Not THE answer, of course. In my strolls through the blogosphere, not to mention real life, I am always meeting people with the same lament: I CAN'T COOK.
Helpful types are always proffering advice: Get Mark Bittman's cookbook. It's so easy. It's true. It is. But giving someone such a massive tome is often counterproductive: all those recipes are intimidating.
So here's how to begin, carnivore version. Get a slow cooker. Buy a piece of pot roast beef (chuck, brisket,whatever). Put it in the cooker with a little water and an onion. Too hard? Throw in some of that dried onion soup mix. Cook for a long time. This will give you enough for several meals.
Are you a vegetarian or a vegetarian wannabe? Mash up some beans (drain them!). Put on a tortilla with some cheese. Roll it up. Heat in the oven, the microwave, or in a pan. Serve with salsa.
See? It is not a big deal. If you eat both items, you have the basis for 3 meals--half the week.
If I had to recommend one cookbook for the timid cook, vegetarian or otherwise, it would be Jeanne Lemlin's Quick Vegetarian Pleasures. This is not as well known as other veggie cookbooks that, to my mind, are far inferior. (Mollie Katzen comes to mind.) Everything is good and easy. Many of her pastas and grain dishes are one-dish meals. Some are so simple: rice mixed with broccoli and feta, for instance.
The book is short so it doesn't provoke a panic attack or send one back to reading The Paradox of Choice.
If you MUST get the Bittman, this is what it looks like.
The Lemlin (or the Bittman, really) would make a great gift for the holidays. Lemlin lives in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, near where I visit every summer. I wonder if I've ever caught a glimpse of her strolling through the wonderful downtown.