Monday, February 29, 2016

200 Best Sheet Pan Meals: Book Review

One thing most of my weight-loss clients have in common is that they rely heavily on restaurant food and take-out meals. This isn't surprising as researchers have found a correlation between number of meals eaten out and BMI.  Remember, the food industry is business. Its goal is to make money and your health is not their concern.  They will add as much fat, salt and sugar as it takes to make you love their food and come back for more.  Trust me, even dishes you think are healthy are generally far more indulgent than they would be if you made them at home (who would think to dump a crap-load of sugar into tomato sauce, or deep fry meat before throwing it into a stir fry?).
I've heard every excuse from time to lack of skill, to not enjoying cooking.  Its all BS.  You don't have to cook anything fancy or time consuming, and it really doesn't matter if you like it or not. I don't like flossing, nor unloading the dishwasher, nor folding laundry, yet there are things we must do. People should start thinking of cooking as a necessity, not an option.

Anyways, the purpose of my rant is to explain why I was excited to review this cookbook, 200 Best Sheet Pan Meals. I loved the idea and had never seen another book on this topic before. 

It doesn't get much easier than throwing a whole bunch of stuff onto a sheet pan and roasting it, and I adore roasting, it brings out the flavour in food better than just about any cooking technique.  I roast veggies all the time, but roasting meat is great too, and roasted fruit, whether for a savoury or sweet recipe, is fantastic!

Overall, I think this book is a mixed bag.  The first chapter: 25 Extra-Simple Pantry Meals, has recipes that are just what I mostly just baked goods (seems a reach to classify these things as sheet pan meals...yes you bake them on a cookie sheet, but come on!), and full of refined flour and sugar, which, you know, makes me nuts.  One exception is the Carrot Cake Breakfast Cookies, made from healthy ingredients and sound amazing!

There is a chapter on Meatless Meals, Fish and Seafood, Chicken and Turkey, Pork, Been and Lamb, that all contain some winners...Ginger Garlic Chicken with Roasted Plums? Yes please!!

The Sheet Sweets chapter doesn't appeal to me because so many of the recipes contain white flour and sugar, but if you are a more experienced cook and baker you can make your own healthier substitutions.

To sum up, I think this book has some great ideas and is perfect for someone just learning to cook and looking for simple but flavourful recipes.  Its not great for a vegan as there is only one meatless chapter and most sweet recipes have dairy and/or eggs.  So if you're embarking on a journey to hone your cooking skills, this may be a useful book to have in your library.  Just skip the sugar and flour-containing recipes.  Hey, if you are going to learn to cook, which can benefit your health, at least don't start cooking the B.A.D. diet! (Basic American Diet).

Disclosure: I was sent this book to review but all opinions on this blog are my own.

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