The Everlasting Meal Cookbook by Tamar Adler

The Everlasting Meal Cookbook  by  Tamar Adler is the next stop on my reviews of some of the better cookbooks published in 2023.  You can see all of my reviews to date here.  I had heard an interview on NPR with the author and was intrigued (even before I saw the “Best of 2023” list.)

About the book:

Award-winning author Tamar Adler’s inspiring, money-saving, environmentally responsible, A-to-Z collection of simple recipes that utilize all kinds of leftovers—perfect for solo meals or for feeding the whole family.

Food waste is a serious issue today—nearly forty percent of the food we buy gets tossed out. Most of us look around the kitchen and struggle to use up everything we buy, and then when it comes to leftovers we’re stuck. That’s where Tamar Adler can help—her area of culinary expertise is finding delicious destinies for leftovers. Whether it’s extra potatoes or meat, citrus peels or cold rice, a few final olives in a jar or the end of a piece of cheese, she has an appetizing solution.

Here, in An Everlasting Meal Cookbook, she offers more than 1,500 easy and creative ideas to use up nearly every kind of leftover—and helpfully explains how long each recipe takes. Now you can easily transform a leftover burrito into a lunch of fried rice, or stale breakfast donuts into bread pudding. These inspiring and tasty recipes don’t require any precise measurements, making this cookbook a go-to resource for when your kitchen seems full of meal endings with no clear meal beginnings in sight. Organized alphabetically and filled with foods across the spectrum—from applesauce to truffles and potato chip crumbs to cabbage—this comprehensive guide makes it easy to flip through so you can find a use for all types of unused food.

Sensible, frugal, and consistently delicious, the recipes in An Everlasting Meal Cookbook allow you to prepare meals with economy and grace, making this a vital resource that every home cook needs.

About the author:

Tamar Adler is the James Beard and IACP Award–winning author of An Everlasting MealSomething Old, Something New; and An Everlasting Meal Cookbook. She is a contributing editor at Vogue, has been a New York Times Magazine columnist, and the host of the Luminary podcast, Food Actually. She has cooked at Chez Panisse, and lives in Hudson, New York.

What I thought…

If you’ve been following these reviews, you know that I am relying on our local library for copies.   This is a true departure for me because I would usually just buy the books.   Thank goodness I’ve been using the library because while I have read some great cookbooks, I don’t need to add any more to my shelves.

That being said, I did have to purchase An Everlasting Meal Cookbook right after I returned the borrowed library copy.  I needed it!

It’s not the usual cookbook and quite frankly, I normally would have passed over this one.  It’s dense (like a Bible) and the recipes are written in the old style.  There’s no photographs.   But, it’s genius!

Have a bit of couscous leftover?  Add it to pancake batter with a bit of herbs and vegetables for a savory dish.  Or just modify one of her other “leftover” recipes like a couscous version of Fried Rice or a couple of salads.  (These are all suggestions with page numbers.)

Egg salad setting in the fridge?  Turn it into Egg Salad  Quesadilla or Egg Salad Fried Rice.

We’re nearing the holidays and here’s her take on leftover fruitcake:

Two strange facts entwine in the case of fruitcake.  1) There is always some left.  And 2) it never goes bad.  I recommend slicing what is left very thinly and then toasting and buttering it heavily, and sandwiching in things with strong flavors like Gorgonzola cheese and fig jam, or marmalade and cooked bacon, or thick slices of good brie, and then eating it as a snack with a few sips of mid-afternoon sherry, or a cup of very strong tea.  There will still be some left, of course, but you will run out in time for the next fruitcake. (486)

That definitely elevates it.   With her suggestions, I would just plan on these little bite-size appetizers for my New Year’s Eve party.

There’s not much that isn’t mentioned for utilization here.  Leftover (and almost wilted) iceberg lettuce can be cooked in a stir fry:  Grace Young’s Stir-Fried Iceberg (54).

I can’t wait to utilize this book to the fullest.  For posting purposes (and because The Hubs was dying for cookies), I whipped up some Granola Cookies (487).   I don’t know if it was the leftover granola I used (homemade) or her actual cookie recipe, but these were delicious.  It’s a simple and traditional cookie recipe with butter, white sugar, egg, vanilla, flour, baking soda and cinnamon.   1/2 to 1 cup of granola is used and you can further elevate the ingredients by adding shredded coconut, chocolate chips or raisins.   I added low-sugar mini-chocolate chips and dried cranberries to mine.   

Seriously delicious.   

Ironically, I froze most of this batch so we wouldn’t gorge ourselves.  (They freeze beautifully, btw.)

I wonder what I can make with those leftovers?


I’m linking up with Foodies Read for November.

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