Cookbook aims to save you time during week

For so many people, it is easier to just grab something from a fast food place, a frozen dinner or some sort of other processed packaged food during the weeknight with hectic schedules. But for those who need to eat gluten free or those who just want to eat healthier, that isn’t such an easy option. Bestselling author Cassy Joy Garcia has another way for home cooks with her new book, “Cook Once, Eat All Week.”

This book aims to meal prep a bunch of ingredients on one way, and then throw together the ingredients the rest of the week in a dish that takes a lot less time to make. So it is just as easy to do as picking up fast food.

The book is divided into 26 weeks of three main ingredients that cooks can then use to make three recipes during the week. Now how long that is going to last all depends on the size of family you are cooking for. With 2 people, that basically makes plenty of leftovers for other dinners or lunches during the week. If you have 5 people at home like me, that makes 3 dinners with no leftovers — unless the picky eaters didn’t like it then you have plenty of leftovers. So there is a guide inside about how to tell if you need to double recipes, use two weeks or whatever method works best.

There is a lot of food storage involved, and the book also goes into the best method and containers for such things, because it does matter, in regards to food safety.

There is also a section that talks about food swaps, for those with dietary issues, so its easy to become dairy-free, grain-free, low-carb, add or subtract protein and the same with veggies.

I tried out the first week menu: Shredded Chicken Broccoli and Rice. There is a list at the beginning that tells you everything you will need and then the prep day instructions are very easy to follow and very organized. You cook the chicken, rice and bacon, then measure out and put in different containers for each day, then prep the broccoli for the different recipes and store it in different containers, as well as the other vegetables.

The first recipe, BBQ Chicken and Rice Casserole, I really liked, in which it made a pilaf with the broccoli and rice and then put barbecue chicken on top. It’s cook time was 30 minutes.

The second recipe was White Chicken Chili that needed vegetables to simmer and bit and then added broth, beans, corn and shredded chicken to simmer for 10 minutes. I thought it was the easiest to make.

Chicken and Broccoli Fried Rice was good, with rice and broccoli florets and then shredded chicken. It cooked in about 15 minutes.

I thought they were all pretty good recipes, and it did cut down on the cooking time, especially for the chicken, but for some of the items, I felt like it took longer for me to cut and mix the first day than if I had just done it the day I needed it. However, for people who have trouble with timing, and I admit I sometimes do, this made sure that everything came out at the right time and nothing was sitting around waiting.

There is a lot of variety in the book and cooks could easily fit this into their weekly routine.

“Cook Once Eat All Week” is published by Victory Belt Publishing. It is $34.95.


Contact Amy Phelps at aphelps@newsandsentinel.com