The Eating Well Healthy in a Hurry Cookbook
256 pages; Hardcover, Color Photographs
By Jim Romanoff and the editors of Eating Well Magazine
The Countryman Press, Woodstock, Vermont, 2006
Reviewed by, Chef John Vyhnanek, June 2006

Eating Well Magazine is a popular publication in the food world for chefs and home cooks alike. It has great food-related content, excellent photographs and a respected test kitchen. Using these assets they have written a well designed and thought out cookbook, "The Eating Well Healthy in a Hurry Cookbook". There is a nice forward, introduction and a bit about menus before the chapters and recipes. The chapters are broken down into categories such as salads, soups, vegetarian, beef, pork and lamb and other similar groups. Each recipe in the book has a side bar which lists nutritional values, preparation time and other helpful information. What’s terrific about the book is that many of the recipes feature beautiful color photographs of the dishes. This is very helpful to assist you in envisioning what the finished dish may be like, but more importantly, it helps you recreate the presentation when you are plating the food yourself!

I kept flipping through the book admiring the photographs and the presentations. Many a restaurant chef could get some good ideas from this book for presenting beautiful plates of food. There were some pretty innovative recipes too, especially for tofu, such as the TLT on page 102 (a twist on the classic BLT); it was made with baked seasoned slices of the bean curd. I don’t like wraps and don’t even consider them to be a sandwich; I did however like the Buffalo Chicken Wrap on page 132. The Penne with Braised Squash and Greens on page 82 was a colorful explosion in a bowl and quite tasty too. I did not like the Asparagus soup on page 70, it wasn’t the taste, it was too thick and I didn’t enjoy the addition of the Prosciutto.

The last section of the book is devoted to making some soups, sides, salads and vegetables in a hurry with a nice grain-cooking guide. Desserts were also part of this "in a hurry" section, along with some cooking tips, ingredient notes, substitution tips and an equivalent guide. Good Cooking likes this book, it is fresh with ideas, recipes use healthy ingredients, recipes are easy to follow and with the exception of a few, can be prepared in a short period of time. This book would make a nice gift for an aspiring chef or anyone who wants good recipes to work with. I think it's worth it for the photographs alone.

TLT (Tofu, Lettuce Tomato Sandwich)
Serves 4

With pickles, oven fries and a tall glass of minty iced tea, even the most devoted bacon fan won't remember what's missing in this smoky, spicy renovation of the sandwich favorite.

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon adobo sauce from canned chipotle peppers, divided
14 ounces water-packed extra-firm tofu, drained and rinsed
4 tablespoons reduced-fat mayonnaise
8 slices crusty whole-wheat bread, toasted
4 pieces green-leaf lettuce
2 medium tomatoes, sliced

1. Preheat oven to 475F. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.

2. Combine mustard, soy sauce and 1/2 teaspoon adobo sauce in a small bowl. Slice tofu crosswise into eight 1/2-inch-thick pieces. Pat dry with a paper towel and place on the prepared baking sheet. Using a spoon, spread half the mustard mixture on one side of the tofu. Turn the slices over and spread the remaining mixture on the other side.
3. Bake the tofu for 20 minutes.
4. Combine mayonnaise with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon adobo sauce 4. s in a small bowl. Spread the mixture on toasted bread. Divide the tofu, lettuce and tomato among 4 slices of toast and top with the remaining toast to make 4 sandwiches. Cut in half to serve.

Penne with Braised Squash & Greens
Serves 4, 1 3/4 cup each

This chunky sauce is laced with chard and accented with smoked tofu. Convenient packages of peeled and diced butternut squash are available in most supermarkets in the fall and winter.

2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 ounces cubed smoked tofu
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
Pinch of crushed red pepper
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 pound butternut squash, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch cubes (3 cups)
1 small bunch Swiss chard, stems removed, leaves cut into 1-inch pieces
8 ounces whole-wheat penne, rigatoni or fusilli
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste Freshly ground pepper to taste

1. Put a large pot of water on to boil for cooking pasta.
2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add tofu and Cook, stirring, until lightly browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Add onion to the pan; cook, stirring often, until softened and golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Add garlic and crushed red pepper; cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Return the tofu to the pan and add broth and squash; bring to a simmer. Cover and cook for 10 minutes. Add chard and stir to immerse. Cover and cook until the squash and chard are tender, about 5 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, cook pasta until just tender, 8 to 10 minutes or according to package directions. Drain and return to the pot. Add the squash mixture, Parmesan, salt and pepper; toss to coat.

Buffalo Chicken Wrap

Serves 4

Moms and Dads like wraps because they're neat and compact so beware: ours is messy and spicy. This fiery combination of buffalo chicken in a modern wrap is guaranteed to drip. Get out the big napkins and have a ball!

2 tablespoons hot pepper sauce, such as Frank's RedHot
3 tablespoons white vinegar, divided
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound chicken tenders
2 tablespoons reduced-fat mayonnaise
2 tablespoons nonfat plain yogurt Freshly ground pepper to taste
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
4 8-inch whole-wheat tortillas
1 cup shredded romaine lettuce
1 cup sliced celery
1 large tomato, diced

1. Whisk hot pepper sauce, 2 tablespoons vinegar and cayenne pep. per in a medium bowl.
2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken tenders; cook until cooked through and no longer pink in the middle, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Add to the bowl with the hot sauce; toss to coat well.
3. Whisk mayonnaise, yogurt, pepper and the remaining 1 tablespoon vinegar in a small bowl. Stir in blue cheese.
4. To assemble wraps: Lay a tortilla on a work surface or plate. s Spread with 1 tablespoon blue cheese sauce and top with one fourth of the chicken, lettuce, celery and tomato. Drizzle with some of the hot sauce remaining in the bowl and roll into a wrap sandwich. Repeat with the remaining tortillas.

Asparagus Soup

Makes 2 servings, 1 1/2 cup each

This creamless but still creamy soup is a great lunch or summer night dinner on its own-but you can also spoon it over lump crabmeat, cooked shrimp or cubed tofu for a heftier meal.

1 14-ounce can reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup water
1 yellow-fleshed potato, such as Yukon Gold (6 ounces), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 medium shallot, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried savory or marjoram leaves
1/8 teaspoon salt
12 ounces asparagus, woody ends removed, sliced into 1-inch pieces
1 1/2 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, chopped Freshly ground pepper to taste

1. Place broth, water, potato, shallot, garlic, thyme, savory (or marjoram) and salt in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the potato is tender, about 8 minutes. Add asparagus, return to a simmer, and cook, covered, until the asparagus is tender, about 5 minutes more.
2. Meanwhile, cook prosciutto in a small skillet over medium heat, stirring, until crisp, about 5 minutes.
3. Pour the soup into a large blender or food processor; puree until smooth, scraping down the sides if necessary. Season with pepper. Serve topped with the crisped prosciutto.