The Healthy Meal Prep Cookbook: Q & A with Toby Amidor
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If getting family meals on the table is a struggle, The Healthy Meal Prep Cookbook can make the task less daunting and far more enjoyable. I had the pleasure of interviewing nationally recognized registered dietitian Toby Amidor about her latest cookbook. Read on for her insights, and scroll down for a recipe for a delicious Root Vegetable and Bean Soup featured in the book.
What was the impetus to write your sophomore cookbook?
As a single, working mother of three kids, eating healthy isn’t impossible. Meal prep has worked wonders and allowed me and my kids to eat healthy during busy weeks with school and activities. The Healthy Meal Prep Cookbook allowed me to share my tips and tricks for meal prepping that I have been using for years.
How was the process different writing this book versus your first cookbook, The Greek Yogurt Kitchen?
This cookbook was written in about 5 weeks, while I had 9 months to write the first one. I also have meal prep Sundays laid out and scheduled, which took me a lot of time to organize and write.
What do you believe is the biggest thing that keeps people out of the kitchen? And how does The Healthy Meal Prep Cookbook help them get back into it to prepare nutritious meals for their families?
Folks get intimidated by cooking more than one or two dishes at a time (like a main and a side). A novice cook can follow my easy recipes, and once they get the hang of it, they can start preparing several recipes at once to help them eat healthier during the busy work week.
How does your book help people save money while eating nutritious meals?
First, it will save you money from buying lunches at work. That alone can provide a savings of about $12 per day or more! Second, when meal prepping, you purchase all your ingredients in advance. Every recipe in my cookbook lists the exact amounts for each ingredient. This helps save money when buying more expensive ingredients like meats and poultry as you can order them right from the butcher counter in the exact portions you need. Lastly, you don’t have to buy expensive items when eating healthy. The recipes in my cookbook use ingredients that are easy to find at your local market. This means you can also save time because you won’t have to hit up several markets and waste gas driving around.
What do you hope your book does for consumers who want to eat and feed their families more nutritiously?
I hope that some of my recipes will become household staples to help folks eat healthier. Also, the first two chapters provide lots of tips and tricks for how to organize yourself and guide meal prep. I hope some of these tips become lifelong habits.
Root Vegetable and Bean Soup
Yield: 4 servings
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
1 packed cup baby spinach
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 medium parsnip, chopped
1 medium turnip, chopped
1 (15-ounce) can low-sodium kidney beans, drained and rinsed
6 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1 tablespoon mirin
2 bay leaves
1⁄4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1. Stack the spinach leaves, roll them up, and then slice into ribbons. Work in batches if needed.
2. In a large pot over medium heat, heat the olive oil until it shimmers. Add the onion, carrot, celery, parsnip, and turnip, and sauté until the onion is translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the beans, and stir to combine. Add the vegetable broth, mirin, and bay leaves, and stir to combine. Increase the heat to high and bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and simmer until the beans are tender, about 20 minutes.
3. Remove and discard the bay leaves. Stir in the spinach ribbons and black pepper.
REFRIGERATE: Store the cold soup in a resealable container for up to 1 week. Reheat in a pot over medium-high heat. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Single servings can be reheated in the microwave on high for 2 to 3 minutes.
FREEZE: Store the cooled soup in individual freezer-safe containers or in one large container for up to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Reheat in a pot over medium-high heat. Bring soup to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Single servings can be reheated in the microwave on high for 2 to 3 minutes.
Nutrition information (per 2-cup serving): Calories: 220; Fat: 4g; Saturated Fat: 1g; Protein: 9g; Total Carbs: 38g; Fiber: 10g; Sodium: 477mg
To learn more about Toby’s work and books, visit her website here.
Copyright Toby Amidor, The Healthy Meal Prep Cookbook: Easy and Wholesome Meals to Cook, Pre, Grab, and Go, Rockridge Press, 2017. Photo courtesy of Nat & Cody Gantz.
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