With September being Family Meals Month, the key to getting healthier meals on the table is meal prep. Register Dietitian and cookbook author, Toby Amidor, makes it easier with her latest cookbook, “The Healthy Meal Prep Cookbook“.
The Healthy Meal Prep Cookbook – Photo courtesy of Nat & Cody Gantz
It’s easy to reach for frozen and microwaveable meals when you’re short on time, but being too busy shouldn’t mean that you can’t have balanced and delicious meals. Learning how to meal prep properly will not only save you time and energy, but it will also help to make sure that you and your family eat homemade and nutritious meals. Providing practical and simple solutions with easy to follow instructions, The Healthy Meal Prep Cookbook shows you how simple it is to enjoy fresh and flavorful meals on even the most hectic days.
The Healthy Meal Prep Cookbook features:
- 3 flexible 2-week meal plans for ready-to-go healthy meals without the hassle of prep
- More than 100 simple, wholesome recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, complete with nutritional breakdowns and portion control to keep calories in check
- Practical weekly shopping lists with easy to find ingredients to prepare your pantry for the week
- Convenient illustrated guidelines on how to freeze, thaw, and reheat your meals to keep food fresh, safe, and tasty
I was excited to chat with fellow RD, Toby, about her latest cookbook.
A little about Toby Amidor:
With over 18 years experience in the food and nutrition industry, Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN is a leading dietitian and recipe developer who believes that healthy and wholesome can also be appetizing and delicious.
In her new book, The Healthy Meal Prep Cookbook, Toby provides practical and simple solutions with easy to follow instructions. She shows you how simple it is to enjoy fresh and flavorful meals on even the most hectic days.
In her first book, The Greek Yogurt Kitchen, Toby shows readers how to cut back on fat and calories without compromising flavor. She shares how Greek yogurt is one of today’s most versatile and nourishing ingredients and how it can be used in unexpected ways, making even the most bad-for-you foods healthier, tastier and more satisfying.
Toby is the founder of Toby Amidor Nutrition, where she provides nutrition and food safety consulting services for individuals, restaurants and food brands. For 10 years she has been the nutrition expert for FoodNetwork.com, writing for their Healthy Eats Blog, and is a regular contributor to U.S. News and World Report Eat + Run blog, and MensFitness.com and has her own “Ask the Expert” column in Today’s Dietitian Magazine. She also freelances for Furthermore by Equinox and Sparkpeople.com, has been quoted in publications like FoxNews.com, Self.com, Oxygen Magazine, Dr. Oz The Good Life, Mic.com, Reader’s Digest, Shape.com, Women’s Health, Redbook, Men’s Journal, Huffington Post, Everyday Health, and more. Toby has also appeared on television including shows like The Dr. Oz Show, AMHQ with Sam Champion, Good Day Street Talk Fox5 NY, and San Antonio Live. For the past 8 years she has been an adjunct professor at Teachers College, Columbia University and beginning in fall 2017 she will also begin teaching as an adjunct at Hunter College in New York City.
Toby trained as a clinical dietitian at New York University. Previously, Toby was a consultant on Bobby Deen’s cooking show, “Not My Mama’s Meals.” Through ongoing consulting and faculty positions, she has established herself as one of the top experts in culinary nutrition, food safety, and media.
Apricot Chicken Drumsticks – Photo courtesy of Nat & Cody Gantz
With her stellar resume, I was excited to ask her questions about her latest project – “The Healthy Meal Prep Cookbook“.
Q: You have written a wonderful cookbook “The Healthy Meal Prep Cookbook.” What inspired you to write a book about the topic of meal prep?
A: Juggling a busy schedule can make it difficult to prepare healthy family meals, especially during the week. As a mom of three and a registered dietitian, I understand that struggle all too well. Over the years I have developed a weekly meal prep routine, and it has been a lifesaver. I wrote The Healthy Meal Prep Cookbook to share my tips and tricks for getting food on the table fast.
Q: How do you think your meal prep strategies help families eat healthier?
A: When you plan out your meal and prepare them ahead of time, you avoid that last minute trip to a fast food joint or stopping at the local deli for an oversized muffin on the way to work. Not only do you eat healthier, you can save money by purchasing these last minute meals.
Q: What are your suggestions for dealing with a picky eater in the family?
A: Making a picky eater involved in the process can help them enjoy food and become exposed to foods they may not be used to. It can start with helping to select recipes. I loved taking my kids when they were younger to the supermarket and showing them the different fruits and vegetables. As my kids got older, I showed them how to determine the ripeness of a fruit and/or vegetable. Kids also love getting down and dirty in the kitchen from mixing to measure to even zesting citrus fruit. Setting the table has also become a way kids can also get involved.
Q: What would you say are top three pantry items that every family should have stocked in their pantry?
Quinoa: This whole grain (which is technically a seed) provides 8 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber per cooked cup. It’s easy to pair with beans, serve alongside a protein like chicken, beef, or fish, and even toss on a salad for added protein.
Beans: Beans are an excellent source of fiber providing about 7.5 grams per ½ cooked cup. I prefer the ease of canned beans, but will look for those with no added salt. Beans can be tossed in a soup, over a salad, used to make burgers, chili, and even rice and beans.
Canned tuna: If you forgot to defrost your protein or finished it up for the week, canned tuna can come to the rescue. I prefer chunk light tuna canned in water and can toss it over a salad, mix it with celery, apples, Greek yogurt and light mayo for a delicious salad, or stuff it into a whole grain pita with my Chopped Chickpea Salad.
Q: What is your favorite recipe from the cookbook?
A: I am a huge breakfast fan, so Zippy’s Shakshuka and the Brooklyn Breakfast are two of my favorites. Zippy, my mother, always made Shakshuka (eggs in tomato sauce) for me and my 4 siblings when she was in a hurry and kept jarred crushed tomatoes and eggs on hand in case she had to whip something up in a hurry. As for the Brooklyn Breakfast, I was born in Brooklyn and smoked salmon and cream cheese was part of my regular diet. To this day, it is still one of my favorites.
Q: How long did it take you to write this book?
A: I wrote this cookbook in about 6 weeks and tested each recipe (some recipes I tested several times). I did work through weekends and did not take any days off. This is pretty unusual for cookbook authors but was the deadline I agreed to meet.
Q: What is your favorite spice to cook with?
A: I love cinnamon. It just has such a warming feeling that makes me feel so good. I used it in my baked goods (like scones and muffin), pancake batters, and oatmeal.
Beef Stir Fry with Asian Peanut Sauce – Photo courtesy of Nat & Cody Gantz
Ready to get started?
Ready to start meal prepping? Order your copy of “The Healthy Meal Prep Cookbook” here!