Only complaint DH has about the recipes is that if you want to mix and match (eg cook the salad only out of a particular recipe), the instructions are all mixed up as if you are cooking the whole recipe all at once. Doesn't bother me though
At the start of the book for 30 minute meals, he talks about not 'freestyling' his recipes because they have been tested numerous times as a complete package. Like you, I cherry picked a dish from a recipe and it was difficult to follow ... I just made it up as a I went along in the end - hoping for the end result like the picture
He also stipulates having a list of items available in your pantry (in jars, containers) - I guess, so you're not opening things and then, putting them in containers. There's also a big emphasis on a liquidiser and a blender for chopping, slicing etc. - I don't have a blender so that would definitely add to the time spent for me.