I’ve been using recipes from Aviva Goldfarb’s The Six O’Clock Scramble: Quick, Healthy, and Delicious Dinner Recipes for Busy Families for a while now, and it’s a must have even for you busy-but-frugal yuppies that don’t have a lot of time but are getting sick of that “take out” taste of food you don’t make yourself.
Unlike usual recipe books, this one organizes meals in the form of weekly menus, grouped by season, that then translate into your shopping list for the week. (If you follow an entire week’s shopping list, she has them on her Six O’Clock Scramble web site, too.)
The goal is to help readers shave off even those extra minutes of deciding at the last minute what’s for dinner, and then figuring out what ingredients still need to be purchased. Especially for working families, alleviating that bit of stress can add to some quality mealtime together.
The recipes also do a fine job of balancing the use of fresh fruits and vegetables, with some pre-packaged things (like canned white beans, or a bag of fresh spinach). This way, you don’t have to spend time washing, chopping or mincing too many things, but you also don’t sacrifice that fresh-cooked meal taste.
I don’t want to get in any trouble repeating any of her recipes verbatim, but I can tell you that I’m a fan of the Penne Pesto with Baby Spinach, and the Crispy Rolled Tortillas with Black Bean Filling.
Note to those in single- or double-person households: don’t get too ambitious and attempt to make a week’s worth of recipes…in one week. The portions truly do feed 4+ people. Try out one recipe, and get ready for leftovers.