- Paperback: 160 pages
- Publisher: Alpha; 1 edition (1 December 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1465464867
- ISBN-13: 978-1465464866
- Product Dimensions: 19.4 x 1.2 x 23.2 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 522 g
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 26,613 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Healthy Meal Prep^Healthy Meal Prep Paperback – 1 Dec 2017
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About the Author
Adam Bannon and Stephanie Tornatore are the husband-and-wife team behind the highly successful YouTube channel Fit Couple Cooks, where they share their passion for health, nutrition, and cooking with more than 484,000 subscribers. Their viral meal prep videos have given thousands of people the tools to make healthy eating a way of life.
From the Publisher
Tender chicken is coated in tangy hot sauce and served with quinoa for a healthy spin on this game-day favorite.
Mixed Vegetable Curry
This one-pan meal is flavored with an aromatic blend of cumin, curry, and turmeric and served over fluffy rice.
Italian Breakfast Frittata
This savory egg casserole is packed with sausage, cheese, and tons of veggies for a hearty morning meal.
Ginger Soy Tilapia
Making a foil packet allows the fish to gently steam, and seals in the flavors of ginger, soy sauce, and scallions.
With this week's meal prep, you get the taste and convenience of takeout without the expense and unhealthy ingredients. Instead of stopping for fried rice and beef with broccoli on the way home, it's already in your fridge, ready to enjoy.
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I would like to thank DK Alpha for providing me with a free ARC of this book, via Netgalley, in exchange for an open and honest review.
I loved the concept of ‘Healthy Meal Prep’ as I feel a good, routine meal prep is the best way to ensure a healthy, wholefood diet where your energy intake meets your energy output. This is something I am really trying to get back into the habit of right now as do find it the best way to maintain a happy, healthy body/ weight.
So, the actual meal planning information was great. The “how to’s” are very good for all skill sets from the beginner to the expert wanting to brush up on their eating. You can tell both authors are totally passionate about healthy meal prep. It really does shine through that they’re not just writing a book to make money; they have created ‘Healthy Meal Prep’ as a way to help others learn how easy and fun it can be to create well balanced, healthy, whole food meals in advance to save us all time and money. I loved their passion, dedication and plain speaking sharing.
However, the formatting, layout and actual meal contents were a letdown for me, sorry. I think, as a paper copy of the book, the size and level of graphics would work really well, but when trying to thumb through an electronic copy it just make the whole experience rather clunky and hard to read. Especially as sentences were cut off mid-way and not caught back up on until after a few pages of graphics. Basic rules of formatting is to not leave sentences hanging like that. It’s as bad as having the first sentence of a paragraph at the bottom of one page and the rest on the next page. So the formatting/ layout needs some work.
But, on a more personal note, the foods used in the meal plans were not ones suited to me and this isn’t the fault of the authors or publishers at all. I can’t eat a lot of things due to allergies and intolerances, including seafood, allium, brassicas and dairy – to name a few. And so the diets shown in these meal plans were not suited to the likes of me. This does not mean it is a terrible meal planning cook book, it isn’t! It is a great, simple and easy to follow (despite the formatting) meal prep book. It just means I was the wrong reader and, due to the foods being unappealing to me, I marked it down. I am such a stinker, I know.
So, the concept and information given was great… but how it was delivered, not so good. And I was also not the best audience for the types of foods listed. The foods are good, please let me emphasise this! I am wrong for the foods, but the foods are not wrong! Yeah, that makes it soooo much clearer, I know! ;-)
Would I recommend this book to others?
I might. I mean, I liked what it covered, felt ‘Healthy Meal Prep’ covered the topic well… but that layout. Hmmmmm, maybe as a paper book the layout would work better? Loved the authors, I strongly recommend people into healthy meal prep looking them up via social media and following them as they have so much to offer… But this book? Really doesn’t work in the electronic format.
Would I buy this book for myself?
Pretty sure we all know what I am going to say here, right? This book is not for me. I am not saying it is a bad book at all. Just that I found it uninspiring as the meals just aren’t things I can eat. Other people will, I’m sure, find it far more useful.
In summary: Loved the author’s passion. For people interested in getting their lives in order through healthy meal prep, there are some good ideas here.
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OK, first time, it will take a long time. But they didn't tell us that. So we're up at 11 PM and saying, "OK I guess we clean up tomorrow because, work... need sleep..."
OK so first, the positives:
Awesome 1: The results: excellent meals were ready to be reheated at any time. Wouldn't complain about that - it's boss!
Awesome 2: Cleanup during the rest of the week is a snap. And if you instantly rinse and clean your reheating pan, it's a double snap (don't microwave in the container unless you have to, so they will last longer).
Awesome 3: Saves tons of money and takes the guesswork out of "what's for dinner?" And such variety!
Awesome 4: You can use your cooking skills to make it even better than suggested. If you have garlic-ginger paste, homemade, use it! If you know how to perfectly caramelize onions, do it (etc). If you know the trick to making super sweet cauliflower florets by parboiling with caraway seeds, do it! (Oops, I just gave the trick away!)
Awesome 5: The shopping list is really great! Best part of the book.
Warnings I wish I had:
Warning 1: Plan to spend 4-5 hours cooking, the first time. We were two of us cooking together, fixing the mistakes in the Action Plan (Bistro Classics) and dividing the chores generally along who's doing the baking and who's doing the stovetop. We were both chopping veggies. It's more time consuming than I expected. The Bistro Classics had a misprint that told you to do the same thing twice at different stages. And it would say simply "Prepare salmon." with no other instructions for that step other than a page number. Read the plan very carefully before you start.
Warning 2: It's far too low in salt. Example: the Takeout week, Butter chicken. It only adds salt after the meat is cooked. Idk about you but I think meat cooked without salt is flat in flavor. In general it skips the advice of adding seasoning to every step of cooking, in favor of low sodium.
Warning 3: It's kind of low in protein. If you're eating 3 meals a day (and assuming the breakfast has about 12-15g protein), then the average amount of protein is around 15g per meal, 45-50g per day. That's scanty in my book. Unless you stick to only using beef, or unless you add two protein bars per day, this is going to turn out low protein for you. Example: Butter chicken: one chicken thigh per meal? That's 13-14g of protein. Plus a tad in the sauce and rice. I'm used to 75-90g per day, that would be around 25-30g per meal. That would mean two thighs per person per day for that recipe. Maybe the authors drink a protein shake each day and don't realize their protein calculation affected their book.
Warning 4: There's a lot of fish. I don't like fish very much. I only like certain kinds at all. Mahi-mahi (when responsibly caught), Trout, Mackerel, Salmon (meh), so any recipes with fish have to be outstanding to be worth it for me. I do like shellfish much more, so the shrimp type stuff is more appetizing. I know there's a bunch of misinformation about tilapia out there, but I just don't like the fish. It's not that I think it's evil, it's just that I think it's bleh. The texture is like sneakers, even when gently cooked. It might be acceptable as lumps in a chowder, but it's flavorless and yet stinky. Be a bit careful about fish selections if you're finicky, or aren't used to eating fish regularly.
1. Instead of making a full week of food at a time, make each recipe separately until you learn them. Or two on Sat, two on Sun. You can just pick two or three that look good and double the size you make. Everything seems to be geared toward making 4 meals for a person at a time. Double it to save yourself work. it reduces the variety a bit, while simplifying the process.
2. Buy 2-4 half-sheet baking pans if you don't have them already. Walmart has them. You might want to stock up on parchment paper too (not wax paper!). I was using all 4 of ours during the making of the Bistro Classics week. Lots of roasting! And I had far too many pepper slices to roast using only one pan.
3. Speaking of roasting, if the instructions tell you to roast peppers, roast them harder than they tell you, or the flavor is not there. Don't try to multitask while you're broiling roast peppers though!
4. Learn to use roux instead of slurry. I know they're trying to simplify, but I made a greasy mess of one of the sauces because there wasn't enough water in the slurry and the oil separated out and fried the sauce into gooey sludge. Roux is much safer for anyone who isn't a cordon bleu. I don't trust slurry, too finicky.
5. Plan to spend at least 30 min cleaning up after. Maybe longer if your fridge needs a reorg.
6. If protein is important to you, double the meat/tofu suggestions, but if you're making one of the vegetarian ones with beans, I don't recommend doubling it. Consider a protein shake that day.
7. You're going to have some leftovers from something somewhere. Too much mashed potato or too much broccoli, or something. That's pretty normal, not every head of cauli is the same as all others, and the size of potatoes is relative. They make good snacks.
8. Don't forget to have a green salad daily! Even if you're having cooked greens, it's still good practice.
9. As for fish, I'd like to see some recipes that use berries or sweet flavors with fish. Or dairy. Dairy and fish, plus capers is a classic. Maybe they're trying to avoid dairy, but it has its uses in removing fishy smells. If you can't eat dairy, keep a supply of lemons around, especially for tilapia. Edit: There's a peculiarity of fish which wasn't apparent at first. On the third day after the fish was stored, it gave us a bad reaction. A little research and it's apparently common for fish to develop histamine even after cooking, during storage. I think I'll save the fish recipes for when I can make them fresh.
10. Edit: The yogurt-blueberry mixture didn't keep well. The live active probiotics got into the blueberry sauce and turned it sour. Yuck! Probably better to mix them just before eating, or mix them before leaving in the morning, if you're taking it to work.
I really am enjoying the book, but it need some updating to fix a few editing errors and to give some more hints for people who are starting out. I discovered them on Youtube and love the show. So watch their show to get more tips and inspiration. They're good kids and deserve our support. They've done a great job, it's just a bit unpolished. Second edition?
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