The birth of the Minimal Cookbook is due to the needs to eat healthy, prepare quickly, and satisfy the palate of my wife and two young children (ages 4 and 6). Along with this is combined the cultural needs of being an American, as well as epicurean curiosity and having dined well.
This is not a cookbook with minimal flavor, but minimal resources (ingredients, effort) for a modicum of health and enjoyment. Essentially, recipes for cooking food which can be sustained over time. In sum, a sustainable balance, including recipes for holidays as well as regular appearances on the menu.
We should not be confused with The Minimalist Mark Bittman, who 10 years ago retired from his weekly food column at the NYTimes.
Nor should this site be confused with A Minimal Cookbook published in 2016. Yes, we share the same name, but not the same recipes.
Primarily this is about working within constraints -- key to minimalism -- including financial and space considerations (my kitchen is not large). One good thing that came out of the Pandemic of 2020 and beyond is that I had to up my cooking game. Restaurants were closed, and take-away loses its luster fairly quickly. In addition, our household was hit hard financially by the pandemic and its repercussions, and therefore cooking at home more became a necessity, not just a nicety.
In August of 2021, I began to seriously change my fitness for the better, which included learning a bit about nutrition and what a healthy diet would look like for a fifty-five year-old who wants to regain and maintain health and fitness over the next fifty years or so. Our family has relatives who were centenarians, and most recently my maternal grandfather lived to 96. If I can live so long, that means another 40 years.
And so, a minimal cookbook has to balance what it means to eat well in terms of nutrition as well as eat well in terms of variety and flavor profiles.