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Healthier and enjoyable

Cook Once, Eat All Week: 26 Weeks of Gluten-Free, Affordable Meal Prep… by Cassy Garcia, Victory Belt Publishing, US $34.95, Pp 400, April 2019, ISBN 978-1628603439

If you are looking for easy-to-make healthy recipes, you should look for Cook Once, Eat All Week. If you are living in an urban area with lots of social and economic pressures, there is all the more reason to look for this cookbook. It will save a lot of your time. In Cook Once, Eat All Week, Cassy Joy Garcia says the concept for this cookbook comes from her heart and mind. She writes, “Though I do love to cook, both for the health benefits and for the pure joy of creating in the kitchen, I don’t like to spend unnecessary time slaving over the stove. As such, each week is designed with minimal active kitchen time in mind! Preparing your basic components — protein, veggies, starch — in advance means that you will spend much less time making your finished dishes.”

Cassy Joy Garcia says that Cook Once, Eat All Week saves you time and money because you purchase ingredients in bulk while drastically reducing food waste. For example, there is no recipe that calls for half of a bell pepper — or, if it does, the other half of that bell pepper will be used in another recipe that same week. Moreover, the weeks are written with seasonality in mind! For example, you will not find a week that calls for both acorn squash and fresh tomatoes. Instead, you will find recipes with ingredient lists that can be easily sourced at the same time of the year. She says that you can have variety with a little bit of creativity by using the same ingredients. When assembled differently, they result in a lot of variety. In a given week, you will find only one soup, one casserole, and one sheet pan dinner. You will see Thai, Mexican, and Creole dishes. You will not experience food boredom.

Many of the recipes are Paleo, grain-free, dairy-free, egg-free and nut-free. Cook Once, Eat All Week has icons if you follow low-carb, Paleo, grain-free, dairy-free, egg-free, and nut-free diets. If a recipe is not written explicitly for your dietary requirements, she has included notes on how to modify when modifications are possible. If a recipe in a weekly meal plan doesn’t fit your dietary needs and can’t be modified, she suggests to simply skip that week and choose another that works for you. She has included a table at the back of the book so that you can see at a glance, which weeks are low-carb, Paleo, grain-free, dairy-free, egg-free, and/o nut-free (or can be easily modified).  The delicious and healthy recipes range from “Green Chili Chicken Casserole” to “Curried Chicken Lettuce Cups” to “Sweet Potato Tamale Pie.”

Cook Once, Eat All Week is a much-needed addition to the list of cookbooks for busy people who also want to save money on food. Cook Once, Eat All Week is what many people who are living under different pressures in the urban areas need. Life in urban areas is stressful and the limited choices for easy-to-make food only add to the stress. Cook Once, Eat All Week will take off at least one source of stress if you were looking to prepare delicious and healthy food without spending much time.

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