This book and software review is going to be done in 2 parts just to make it a little easier on me. Part 1 will cover the menu planning, software and shopping trip. Part 2 will cover the actual cooking process. When a person has Fibromyalgia or another chronic illness it's important to split tasks up into more manageable pieces and that's what I like about this program.
The 30 Meals in One Day program is written step-by-step starting with short easy to read chapters covering everything from What is Freezer Cooking, to selecting recipes, using lists to make it easier to teaching you to take 2 days - 1 for planning and shopping and 1 for prepping and cooking. They will teach you how to package your meals for freezing and getting your dinner on the table.
The set I received was the "deluxe" set - 3 cookbooks, software, and labels for your finished product.
I started out by grabbing Lunch is Ready - the book I was most interested in. I work 30 hours a week at my "main" job and a minimum 20-30 hours on my "FUN" job which is sharing The Books Kids Love to Read (along with doing product and book reviews online). Some of the recipes in this book are: Beef and Chicken Fajitas following up the next day with Beef Fajita Salad, Ranch Hoagies, Zesty Beef and Vegetable Soup, Pizza Joes and several recipes for dressings for salads. With over 200 freezer-worthy recipes and lots of menu suggestions you will have plenty of options for lunches.
Dinner is Ready has over 150 recipes perfect for the freezer such as Almost Ravioli, Chicken Stuffed Manicotti, Chicken Enchiladas and Grandma's Beef Stew. Some of these recipes arecompletely assembled, others have all their pieces/parts and you assemble them just before baking.
Lastly, On the Side has over 350 scrumptious side dishes to compliment all the meals from Dinner is Ready that you have prepared. Plus a suggested Complete Menu is on every recipe in the book. Use the suggestions or mix and match recipes according to your own preferences. There are endless fabulous combinations. There are 8 pages of menu's (!) such as:
Chicken Stuffed Manicotti
Red, White and Green Salad (pg 152)
Creamy Italian Dressing (pg 286)
Mushroom Puffs (pg 370)
Old Fashioned Bean Soup
Ham and Cheese Muffins (pg 326)
Smoky Maple Chicken
Bacon Pilaf (pg 118)
Parmesan Zucchini (pg 98)
Triple Orange Salad (pg 242)
Before I left for the store I sat down and pulled up the software. The software contains all the recipes from the cookbooks. It does take some playing with the software and computer to get the hang of working this program, so I would suggest you don't do this the "day of" shopping. I kept deleting what I thought I was saving - but once I got the hang of what I was doing I didn't have any problems.
(Note: to keep everyone from being confused - I will be referring to the 3 book set/software from now on. This also applies to the individual book sets you can purchase if you don't want the entire set.)
All the recipes from the set is on your software. You can choose a recipe, click on edit and change the # of servings. When you click "Add to menu" your recipe is added to a list. At this point you can indicate if you want say 2 batches of a recipe that you want to make. This comes in really handy if you a cooking for 2 families, want to double a muffin recipe, etc. Then you can create your shopping list, print off your recipes and labels and you're all set to go for the next day.
You can either purchase the individual books and their individual software, or you can purchase the "deluxe" set and get everything. Purchased individually you would spend $95.85 once you ended up purchasing the book/software 1 at a time. Purchasing the "deluxe" set right now (it's on
) saves you $20! So, it's $75.00! (Note: these are using SALE prices) Sale
At this point, I know you are really intrigued by this great program and maybe are itching to go and purchase your own. BUT, you have a couple of options - yes, you can go ahead and go get your own. Everything is on
and if you WIN the upcoming GIVEAWAY (and have purchased the full set of cookbooks/software) you will be refunded $60 of your purchase. WOW! SALE
Or, I will be posting the GIVEAWAY on Sunday as soon as I put up Part 2 of this review. I will be sharing my cooking experiences, along with a couple of yummy recipes for you to try. Until Sunday, go to the website take a look at the recipes and try a couple too. Feel free to email the company if you have any questions.