The Don't Panic Pantry Cookbook: Mostly Vegetarian Comfort Food That Happens to Be Pretty Good for You
“Noah Galuten shares his insights into stocking a pantry, cutting vegetables (even rinsing rice) and cooking everything from simple sauces to sublime gratins with a warm and comforting style (much like his recipes).”
Do you dread hearing, “What’s for dinner? Or “What Am I supposed to eat?”
Then you need Noah Galuten latest book titled, The Don’t Panic Pantry Cookbook: Mostly Vegetarian Comfort Food That Happens to Be Pretty Good for You.
The self-deprecating YouTube host of Don’t Panic Pantry, Galuten is an accomplished chef who has written an easy-to-read and use cookbook with his comedienne wife, Iliza Shlesinger.
The idea for the YouTube series began as a fun commentary by the husband-and-wife team to a recipe (Pasta Fazool) Galuten posted on a live-stream cooking channel. That first recipe and commentary garnered so much interest, the chef decided to host a cooking show. The Don’t Panic Pantry filled a void for people staying home during Covid-19. Cooks stocked up on grains, beans, and other staples and had no idea how to use these items, and the Don’t Panic Pantry provided a much-needed service.
Noah Galuten shares his insights into stocking a pantry, cutting vegetables (even rinsing rice) and cooking everything from simple sauces to sublime gratins with a warm and comforting style (much like his recipes).
He has a few guidelines to help home cooks. The seven helpful hints are:
- Too much of any good thing is bad.
- Balance is good.
- Refined sugar is bad (and it is hiding in everything).
- Heavily processed food is bad (this is where sugar is hiding).
- We should be eating less meat, and higher quality meat.
- Everyone is focused on protein when they should be focused on fiber.
- Stock your pantry to make home cooking a more convenient option.
Galuten delves into each of his guidelines and then takes the home cook on a tour of his own pantry. This section is broken into the following categories: Actual Pantry, Within Arm’s Reach, and Fridge and Freezer.
His pantry is stocked with alliums (onions, garlic, shallots, etc.), canned whole tomatoes, rice, lentils, pasta, oils, salt (he recommends kosher salt and finishing salt), soy sauce, frozen fruits and vegetables. He also lists his favorite kitchen utensils from knives to graters and zesters.
He writes, “I was raised to believe that you should always, under any circumstances, be prepared to cook dinner for six people who arrive at your home unannounced.”
In a section devoted to Pantry Prep, Galuten teaches the home cook the basics from making the perfect egg, prepping a pot of beans to putting together some quick pizza dough.
The recipes in each section are healthful and delicious. For example, the Fruity, Nutty, Ginger-y Dessert Smoothie goes down easy for breakfast or anytime.
Rosemary-Tamari Almonds or Jalapeno-Pesto Hummus are just a few of the wholesome snacks.
There are dishes to comfort and nourish (think minestrone soup, rice with greens and cheddar cheese, or herbed panko bread crumbs).
Galuten’s book is for the everyday cook and for those who think perfection is overrated and trying really matters. The end result, even if messy, is sure to be delicious, healthy and crowd-pleasing.