar to Tony’s Steak, a favorite recipe of ours from the Dinner: A Love Story cookbook) and Tuscan Tuna Salad with White Beans (very similar to my favorite Tuna Melts from Cooking Light). The recipes lean heavily in the direction of comfort food and aren’t necessarily light but you could make tweaks as you go along (as I did with the recipes I tested out below). The vanilla wafer sandwich bites (vanilla wafers, with peanut butter between two cookies and then dipped in chocolate) are very similar to a treat my mom made us growing up and had me smiling nostalgically. 🙂

This made me think of treats as a kid :)

This made me think of treats as a kid 🙂

My favorite sections to look through were the pizzas (gorgeous ideas!) and desserts, because who doesn’t like the idea of 3 ingredient desserts? For testing purposes, we tried out a few recipes and I’ll share our two favorites here. First up:

Mustard-Rosemary Pork Kabobs

Mustard-Rosemary Pork Kabobs

Mustard-Rosemary Pork Kabobs: 6 servings; 1 hr 25 minutes total time (25 minutes hands on)

1/2 cup savory Dijon-style honey mustard *I used spicy brown mustard

1 tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary

2 tbsp. olive oil

1 tsp garlic salt

1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper

2 lb pork tenderloin, cut into 2 inch cubes

Cooking spray

4 red bell peppers, cut into 2 inch pieces

1 (8 oz) package whole fresh mushrooms *I skipped this part

Place first 5 ingredients in a large zip-top plastic freezer bag. Seal bag and shake to blend. Add pork to bag. Seal bag and chill 1 hour. *I let this sit for 5 minutes at most and still got fantastic flavor, so I don’t know that you really need an hour.

The original recipe calls for these to be cooked on skewers on the grill, which would be gorgeous and very tasty I’m sure. It was a rainy day in Omaha when we tested these, so instead I tossed the mustard-coated pork and pieces of bell pepper in a roasting pan, in the oven at 350 F for about 15-20 minutes or until the pork was done. While the skewers are lovely and I’m sure the grill adds a nice smoky flavor, this was DELISH just as an oven roasted dish.

Next up, I had to try the three(ish) ingredient chocolate chip cookies because the recipe was like nothing I’ve ever seen before. They turned out great!

Chocolate chip cookies made with almond butter - yummy!

Chocolate chip cookies made with almond butter – yummy!

Chocolate Chip Cookies: Makes 3 dozen (I only made 12 or so but mine were big!); 35 minutes total time (11 minutes hands on)

1 cup maple almond butter (You could probably substitute regular almond butter, which is cheaper. The maple didn’t come through as a flavor)

1 large egg

1 cup sugar

1 cup semisweet chocolate mini-morsels

1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Stir together all ingredients until smooth. Shape mixture into 1 inch balls (mine were more like 2 inches, thus fewer cookies and longer cooking time) and place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets.

2. Bake for 8-10 minutes (more like 12-15 minutes with my giant cookies) or until golden brown. Transfer cookies to a wire rack, and cool completely (about 20 minutes).

These were great! Oliver loved them and other than a little nuttiness, you’d never guess this was such a non-traditional cookie recipe.

Big hit with the toddler crowd!

Big hit with the toddler crowd!

This would definitely be a great cookbook for someone looking for an easy way to start getting more homemade meals on the table. It’s really approachable, tasty food and completely doable for most busy families. I get to give away a copy to one lucky reader, for you to keep or to share with a lucky friend at the holidays. To enter, just leave me a note below. I’ll let my random selection committee (ie Oliver with numbers in a cup or the random number generator) choose a winner a week from today (11/4/2014).

Can you believe it’s already almost November? Anybody else already started with their holiday shopping? I have one lucky friend who will be getting a copy of this cookbook for Christmas because I think it’s right up her alley. 🙂

*********************************************************************************************************************

Thanks for all of the entries! Sara M is our winner!!

 

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31 responses to “Southern Living 5 Ingredient Weeknight Meals Review & Recipes

  1. ChristyS says:

    The cookies sound really yummy!

  2. This looks like a great cookbook! The cover with those bright, colorful kabobs had me drooling! 🙂 I love the page about stocking the 5-ingredient pantry, because I always seem to be missing a key ingredient in a recipe despite my best attempts to be prepared, so it would be nice to get the pantry stocked and ready to crank out the recipes! The pork looks delicious, too! So glad O liked the cookies, too! Kids are the best taste-testers 🙂 You get the honest truth from them with any recipe. Hope you are having a great week!

  3. KarenK says:

    What a fun opportunity to review cookbooks! The pork recipe sounds great.

  4. Lora says:

    Sounds like a great cookbook! I am addicted to Southern-influenced recipes. Made a variation of shrimp and grits (with added veggies) for dinner last night! 🙂

    • The other cookbook they sent me to review was Southern themed, so I’ll be testing some of those out next week. As a native of Louisiana, I’m a little biased towards thinking Southern food is the best in the US. 🙂

  5. Marianela says:

    The book sounds interesting!

  6. Liz L says:

    My husband loves all types of cookies- this recipe will be a hit this weekend

  7. Matt says:

    With as busy as our family has been, this 5 ingredient 30 minute meal book could be a life saver! It’s such a struggle for us to prepare meals when someone is always on the go.

    • It can be so hard. I confess, my son and I are eating dinner tonight at the grocery store salad bar so I can combine grocery shopping with dinner time. It’s hard to get it all in before bedtime some days!

  8. this recipe book sounds awesome!

  9. Sara M says:

    I’m in a cooking rut! This cookbook looks great. I would love to try out some of the recipes.

  10. Ellen Casper says:

    I love Southern Living cookbooks – thanks for the giveaway!

  11. I could definitely use a new cookbook. I get in such bad dinner ruts.

  12. Julie G says:

    I am always looking for new and easy ideas for weekdays…. this cookbook looks interesting.

  13. Still in time to enter! This sounds awesome. I love simple meals 🙂

  14. […] Today is the last day to enter the Southern Living cookbook giveaway – be sure to enter if you […]

  15. Lynn says:

    The recipe for the pork kabobs sounds good. I could use some new meal ideas. Thanks for the give away.

  16. […] night, I used the Random Number generator to choose a winner for the Southern Living 5 ingredient meal cookbook […]

  17. […] minor bit of bloggy business: I never heard from the winner of the Southern Living cookbook giveaway! Sara M was our winner. I’ll be re-emailing her to touch base, but if I haven’t heard […]

  18. […] in October, I reviewed the Southern Living 5 Ingredient Weeknight Meals cookbook (see here). At the same time, I was also sent their Super Fast Southern cookbook to review. You guys may […]

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