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Healthy Living

Cooking Without Cleanup

By Sheryl Kraft

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With Thanksgiving over and more festivities approaching, I've come to realize that although holidays can be wonderful, there's always a sigh of relief when you shut the door behind your last guest—no matter how much fun you had.

After all the shopping, unpacking, prep work and actual cooking, it's then that the real stress and work begins: facing a sink full of dishes. Despite the fact that we all pitched in with the cleanup, I washed so many pots and pans this past Thanksgiving that I wore a hole through my extra–heavy-duty rubber gloves! And dishpan hands are no fun at all.

That night before I fell into bed, I told myself I couldn't face any more cooking for a long, long time. And then the next morning when I woke, it felt like a dream, since I was busy writing out my shopping list for dinner that night. (What was most disappointing—and I guess a sign of a meal enjoyed—is that there were very few Thanksgiving leftovers.)

How could I be so very fickle—one minute swearing off cooking and the next, planning on actually turning on my stove so soon? All it took was a new cookbook I happily discovered that could save the bother of washing pots and pans while still cooking fabulous meals.

The Parchment Paper Cookbook is a find. And it's good for your health—both mentally and physically. Mentally, because by the time you're finished cooking, you can be free of any stress and extra work. You can actually sit down and digest your meal in peace, without having to worry about a sink full of pots and pans or baking dishes to scrub. All you have to do is throw away (or recycle) some parchment paper. And cooking in parchment is a healthy way to go, because it uses a minimal amount of oil (if any) or other fat and seals in the flavors, even allowing a delectable sauce to form right inside the packet.

It's not just about dinner, either. The book's award-winning author, Brette Sember, has come up with creative and tasty recipes to cook up breakfast (so you don't ignore the most important meal of the day!), lunch, dinner and even dessert with this ingenious method. Some yummy examples: Baked Oatmeal, Green Tea Salmon with Ginger, Roasted Parmesan Broccoli and Cauliflower, Sesame Soba Noodles and Strawberry Dark Chocolate Crepes.

Now you know what was on my shopping list.

And now for some exciting news: since I love to share not only knowledge but books and other goodies, we're giving away a copy of this cookbook to one lucky reader. Your name will be chosen at random from the list of commenters. I'll notify the winner by e-mail (so make sure to include your e-mail address in your comment). You'll have 48 hours to respond.  If you don't, a new name will be chosen—and you'll be forever scrubbing pots and pans.


I already have a copy of the book, so don't enter me, let someone else win and discover what a great book this is! Just wanted to say how much I've enjoyed this book. It should be on every cook's Christmas wish list!

So glad you're enjoying the book, LL. I'm sure whoever wins it will feel the same way!

would love to win a copy of The Parchment Paper Cookbook.

I am a starving writer and live in 200 square feet. I would be so blest if I could get a copy of that cook book.

That is certainly a limited space, Gail. You must be very good at consolidating to manage!

Hope I win! I could use some new cooking inspiration, and Brette's book sounds like just the thing.

I hate cleaning dishes so this sounds like the perfect cookbook for me.

As good a reason as any to ditch the pots for parchment...

Love the idea of this. Thanks for a chance to win!

And thanks for your comment, Caroline. Nice to 'see' a new face among us!

Love the idea of cooking with parchment. Even though our family kept Thanksgiving simple this year I still found myself scrubbing and scrubbing.

Yes, even simple leads to scrubbing sometimes, doesn't it?

This method of using parchment while cooking intrigues me! No messy dishes to wash after sounds great. I hope I'm the lucky and thankful winner! :-)

Yes, it there's a lot to be said for it. Good luck and thanks for chiming in, Deborah!

This method really sounds intriguing, efficient and green.
I'd love to know more!

It does seem to have a lot going for it, doesn't it? Imagine a life with no pots to scrub...nice.

Such a great idea - I think this is a trend that will capture the kitchens of many.

I'm getting better at seeing dish washing as a zen experience, but I just want to say that I've used this cookbook and the recipes rock.

This cookbook is already getting spatter marks and thumbprints. At Thanksgiving I used it for two different dishes--doesn't sound like much, but it was a great joy to just put cookie pans back in the cupboard instead of having to scrub out pans for those two dishes. Plus the recipes are creative and good.

I will look into this book but I dont wash dishes.. my husband does it all and I lucked out in this department!!

I'm probably too late for this giveaway, but that's okay. I'm definitely buying Parchment Paper Cookbook.

I've used parchment as a liner for cooking on a tray, but not for cooking a whole meal. I'd love to give that a try.

cooking without clean up is a concept that will likely have legions of fans among busy home cooks.

Doing the dishes is pretty boring and tiring, I agree, but there's something much worse and that's cleaning your cooker. Yes, you don't have to do it everyday, but after large festivities such as this one, you're bound to have food spills. Hobs are somewhat easier to clean because you see them all the time, but the oven itself is a whole different story which often ends up getting ignored. I say this because it's just as important, in my opinion. When your oven is dirty your food gets contaminated with bacteria and different nasty smells. In the long run this can be pretty bad. That's why I always try and encourage people to clean their ovens once in a while, even though it so tiring and time consuming.


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