Piecemeal: A Meal-Planning Repertoire with 120 Recipes To Make in 5+, 15+, or 30+ Minutes

Chronicle. Sept. 2023. 288p. ISBN 9781797219868. $32.50. COOKING
Wondering what to do with an ear of corn or how to take meatballs from quick-and-easy to elegant? Pauline (A Dish for All Seasons) has all of that and more covered in her brilliant approach to component cooking. She’s selected a range of ingredients (loosely grouped into vegetables, meats, sauces, and fruits), and for each key ingredient, she delivers five-, 15-, and 30-minute recipes designed to pack as much flavor into as little effort as possible. The recipes play well together, so readers can improvise menus by stringing a few dishes together. Pauline also organizes recipes by the meal, for browsing by category rather than by ingredient, and explains how readers can either use the recipes for batch cooking or take a more improvisational approach.
VERDICT For people tired of meal prep that seems uninspired yet also overwhelming, Pauline’s concept of batch cooking and recipe stitching offers an equally budget- and time-friendly solution that still has space for transforming leftovers, combining components in new ways for a second or third meal, and awakening cooks to the freedom that comes from more flexible meal planning, by cooking a few items at a time rather than dedicating an entire day to meal prep.
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