I love meal planning. It really takes the stress away from feeding my family. Meal planning also really helps when you have a family with diverse eating habits and dietary needs. I would seriously go nuts if I did not have a weekly game plan.
Don't get me wrong. I enjoy creating meals based on recipes that I come up with on my own. In fact, nothing is more satisfying than whipping up my own creation. However, when you have young children, culinary undertakings get hijacked more often than not. Quite frankly, I am more than happy to have someone else telling me what to cook and for which meal.
Enter the Grain Free Meal Plans from Cara at Health, Home, and Happiness. If you have wanted to try a grain free diet, but were overwhelmed and didn't know where to start then this is definitely something you should invest a little money into. I subscribed to the monthly grain free meal plans for a year (with my own money – not as a perk from blogging) and benefited immensely. I do not think I could have gotten through meal planning without them! All of the meals are based on the Gut and Psychology Syndrome Diet and Specific Carbohydrate Diet diets. Menu plans are for 3 meals a day, 7 days a week, plus snacks and sweets. Recipes are all kid tested (both at Cara's house and mine). A simple, easy to follow shopping list is included for each week. You really can't miss with this!
And just when I thought it couldn't get better…
Cara put together the Best of the Grain Free Meal Plans cookbook volume 1. The best of the monthly menu planning service is rolled into a helpful full color cookbook.
I asked Cara if I could review a copy of her new cookbook even though I had a year's worth of her amazing recipes. I wanted to see if this was a resource I should share with all of my wonderful readers.
And yes, yes it is!
Let me give you a wee bit of background info. Cara started her daughter on a grain free diet to help with developmental delays at the end of 2008. She found the transition overwhelming, but knew that she had to keep going as her daughter was thriving on a grain free diet.
Cara's goal with the Best of the Grain Free Meal Plans cookbook is to help share her knowledge with other families who are trying to go grain free, or who already are successfully grain free but are looking for recipe inspiration.
The book divides the 70+ recipes into 8 sections including Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Soup, Snacks and Sides, Desserts, Cultured Food, and Staples. It then has an incredibly helpful section on sourcing high quality food followed by a section on recommended kitchen equipment.
The book offers clear instructions for beginning cooks, using ingredients and preparation techniques that can realistically fit into a busy household. There are lots of color photographs guaranteed to activate your taste buds and motivate you to try grain free cooking!
I was super excited to see some of my favorite recipes in the line up! The Butternut Squash and Beef Bake is out of this world as are the Fried Cheese Sticks. The Celery Root Hash browns sound a little odd but are one of my favorites! Cara's Cowboy Cookies are a must! Every lunch item in this cookbook is kid friendly and on the top of my menu planning list.
This is honestly a resource that any home could benefit from. Even if you are not grain free, you will get some wonderful recipe ideas that are palate pleasing and easy to make. Who doesn't love easy and delicious?
Another plus is that a lot of Cara's best recipes are child inclusive. Tiny has been helping me make a lot of the recipes in this book since she was 2 ½. Bonding with your wee ones + healthy, nourishing foods = a huge win!
In addition to this stellar cookbook and the monthly grain free meal plans, Cara offers What Can I Eat Now? 30 Days of recipes and tips for the GAPS™ Intro Diet Ebook. This Ebook was a complete lifesaver for me as I embarked upon the GAPS journey to heal my ulcerative colitis. Seriously, it took care of ALL of the meal planning for the 30 days I was on the Intro diet. All I had to do was follow the easy, easy recipes (all of which are delicious) and stick with each stage faithfully. There is a lot of great information about the GAPS diet in general.
Ready to win? Cara is generously giving away 2 copies of the Best of Grain Free Meal Plans Cookbook! That means two of you will win! Whoo hoo!
All you have to do to enter is to leave a comment on this post letting me and Cara know WHY you would like to win this Cookbook. Be sure to include your email if it is not linked to your profile!
But wait! There are MORE ways to win!
- Visit the GAPS and Grain Free Recipe page at Health, Home, and Happiness and tell me what recipe tempts your tastebuds! Leave a second comment!
- Visit Health, Home, and Happiness and check out the Natural Healthsection. Then leave a comment letting me know one thing you learned or than interested you from any post listed there! Leave a third comment!
This giveaway opens today, May 9, 2012 and closes May 19, 2012 at 11:59pm PST. Winner will be selected via random.org. I will email you and you will have 48 hours to respond before another winner is selected. This giveaway is open worldwide.
Can't wait to win it? Then buy the Best of Grain Free Meal Plans Cookbook!