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The Healthy College Cookbook
By Alexandra Nimetz, Jason Stanley, Emeline Starr, and Rachel Holcomb
ISBN: 1603420304
Publisher: Storey Publishing
Publication date: January 2009
Format: Paperback
Number of recipes: 300
List price: $14.95
Type: Student
Sample recipe: Open-Face Quesadilla; Banana Chocolate Chip Muffin
Intended audience: novice advanced beginner good home cook gourmet professional
Apparent goal: stocking stuffer sampler comprehensive encyclopedia coffee-table
Meal part: all breakfast/brunch lunch dinner dessert
Competition: outclassed a bit behind in the pack strong challenger likely champ
Variety: too little too much unusual nice mix just right
Practical recipes: <20% <40% <60% <80% ≥80%
# of ingredients: ≤4 ≤7 ≤10 ≤12 >12
Ingredient hunt: airfare required online specialty store supermarket pantry
Recipe complexity: too hard simple medium challenging professional
Instructions: inadequate verbose minimal complete educational
Time conscious: not conscious bald lies white lies realistic scout's honor
Cooking time: weekend project takes all day takes time ≥30 minutes <30 minutes
Added info: zip overwhelming scant ample generous
Photos/drawings: none drawings b&w photos occasional color all color
Recipe results: ≤dorm food casual food family meals fancy food fit for royalty
Nutritional info: none overwhelming hit or miss adequate comprehensive
Tone: food police worrying neutral helpful comforting
Format/Ease of Use
Layout: ugh cluttered fine kind work of art
Legibility: unpleasant challenging ok clear brilliant
Production quality: cheesy won't last forever years of service gift quality stunning
Page numbers: hard-to-find spotty sufficient most pages every page
Table of contents: missing frustrating minimal helpful excellent
Index: none confusing adequate nice a treasure
Page flipping: upsetting tedious acceptable rare never
Writing history: beginners writer/journalist food writer writing cook personality
Cooking heritage: unknown self-taught teacher chef celebrity
Fulfills ambitions: falls short satisfactory successful exceeds home run
Flavor delivered: sad inconsistent tasty delicious exceptional
Overall tone: sterile trying too hard straightforward good friend mom
Value: ouch! a little pricey worth splurging on the money a deal
Overall rating: skip it good very good excellent Ochef Top 100

Comments: We have such mixed feelings about this book.

We love it when people cook. If you are in college and a dining service will cook for you morning, noon, and night, why would you not take advantage of it?

We love it when people cook. These are not the most inspiring recipes in the world.

We love it when people cook. We think great flavor is the key to keeping them cooking.

Created by three college students at Williams College in 1999, the book was published to help people "eat healthfully on a tight budget, with a busy schedule, and with little cooking experience." The book, which has been wildly successful, has been updated by Rachel Holcomb, taking into account that there are now more vegetarians, vegans, whole grains, and George Foreman grills on campus. The revised version features 100 new recipes contributed by students from around the country.

The chapters cover everything – getting started and stocking your kitchen; breakfasts; appetizers & quick snacks; soups & salads; vegetarian meals; pasta; seafood; chicken; "dishes for meat lovers"; side dishes & sauces; breads, biscuits, and muffins; and desserts.

We know we are naïve, but in general, we think people in college should not be on diets. And so much of this book sounds like a diet. If one needs to eat a little less, exercising that extra discipline is preferable to consuming nonfat cream cheese – the world's worst "food." The choice of low-fat everything does not health make. And the choice also does not make for much flavor. Fat is, after all, what carries most flavor to our taste buds, and are you going to want to cook for yourself day after day if the dishes you make don't have much flavor? Are you going to aspire to cook well for your entire life if your early results are somewhat uninspiring?

Then again, perhaps our hopes are unrealistic. We love it when people cook, and this book offers more than enough recipes to carry a student through one or more years of apartment living, lots of variety, lots of simplicity, basic cooking information – and it is infinitely preferable to consuming fast food or pizza every night.


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