Weight Watchers Meals in Minutes Cookbook, 1989

I found this cookbook at a charity thrift store, for $1 (It was priced $2, but it was 1/2 off day). It is available on amazon.com in softcover and hardcover for under a $1 (plus $3.99 shipping).  If ordering from amazon or other online sources, make sure you’re ordering the correct version (look for the 1989 publishing date), as Weight Watcher’s has published several books under similar titles.  I don’t know if these are all different editions of the same book, or if they contain substantially different recipes.

The book I purchased is the softcover edition (starting at 1 cent on amazon.com, there is also a hardcover edition starting at 88 cents).  Given the choice, I would have prefered the hardcover edition, because hardcovers are less prone to loose pages.  I have found that some pages, especially the photo pages are coming loose (none have detached, yet).   It’s a relatively minor problem (especially for the price).   

The Introduction contains some very good information and tips on shopping , organization, and cooking techniques.  On page 12 of the softcover edition, it lists a calorie breakdown for each exchange (the Optional Calories per Exchange is the calorie equivalent.)

The nutritional information is a bit dated, but mostly still accurate and applicable.  I would argue that “our bodies require about 40 different nutrients to stay healthy” (p. 13 in the softcover edition) is probably a significant underestimation, as food researchers discover more and more vital micronutrients.

Only a fraction of the 100+ recipes are photographed (28 recipes by my count, are spread between 24 pages of photos).  The photo pages are separate from the recipe pages, so cross-referencing is necessary.  However each recipe does list serving, nutritional analysis and exchange information on the recipe page (I’ve encountered old Weight Watcher’s cookbooks where the nutritional and exchange information was in an index at the back of the book, so you had to cross-reference the recipes with not only the photos but also the nutritional and exchange information.)

The range of recipes is quite nice, from traditional American “basic” recipes like Blueberry Pancakes, Turkey Shepherd’s Pie, Old-Fashioned Beef Soup, and Philadelphia Cheese-Steak Hoagies to more exotic and international recipes like Portuguese Lamb, Caviar Dip, Hoisin Duck with Eggplant, Chicken and Pistachio Pate…’

Most of the recipes are designed for the microwave and/or stovetop.  I generally only use my microwave for heating up leftovers or frozen dinners, thawing frozen foods, and making bacon, baked potatoes, and microwave popcorn.  If like me, you tend to buy the cheapest microwave available, you may find that cooking in the microwave doesn’t always yield the greatest results.

I can’t vouch for the taste of any of the recipes,  but first on my list of to-try recipes is the Hoisin Duck with Eggplant.  The recipe calls for a half pound of duck breast.  Duck is rather difficult to find locally (except as whole birds which are pretty expensive), so I will probably substitute chicken thighs for duck breast in the recipe.   Since duck and chicken are each 1 point per ounce, the exchange information will still be accurate (though the calorie and nutrition counts may be a bit off).

For my dollar, I’m very happy with my purchase.

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