A Minimalist Cookbook

Meg's No-Knead Baguettes (Photo by Steve Johnson)

Meg's No-Knead Baguettes (Photo by Steve Johnson)

Over the last few months, I’ve received many requests for posts on minimalist cooking. It’s a topic near and dear to my heart, since my new tiny apartment came with a tiny kitchen (you can see it here), and the tiniest fridge I’ve had since college.

Furthermore, I love simple, healthy meals made with fresh ingredients. I’ll take rustic Italian peasant food any day over haute French cuisine.

However, I have to admit, I’ve dropped the ball. While I think it’d be fun to blog about cooking, I’ve yet to find the motivation to pick up my camera and document what I’m doing while making dinner. For starters, it’s one of the few hours during the day when I’m away from my computer!

Therefore, I was thrilled when my friend Meg Wolfe (who blogs at minimalistcook.com and minimalistwoman.com) sent me her new ecookbook: Minimalist Cooking: 27 Practical Recipes. She’s done all the hard work, and in a much more sophisticated way than I could ever manage.

Meg was a professional cook and caterer, and I imagine could prepare the most complex dishes with ease. However, she’s adopted a wonderful minimalist philosophy when it comes to cooking: it’s not about fancy equipment and exotic ingredients, but rather the nourishment and sharing of simple, well-prepared meals.

The vast array of ingredients and gadgets available today can make cooking seem almost overwhelming. However, Meg takes us back to the basics; she breaks down her cookbook into four categories — Bread, Vegetables/Sides, Main Courses, and Desserts – and details a handful of recipes in each. She simplifies things even further by encouraging us to learn one recipe in each section well, and expand our culinary repertoire from there.

The 27 recipes provide a little something for everyone: vegetarians, meat eaters, fish eaters, and those with a sweet tooth. Furthermore, her encouraging tone, helpful tips, and mouth-watering photographs instill you with enthusiasm and confidence, no matter what your skill level in the kitchen. Personally, I can’t wait to try out her no-knead baguettes, veggie lasagne, and baked cod with lemon (mmm!).

What I love most about Meg’s book, however, is her Zen-like approach to cooking. She advocates taking your time, and paying close attention to the process: savoring the textures and aromas, and being completely present in the moment. Her approach transforms cooking from a chore (*having* to get dinner on the table) to a celebration of the food that sustains us.

So, all of you who’ve been waiting for food posts: I encourage you to surf on over to The Minimalist Cook to learn more about Meg, her new ecookbook, and her delicious minimalist recipes. And yes, if I can figure out how to photograph dishes so they look half as yummy as Meg’s, I promise to try my hand at some minimalist cooking posts in the future…

{If you’d like to read more about minimalist living, please consider buying my book, The Joy of Less, A Minimalist Living Guide, or subscribing to my RSS feed.}

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