Customer Reviews: Cook Once a Week, Eat Well Every Day: Make-Ahead Meals that Transform Your Suppertime Circus into Relaxing Family Time
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on February 27, 2006
It does contain many very healthy recipes (which, I know some others do not, so this may be just what you're looking for), however, they're simply NOT things I could get my family to eat.

Spaghetti sauce with mashed winter squash and flaxseed? Besides, I already know how to freeze spaghetti sauce. Then nachos and burritos made from the same spaghetti sauce? Mexican and Italian foods have *very* different flavors in this household, there's no sneaking that past my pre-schooler.

A recipe for a veggie platter "to munch on all week?" I already know how to cut up veggies and offer them as snacks. And, how this is *so* different from the crudites 'recipe' elsewhere as to justify it's own 'recipe' I don't know.

Quinoa and Carrots? Sesame Fish Cakes with Baby Bok Choy? Lentil Quesadillas with Smoked Almond Apple Salad? They don't save me any time if my family has no interest in eating them.

Lots of menu charts and a good work schedule, as well as shopping lists - IF all the recipes pre-choosen for that week work for you. I suppose if you're *really* time crunched (and eat *very* healthfully!) this could be helpful. Since there are few recipes I can pick and choose from in this one, they really don't help me out at all.

It was the Lemony Baked Shrimp recipe that 'lured' me in, and while I still think it sounds great, I wouldn't have bought the book just for that.

I have found Don't Panic - Dinner's in the Freezer to be FAR more family (read: child!) friendly, with MANY more options that appeal to all of us.
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on January 7, 2007
I am a working mom married to a man who ate too much Americana growing up. Meaning -- I don't have much time to cook, but my husband really doesn't enjoy the typical cream of mushroom soup and hamburger fare that easy cookbooks typically contain. This book saved me! I just finished the first week's cooking. I have five dinners ready for the week, and my husband begged me not to freeze all of the chili so he could eat some for lunch. (And my two year old ate it, too, and loved it. So no worries, there.) If, like me, the thing you hate about cooking dinner is trying to figure out what to shop for each week and what to make each evening, this book is lovely.
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on September 24, 2006
As a Dad who cooks I found variety, nutrition and speed in the plans set out in this well written excellently communicated cookbook. Concepts which before were alien to me became crystal clear and I created my own weekly meal plans to go along with the series that are outlined in the book. The kids actually joined in on the making of some of the plans and true to her word (the author) they actually relished those meals more than the others. Most meals they tried and liked, some a lot and some so so but that's kids and that was miles ahead of where I was three months ago.
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on February 6, 2008
I purchased this book specifically because one reviewer mentioned that it was a little too healthy for her. After looking over dozens of once-a-month cooking books, I decided on this one because 1)I only have to have room in my fridge and freezer for a week's worth of food, not a month and 2)all the other books I skimmed through had a lot of high fat, high carb, and processed foods. I was definitely looking for something much different than a traditional OMAC book, but with all the conveniences that OMAC has to offer.

The only reason I'm giving this book 4 stars instead of 5 is that I've found several gliches in it as far as the shopping list matching the recipes and mistakes in the work order. As long as you read through the week before shopping and cooking, you should be able to find the mistakes easily and save yourself a little hassle.

As far as the recipes go, my husband says that this book is the best thing to happen in our marriage, besides our kids! As a mom of an infant and a toddler, I don't have the time to plan dinner for that night, let alone a whole week. If meal planning was all this book had to offer, I would still purchase it. This book has given me my time, my sanity and my health back. Everyone in my family loves the recipes and I love that it often includes some lunches. We save at least $150 a month in eating out costs because there's always food in the house!

I love that it takes nutrition into consideration. I feel that I'm always eating a well-rounded meal and because I'm getting the vitamins and nutrients I need in the whole foods, I'm not getting cravings anymore. Because of that, I lost 4 pounds after the first week.

The desserts at the end of the book are wonderful. We especially love the Q-Bix for breakfast and the Quick & Delicious Peanut Butter Cookies for dessert.

Overall, this book has been a godsend for us. We're eating healthier as well as eating more things I normally would be too intimidated to try and make. With Theresa's help, my life has become so much less stressful and mealtime is a delight! I hope that Theresa writes another book!
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on August 29, 2007
Reviewer's review above pretty much sums up just about everything I would say about it. They are indeed healthy (it's only plus), but it's the book itself that I have a problem with. When I read the title, I thought a week was a week. It's not though, a week to Albert is only Monday through Friday; to me that's only part of the week. It's only planning meals for five days and quite frankly, I can do that kind of planning in about five minutes so I don't see why this book would be helpful to anyone, except for the healthy recipes for the health nuts out there.

This book isn't one that I would recommend to anyone, except for the reason mentioned already. Thankfully I checked it out from the library and never made it as a purchase. It's going back today without me ever looking at it again.

I would recommend "The Everything Meals for a Month Cookbook," by Linda Larsen instead. Though be warned, the meals aren't as healthy as this book is. However it's better planning (worth the purchase for that alone), has better tips and so forth.
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on January 22, 2007
I got this book for Christmas & it's already got that delightful "used cookbook" look. As a new mother, I was finding it difficult to find the time to cook each evening (or to even think about what to make), and I was heading to the grocery store several times a week. The shopping lists and work plans have simplified my life, and the recipes are really tasty, easy to prepare, & I feel like we're eating more healthfully and with greater variety than ever. And since we're making healthy foods for dinner, it's easy for me to feed our 9-month-old without much additional work (just cut up & share!).

I do find that I'm buying more meat than I used to, but also different kinds (pork & fish - not just ground beef or chicken breasts).

Since there are only about 5 dinners prepped per week, there's room to add in our old family standards, to go out, or to pick out a frozen "leftover" from one of the earlier weeks. I'm recommending this book to every one I know.
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on December 8, 2005
This book is perfect for anyone who finds themselves eating out waaaay too often, just because they can't face pulling together a meal after a hectic day. The idea here is to cook something each week that can spin off a number of easy-to-prepare meals.

Does roasted chicken, beef burritos, meat loaf with salsa, or beef and pasta toss sound like food your family would eat? The recipes aren't overly elaborate or gourmet, just good food. Think of all you'll save, staying out of the restaurants. Think of family dinners where everyone actually talks together and bonds over their meal. This book makes it a lot easier.
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VINE VOICEon March 13, 2008
I have had this book for over 2 years and have never used it. That's not to say the cookbook is bad but I just have so many cookbooks that are better than this one. If you want a plan ahead cookbook I would recommend Don't Panic - Dinner's in the Freezer: Great-Tasting Meals You Can Make Ahead or Super Suppers Cookbook over this one.
This cookbook is separated into 12 weeks of menus. It doesn't account for seasonal foods so not all the recipes can be prepared while all the ingredients are in season. While some of the ingredients are "in" season there are another two that will bust your budget because you'll have to pay big bucks to get them out of season.
Each week includes 5 meals, which most people do anyway. Most Americans eat out at least one night (think pizza night) and the other night is usually leftovers or someone else's house. Some said that bothered them there were only 5 meals but in reality that's all we need.
It is just one day of cooking and everything is either put in the fridge or frozen depending on your desire. The menus are well laid out, the work schedule is easy to follow, the menus have clear instructions (unlike Dream Dinners cookbook), it has recommended sides some with recipes, the meals are healthy, and there's a complete shopping list provided.
The downside is that unless you are willing to eat everything as outlined in the menu it would be hard to mix and match recipes. My example is the 5 spice chicken. You prepare enough to have it two nights, once with hot slaw and a second night as a vietnamese soup. So unless you'll willing to have it that way you'd have to figure out which food to not buy for one of those meals.
Each week comes with a complete shopping list geared for 4 servings. There are no options for making it 2 or 6 ("I want my dinner now" would be a better cookbook for that). You buy and chop all your vegetables at once for the entire week. Example, you'd chop 4 onions using 1/2c one night, 2/3c another night, and yet 1/2c another night. If you don't make the recipes exactly as outlined you'd waste alot of food.
Each week as a combination of pork, chicken, beef, and occasionally fish. I try to save on my grocery budget by buying the "meats" that are on sale that week so if ham were not on sale I wouldn't buy it. If that were the case then I couldn't use this book as at least one meal each week if not two requires a pork product. (Lots of "sunday ham" recipes).
Same with ribeye. If it's not on sale for $3.99lb I'm not buying it at $9.99lb!
But over time if you accumulate all the foods required each week than decide to choose that week to cook, it would be very easy to do so. There are lots of suggestions for turning what you do cook into lunch, if not a second meal. There are a few substitution instructions. Most of the recipes are healthy, there's not alot of cheese, cream, oils, etc. It would be an excellent cookbook for those who make heart healthy choices. Combinations include ham/kale, salmon/spinach/feta, lamb/lima beans, barley/risotto, parsnip chicken stew, scallops/soybeans. None of it seemed particularly appetizing for me (or my children).
It would be up to you to decide if you're willing to shell out the cash to buy all the ingredients and if you like the combinations of foods. I gave it a 3 because it is a well designed cookbook, a few well done pictures in color and overall the layout of the cookbook is worthy.
Just not a cookbook for me.
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on May 19, 2007
I was looking forward to some fun, new recipes from this book. The author owns a "make and take" store, and this is her cookbook. Not only did I find the recipes odd sometimes, but really not very "family friendly". I am really quite disappointed.
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on March 4, 2008
This book is great! My son is eating the vegetables that are cleverly mashed into the spaghetti sauce, which in itself is a balanced meal! I have searched so many recipe books and I always end up adapting, half the sugar, half the salt, half the meat, double the vegetables, but not with this book. I can almost follow the ingredients to the letter (I don't put wine in the spaghetti sauce although wine's supposed to be healthy. Not for my five year old.) I think that the taste is sophisticated and the idea of cooking one night a week is very exciting. The leftovers can be used for weekends if you can't bear the thought of cooking anything else. I appreciate the author's efforts to bring health and nutrition into an accessible cookbook.
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