To her credit, Dupree (Nathalie Dupree Cooks Great Meals for Busy Days, not reviewed) does some innovative things with canned, frozen, and dried foods in these recipes, but the results will only inspire fantasies of how good these dishes would taste if made with fresh ingredients. For example, a sauce of canned chickpeas, canned tomatoes, and spices served over pasta has an interesting taste but a mushy texture. Dupree herself sabotages a low-fat dip made with yogurt cheese (the solids remaining after water is drained from yogurt) and cottage cheese; although it's packed with tasty vegetables and herbs, their flavors are knocked flat by a hefty tablespoon of curry powder. Sometimes Dupree's methods just don't work: Sweet potato chips were flabby and crunchless after being brushed with oil, sprinkled with a sweet-and-spicy mixture containing cinnamon and cayenne pepper, and baked. A confusing system of symbols indicates which foods can be prepared with pantry essentials alone and which require other ingredients, but categories like ``the Asian pantry'' and ``the international pantry'' seem to overlap. The inclusion of simple fare like baked potatoes is unlikely to help anyone out, but the alternative is recipes with long ingredient lists, like Chinese-Style Chicken with 15 items, many of them spices. A cookbook best left on the shelf.