“Cook Once Eat All Week: 26 Weeks of Gluten-Free, Affordable Meal Prep to Preserve Your Time & Sanity” by Cassy Joy Garcia, Victory Belt Publishing, 400 pages, paperback, $34.95

Cassy Joy Garcia, the editor behind the food and wellness website fedandfit.com, offers six months' worth of meal preparation help in her newest cookbook.

“Cook Once, Eat All Week: 26 Weeks of Gluten-Free, Affordable Meal Prep to Preserve Your Time & Sanity” came about after the birth of Garcia's daughter in early 2018, she writes. Wanting to spend more time with her baby and less time in the kitchen, she developed a strategy that she says results in saved time and money. A bonus is not having to eat leftovers all week.

Her method? Prepare meal components such as shredded chicken for nachos, a casserole and soup in advance and then assemble dishes the day they are being eaten.

“With the preliminary meal prep done, making each meal the day of took just about as much time as tossing a frozen skillet dinner on the stove, putting a prepared lasagna in the oven, or even ordering in Chinese takeout … but the meals were healthier and tastier,” she writes.

Side Dish: Recipe for Curried Chicken Lettuce Cups

She organizes the book’s recipes into “weeks” of dinners. Each week features three main recipes plus two bonus dinners. Each dinner includes a protein, a vegetable and a starch. She compares her concept to the meal kit services like Blue Apron, except she says her method is less expensive and can be modified to fit your dietary needs.

Most of the recipes are designed to feed a family of four. They feature icons to indicate if they are low-carb, Paleo, grain-free, dairy-free, egg-free or nut-free. The book also provides information on food storage, stocking the kitchen and customizing meals. It is illustrated with full-color photographs.

This cookbook is a good choice for a disciplined home cook who likes to plan ahead — or one who hopes to become more organized.


Cheramie Sonnier is a food writer and columnist. Contact her at sonnierfood@gmail.com, and follow her on Twitter, @CheramieSonnier.