The Perfect Cookbook For Busy Folks on a Budget: Caroline Wright's Twenty-Dollar, Twenty-Minute Meals

Have you ever held a book in your hand and just knew right away that there was something special about it? That's the case with Twenty-Dollar, Twenty-Minute Meals by newly minted cookbook author Caroline Wright. Having had the pleasure of working with Caroline at Everyday Food, I knew that she was bound for bigger things and it was no surprise to find out she was working on this cookbook. I first heard about it some years ago and had the pleasure of testing some of its recipes when the book was just a manuscript. And I have since added many of those recipes to my repertoire, including my favorite, the Catfish Sandwiches with Radish Remoulade on page 52.

So when I heard the book was being published by Workman, I was overjoyed with the prospect that Caroline's 20/20 concept would be available for all to use, not only her friends. This cookbook is brimming with playful photography of food that you just want to stuff your face with. Caroline's recipes are simple, effortless roadmaps for getting dinner on the table for four people in 20 minutes or less, with each recipe coming in under $20. Now for busy folks like me who are on a tight budget, it's a godsend for sure. And not to mention these recipes are great for leftovers the next day. If you happen to be a single person or one half of a couple, those two to three extra portions are just as good enjoyed the next day. These recipes are not just for dinner or four people for that matter.


To celebrate the launch of the book, Caroline is hosting a virtual dinner party. And for this special event I made the Mustard Greens and Paneer with Indian Spices on page 155, a very easy dish that makes a great vegetarian dinner when served with flatbreads and/or rice. The Indian cheese paneer has a great texture like firm tofu when it's fried. The mustard greens take on an even spicier flavor when cooked with Indian spices. You'll definitely like a bowl of rice or bread to tame your palate if you're not used to the heat, but I adore some good spicy food to get my blood circulation going. If you're looking for the next great cookbook, one that you'll wan to use every day, then look no further.

I'm giving away a copy of Caroline's new book, Twenty-Dollar, Twenty-Minute Meals. Leave a comment below and one winner will be chosen randomly. The winner will be announced on May 14 at 9pm. Comment only once. Duplicate entires will not be considered.

Mustard Greens + Paneer with Indian Spices

Heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 8 ounces paneer cheese, cut into 1-inch cubes, and fry until golden, 6 to 8 minutes; transfer to a plate.

Place 1/2 teaspoon garam masala, 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric, and 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper in the skillet, and toast until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add coarsely chopped leaves from 1 bunch mustard greens (about 1 pound) and cook, tossing occasionally, until wilted and tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the paneer and serve.

Excerpted from Twenty-Dollar, Twenty-Minute Meals
Copyright 2013 by Caroline Wright
Used by permission of Workman Publishing Co., Inc. New York
All Rights Reserved
Join the Virtual Dinner Party

Cacio e Pepe from Matt at Matt Bites
Breaded Chicken Cutlets with Pea Salad from Catherine at Weelicious
Zucchini Ribbon Salad from Sarah at Edible Living
Steak with Herb Sauce and Buttered Radishes from Olga at Sassy Radish
Celery Root Rosti from Tara at Seven Spoons
Speck and Arugula Pizza from Caroline at Food52
Pasta Handkerchiefs with Broccoli Rabe + Ricotta from Lauren at Devour
The book’s story and welcome from Caroline at The Wright Recipes