It’s 5 o’clock Eastern time Monday afternoon, and Scottsdale mom and Food Network star Robin Miller is on a plane in Cleveland getting ready to take off for Detroit and stop No. 9 on her 26-city book tour to promote “Quick Fix Meals,” also the title of her weekly food show.
So while’s she’s traveling, who’s doing the cooking at home? Or, rather, who fi xes the quick meals?
“I cook, someone else serves,” Miller says with a laugh. “My husband’s been doing a lot of chili. And there’s all the meals I put up ahead of time so my mother-in-law, June, could pull them out.”
She’ll get a bit of a break from traveling starting Sunday, when she returns to the East Valley for little more than a week of R & R (and a book signing and demonstration at Sur la Table in Kierland Commons shopping center) before she hits the road again. And she’ll be focusing her at-home time and energy on her family.
What’s the fi rst quick meal she’ll prepare? “Everyone in the family loves Mexican food,” she says of husband Darrin and sons Kyle, 5, and Luke, 3. “We’re big breakfast quesadilla people.”
Miller defines a quick-fi x meal as one with fi ve ingredients or less. In her press material, she expands on the definition as “a delicious, well-balanced, nutritious, homecooked meal that’s ready in minutes. ... In some cases meals are ready in less than 20 minutes, in other cases — thanks to meal planning and prep-ahead strategies — it’s even faster.”
Prep time is crucial, and Miller spends “often not a whole hour” each weekend doing just that. She’ll chop vegetables and herbs, and precook chicken, turkey, beef, rice and pasta. Once that’s done, ingredients for complete meals go into meal kits that are popped into plastic bags Miller refrigerates until they’re needed later in the week.
Miller, who earned a master’s degree in food and nutrition from New York University, has more than 12 years of experience writing about food and nutrition and is a contributing editor to Health and Cooking Light magazines. She also provides recipes and nutrition information to the American Heart Association, the American Institute for Cancer Research and Weight Watchers.
She’s been hosting “Quick Fix Meals,” which airs 10 a.m. Saturdays on The Food Network, for a little more than a year. The new season begins April 7.
Miller’s the first to tell you she developed her quick-fix techniques out of necessity. “I was newly wed and didn’t know how to cook,” she says. “I felt there must be a lot of people out there like me, so I took a year off and wrote the first cookbook,” aptly titled “The Newlywed Cookbook” (R&E Publishers, 1991). Five cookbooks followed.
Her meal planning advice to other busy moms and working women who don’t have time to cook? “Just take a little extra time on the weekend, and you’ll be able to enjoy three quick meals. And with no stress!”
If you go
What: Book-signing and demonstration with Food Network’s Robin Miller
When: 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday
Where: Sur la Table, 7122 E. Greenway Parkway, Phoenix
Information: (480) 998-0118 (Taunton Press, $19.95)