Long time no book review but there have been a few new books arriving on my doorstep thanks to feeding a baby on the couch and ordering from the comfort of the couch. If only I could do everything while feeding. But I’d been hanging out for this book to be released because I love the first book which I reviewed here. And we love her cobb salad so much. I actually bought the first book before realising that there was a blog and anyone who follows the blog will know the sadness that was recently experienced by the loss of her baby daughter. I’ve cried many tears when I’ve read the updates and opening this book to read the very simple dedication ‘ for my precious Aila’ had me in tears again.
I think why I love Danielle’s blog and her books so much is that the recipes really are simple but delicious. She’s a mum and the food is family style food. Nothing too spicy, foods that we like to eat and she must have a sweet tooth as a great selection of sweet treats and desserts. All of the recipes are gluten and dairy free as well as being paleo. We aren’t paleo but try to be gluten free and the dairy free is the challenge. I have to say that when I’m eating gluten free I feel great and I’m working towards getting back on the wagon because now that pregnancy is over I’m not feeling so crash hot and we’ve slipped into bad habits.
But back to the book. This book starts with an introduction to her eating, a paleo cheat sheet and then 8 weeks of meal planning using recipes from the book. Love that. Not that I’m a dedicated meal planner but I do like to shop knowing what we are eating for the week so if you’re going to try going gluten free or paleo or somewhere in between then the meal planning and the shopping lists could help.
the recipes are divided into Breakfast, Soups and salads, poultry, beef, pork and lamb, seafood, sides, basics and simple sweets. And then there is more information at the back which including shopping resources and tear out meal plans (so the 8 week meal plans are repeated at the back of the book) and shopping lists. I’m not sure whether I’ll tear mine out as the book is so lovely but I’ll get back to you on that.
I love this book because it takes the guess work out of trying the recipes and making changes to your family diet and I know for those of you with children with special needs or finding out someone has an intolerance it can be hard work trying to think what to cook for dinner that everyone will eat. I think that’s where these recipes really work because everyone loves chicken (well they do in this house!) and things like taco salad, choc chip cookies, hawaiian chicken burgers, enchilada stuffed peppers, chicken tikka masala, bbq beef short ribs – well that is food that will keep most families happy.
Now I know someone is going to ask which book is my favourite – the first book or this one, Meals Made Simple. The first book is great because it has a section of kids recipes which my kids love and is great if you’re going to be cooking and adapting the family diet for a little person in the house. It also has more baking and dessert recipes. This book is more geared towards lunches and dinners and great for everyone who is busy, plans the weeks meals, needs some new dinner inspiration, wants the guesswork taken out, loves meat (there are a lot of meat recipes) and likes fresh food that isn’t too out there. I know I’ve seen some paleo dishes and I’m like what is that ingredient or that one. With these recipes you might need a few new ingredients like coconut oil and sugar but there are plenty of foods that you are used to buying.
I’m so glad I ordered this book for myself. The recipes and especially the salads look so fresh and delicious for summer and I’m looking forward to getting healthier again and these recipes will definitely help me get there.