Posts tagged ‘chicken rice roger’

Healthy as I-Don’t-Know-What


In the run-up to the re-release of The I Hate to Cook Book I’m constantly asked in interviews, “Do you think these recipes are healthy?”  It’s a loaded question.  Healthy compared to what?  A bowl of brown rice?  The Triple Baconator® from Wendy’s?  My answer is always this:

Created in the late fifties, I Hate to Cook Book dishes were reflections of their time.  What’s more, in the sense they aimed to free women from the tyranny of the kitchen, they were also ahead of their time. 

They’re in step with my mother’s philosophy, too, which is that wholesome home-cooked meals consumed moderately are good for you.  It’s today’s so called fast or processed foods that do you in.  And believe me, Peg Bracken practiced what she preached.  She ate small portions of pretty much anything she liked.  She loved her milk and cookies (almost as much as her daily martini), never came near a burger joint, and lived happily and vigorously to the age of eighty-nine.  We should all be so lucky.

Are IHTCB recipes low in fat?  Not overly.  But with a soupçon of imagination, plus a few swaps or omissions, many can easily be made so.  For example, I prepare a family favorite, Chicken-Rice Roger, without any of the requisite butter, and it tastes wonderful.  (Hint: using thighs instead of breasts helps a lot.) 

Mom did this, too, even with her own recipes.  And it was after tinkering with those of other cooks that she established the rule:  always substitute the FIRST time, so you won’t miss what you haven’t tasted.

With more and more families eating fast food for dinner, I Hate to Cook Book recipes are perfect for busy chefs who want to create a tasty, hearty meal using common ingredients in comparatively little time, and for relatively little money.  As for your health, they’re a damn sight better than a trip to the drive-through. 
(Lipitor® mints, anyone?)

July 16, 2010 at 12:47 pm 1 comment


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