Basic cookbook for my brother

My brother asked me to recommend a good basic cookbook. He is very much a meat and potatoes guy who wants to incorporate vegetables into his diet. Oh, and he doesn't know how to cook. Any suggestions would be appreciated!!

  • Posted by: Sweets
  • September 24, 2013


littleman September 24, 2013
I'm not personally a great fan of Rachael Ray, but when my son left for college, I gave him a copy of her 30-Minute Meals. She was a familiar face and voice, and I recognize that she gets people into the kitchen by making them think that if she can do something, so can they. Her ingredients don't break a student's budget, and her cooking is definitely home-style for someone who is away from home.
willow101 September 24, 2013
I would like to recommend The Naptime Chef and Savory Sweet Life. Both have lots of fun recipes.
sexyLAMBCHOPx September 24, 2013
I would recommend Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything - The Basics and a subscription to Martha Stewart's Everyday Food. Small, easy to read, lots of photos, inexpensive and they highlight what's in season with explanation on uses.
TobiT September 24, 2013
I would recommend The Moosewood Cookbook for your bro. I found the way she organized the recipes to be very helpful when I was a newbie cook. The recipes are heavy on the veggies and also on cheese and other gooey stuff. So while I wouldn't say it's a fully healthy eating guide, there is much in there to satisfy someone who loves hearty comfort food.
petitbleu September 24, 2013
How To Cook Everything is great, as is the Joy of Cooking (sorry--have to mention that one). Both are comprehensive, although JOY is more comprehensive when it comes to baking, canning and preserving, and DIY cooking projects. Both have good, standard recipes--nothing too flashy. Great books for beginners and long-time cooks alike.
fernetaboutit September 24, 2013
One more vote for Alice Waters' 'The Art of Simple Food!' It's got all the essential basic recipes, clear instructions, plus tons of suggestions for variations on the recipes!
AnnaBell September 24, 2013
Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything Vegetarian is my favorite cookbook. I was vegetarian when I bought it; now I'm am omnivore and I still adore it. Since your brother doesn't currently eat a lot of veg and is a novice cook, I would suggest he focus on vegetarian recipes add some rotisserie chicken or some other cooked meat from the prepared food case at his grocery store. That way, he can get his meat fix, but he won't have to spend as much time in the kitchen.
Sam C. September 24, 2013
The Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters. All the recipes work, and the book really teaches you how to cook. And though I love both of Bittman's 'Everything' books, where to start can be a bit overwhelming.
Sweets September 24, 2013
These are some great suggestions! Thank you!
Bec42 September 24, 2013
Mark Bittmans How to Cook Everything is great. Tons of recipes, plus lots of suggestions on how to vary recipes by substituting ingredients. Very informative but also easy to follow
Bek September 24, 2013
I completely understand your brother; even though I'm a woman I love meat and potatoes! I learned to cook great veggies, and perfect my protein from Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book. It's very versatile. Good luck!
pierino September 24, 2013
A shameless plug here for Amanda Hesser's ESSENTIAL NEW YORK TIMES COOK BOOK. It is as comprehensive as it gets, combining old school and new.
Brette W. September 24, 2013
How to Cook Everything and How to Cook Everything Vegetarian! Those are the perfect cookbooks to start out with.
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