Cookbook Reviews....The More-with-less Cookbook

The newest edition has an orange cover
Here’s a cookbook I like so much I’m on my second copy…the first one literally fell apart.  The More-with-less Cookbook is one I bought at a restaurant in Kalona, Iowa years ago.  It’s actually a cookbook you can read; the premise of the book was originally a response from the Mennonite Central Committee to their call for church members to eat and spend 10% less.  Mennonite periodicals carried the request for recipes and hints to help members achieve the goal.  This cookbook is a compilation of the recipes; after more than a 1000 were tested by more than thirty home economists. 
I like the book as much for the recipes, of which there are plenty, but also for the suggestions, and the thoughts and philosophy about using and enjoying food without waste.  After 25 years, when I read this book again, I find it has greatly influenced my own attitudes about cooking and choosing what to cook.  Many of the recipes were contributed by church members and missionaries in many countries, so there is a multicultural feel to the recipes as well.  One of my favorite features of this book are the suggestions for using any leftovers or excess food, at the end of each chapter.
The copy I have now is the 25 year reissue of the original…still the same, but with added comments by people who have used the original book and recipes.   It's a cookbook that will always  be on my cookbook shelf!  There is now a 40th anniversary version, however it has been edited and some reviewers don't think it's as good as the original!
Here are a few of my favorite recipes from this book.
Scalloped Cabbage


  1. I grew up with this cookbook. My dad was always hesitant at trying new menus, but my mom would say, "It's from the More with Less cookbook" and not only did he relax, but it will usually become a favorite. How funny, though...I haven't tried any of your favorites. Some of my family's standbys are the hot milk sponge cake, pizza rice casserole, cornmeal scrapple, spicy chicken gumbo, meat-potato quiche....I could go on and on!

    1. Well, I'm getting out my book now...I do like hot milk spongecake, but my recipe isn't from this book. We'll be trying some of your favorites. We use many recipes from this book, I just didn't put them all on the blog!
      Glad to hear how much your family liked it too.

  2. Have loved this book for years. So practical. Also second the hot milk cake.

  3. Those are the kind of recipes I like, as found in the books I have from the 1930s-1950s - mostly locally-sourced ingredients, simple, practical, not over-doing the sugar, economical.
    [Valerie, NZ]

    1. Valerie...this is your cookbook...the book's philosophy is exactly yours and mine.
      You didn't mention that other virtue of those older cookbooks; smaller portions. You seldom see fat people in photos from that era, probably because they simply ate less. Nothing was over-sized; nothing was wasted.


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