The other day I was scrambling to pick out a birthday gift for my mother in law who’d be visiting over her birthday. Because she’s traveling I wanted to make sure the gift would be easily slipped into her suitcase. That limited my choices somewhat but I know that the best things come in small packages.
Mom loves books and cooking so the natural choice was a cookbook. I’m a big fan of Rachael Ray’s shows on the Food Network and her “keep it simple yet delicious” style of cooking. When I saw several Rachael Ray cookbooks on the shelf, I knew I’d found the perfect gift.
I’m not sure Mom knows who Rachael Ray is or about the Food Network but I do know she’d like Rachael Ray. Rachael Ray is very much like her own daughter. In the Rachael Ray 30-minute Get Real Meals cookbook, Rachael’s spunky personality comes shining through. I know this because I read the cookbook cover to cover when I got home.
I know what you’re thinking. “How tacky to read a book you got for someone as a gift.” The reason I ended up reading it is that when I was at the store, I didn’t look at the back cover for details about the cookbook. I just figured Rachael Ray plus “Get Real” plus “30-minute meals” equals a down to earth, easy to use cookbook. I was right about that however if I had read the back cover at the store I would’ve discovered that the Rachael Ray 30-minute Get Real Meals cookbook is a cookbook with a low-carb focus.
If anyone is adamant against low-carb anything, it’s my mother in law. Her visits are stressful enough without trying to introduce her to alternative means of cooking even though the recipes sound delicious. So I commandeered Rachael Ray’s Get Real Meals cookbook for myself with plans to head back to the store and choose a more appropriate Rachael Ray cookbook for Mom.
I’m not a low-carb dieter either but am open to eating yummy foods, especially easy ones to prepare. Rachael Ray’s Get Real Meals isn’t a diet cookbook, she doesn’t present any sort of diet system. Rather she presents meals that fit into a low-carb lifestyle. She believes you can watch your carbs yet eat them too.
My copy of the Get Real Meals cookbook is a paperback version that cost about $15. I like the oversized “flaps” much like a book jacket. At first I wondered why a paperback would have book flaps. But once I started thumbing through the book, I realized they make perfect book marks!
The Rachael Ray’s 30-minute Get Real Meals cookbook is broken into the following sections:
• Snacks and Super Supper Snacks
• Burgers Gone Wild
• Take a Dip: Fondues
• Salads that Stack Up
• That’s Souper
• Well-Rounded Square Meals
• Pasta: Come Home Again
• Desserts? Yes Desserts
Each section is loaded with recipes that conform to Rachael Ray’s 30-minute philosophy. While my mother in law is here, I plan on cooking from the Well-Rounded Square Meals section. As Rachael Ray explains, “One problem with living a low-carb life is that all your loved ones, family, and even friends, who come over for dinner are subjected to eating low-carb too. The menus in this section are hearty, rich in flavor, and tasty enough to disguise the missing carbs, so carbers and low-carbers alike can live and eat together in peace.”
How yummy does this sound: Chili-Rubbed Roast Pork Tenderloins with Crunchy, Chunky Black Bean and Jicama Salad? Or Hazelnut Crusted Chicken with Gorgonzola Sauce? Yep, sounds good to me and I guarantee Mom will like them. She’ll probably even ask for the recipes.