Notes from the Shari Bayer’s Test Kitchen for Lovethiscookbook:
I follow LOTS (and lots) of food blogs and have been a fan of Chungah Rhee’s Damn Delicious website for many years. In keeping up with her many posts and recipes, I came across her latest cookbook which is filled with beautiful pictures and many go-to recipes including some favorites from the blog. There are lots of protein-packed breakfasts, healthy and energy-boosting snacks, and lighter versions of comfort food favorites, none of which sacrifice flavor. This book is bursting with recipes that can be prepped and made ahead of time to help create a good meal on even your busiest days.
I LOVED the Greek Chicken Bowl which also made terrific lunch leftovers to take to work the next day. Although a bit labor intensive, you will find this dish to be well worth the effort. This Greek Chicken Bowl is super light and healthy and is chock full of healthy ingredients and full of flavor. I LOVE the fresh taste of the Tzatziki sauce which is a mixture of Greek yogurt, cucumber, garlic, fresh dill and olive oil. I was inspired to give this a try when a close friend brought me something similar after a recent surgery. Who wouldn’t choose this dish over a lasagna or casserole? I enjoyed every bite of it and when I saw this recipe I had to give it a try. I was not disappointed.
Next was the Turkey Meatballs With Zucchini Pasta. It’s a much lighter version than the traditional spaghetti and meatballs and doesn’t let you down on flavor either. You can use spaghetti or give the zucchini noodles a try. The spiralizer is inexpensive to purchase and easy to use (you can get a nice one for around $30) or you can buy the zucchini noodles at your local grocery store. This meal comes together fairly quickly, and like everything in this book, it can be made ahead of time.
The Turkey Tamale Pie was another inspiration from a meal someone else made for me. Many years ago a local eatery had tamale pie as a special on their menu. My husband and I went there often and ALWAYS ordered it. Well, as with many good things, our tamale pie came to an end when they took it off the menu. To make the story even sadder – it has NEVER EVER returned. So, when I saw this, I had to give it a try. I spiced it up by doubling the spices because we like things hot around here. In addition, after making it the first time, I decided on my second go around to add less of the crust on the top to reduce the bread factor. It was tasty but an added benefit is that it can be served in individual containers (if you don’t have any, look for a disposable version in the baking aisle next to the lasagna tins and disposable cake pans.) Why on earth would anyone think this is a benefit? – well on the nights you have to eat in shifts, the individual containers mean that everyone can have a hot meal. You simply stagger putting them into the oven based on everyone’s time to eat.
This cookbook has so many – or should I say a TON of – great, healthy, prep-ahead lunch ideas along with the few recipes I have outlined here. I can’t end this post without sharing the Chicken Burrito Bowl recipe as well. All I can say is the title says it all: “Damn Delicious!!!!” You should give it a try.