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The Fresh 20: 20-Ingredient Meal Plans for Health and Happiness 5 Nights a Week Paperback – April 23, 2013
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The Fresh 20 cookbook is an essential guide for every mom trying to meal plan using tasty recipes the entire family will love! (Catherine McCord, author of Weelicious)
From the Back Cover
The End of "What's For Dinner?"
Say goodbye to grocery lists with 80 items that will eventually go to waste. No more boxed mac 'n' cheese or canned-soup casseroles. No more wasting money on endless nights of takeout. With The Fresh 20 cookbook, the focus is on creating meals the whole family can enjoy together.
More About the Author
Melissa has been cooking since she was 8 years old and believes health and happiness run thru the kitchen. A former frozen burrito and takeout addict, Melissa has transformed her family food culture by making small changes and switching to a unprocessed diet.
The Fresh 20 is her first cookbook aimed at helping families get to the dinner table without stress and within budget.
Top Customer Reviews
The Fresh 20 did exactly that.
The ingredients truly are fresh, seasonal ingredients, most of which are things you've [probably] heard of, if not at least eaten once before in your life. The recipes are presented in a weekly format, four weeks per season, with a coordinated shopping list before each week [and let me tell you, the first time I went grocery shopping using this book, it was liberating to just be able to take a picture and walk out the door. Literally. It was amazing.]. Because there are only four weeks of meals per season, that means you can repeat the weeks up to four times, giving you FOUR repeats a year! My favorite part about the meal plans is that there are only five days, giving two extra days for events, leftovers, or for a cook to add some family favorites in. Now if you don't regularly keep her suggested list of pantry items [grape seed oil? Never heard of it before this book], it can be a pain to purchase them at first but she does use them week to week and in such small quantities that they last you for a while.Read more ›
First off, I love the shopping list and layout of the book. Very convenient. I was confused about the "20 ingredients" mantra, because it took me a bit to realize that it's 20 ingredients plus a hundred herbs/items you probably have on hand. In other words, the recipes involve a lot of items.
Week 1, spring menu (ratings from 1-5*)
Parmesan Chicken Nuggets with Herbed honey carrots - 4*
Coconut Curry-style Fish with lime coconut rice - 5*
Korean-style short ribs with braised napa cabbage and brown rice - 5*
Pan-seared chicken panzanella - 4*
Baked potato soup with simple cabbage salad - 1*
As you can see, 4/5 recipes were excellent, but the baked potato soup was bland and flavorless, even with extra salt (and optional cheese & bacon).
Each week has a "prep ahead" section, but I quickly learned that each recipe has far more prep than expected. There is a lot of chopping involved, and every recipe took far longer to cook than anticipated. I am hoping to find a few weeks that we like and then just repeat them over and over.
A few problems I encountered:
-The prep ahead included making bread crumbs and 2" bread cubes. I followed the directions and ended up with "croutons" that were 2x2x2 (a 2" cube). I didn't realize this was the final product, and I ended up having to chop them all up for the salad. I think the author meant 1" cubes. Spending 40 minutes preparing bread crumbs and croutons was a lot of time spent!
-My toddler isn't much into eating a salad for dinner, so this presented some obvious challenges.Read more ›
Now before continuing on I am engaged to a Texan. He loves his BBQ and his texmex. He is not the biggest fan of vegetables and was very nervous about me cooking with all the different ingredients I would buy. He noticed I would mainly be in the produce section getting what I needed for the week.
Within a month of joining the fresh 20 I was receiving nightly compliments on how delicious my food was and I finally felt as though I was taking control of my health.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great concept...The layout makes sense - 4 weekly menus for each season. After cooking my way through each season I am hoping to use this cookbook as a tool for planning... Read morePublished 5 days ago by jody l stacy
I've tried The Fresh 20's sample menus, but have not decided if I want to subscribe to their weekly meal plans yet. Read morePublished 10 days ago by Courtney W.
Being a single parent of 3, I wanted something that is easy to cook in the limited 30 minutes I have after work/before dinner. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Weeks
Too many odd ingredients for our household. The concept is great with the shopping and prep; would love more cookbooks to do this.Published 3 months ago by Sue
I like the recipes, some better than others. A few we just couldn't eat. Being Asian, I like "lighter" foods, like stir fry, so the recipes just didn't work as well. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Christina Nguyen
Lot of "fancy" stuff that I guess I just dont have the energy to deal with. I was hoping for simpler recipes. Pictures are beautiful.Published 5 months ago by Sally
We have been using the Fresh20 cookbook for a month. I find that it absolutely helps streamline the dinner process and eliminates the dreadful "what do you want for dinner? Read morePublished 5 months ago by mkt
I absolutely love this book. I pre-ordred it when it was first coming out and I have to say, it was one of the best purchases I have ever made. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Lauren Tatasciore