Keeping on top of social media, I follow many nutrition blogs, Twitter feeds and Facebook groups. It keeps me up to date in the world of healthy eating. Through this amazing cyber world I met Aviva Goldfarb who works and lives in Maryland. She is the author of the new cookbook SOS! The Six O’clock Scramble to the Rescue. I was trying to win a copy all summer but ended up heading over to Amazon. It sounded like the ideal book for me. It was described as being the perfect tool for busy health conscious moms. Hey that’s me! The majority of the recipes take about 30 minutes from prep to table. That’s impressive. The book is divided up by seasons to maximize seasonal produce. I have been telling clients for years that this is the best way to cook.
The cookbook was deliverd in August but I didn’t read through it until a few weeks later. I read cookbooks like other people read novels. I take my time and go through every recipe. I fold over the corners if it’s a recipe I intend to make. By the time I had finished reading this book I had folded over more than half the pages in the book and there were a lot of recipes in this book. The recipes have codes for vegetarian, Kosher style, extra speedy and make ahead.
Here is where it gets interesting. Aviva has a website that contains all the recipes in the book plus hundreds more. If you are a subscriber, you get a meal plan in your e-mail box every Wednesday. Each meal plan contains a variety of 5 recipes plus a grocery list. All of these recipes are tested by Aviva and 5 other families. Now if you like living on the edge than this is a no-brainer easy way to cook for your family. However, if you are picky like me and always feel like cooking what you want to cook then someone telling you what to cook is not an option. Guess what? You can customize your weekly plan with Aviva’s site. The first week I chose 6 recipes from her book that I liked. Then I added them to the create my meal plan section and then (here is the best part) I clicked “print grocery list”. It was stupid easy. I used this method the week I got my new fridge so I needed to replace a lot of food. The grocery list contained every single item I would need to make the 6 recipes I chose. I had to replace a lot of staples. The next week I typed in the protein I wanted to make and chose another 6 recipes but from the website list instead of the book. I clicked the easy button again and voila my grocery list was printed. The third week I tried a few web based recipes plus a few from the book.
I really don’t like following rules so the benefit to meal planning this way is that I can decide every night which of those meal I will make. I know I have all the ingredients so it doesn’t matter which I order I cook them in. In the past, I tried chicken Mondays and pasta Thursdays but I got bored pretty quickly with this type of meal planning. I need variety and spontaneity. I am not saying this is a bad method because it works very well for many people. I just know myself and cannot commit to Fishy Friday.
Aviva has generously donated a 3 month subscription to her awesome website. If you are interested please leave a comment on this post and follow Aviva and me on Facebook. I will randomly select a winner on October 26th. Thanks!