I don’t know about you, but I definitely feel like mine and my family’s eating habits have changed since we’re home 99% of the home under pandemic isolation. Obviously, I’m tempted to eat more frequently because the pantry and fridge are RIGHT THERE. And when I cook dinner, I’ve tried to be more purposeful about using what we have on hand (including our food storage) and not wasting anything so I don’t have to get groceries as often. This is because:
- I didn’t want to jump into the panicked fray at the grocery stores. Some of the stores I shop at even asked us to only shop once every two weeks or more, getting enough food to last those two weeks.
- Grocery shopping is not fun at the best of times. I’d actually started ordering groceries online and just picking them up well before the pandemic hit, in part because it takes less time, but also because I do less spur-of-the-moment shopping.
I’m also cooking healthier dinners to “balance out” all the sugar and carbs I’ve been eating. That’s how you balance a diet, right? 😉 I have a handful of cookbooks that I’ve relied on for years for easy, yummy, and healthy recipes, and these cookbooks have become essential during lockdown. I HIGHLY recommend all of them to you moms who are also trying to feed your family well without spending all day in the kitchen or at the grocery store.
Six Ingredients With Six Sisters’ Stuff: 100+ Fast and Easy Family Meals
All of the recipes in this book, published by the sisters of SixSistersStuff.com, have six ingredients or less. You’d think that might mean you sacrifice taste if you eat any of them, but that is so not the case. These are some of the yummy meals we’ve made from this book:
- Bacon-wrapped Cream Cheese Chicken
- Turkey Taco Meatballs
- Lemon and Dill Salmon
- Brown-Sugar-Glazed Pork Chops
You can find most of the individual recipes on their website, but not necessarily with the ingredient amounts listed. The pictures in Six Ingredients with Six Sisters are huge and full-color, so I can see exactly what I’m trying to get my version to look like. There are 100 main dish, side dish, and dessert recipes. I originally bought it for $20+ at Deseret Book, one of my local bookstores, but you can get it for $12.99 on Kindle.
A Year with Six Sisters’ Stuff
The thing I love about this cookbook is that it’s organized by meal menus, each including a main dish, side dish, and dessert, and it has 52 of them. So basically, you’ve got dinner planned out for either one night a week for a year (thus the title), or for every night for 7 1/2 weeks. Being busy with a full-time job, homeschool, writing, etc., I’m more than willing to have someone else plan what I’m going to make each night for dinner. My favorite recipes out of that book have been:
- Honey-Lime Chicken Enchiladas, with a side of Easy Mexican Salsa rice and a dessert of Pina Colada Cake
- Cheese Artichoke Bread (this is actually the side for Menu 11, with the main dish being Slow Cooker Creamy Spaghetti and the dessert being Almond Joy Cookies, but the Artichoke Bread in and of itself is hefty enough to be a main dish, I think)
- Crunchy Black Bean Tacos, with Creamed Corn and Gooey Lemon Bars
I’m making myself hungry just thinking about making these dishes again! So good! And this one’s on sale for $12.99 through Barnes and Noble.
Speaking of Six Sisters…
Taking the concept of “cookbook” to a whole other level, Six Sisters also provides menu plans. They’re menus, recipes, and grocery lists emailed to you each week. Each week’s plan shows 1) a list of the dishes you’ll be making each night, with one or two nights for leftovers, 2) the recipes for each dish, none of which are huge, and 3) a grocery list so that all you have to do is input that list into your local grocery store’s online shopping app (I prefer Rosie), order it, and pick it up. I put each week’s plan into a Rosie list so that I can literally do my grocery shopping for a week or more with only a few clicks and without ever having to set foot in a grocery store. What the menu plans lack in fancy pictures they more than make up for in convenience. It’s AWESOME. And they have plans for smaller and larger families.
101 Things to Do With a Tortilla
This little cookbook by Stephanie Ashcraft and Donna Kelly is a tiny gem. I had no idea so many things could be done with tortillas, like Open-Faced Pesto Quesadillas, Southwest Lasagna, and Mexican Apple Strudel. And it’s only $4.99 through Barnes and Noble.
The Easy 5-Ingredient Ketogenic Diet Cookbook by Jen Fisch
My husband has IBS and his functional medicine doctor recommended that he go on a ketogenic diet a few years ago. This very-low-carb, moderate-protein, and high-fat diet is not an easy one for the average person to maintain, but my husband is not average. Eventually, I had us all on the ketogenic diet, at least for dinner, because it was easier to just make us all one meal for dinner as opposed to one ketogenic meal for him and three non-ketogenic meal for me and our two boys. Plus, the recipes were good and easy. Some of our favorites to this day are:
- Cream Cheese and Coconut Flour Pancakes (which I make all the time and recommend, even if you’re not on the keto diet)
- Roasted Cauliflower with Prosciutto, Capers, and Almonds
- Cheesy Bacon and Broccoli Chicken.
It has eight sections:
- an explanation of the keto diet
- Smoothies and Breakfasts
- Hearty Soups and Salads
- Side Dishes and Snacks
- Fish and Poultry
- Pork and Beef
- Desserts and Sweet Treats
- Sauces and Dressings
You can get this one for free through Kindle Unlimited or for $7.63 (used) through Fort Worth books/Amazon. New, it’s almost $10 for paperback and more than $20 for spiral-bound hardback.
I’d show you fancy pictures of all the meals I’ve made with these cookbooks, but my family always eats it so fast! Plus, the authors themselves take better pictures of the meals than I ever could.