"I have to say this is by far the question I am most frequently asked, and my answer is always the same: genetics, portion control and fresh ingredients."- Giada De Laurentiis on staying in shape while being a chef
RW and I often like to trade horrible weeknight meal stories. She tells me about her Tuesday night Taco Bueno run and I top it with a tale of two-day-old Chinese take-out. Her Monday night PB&J sandwiches are met with my cup o' noodles. And then occasionally, we surprise each other when we share that rare Wednesday night crock pot Thai curry tale or homemade pizza night. But for the most part, we are testament to the fact that when you are even the slightest bit busy, weeknight meals are generally in the pathetic category. That is why we were both super excited to get our hands on Giada De Laurentiis' latest book, Weeknights with Giada. Giada, you could not have found two people who need your help more. That is probably what we should have said to her when we met our favorite celebrity chef at a recent book signing for her latest release. Instead we were just starstruck and wanted to tell her she was pretty.
I will admit, I was a little skeptical at how "quick and easy" the recipes in this book would be. Giada recipes tend to be a bit tedious especially for a novice cook like myself. But if you are a fan, you will notice she is true to her word, and features some of her easier dishes from her shows. The first weeknight meal I tried from the collection was the delicious and (fairly) healthy whole-grain spaghetti with brussels sprouts and mushrooms.
If you are a brussels sprouts lover (like me), there is no doubt, you will love this easy vegetarian pasta (Non-vegetarians, you will want to give this hearty meal a try as well). And honestly, even if you are not a huge fan of brussels sprouts, the creamy creme fraiche sauce makes you forget you are getting your Vitamin K and whole grain fix. The aromatic Pecorino Romano cheese adds an unexpected touch and the toasted almonds add just the right amount of crunch. Start to finish, we were eating in less than 35 minutes. A Taco Bueno run probably would have still been faster, but Giada/RW, we're making some progress.
image source: SD/RW (See more pics from the book signing here)