Book Review: Fix-It and Forget-It Lightly by Phyllis Pellman Good

Buying a crock pot has been a life changing experience. Throw a few ingredients into this magical pot and deliciousness comes out. In the interest of full disclosure, I should tell you that, as a white belt in the kitchen, slow cooking is a dream come true. The problem I've encountered is that recipes intended for slow cookers are generally loaded with fat and calories. Not so so for the collection of recipes in Fix-It and Forget-It Lightly.
The author, Phyllis Pellman Good, is a prolific producer of cookbooks (I'm a huge fan!) and has written numerous Fix-It and Forget-It books. She has a soft spot for anyone who doesn’t know how to cook, but wants to or needs to. You can find out more about her and the Fix-It and Forget-It Series by visiting the Fix-It and Forget-It blog. You'll surely want to check out the recipe of the week for more delicious slow cooker recipe ideas.

There is a lot to love about this cookbook. The layout is clear and easy to read, starting with The Main Courses: Chicken and Turkey, Beef, Pork, Bean & Other, and Seafood. The Extras may very well be my favorite part, since it includes all the goodies such as Appetizers, Snacks, Spreads, Beverages, Breakfast Dishes, and Breads. The index is all-inclusive, listing both recipes and main ingredients ("Pears", for instance, under which you'll find "Carmeled Pears 'n Wine" and "Golden Fruit Compote", and "Pear Butter". Sweet!)
Phyllis has amassed a variety of recipes including Chicken Chili with Pesto, Cowtown Favorite, 10-Layer Slow-Cooker Dish, Hungarian Goulash, Irish Mashed Potatoes, Boston Brown Bread, and much more. I recently made "Diet" Soup-Cabbage Soup (see below), and it was delectably thick and hearty.

Each recipe is attributed to its contributor (the Chocolate Mud Cake, for example, came from Marci Baum, of Annville, PA.), and the number of servings, as well as the ideal slow-cooker size for each recipe, is clearly stated. Best of all, no guesswork is needed for those who want to follow nutritional guidelines. Per serving nutritional information (calories, fat, cholesterol, sodium carbohydrates, protein, vitamins, and minerals) is included at the foot of each and every recipe.

There are a few downsides to the book. I would have liked to have pictures included, especially for recipes like Tomato Green Bean Soup or Pizza in a Bowl. These titles just cry out for imagery. Additionally, pictures are sometimes the only way a white belt like me can know if a recipe turned out as intended. Still, what it lacks in imagery, it makes up with more than five hundred new and revised recipes. So in this instance, it's a fair trade. One more minor complaint--some of the recipes are not going to make calorie and fat counters happy. Page 26's "Chicken Dinner", for example: has 530 calories per serving and 9 grams of fat. However, a large majority of recipes fall under 500 and many under 100 calories, so it's really easy just to skip over the recipes that go over your daily calorie intake.

My copy of the book is paperback, though I noticed both spiral-bound and hardback formats available on Amazon. Many of my friends prefer the spiral-bound, but the paperback works just fine for me, as I have a bookstand that works well for both paperback and hardback books. Also terrific, there is a lot of room under each recipe for the cook to jot down notes. It helps me keep track of recipes that I love and recipes that I don't love so much.

Fix-It and Forget-It Lightly: Healthy, Low-Fat Recipes for Your Slow Cooker by Phyllis Pellman Good is a great resource for mouth-watering quick and healthy recipes. I would recommend this book to all my friends with crock pots.

Makes 10 servings (Ideal slow cooker size: 5- or 6-quart)

Per Serving: 60 calories, 0.5g fat, 3g protein, 0mg cholesterol, 330mg sodium, 14g carbohydrates, 4g fiber, 8g sugar, 50% DV vitamin A, 80% DV vitamin C, 6% DV calcium, 6% DV iron

Cabbage Soup
  • 1 head cabbage, sliced thin
  • 3 onions, chopped
  • 2 lbs. tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 medium-sized carrot, thinly sliced
  • 1 red or yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken bouillon
  • 1 pkg. dry onion soup mix

  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a slow cooker.
  2. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours; or cook on low for 6-8 hours.
  3. Remove the lid and enjoy your delicious "Diet" Cabbage Soup
Article first published as Book Review: Fix-It & Forget-It Lightly by Phyllis Pellman Good on Blogcritics.