Simple in light of ""today's trend toward lighter meals"" and, especially, the needs of those who ""don't have the time to labor over lengthy instructions for complicated dishes,"" this is an undistinguished mixed bag of appetizers, main dishes, and desserts. Included in the first category are several versions of cocktail not dogs, a misnamed ""crudite plate"" which contains lentil and potato salads, a gorgonzola sauce for tortellini from the Silver Palate, and a mayonnaise-based curry dip. Among the main dishes, Matteson points out, are ""many meatless dishes"" (fettuccini Alfredo and linguini primavera among them), as well as such old numbers as beef stroganof, Hungarian goulash, and mixed grill ""for those who favor substantial basic fare."" Desserts too run the gamut from cookies, cakes, and a ""trendy"" kiwi tart to Grandma's luncheon ambrosia and various fruit and sugar combinations. Thus assembled, they stand as a middle-of-the-road scrapbook of fads, clichÃ‰s, and concoctions.