Cheap. Fast. Good! is a cookbook by Beverly Mill and Alicia Ross, the authors of the Desperation Dinners cookbook and nationally-syndicated newspaper column. They specialize in family-friendly inexpensive dishes that you can whip up from ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen — in probably a half an hour or less.
I picked this recipe book up at a book sale sponsored by my son’s school. Frankly, I don’t read the newspaper regularly, and our local rag doesn’t carry the Desperation Dinners column, so I wasn’t familiar with Beverly and Alicia’s work before I bought this book. One of the things that attracted my attention was that they don’t just give you recipes, they also include shopping tips, kitchen hints and meal-planning ideas.
So anyway, I figured, I’m a cheapskate, and I’m always in favor of “easy,” and this book seemed to be right up my alley. So I gave it a try.
Now, I have to be honest. You’re not going to win any culinary awards with any of these recipes. This is not haute cuisine. If you’re a big fan of spicy or highly-flavored foods, or you’re a stickler for authenticity for ethnic recipes, you may be disappointed. These are definitely kid-friendly dishes, so they may tend toward the mild.
But if you’re a working parent like me, and you need to put tasty, nutritious, economical meals on the table quickly — preferably, meals your kids will actually eat — then Cheap. Fast. Good! could be a lifesaver.