I am new to the cookbook field. Honestly, I don’t think I have ever looked inside the pages of a cookbook until now. That may have a great deal to do with that I am not much of a cook. This is either because my mother is a terrific cook or because I am a picky eater so I rarely indulge in a lot of different types of foods. If I had to decide which is the case I would probably go with the latter. I have to be honest, however, that once I seen what Keep the Beat Recipes: Delicious Healthy Dinners I couldn’t help but what to try many of these meals. It may have to do with the how nicely the whole book was organized, how simple all the recipes were laid out, or if it was because the goal of the book was to provide your family with recipes that are both delicious and good for your health. I do know one thing, and that is that I am for sure going to show many of these recipes to my mother.
Out of all the reasons that this book really caught my attention, the main reason had to be the overall main goal of the book. That it was really to provide healthy options and alternatives to what you may already be eating in your house or may order from a restaurant. For example, once I seen how they had a terrific and easy recipe for sweet and sour chicken I knew instantly that I would be showing this to my mother. It really made me feel like instead of ordering from a Chinese restaurant like we often do we can cook the same meal and it would be healthier. Also the procedure to make the meal was so easy to follow that I felt a novice cook like myself could even make it. The meal itself took only fifteen minutes to prepare and fifteen minutes to cook. This was just one of many recipes that was like this that I know most families will find an alternate way to make a meal that they often eat in their households. The best part about that is that the alternate way will be a much healthier way of eating. The main reason I believe that and really want to show my mother this book is because it is backed up by both the U.S. Department of Health and Services along with the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Along with these two organizations back up the cookbook they even go even further to show you all the nutritional facts that go along with the meal you are preparing. This just really shows me that the main goal of this cookbook is to provide healthier dinners and I really liked that about the book.
The other factor that really made me like this book was the overall organization of the book itself. At the very beginning of the book there was an excellent table of contents that broke down the book that would make it easy for anyone to find any dish they are looking for, for example, the book was primarily broken down into two different parts; the main dishes and the side dishes. The main dishes would then be broken down into several other categories based on what kind of meal you were looking for; things like beef, poultry, seafood, pork, main dish pasta, and vegetarian main dishes were all included. So it really did provide a wide array of different types of dishes you can prepare. I then went a step further by providing some different types of side dishes you can prepare with your meal; there was pretty much just two types of side dishes being vegetable side dishes and grain side dishes. This wasn’t the only thing organization wise that caught my eye, however, I also really enjoyed the overall layout of each page. The pages itself were filled with very colorful fonts that did all contrasted very well together that really brought the pages to life. To make it even better they made the pages very easy to follow in regards to how to cook the meals. On the left side of the page was all the necessary ingredients. While the right side of the page had a numbered order of steps of what you needed to do to prep and cook the meal. While also providing things like cook and prep time in the top left hand corner, having a section at the bottom that provided how many servings there will be and the nutritional facts that went with each serving, and my personal favorite a little tip of what went well with the dish.
Overall I thought this was a very nice and easy to learn cookbook. While at the same time going a step further to provide with healthy recipes which is something seemed rather uncommon in the world of cookbooks. I really liked the vast variety of meals that they teach you to prepare, which really makes me feel like there would be a meal for literally anybody. I would for recommend this cookbook to anybody and will be showing it to my mother so she herself can have a go at some of these recipes. The only thing I really didn’t like about the cookbook was the lack of picture, there were some meals that did have pictures which I feel is essential for a cookbook so that the chef has an idea of what direction to go in for a new meal. And the pictures that were provided made me want to try those meals even more since I could see what they looked like. If I were to have to rank the cook book I would most likely give it a four out of five. This is because I felt that the overall theme of healthy meals was a great theme, the variety of meals would really appeal to a large audience, and the organization of the recipes on every page really made me feel like even I could cook them. The only thing lacking was the pictures and if more were present it would for sure be getting a five out of five from me.