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Make-Ahead Meals Made Healthy: Exceptionally Delicious and Nutritious Freezer-Friendly Recipes You Can Prepare in Advance and Enjoy at a Moment's Notice Paperback – July 1, 2011

4.1 out of 5 stars 45 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Michele Borboa, M.S., is a health and wellness expert, personal chef, and freelance writer specializing in food, fitness and balanced living. She is a food columnist at ww.ChefMom.com, channel editor at www.SheKnows.com, and the author of the cookbook The Fitness Kitchen. Michele holds a master's degree in exercise science and health promotion and has been a personal chef for more than five years, specializing in healthy, practical meals. She lives with her family in Bozeman, Montana.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Potluck-Perfect Tamale Pie

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons (28 ml) olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 cloves garlic
3/4 pound (340 g) extra-lean ground beef
2 tablespoons (12 g) grated lime zest
2 scallions, chopped
1 can (15 ounces, or 425 g) diced tomatoes
1 can (4 ounces, or 115 g) diced green chiles
1 cup (140 g) sliced black olives
3 cups (700 ml) water
1 cup (140 g) coarse cornmeal
1 teaspoon paprika
1 cup (154 g) corn kernels
3/4 cup (86 g) shredded Mexican blend cheese

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350ºF (180ºC, or gas mark 4). Spray a 11 x 7-inch (28 x 18 cm) baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and a little salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until onions are softened. Stir in cumin, coriander, oregano, and garlic, cooking for 1 minute. Add beef and cook, stirring often, until browned. Stir in lime zest and scallions, cooking for 1 minute. Add tomatoes, chiles, and olives, stirring to combine. Cook until heated through. Reduce heat to low.

Meanwhile, bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add cornmeal and season with salt and pepper. Whisk continuously until mixture starts to thicken. Add paprika and corn and continue to whisk until cornmeal has a thick oatmeal consistency. Stir in cheese. Remove from heat. Spoon beef mixture into prepared baking dish, spreading evenly. Pour cornmeal mixture over top and spread evenly to cover.

Bake for 30 minutes or until corn bread topping is set. Cool completely on a wire rack.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 232 pages
  • Publisher: Fair Winds Press (July 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592334636
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592334636
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.6 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #374,064 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Melissa Davis on February 9, 2012
Format: Paperback
I bought this book about 3 weeks ago because I really enjoy healthy cooking! However, I don't enjoy cooking at 10pm after my shift ends during the work week. I saw this book and thought it might be the answer.

Already it's working great! I've spent the last 2 Sundays shopping and cooking nearly all day. I've cooked 10+ meals from this book so far, though some are still in my freezer waiting to be sampled. It's just my husband and me, but he is pickier when it comes to healthy meals. Basically, if it "tastes" healthy, he avoids it. He's eaten everything so far without complaint.

In addition to healthy eating and convenience, we've noticed another side effect. Though some of the meals require obscure or higher-priced ingredients, freezer cooking has saved us money! I'm not 100% sure how, because I was already planning a week of meals and shopping ahead. (I suspect it's because none of my fresh produce goes to waste when I'm using it in 3 or 4 meals cooking in a single day.)

This book provides instructions for freezing both individual servings (reheat at work) and entire dishes. For us, I like to divide the recipe in half to make a medium-sized meal + one round of leftovers for 2 people. I was worried I may need to buy a lot of Tupperware or other similar products for freezing. Instead, there are clear instructions on freezing with large ziplock bags, casserole dishes, aluminum foil, freezer tape and freezer wrap - all pretty affordable!

So far we both really liked: Chinese Pork with 5-Spice Apples (wow!), Mu Shu Pork, Sloppy Janes, Coconut Chicken Strips, Whole-Grain Pesto Pasta Casserole, Ginger Fried Rice, and Red Lentil Sausage Soup.
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Format: Paperback
I like the concept of making meals ahead and having them in the freezer for those busy times or when I just don't feel like cooking. An issue I've had with some make-ahead cookbooks is that so many of the recipes rely on canned condensed "cream of" soups and other processed ingredients, and end up being high in fat, starches, and sodium.

This cookbook is different with its focus on real, healthier ingredients, all of which can be found at any larger grocery store. The recipes themselves are not complicated so cooks of any level will be able to master them. Included are casseroles, meats, poultry, and seafood; soups, stews, and chilis; side dishes and vegetarian options, breads, rolls, and pizzas; appetizers, breakfast dishes, desserts, and sauces and condiments.

The book starts with helpful tips on freezing and organizing for a cooking session. While one doesn't have to spend an entire day cooking for a month, suggestions are given for making multiple dishes at the same time in order to have several meals ready for the week(s) ahead.

There are several recipes I look forward to trying, including an unusual butternut squash and chard lasgagne, three-bean Italian minestrone soup, turkey sausage and broccoli rabe calzones, low-carb mini quiche, creamy turkey casserole with broccoli and cauliflower, raspberry-lavender crumb cake, and dark chocolate mint cake. I did make a modified version of the All-Occasion Sloppy Janes recipe with good results.

There are many color photographs which always makes a cookbook nicer and although it isn't spiral bound, it does lay open while in use which I also appreciate. This is a cookbook I recommend for those who like to plan ahead and have meals ready in the freezer that are also healthy.

I received a copy of this book for review from the publisher but the opinion of it is my own and was not solicited, nor was a positive review required.
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By me on January 30, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
While the recipes in this book are very healthy, they are often not very good. I have made several recipes from this book and I have only encountered one or two that I would make again. Also, this is not a good book if you are looking to save time or money. The ingredients can be difficult to find and usually expensive. I could not find brown basmati rice or bhutanese red rice. Also, I have found that some of the recipes can be quite complicated. I have no trouble putting the time in if the end result is worth it. Not the case here. I will say, though, that these recipes are very healthy and nutritious. I picked up a few tips that I will use with other recipes.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I skimmed through the cookbook yesterday hoping to find some healthier make-ahead recipes to feed my family. Yes, I found healthy recipes but unfortunately most of the recipes were not something my family (in particular my kids) would not eat. I also found most of the recipes presented could be prepared at home using commonsense.

For example I now do the following when preparing make-ahead or freezer meals:

Use leaner cuts of meat
Drain off fat
Sneak vegetables in casseroles and sauces
Use low-fat cheese
Use whole grains such as white wheat flour when baking breads

Like I wrote most of this is commonsense and I discovered I really didn't need this cookbook.

For those just starting out on the healthy road to eating, or learning how to prepare make-ahead meals, this book will suit your needs.

Recommend with caveats given.
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