Top 100 Pasta Dishes – Easy Everyday Recipes that Children Will Love- A Review

During the school year, I try to make 5 home-cooked meals a week. I think it is healthier for my family, and also less expensive to boot.  But it’s not always easy coming up with fast, great tasting meals that everyone will like.  I’m guessing you might have the same predicament in your house?

I was lucky enough to review Annabel Karmel’s new recipe book: “Top 100 Pasta Dishes – Easy Everyday Recipes that Children Will Love” from publisher Simon and Schuster.  It’s a gold mine of yummy, healthy meals, most of which take 30 minutes or less to make!  And who doesn’t LOVE pasta anyway?!?

photo of top 100 pasta dishes book
Top 100 Pasta Dishes by Annabel Karmel

Who Is Annabel Karmel?

Annabel Karmel is a mother of three, a best selling author of over 20 books on nutrition and cooking for babies and toddlers, and the UK’s leading expert on feeding children.  In this easy to follow, well organized recipe book, Annabel elevates plain old pasta to something special that the whole family can agree on.

What I like about Top 100 Pasta Dishes by Annabel Karmel

The first thing I noticed about this recipe book is that it is really well organized.  It includes chapters broken up by not only protein sources: meat, poultry, fish, and veggies, but also by childrens’ ages: there are special sections for baby and toddler meals.  And above each recipe, Annabel outlines what age the recipe is suitable for, how many portions it makes, prep time and cooking time, and whether or not it is suitable for freezing.  Wow!  Annabel also includes LOTS of great photos of the recipes.  I find it helpful to see the finished product (or at least what it is supposed to look like! Ha!) .

The first time I thumbed through the book, I found myself marking about 15 recipes I wanted to try right off the bat.  Our favorite so far is her Caesar Salad with Chicken, Pasta, and Crispy Bacon.  This meal got major thumbs up in our house – including from Nana and Papa!  It was so yummy that my eldest, Alyssa, asked to take some of the leftovers to school the next day for lunch.  Let me tell you, in this house, leftovers are rarely requested to be packed for school the next day.

photo of Annabel Karmel's Caesar Salad with Chicken, Pasta and Crispy Bacon
Caesar Salad with Chicken, Pasta and Crispy Bacon Recipe from "Top 100 Pasta Dishes"

Annabel does a great job of combining things kids love, like pasta, with other ingredients that they might not be so sold on – like certain veggies, or meats.  What comes of it is a meal that children are willing to try and that the entire family can enjoy.  In her book, one of her mottos is: One Family, One Meal – no more making different entrees for kids and parents!

Another thing I really love about this recipe book is that Annabel encourages families to try different foods, and to help develop your children’s palates rather than give in to them.  She includes several ethnic recipes that sound delish, different, and yet still kid friendly like: Stir-Fried Beef with Noodles, and Spaghetti with a Mild Curried-Chicken Sauce.

Annabel also shares many seafood recipes, and encourages introducing them to your children as young as 7 months!  This is something I really wish I had done a better job of when my girls were young.  I’m not a big seafood eater myself, and I’m afraid I’ve created kids that feel the same way.  But seafood is such a healthy option!   I’m trying to do a better job of incorporating some seafood in our dinner rotation.  Because the recipes in Top 100 Pasta Dishes are easy and look so delicious,  I think we’ll be trying Annabel’s Crab Linguine or Teriyaki Salmon with Soba Noodles and Scallions.  Maybe I can turn back the hands of time, and make seafood eaters out of my girls! 🙂

Buy Top 100 Pasta Dishes – Easy Everyday Recipes that Children Will Love

Top 100 Pasta Dishes is available from Simon and Schuster publishers in hardback or ebook format.  It can also be found at retailers like

Win Top 100 Pasta Dishes – Easy Everyday Recipes that Children Will Love (3 prizes) (Closed)

Updated: 10-8-11 Winners Announced: Tiffany, Jessica Oberhauser,  and Megan Scharville

Simon and Schuster is generously providing a copy of Top 100 Pasta Dishes by Annabel Karmel to 3 lucky readers!

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Contest ends at 11:59pm EST on October 4, 2011 when a winner will be drawn at random. I will notify the winners and they will have 36 hours to respond!

This was not a paid post. My own opinions were used based on my perceptions and experience. Thank you to Simon and Schuster who supplied the products for review and giveaway.

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Beth celebrates the everyday wonders of life with a keen eye for deals, a flare for the color green, and an honest desire to share with her fellow moms here in town! Check out more of Beth's recent articles, and subscribe to our daily email/rss feed to see what she writes next!
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