Rachael Ray 30-Minute Meals 2

On the spectrum of Rachael Ray haters/fans I find myself feeling mostly vague admiration for her. Like a lot of people I'm a sucker for a good Horatio Alger-esque rags-to-riches story and there is no denying the woman's impressive drive and ambition.

I've made some of the recipes from her first book and liked them okay and so I was pleased when I received this book, her second, as a gift. But when I actually sat down and looked through it all I felt was ambivalence.

I made the Supreme Pizza Pasta Salad recipe and it turned out fine. It's a decent pasta salad that kids might enjoy since it does, true to it's name, taste vaguely like pizza. I myself prefer a little lighter-tasting pasta salad.

Supreme Pizza Pasta Salad from Rachael Ray 30-Minute Meals 2

Salad Ingredients

Dressing Ingredients

Combine tomatoes, onion, mushrooms, bell pepper, pepperoni, mozzarella, basil, and pasta in a big bowl. Whisk garlic salt, oregano or Italian seasoning, tomato paste and vinegar together. Stream in olive oil while continuing to whisk. When oil is incorporated, pour dressing over pasta salad, add a few grinds of black pepper, then toss to coat evenly. Adjust your seasonings and serve. Left overs make a great lunch or snack the next day!

The Verdict
2 (out of 5 stars). In general I find the book a touch too hokey and chipper. Meals are organized according to categories such as "Make Your Own Take-Out, Family-Style Suppers, Passport Meals, etc..." when I prefer books organized by protein or dish category. A lack of pictures (except for 8 color pages in the middle of the book) and any nutritional information were big minuses for me. It wouldn't be such an issue except that the book's list price is $16.95 which seems too high to me. It feels like her publisher wanted to take advantage of Ray's new-found popularity and jacked the price up without adding a lot of value of content.

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