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We bought the kindle version of this cookbook. I was looking for something to give me ideas for use in a Ninja Foodi that I got for my birthday. I love the recipes. So far I've made two of the recipes. Both super easy with normal ingredients--not extraordinary items. I made the butternut squash soup and also the lentil soup. Delicious! Also both are easy to tinker with if you want to add or subtract ingredients.
I am making my way through the cookbook and for the most part I am impressed with the simplicity of the recipes. However, tonight I made the Salmon with Potatoes and Asparagus. There is no fat in the dish except in the salmon itself (some fat is needed for flavor) and it said to cook for 3 minutes on high and then sit for 5. This was not enough and yielded frozen salmon. I wish she had really worked through all the recipes to make sure that they worked. I would buy it again but I wish there was a way to provide feedback to her. I sure would want that if I had thousands of people using my recipes.
I've been on a healthy cooking binge and I have enjoyed many of the recipes. They aren't hard to make and the instructions are pretty easy to follow. I can often get everything I need from Wal-Mart (order online so I save some time). It's a convenient book, especially if you have time to prep your meals. I'm enjoying the meals, especially the desserts!
3.0 out of 5 starsJust okay, meal plan too repetitive and calories don't add up right, lacking in photos
Reviewed in the United States on 22 October 2020
I really wanted to like this book, it sounded like such a great idea, but it is a bit flawed and ended up being only "okay". I was excited at the prospect of easy one pot meals and was not expecting a fully planned out four week meal plan. I couldn't really use that for our family, even with the the author's idea of doubling the recipes. The meal plans themselves rely heavily on left overs, and kids just don't always want to eat the same thing over and over. One could, I suppose, not have have left overs and simply use the portions that were earmarked for leftovers as the kid portions but then there are holes in the meal plan. But it isn't just leftover that cause repetition, week one breakfasts for example uses the cherry chocolate smoothie three times and the sweet potato sausage and egg skillet twice and none of these are leftovers. I get it, the author has prepared weekly shopping lists and the meal plan is made to use what was purchased each week and try to limit what one has to buy in any single week. Any of these problems aside, I still couldn't use the meal plan to feed my family, nor even just two people, nor even just myself, really. The author states that the meal plan is based on and average of 1600 calories a day which would produce nice slow steady weight loss if the regular calories before this program were 2000. The problem is that the meal plan doesn't add up. Week one day one, for example, barely hits 1200 calories, week one day two doesn't even break 1000 calories. If you aren't trying to feed a family where the other members don't need to reduce calories, or if don't mind the daily calorie count being all over the map and occasionally dipping quite a bit below 1000, then the meal plan is fine. That being said, one thing that would have been really helpful is if in the meal plans the author put the page number for the recipes because the recipes are organized by cooking vessel not by what week or day you will need them.
Okay, no biggie, wasn't expecting a meal plan anyway, so I will just use the book for healthy easy one pot recipes to add to my repertoire. Well..... Okay, first off, I would have preferred more photos, there is only one at the start of each recipe section. Next, I kind of felt like some recipes weren't really tested that well because the cook times were off. For example, on the lentil and spinach soup, sautéing the carrots with the onions and celery for four minutes then only pressure cooking the whole soup for only 15 minutes left me with carrots and lentils that were not soft enough, the overnight oats were too hard and not soft and chewy, and the cook times on both of the salmon recipes were ridiculously too short. I know on the salmon and broccoli recipe the author states to cook the salmon five to eight minutes or until "cooked through", but still, even eight minutes was so far off from reaching the author's recommended internal temp of 145 degrees it was crazy.
These complaints aside I liked a lot of the recipes enough as is or with a little tweaking like some added herbs here or there for a little flavor boost that I am glad I have the book on my shelf. A friend of mine was intrigued by the book and took photos of several of the recipe pages with her phone to use in her household too. I also do like the macros balance she proposes for a 1600 calorie a day plan and have tried to implement that ratio with success and ease in maintaining that wihtout feeling like I was cutting anything out or depriving myself anything.
I'll be frank and admit that I'm picky about cookbooks. Not many earn a place on my book shelf. I'm that person who will eventually cut out the 2 or 3 recipes that I like, put them in a binder, and pitch the rest of the book. However, this one has earned a permanent place on my book shelf.
The book covers a 28 diet of healthy meals, and even contains grocery lists for each week. In addition to the recipes, there are many helpful tips throughout the book. Instead of being limited to just one sort of cooking appliance, it has recipes for the slow cooker, skillet, sheet pan, blender, electric pressure cooker (Instant Pot), Dutch oven, soup pot, and casserole dish. Most home cooks are going to own many or even all of those appliances. There are many photographs throughout the book. I would prefer to have a photo of each finished recipe, but I do understand the cost restraints of doing that.
We have tried quite a few of the recipes over the last few weeks, and have been pleased with all of them so far. Nearly everything is what I would consider 'normal' food. There aren't any strange ingredients that I've never heard of, and with just a couple of exceptions, I already have all of the recommended spices. I'm stepping out of my comfort zone with a couple of the recipes, but I've been pleased so far.