Side Dish: Survival Guide has useful tips, easy recipes

“Cooking Light Dinnertime Survival Guide”

by Sally Kuzemchak

Oxmoor House, $24.95

256-page paperback

HHH

Sally Kuzemchak offers strategies for getting a healthful family dinner on the table in her just-released cookbook “Cooking Light Dinnertime Survival Guide.”

She teams with Cooking Light magazine to find reasonable solutions to the what’s-for-dinner question. Despite a hectic schedule and kids who prefer the basics, you can feed your family and save your sanity, the registered dietitian and mother of two young boys assures readers.

Kuzemchak, who blogs at Real Mom Nutrition, provides tips and more than 150 easy recipes to solve what she calls “your 10 toughest dinner-time dilemmas.” At the top of the list is “I have zero time!” Next comes “I can barely boil water.” She also offers ideas for thrifty dishes, fixing dinner from a stocked pantry, feeding picky eaters, making adaptable dinners when the schedule is hectic, healthful foods everyone will love, easy-to-make dishes, breaking the dinner rut, and simple ideas for when you just don’t feel like cooking.

Her top dinner-table rule: “Everyone eats the same meals,” no short-order cooking allowed. The book includes recipes for family favorites like macaroni and cheese, meat loaf and tacos, but Kuzemchak also provides “a few recipes to broaden kids’ horizons — like Roasted Brown Rice Sliders.”

Each recipe had to meet three tests: Could she find the ingredients in a grocery store, could she make it in a reasonable amount of time and would her children eat it. Each easy-to-follow recipe is accompanied by smart advice and full-color photographs of the completed dish.

Recipes range from Cornmeal-Crusted Tilapia With Salsa Verde to Berry and Banana Smoothies.

In between are recipes sure to entice your family to the dinner table.

Cheramie Sonnier is The Advocate’s food editor. Her email address is csonnier@theadvocate.com.