Don't get me wrong, I do sympathize with the busy mom. As the mom of four school-aged children involved in various activities, I completely understand how hard it is to get a meal on the table when you are busy playing taxi driver, running your kids here and there. Moms today do not have time to spend hours in the kitchen preparing a home-cooked meal. So what is an over-worked mama to do?
Jane's book offers up a solution to the "no time to cook" dilemna. Her book, Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms, contains over 140 recipes that can be made ahead and warmed when you need them. She even includes a "helpful tips" section right at the beginning to help ensure that your made ahead meals taste freshly prepared right from the freezer. Just make a meal or two when you have extra time and pop it in the freezer. (The weekends are a great time to get some extra meals stashed away!) Then when you have no time to cook and need a meal on the table quickly, just heat according to Jane's directions. No need to hit the drive-through anymore!
What I really liked about this cookbook was that these were recipes the whole family would enjoy. Two of my four children are extremely picky. Give them anything that is unidentifiable or looks too fancy, and they won't touch it. So I appreciate that all of Jane's recipes were kid-friendly and featured ingredients that are commonly found in the grocery store. (Nothing is worse than wanting to make a recipe and discovering you can't find a source for one of the ingredients, right?) Busy moms will appreciate the fact that all of these recipes are simple to prepare, with ingredients they probably already have in their home. You can see all the recipes her cookbook contains here. With such a wide variety of recipes, there is something in there for everyone, picky children included!
So from the point of view of a busy mom of four, I have to give the cookbook two thumbs up! However, I also have to share my thoughts with you from a nutrition standpoint. Whenever I pick up a new cookbook, I can't help but look at the recipes through a dietitian's eyes. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that many of the recipes could be considered "healthy". My favorites include
- Panko-breaded Pork Medallions. What I like about this recipe is that Panko is used to imitate fried breading. You get the feel of fried meat without the extra fat. I recommend Panko to my cardiac patients a lot to make faux fried foods. Most stores even have whole wheat Panko if you are looking to add more whole grains to your diet.
- Honey Mustard Chicken Fingers. Again this is another faux fried food that is relatively low in fat. This one is a kid-pleaser. Just don't tell them it is good for them!
- Chicken Noodle Soup. This is healthy comfort food at its best. Keep a batch in the freezer for whenever you are feeling under the weather. You can use whole grain noodles for added fiber and nutrition. Choose lighter whole grain varieties of pasta if you have picky kids. (The taste is similar to refined white pasta. The darker varieties of whole grain pasta have a nuttier flavor which some kids may not like.)
- Teriyaki Chicken. This recipe is one of my favorites because despite being low-fat, it is brimming with flavor. This recipe could easily become one of my kids favorites. (And that is saying something!)
- Stir-fried asparagus. I am always looking for ways to add flavor to my vegetable side dishes. I love that this recipe has a bit of a kick to it due to the red pepper flakes. It uses olive oil to stir-fry the asparagus. Olive oil is a great source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats.
- Blueberry bread. Contains blueberries which are full of antioxidants and walnuts which are a great source of the heart-healthy omega 3 fats. This recipe also uses canola oil which is a great alternative to butter in baking. Its mild flavor blends in nicely and it lacks the saturated fat of butter.
I really appreciated that Jane used healthier choices in many of her recipes, such as lean ground beef, lower fat dairy, and plant-based oils. Great tasting and good for you! You can't top that!
The verdict: I loved this cookbook and will be incorporating many of the recipes into our family's meal plan. Ease of preparation and the kid friendliness of the recipes makes it tops in my book!
While you are at it, I encourage you to sign up for Jane's newsletter. Her latest issue had a recipe for an Eclair ring that was to die for! I made it for Thanksgiving and everyone raved. Yes, even a dietitian has to indulge in her sweet tooth from time to time. Moderation and balance in all food is my mantra. What fun is life without a little chocolate from time to time?
Don't want to wait to win it?
You can buy it now from Amazon.
You can buy it now from Amazon.
You can also purchases the book at Barnes and Noble.
If electronic books are more your thing, you can purchase it on Amazon for the Kindle.
Jane Doiron has generously offered a copy of "Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms" to one Great Blog Giveaways reader. My heartfelt thanks go out to Jane for allowing me to review her cookbook and for sponsoring this giveaway!
Mandatory EntryVisit the Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms website and leave a comment letting us know what recipe you would make first if you were the lucky winner.
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- Enter any of our other giveaways (located at the top of the right sidebar under GBG's Current Giveaways, or the Kindle one located on the left sidebar). Leave a comment letting me know which you entered (1 entry per giveaway)
- This giveaway is open to US and Canadian residents only, age 18+.
- Mandatory entry must be completed before you can earn any of the extra entries.
- Please leave a separate comment for each entry.
- Entries that can not be verified or do not follow the instructions are subject to deletion. Entries that just state "enter me" or "I want to win" will not be approved.
- This giveaway will end December 27, 2009 at 11:59 pm EST.
- Winner will be chosen using random.org's number generator.
- Winner will be posted here and emailed. They have 48 hours to respond with their mailing address or a new winner will be chosen.
- Please either leave your email address with each comment or make sure your email address is available publicly on your profile. If I have no way to contact you, I will have to choose an alternate winner.
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