Now that I’m writing the Five-Ingredient Mysteries, friends give me cookbooks to plump out my collection of low-ingredient recipes. Here are three favorite books you might consider as gifts this season for yourself or someone else.
If you have a favorite cookbook with recipes requiring few ingredients, please leave a comment and share your find. Here's why I like these three books.
Readers Digest 5-10-15 Cookbook: The book’s cover promises 5 ingredients, 10 minutes prep, 15 minutes to cook. This is a coffee-table cookbook with gorgeous food photos. The fifth ingredient in some of the recipes is a marinade, spice mix, or sauce for which there is a 5-ingredient recipe in the Basics chapter at the end. So combining two 5-ingredient recipes gets you closer to 10 than 5, but that’s a quibble. The vast majority of the recipes have only 5 ingredients, don’t rely on canned soup, and look scrumptious. Those I’ve tried taste good too.
Robin Takes 5 is one of many cookbooks by Robin Miller—food writer, nutritionist, and TV cooking-show star. The cover says the book contains 500 recipes, 5 ingredients or Less, 500 calories or less. The recipes in this collection really have five ingredients, often a combination of fresh food and convenience items like canned tomatoes, reduced-salt broths, and frozen dough. The dishes are influenced by ethnic cooking and are far from boring. Every recipe I’ve tried has been really good.
Six Ingredients or Less by Carlean Johnson is now in its 4th edition, which attests to its popularity. The book doesn’t contain photos of food, but the layout makes the recipes easy to read and follow. Sidebars provide tips and suggestions for varying the recipes. In most five-ingredient cookbooks, you’ll find a handful of cookie recipes. This six-ingredient book contains directions for making 30 different cookies. That makes it particularly useful this time of year.
This blog, like the books and stories I write, combines mysteries, food, trivia, and a bit of humor to leaven the grim subject of crime. Sometimes random subjects intrude here .