“A Man, a Can, a Plan.”

What a name for a book for a man!

Well! Let’s go on.

“50 Great Guy Meals Even You Can Make.”

Yes, a cookbook that is made with recipes for items that come, yes, in a can.

It is a cookbook that I have wanted since 1968. 1968, yes, the day that we, my wife and I, returned home from our wedding trip! Through the door, unloading the boxes and she saying:

“I am never going to cook again. Here: a bowl, an egg beater and a big spoon.”

And for the next 30 years, I did the cooking.

And only if I had had this book.

The author speaks:

“Man, you can! ‘Men don’t cook.’ People tell me this all the time. That’s a load of bull — we’ve been charring giant slabs of meat ever since we discovered fire.

“The difference now is that we have better things to do. Why slave over a hot stove when we could be cooking up plans for a golf outing? Or warming up at the gym?

“Here’s why: because sometimes you want a break from the local Burger-Rama. Sometimes you want a decent home-cooked meal.

“Not worth it, you say? It is if you use the can. The can is fast. The can is healthy. It’s even cheaper than the Burger-Rama mega-deal. The can holds the secret to every great guy meal.

“When you come home from an insane day at work and open the fridge to find nothing but a slice of 3-week old pizza, remember the can. If the guys are coming over to watch the game and you need some food to throw at the TV, turn to the can. When your girl insists that you cook something for a change, you’ve got it in the can.

“With the recipes in this book, you can easily whip up 50 simple healthy meals. This food does everything from prevent heart disease and prostate cancer to boost your immune system and energy levels. And it tastes fine, too. You don’t need a culinary degree to make it. You don’t need any fancy ingredients. All you need is a can opener —and an appetite. No problem, right?”

Now that you have heard the value, the help, the taste why not try one of the editor’s recipes. You might even know him: David Joachim. Not only can he write recipes and develop meals, he is the editor of Men’s Health.

I’ve tried several of the recipes. I will give you one of my favorites and the easiest.

Chili cowboy stew

— 15 oz. can low-fat turkey chili with beans

— 1 lb extra-lean ground beef

— 14-oz can original or barbecue baked beans

— 1 onion, chopped

— 1/4 cup shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese

In a large nonstick pan, brown the beef and  onion. Drain the grease. Dump in the chili and beans. Simmer for 30 minutes. Toss on the cheese. Makes four servings.

The cookbook is interesting just to read, and it is a nicely designed and published book, 43 pages. It was $15.99, but they are now on sale at Joseph Beth “in the hall” bargains. It was just $9.

Joe Rhinehart can be reached by  e-mail at joeprhinehart@gmail.com.

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