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A week ago, I could’ve sworn I would never buy another cookbook again. After 17 years of cooking, I’ve streamlined my recipe collection, simplified my routine, and gotten into a reasonable grove. My problem is, I am super disorganized and still haven’t figured out a great meal-planning method! And, even more frustrating, it’s so hard to manage the perishables and I absolutely hate when food is wasted due to my disorganized cooking style. So I enjoy cooking, but I find kitchen-management rather stressful and exhausting.
So when I heard about this cookbook, Cook Once Eat All Week, I thought it was too good to be true. It contains 26 weeks of recipes including organized grocery lists and utilizes the same major ingredients for each week, plus it is Instant Pot-friendly, Gluten Free, and adaptable for paleo, dairy-free, and low-carb…..doesn’t that sound unbelievable???
Although I could have sworn I would never purchase another cookbook, I ordered this one from Amazon the first day I heard about it (shout out to the Minimal Mom, whose vidoes are absolutely always helpful).
This was my first week using the cookbook, so I don’t have a ton of feedback yet, but I wanted to go ahead and create this review so that I could share photos and feedback on the meals as we eat them. First of all, here’s a peek at a couple pages to show you how it is laid out.
I realy love the minimalist illustrations. It’s extremely straight forward and contains detailed step-by-step instructions for each part of cooking. I actually think the layout will be great for my teens who have a lot of basic cooking skills and are great at following recipes. This book is really not about batch cooking and reheating, but about shopping and prepping ahead for several meals at a time. Which is totally what I was hoping it would be!
Week One PrepWeek one prep involved cooking and shredding chicken, cooking bacon, chopping various veggies and ricing broccoli. A few notes from our experience. I would have gotten very tired of this process without my instant pot. Cooking the chicken and rice was a breeze and if you do not have an Instant Pot, I cannot rave enough. You won’t regret it!
In addition, I do not have a food processor, so I was ricing my broccoli in tiny batches in my teeny-tiny food chopper, which was not ideal. I’ll check the necessary tools in the future before I jump into prepping! This doesn’t seem to be a batch cooking and reheating book at all, so I’m very happy about that. Instead you are planning and prepping for three unique recipes per week, and then doing the last few (quick) steps when it’s time to cook and serve.
Meal One: BBQ Broccoli & Rice
Last night’s meal was a success. My husband didn’t love it but he ate it. The rest of the family really liked it. I think he was less of a fan because the BBQ sauce I chose was a little on the sweeter side than he prefers. Next time, I’ll go with a milder sauce and maybe he can spice his up on his plate to taste. It was amazing to me how much broccoli was packed into this dish, so I was really happy with the health quotient of this meal.
I am (like I have said) kind of a messy cook and tend to measure less often than advised. So I’m not sure what happened here, probably from years of doubling subconsciously, I ended up with a massive amount of this dish. I may or may not run out of chicken and rice for the next two meals! I’m not too worried about the other two dishes, because I’m sure they can be adapted. I just find it tiresome to measure, but apparently I’m terrible at guessing.
I really wanted to learn some new healthy cooking techniques so I am excited that I now know how to rice broccoli (and am seriously considering investing in a food processor). Also, I am thrilled to have learned to shred my chicken with a hand mixer. I know lots of people like to use their stand mixer for shredding chicken, but I didn’t realize the hand mixer would work. It turns out, it was incredibly easy and quick. I will absolutely utilize this method in the future!
This was easy to throw together with all of the prep done ahead of time. I’ve never made White Chili but I will absolutely make this recipe again. I loved the savory bacon, beans, and chicken but it was the fresh cilantro, lime, avocado, and green onions on top that really made this recipe cravable. It wasn’t as spicy as expected but we added some lime cilantro hot sauce for those who wanted a little extra kick. My husband loved this soup, in contrast to recipe 1 which wasn’t his favorite. Everyone enjoyed it! Recipe 1 and Recipe 2 felt totally different and really didn’t feel like a repeat at all; so far, so good!
This meal was also quite easy to put together which was great because I walked into the house about 5:15. Everyone ate it but it was not the hit that the soup was and was probably my least favorite of the three meals this week. However, it could certainly be easily tweaked to taste and throwing leftovers into a stir fry is definitely right up my alley, cooking style-wise. So I think this week is certainly repeatedable because it’s got a lot of flexibility.
I’ll continue to update this post as I work my way through the Cook Once Eat All Week Cookbook. Let me know if you have tried it!
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