RACHAEL RAY'S 30-MINUTE GET REAL MEALS: Eat Healthy Without Going to Extremes

Rachael Ray, Author . Clarkson Potter $18.95 (256p) ISBN 978-1-4000-8253-7

Part of Ray's appeal to legions of Food TV fans is her loose, nonnitpicky approach to cooking at home. Every meal she presents can be prepared in 30 minutes or less, and she consistently emphasizes simplicity and nonfussiness. So it's no surprise that Ray's contribution to the supposedly waning low-carb cookbook genre does not strictly adhere to the diet. Ray adores carbohydrates—"I cannot and will not eat without them"—and she believes consuming them "in moderation " is a healthy option. This selection of recipes, then, does include pasta dishes, but Ray wisely makes them heavy on the meat and vegetables and low on pasta (a half pound for every four entrées). Her devoted viewers will delight at the prospect of Bucatini with Sausage, Peppers, and Onions; Creamy Polenta and Bolognese Sauce; and Eggplant and Wild Mushroom Pasta with Ricotta Salata. Other chapters are just as appealing, offering ideas for main course salads, as well as meat and fish dishes, burgers, soups, snacks and desserts. In keeping with her low-maintenance style, Ray is lax with her instructions, calling for "a couple slices of smoked salmon" in one recipe, and "2 tablespoons vegetable oil (eyeball it)" in another. Ray's standard chatty demeanor, which comes through loud and clear, coupled with interesting, varied recipes, make this book a winner. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 03/14/2005
Release date: 03/01/2005
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