I talk about food a lot. And other stuff.

But mostly food.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Great Cookbooks: Eating Well Rush Hour

I'm always on the lookout for great cookbooks. This is the first in a series where I will share my favorites with you.
There are a few things I really really love in cookbooks: Lots of pictures, being arranged by season, and complete menus. This one has them all. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you (my dog-eared, ratty, well-loved edition of) The Eating Well Rush Hour Cookbook.

As is evidenced by this blog, I really love EatingWell. I have been reading EatingWell magazine since the very first issue. It all started with my mom's subscription, which taught us both that cooking in your home can produce complex, layered flavors, and helped us expand our palates and love of cooking. I got my own subscription in my adulthood, and have given it as a gift countless times ($15 for a whole year of a magazine that's basically a new cookbook in your mailbox every two months! What could be better?). After a while, I gathered up all the cookbooks I could. Even after they were out of print, I got them on E-Bay. This one is my favorite. Arranged by season, including whole menus and lots and lots of pictures, and comprised of meals that only take less than an hour to make, this is the cookbook that all others in my collection strive to beat. Most of my standby dishes are from this book - even if they are not kept with their menu cohorts. Most of my "cook something impressive, company is coming" meals come from this book - it's got whole, in-season menus!!

In the late 90s, I lost my beloved Rush Hour Cookbook to an apartment flood down my kitchen wall and into the cupboard where I kept my cookbooks. I contacted EatingWell to see if I could get another - I couldn't even find one on E-Bay at that time. Patsy Jamieson, then food editor and now contributing editor, searched around, found me one, taped some removed pages back in and sent it to me with a note inside:

This was like having a celebrity chef sign and send me something.  
I couldn't believe it.

I looked for it in the shop on the EatingWell website, and I do not see it for sale.  However, I do see I have some serious EatingWell cookbook catching up to do. (I only have 5 or 6 that were printed early on.  I'm sure you'll see them later in the Great Cookbook Series.) I did, however, find Rush Hour on E-Bay if you're interested.

Here is a list of my very favorites from this book, paired where applicable:


Pork Tenderloin with Keys Mango Sauce (the recipe linked here is a variation on the recipe in the book)

Fresh Berry Gratin (possibly my favorite EatingWell recipe of all time)


Swordfish Kebabs 
       (Not listed on the site. I'd get the book for this recipe alone.  I actually made it earlier this week!)


    (I substitute half the water for the rice with leftover coconut milk from the curry!)
I was inspired by this menu in April and made this.

Paella Rapida (I omit the mussels, myself)


Please try some of these out and let me know what you think.  I'm so happy to bring these older recipes out of the EatingWell site, and to share with you my love of this book.  


  1. Excellent!! Nice blog.

    Fred S. In Newport RI

  2. Thanks, Dad! You're a superstar for reading my blog on vacation. Hope you guys are having a great time.

  3. I wanted to say thanks for this blog, which I found through a girl I know from Twitter. I'm struggling to make tasty meals that don't a) taste like cardboard, b) look like cardboard, and c) kill me after a type 1 diabetes diagnosis, and blogs like yours are so helpful. thank you so, so, so much. :)

  4. Carolina -
    Thank YOU so, so, so much. I'm so glad to point you to recipes that help you live a more heathy life and especially ones that don't taste like cardboard.

    I have (very little) experience with diabetes - I had gestational diabetes with my second pregnancy, and can't imagine living with it my whole life. Know that there are tasty things out there for you, and I'm delighted to be able to point you to things that work for you.

    Thank you so much for reading and commenting. It means a lot to me to know you're out there!!

  5. Lucia De'MediciJune 17, 2010 at 4:22 PM

    Virginia, Just found your blog while on vacation this week in Rhode Island. Today I printed the recipe for the Honey & Goat Cheese-Filled Fig Muffins. Something I wouldn't have found without your blog. Keep writing - this is fabulous.


  6. Thanks for the recommendation! I saw this recently in a used bookstore, but I couldn't tell if the recipes were maybe a little outdated. I will have to go back for it!