Cook it Up: The Mediterranean Slow Cooker Cookbook

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Cook it Up – A Cookbook Challenge

Trish is hosting a fun event to encourage us all to dig a bit deeper into our cookbooks. So I decided to join the fun and check out a Mediterranean cookbook.
The Mediterranean Slow Cooker Cookbook
by Salinas Press
I am a huge fan of my slow cooker. When everyone in your household works full time, having a slow cooker can be the difference between a stressful night and a relaxing meal. Lately I’ve been on a Mediterranean food kick, so this was a perfect pairing.
There are 101 recipes split into different categories. I love that the ingredients focus on fresh vegetables, fruits, fish, whole grains and heart-healthy fats. I love using my slow cooker, but I am not a fan of recipes that tell you to dump in three cans of condensed soup and a stick of butter. Eating a meal that I cook fresh in the evening lets me control the ingredients I’m using, so I love that this slow cooker cookbook does too.
(Sausage Fennel Minestrone)

Now the down side to that is that from what I saw most of the recipes require a lot of prep work. For me, this isn’t a deal breaker, it just depends on my mood. If I make a slow cooker recipe that has lots of prep, I make the whole thing the night before and pop it in the fridge. Then in the morning I just start up the slow cooker. 

One aspect I loved about the book was the inclusion of slow cooker tips at the beginning of the book. I’m new enough to the world of cooking that I learn something new every time I read one of those. One thing I disliked was the prep time and cook times were not included in each recipe. I also wish that I’d had a hardcopy of the cookbook instead of an e-book. I like to make notes on my recipes while cooking and I really like seeing photos of the finished product with each review. I definitely don’t think cooking with e-cookbooks works well for me.

There were a ton of soup recipes that looked great, but the first one I tried was the Sausage Fennel Minestrone. It turned out well, great flavor and consistency. It did take a ton of prep work and in the end the Huz and I both thought it was good but not worth the work. I did love that it got me to use a few ingredients that are outside of my comfort zone like fennel and orecchiette pasta.

BOTTOM LINE: A good cookbook if you love Mediterranean food, which I do. A little too much prep work for some people and it would definitely work better as a hardcopy cookbook instead of an e-book. I'm looking forward to trying more recipes from it.
I received an ebook version of the cookbook for an honest review.
Photo of minetrone by moi.


Kerry M said...

I'm so torn on e-galleys of cookbooks... on the one hand, I love having them digitally so I can flip through a bunch at once (esp. for reviews), but on the other hand, I much prefer a paper copy for the actual kitchen portion.

This sounds yummy, though!

JoAnn said...

I love my slow cooker, but seem to use it most often during the colder months. This title did catch my attention though, so i'll probably borrow it from my library to take a closer look.

Anonymous said...

My slow cooker just arrived in the mail yesterday so I'll have to see if I can get my hands on this book, although I am leery of too much prep work. I'd much rather throw everything into one pot and be done with it.

I hadn't thought of using ebooks for cookbooks. I don't have much counter space and it is easier to prop up my iPad than a whole cookbook.

Trish @ Love, Laughter, Insanity said...

I think that people are fooled by slow cookers--that you can just dump a bunch of stuff in and not have to do any work. I learned during Operation CrockPot that that's not the case. Sadly. LOL! I should use my slow cooker more often than I do--hopefully when the cool weather comes around again. But not having the prep time included could make for some surprises!

I'm also not sold on e-cookbooks. I'll use my ipad for recipes sometimes but I'm not ready to bring my Nook into the kitchen with me. Plus one of the pleasures of cookbooks is being able to flip through the pages! (thanks for linking up!)

Mari said...

I have used recipes off websites and cooking apps but no e-cookbooks. I love having the real thing. :)

Beth F said...

I don't like eCookbooks either -- Especially when the table goes dark just when I'm trying to read something and my hands are full of goo. And I write in my cookbooks all the time too --can't do that with the eCookbook.

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Kerry - I know so many people are paperless, but I love flipping through recipes I use to pick out a few.

JoAnn - I think I end up using mine more in the fall and winter too, but I'll get it out sometimes when it's warmer. I love making pulled pork sandwiches for a summer get together.

ardentreader - This might be the perfect cookbook for you then!

Trish - I'm a big fan of my slow cooker, but it does take effort for most good recipes. I've found that doing the prep work the night before works well for me.

Mari - I do too and it bugs me when I can't see photos of what I'm supposed to be making.

Beth - Exactly! I need to be able to be hands free while I'm cooking.

Meg @ write meg! said...

I can definitely see where having a cookbook as an e-book would be a challenge! I'm really into slow cooker meals these days (nothing better than coming home to dinner already made!), so I have a hunch I would enjoy this one. The prep work can be daunting -- but that depends on my mood, too.

Mary R. said...

My favorite cookbooks are like old friends and are written in and splashed on and in some cases were written in and splashed on by my Mom before I got them. I can't imagine cooking from an e-book. You would have to be a much neater cook than I am! The soup sounds good, but lots of prep does seem like it defeats the benefit of a slow-cooker.

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Meg - Yes, if I'm in the right mood I love the prep work, but other nights it's just not going to happen.

Mary R - I love that! I have wonderful memories surrounding meals I've cooked with the Huz and I love seeing my notes on those recipes.

Leslie @ This is the Refrain said...

We would always end up printing out recipes when we used ecookbooks, which is probably not the best! I definitely think cookbooks work better in physical form!

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Lu - Ha, I definitely printed this one before I made it. Glad I'm not alone!