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meghan telpner Archives · Rachel's Nourishing Kitchen

Tag: meghan telpner

The UnDiet Cookbook Review {Plus a Yummy Stuffed Sweet Potato Recipe!}

This is so much more than a cookbook.

It’s an inspiring, encouraging, confidence-boosting guide to life that happens to include over 130 awesomely delicious and nourishing recipes.

Whether you’re gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, paleo, or just trying to live a fuller, more vibrant and balanced life, you need The UnDiet Cookbook in your life!

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I had the privilege of learning from the author – nutritionist and best-selling author, Meghan Telpner – as a student in her Academy of Culinary Nutrition training last fall. As founder of the Academy of Culinary Nutrition and author of the bestselling UnDiet: Eat You Way to Vibrant Health and The UnDiet Cookbook, Meghan has committed her life to creating a revolution in health and well-being.

She does it in a way that is non-judgmental, kind, fun and inviting.

Meghan knows that being approachable and FUN is the key to engaging people, especially when it comes to something as sacred as what we eat and how we live.

So often when people are on diets, they settle for subpar food and a life marked by deprivation. They focus on what they “can’t” eat instead of channeling all of that energy toward what will nourish, satisfy and fill them up physically and emotionally.

Meghan is out to change that:

“UnDiet is here to free us from the chains we attach to all of those old, harmful, self-defeating, unhelpful rules we think we need to follow. They only make us miserable […] UnDiet is breaking free from the rules we think we’re meant to follow, and doing what is the very best for our individual health.”

Yes! Yes! Yes!

I totally agree.

She inspires anyone reading to take a build-you-up, positive, encouraging approach to what to eat through killer recipes that not only taste good but make our body feel amazing.

And she has a way of building and promoting community. In fact, I partnered with a fellow Culinary Nutrition alum and friend, Katie Hussong, to host our first UnDiet Cookbook Club, where each attendee made a recipe from Meghan’s cookbook or blog. It was SO fun!

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As someone who doesn’t follow one prescribed diet, I’m drawn to Meghan’s “UnDiet” approach. I follow the same philosophy because I’ve found in my own life that there is not one way of eating that everyone in the entire world “should” follow.

We agree that the bulk of what we eat should be plant-based (AKA “plantiful”), but there is room for flexibility, depending on what makes your body feel best and thrive.

One of the things I love about this book is that the UnDiet recipes are free from dairy and gluten (just like every recipe on this blog!), which means all of you can enjoy them.

Though knowledgeable about every diet out there, Meghan prefers to UNdiet, calling herself a “Meghanatarian.” She encourages us to make our choices with “awareness and knowing, doing what feels right for you, your body, your values, your environment, your budget.”

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It’s about pausing long enough to tap into our body’s own intuitive wisdom that tells us what makes us feel awesome and what brings us down.

Through her journey with Crohn’s Disease, Meghan has experienced the healing and restorative power of the UnDiet lifestyle first-hand and is inspired to share what she has learned with the world.

Her intention is that her readers will “get it” and understand for themselves. That way she doesn’t have to say eat this, don’t eat that. She does her best to provide the information with the what’s the why’s the how’s in place, and lets them decide what they’re ready to pick up and run with.

Isn’t that refreshing?

I’ve made over a dozen recipes from the cookbook and have loved every single one.

From Undiet Coffee, Chocolate Chocolate Pancakes, and Banana Berry Oatmazing Muffins to the Vegalicious Quiche, Sacred Scramble, Balsamic Roasted Vegetables, Gracious Glow Soup, Maple Balsamic Tempeh, Baked Apples, Crispy Rice Squares and Rawmazing Key Lime Pie, every recipe we’ve tried has been a hit!

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Meghan’s endearing quirkiness and sense of humor comes through in recipe titles like, “Sunday Night Quickie Chocolate Chip Cookies,” Let’s Stay Together Crackers,” and “Breakfast Patty Whacks”…a few recipes I’ve yet to try but am excited to tackle.

She doesn’t take herself too seriously and consistently communicates the message we shouldn’t either. In the very beginning of the book, she shares her creed, which includes advice like:

“Flirt with farmers.”

“Dance like a four year-old.”

“Make love in the kitchen.”

And, last but not least:

“Today is the day. Make it ridiculously awesometown.”

The UnDiet Cookbook will give you confidence that everyone (yes, even you!) can cook and that it is possible to eat well, be well and live a vibrant life without ever feeling deprived. This is the way we were meant to live.

It wouldn’t be fair to end this love note without sharing one of my favorite recipes from The UnDiet Cookbook.

I’ve made it several times already and like to change up the beans and greens. One time I used cannellini beans and spinach and another time I used black beans and kale. I love versatile recipes like this because they give me a chance to use what I have on hand.

And the ingredient list couldn’t get any simpler.

Introducing, “Dressed to the Nines Sweet Potato.”

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Dressed to the Nines Sweet Potato

Nut-free
Soy-Free (option)
Grain-free
Protein Powered (option)

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 45–60 minutes
Serves 4

4 organic sweet potatoes
2 Tbsp avocado oil, coconut oil or organic ghee
1/2 red onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 (14-oz) can organic beans of choice, drained and rinsed*
6 cups greens, trimmed and sliced into ribbons
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon Make-Your-Own Sambal (page 206 in The UnDiet Cookbook), red pepper flakes, or your favorite hot sauce
Sea salt

Optional Add-ons

  • Hemp seeds (protein bonus)
  • Toasted sunflower or pumpkin seeds
  • Fresh sprouts
  • Tempeh bits (prepared as with TLT Deluxe Sandwich, page 83 in The UnDiet Cookbook)
  • Tahini Dressing (page 194 in The UnDiet Cookbook)

* Make it Protein-Powered!

Swap the beans for 1 lb pastured, organic protein of choice such as ground beef, chicken, or turkey. Cook the meat just until browned and then use in place of the beans.

Make It Like So

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Scrub the sweet potatoes and prick them in a few places with a fork (this gives them room to breathe as they bake). Place them on a baking sheet and bake until soft all the way through, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  3. While the sweet potatoes are baking, heat the olive oil in a medium pan and add the onion and garlic. Cook until soft. Add the beans and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Remove from the heat and stir in your greens (the heat will wilt them). Add your lemon juice, sambal, and sea salt to taste.
  5. Remove the sweet potatoes from the oven. To serve, slice each sweet potato through the middle and top with beans + greens mix and your optional add-ons.

Excerpted from The UnDiet Cookbook: 130 Gluten-Free Recipes for a Healthy and Awesome Life by Meghan Telpner. Copyright © 2015 Meghan Telpner. Photography Copyright © 2015 Maya Visnyei and Catherine Farquharson. Published by Appetite by Random House, a division of Random House of Canada Ltd., a Penguin Random House Company. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.

Meghan’s Chocolate, Chocolate Pancakes {Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free}

As I shared in a post earlier this week, my culinary nutrition instructor, Meghan Telpner, just released her cookbook.

I’ve had the opportunity to try some of the recipes in it, and they are awesome!

Every recipe is based on using real, whole, unprocessed foods, and no refined sugar, gluten or dairy products, so it’s totally aligned with how I eat and what makes me feel best.

She also has a quirky sense of humor and honesty that makes the book fun to read.

Today I’m sharing with you my experience of making her “Chocolate, Chocolate, Say It Twice Pancakes.” 

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When we’re cooking and baking, gluten-free, we can’t just swap a gluten-free flour for white flour because the gluten-free flours don’t contain the main ingredient that creates the “doughy-ness” that most of us love so much about bread…gluten!

That’s why you’ll see that this recipe uses a blend of gluten-free flours, including brown rice, buckwheat (which does NOT contain any wheat or gluten), arrowroot and chickpea flour. The company Bob’s Red Mill sells these at just about every grocery store, so they should be accessible to most people.

Meghan posted the recipe on her website as a sneak peek to the book, so I’m going to send you over there, today.

Here’s what the finished pancakes looked like when I made them.

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Bill was a big fan and had them for dinner last night alongside these greens and Meghan’s vegalicious quiche with a secret ingredient gluten-free crust. I’ll be post

*Click here to get the chocolate pancake recipe!*

If you haven’t already, pre-order the Undiet cookbook to get access to some super cool FREE bonuses, including:

  • Two Undiet meal plans
  • Bonus recipes that didn’t make the book
  • Online smoothie class
  • Online launch party

AND be entered to win these awesome prizes:

Recognized as One of the Top 10 in Health Promotion!

I AM SO EXCITED TO SHARE THIS NEWS!

A panel of wellness industry experts selected me as one of the Top 10 Health Promotion Professionals in the COUNTRY! EEEK!

I’m pretty sure I was smiling ear to ear the whole day yesterday when I found out 🙂

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210 nominees applied for the award, 100 Health Promotion Professionals were chosen as the best of the best, and I made it into the top 10!

On January 29, 2015, less than one week ago, I was inspired to write this in my journal during my morning quiet time:

Something BIG is about to happen, and I’m ready for it. Bring it on!

I had no idea things would move SO QUICKLY or that a “big” recognition like this would be coming my way.

But if I’ve learned anything in the past 5 months from visionaries who make things happen – Vani Hari (the Food Babe), Meghan Telpner, and Danielle LaPorte – it’s that you have to OWN what you want in your life and pursue it with passion.

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Over the past 8+ years in my role as the Wellness Director at Silberstein Insurance Group, I’ve had the privilege of working with companies and their employees, guiding them to build healthier workplace cultures and teaching them how to eat for nourishment, energy, and vitality. A healthier workplace can promote great mental wellbeing as well as efficient work output. There is more here about this and what interest and input into a workforce can do for companies.

I get to share my story, what I’ve learned, and how I’ve healed and deliver a refreshing message of hope and inspiration that sparks people to make themselves and their health a priority.

Since setting my intentions this year about how I want to FEEL, I’ve been actively pursuing things that generate these feelings:

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When I’m speaking, presenting, teaching, cooking or writing, I feel those things. I come alive, get “in the zone.” and feel purposeful and “on fire.”

I am the best and most authentic version of myself, doing what I know I am meant to be doing with my life.

It’s an immensely gratifying feeling.

Yesterday, I had a special opportunity to feel fully alive as I spoke at the Carroll County SHRM‘s quarterly meeting about Creating a Culture of Health at Work to an engaged group of HR professionals and business leaders.

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Tomorrow I’m teaching my co-workers the tips and tricks to Meal Planning 101, and next Tuesday I’ll be visiting a client in Delaware to talk about Decoding Food Labels and Debunking Health Claims Hype.

At the end of the month, I’m leading a workshop at a women’s retreat in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania to share what I’ve learned about how to eat for energy, beauty, and optimal health. Click here to learn more about the retreat or to register.

With each of these opportunities, I feel more vibrant, connected, and radiant and clear about my life’s purpose.

I’m also working with my web designer to brand and completely revamp the look and feel of this website, and I can’t wait for you to see the unveiling in March! It’s going to be amazing 🙂

This has already been an incredible year, and I am SO grateful for your support, kind words, and encouragement. I look forward to sharing more delicious recipes, tips and tricks for healthy living, and inspirations to encourage you to go after what you want and be bold about what is truly possible in your life.

Here’s to 2015 – the year of being radiant and making great things happen!

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New Year, New {Healthier} You: 3 Detox Programs to Start the Year Off Right!

Happy New Year!

HNY

Unlike just about every commercial you’ve seen on TV or heard on the radio in the past few days, I’m not here to guilt you. I don’t think guilt is a very useful emotion, even if we have fallen out of our routines a bit.

I’m just ready to get back into my routine and guide my body back to where it feels and functions best!

I’m committed to my health and health choices for the long haul because I like how I feel when I’m well nourished. But this isn’t a “once-a-year-because-everyone-else-is-doing-it” type of thing. It’s a lifestyle, a commitment.

When I regularly nourish myself in a way that I know my body needs, I’m energized. I’m alive. I’m healthy. My weight stabilizes itself naturally. My immune system is strong and fights for me (even when I’m overdoing it), and I don’t get sick. My skin is clear. I sleep better. I handle stress better. I look and feel great!

I’ll be sharing a post in the next few days about what I do to reset overall this time of year (spoiler alert: It doesn’t involve making a laundry list of New Year’s Resolutions!).

After a few months of overindulging, not moving as much as we know our bodies need, and with renewed motivation and intention to start the year off right, many of us could benefit from an internal “reset” or even a “detox” to help us get back on track.

The word “detox” can be a turn off for a lot of people. It sounds so…intimidating and maybe even a little extreme. However, others are absolutely ecstatic to find a link that will lead them to some detox supplements that they’ll love.

What does “detoxing” mean anyway? Why should you think about doing it?

I like this explanation from Food Matters (worth following on FB if you don’t already!):

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However, even if you’re including only organic foods in your diet, detoxing can reboot your system and rid your body of harmful toxic build up.

Toxicity (having a building of harmful substances in our body) is one of the main reasons we get sick and have trouble losing weight. Toxic tissues hold on to fat in our bodies. As long as we’re inflamed and toxic, we’ll have trouble looking and feeling our best.

So, where do all these toxins come from? I recently read an incredible book called The Disease Delusion by Dr. Jeffrey Bland, and he wrote a whole chapter devoted to explaining detoxification. Here are some of the toxins he mentions:

  • Additives or harmful chemicals in the refined and processed foods we eat
  • Chemicals sprayed on our food like pesticides, insecticides & herbicides (this is one of the main reasons we eat organic)
  • Metabolizing/breaking down things like alcohol, caffeine and medications
  • Our environment (the air we breathe, creams and sprays we put on our bodies, chemicals like BPA in the plastic we store our food in and water bottles we drink out of)

We may not even realize we’re accumulating all of these things in our bodies, but we are, and they are preventing us from having optimal health. Taking some time to physically detox our bodies and our minds is a great way to get ourselves back in balance and feeling great. This is why places like Amity Wellness exist, to help you feel your best. If you want to Book Direct @ Amitywellness.com for a detox program then you can just follow that link!

Anyway, until I have one of my own programs (which I firmly believe will happen in the next year!), I wanted to share three detox-focused programs that are excellent options to consider as you start off the year. I plan to sign up for all three and take bits and pieces from each 🙂

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Food Matters FREE 3-day Detox: Food Matters does great work. Their documentaries are worth watching and may transform the way you think about food (and eat!). Their free 3-day detox is a great option to upgrade your diet with some more nourishing choices and help your body naturally clean out the gunk 🙂

Their Facebook page is full of helpful hints, recipes, and cool infographics, so you should follow them on there, too!

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The Detoxinista’s 21-Day Warm & Cozy Winter Detox: The Detoxinista (Megan Gilmore) is another talented blogger I’ve been following for some time. She is also a graduate of the health coach training program I went through in 2013. We have similar ways of thinking about food – that healthy eating can be easier than you think…and delicious!

Megan also focuses on dairy-free and gluten-free recipes, so I get a lot of inspirations from her. This is her first detox package, and I’m sure it will be great!

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Meghan Telpner’s Awesome Life Detox: Meghan is awesome. I just finished her Culinary Nutrition Expert Program and love her approach to food, boundless and positive energy, and quirky creativity. This program is about more than just food, and I know it will be worth doing. I’ve already signed up and am super stoked for it!

So there you have it, those are my three top picks for New Year, New You resets to try out this month. If you end up doing one, let me know! I’d love to hear what you think.

Here’s to your best year yet! 🙂

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My 5 Favorite Healthy Cookbooks…All Gluten-Free {And My Wish List!}

“The pictures looked so good online. I don’t know why it didn’t turn out that way when I made it!”

Entire articles are dedicated to capturing people’s Pinterest fails when it comes to attempting new recipe creations.

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It can be discouraging to put all of the effort into trying something new only to have it end up in the trash. It’s one of the reasons people don’t try new recipes.

“What if it doesn’t turn out right?”

“What if I ruin it?”

“I hate wasting food…and money on food.”

Yes, yes, yes! I’m with you on all three of those. I want my dishes to be tasty and delicious and to feel like buying the ingredients was money well spent.

One of the ways I’ve learned to give myself a better chance of making successful recipes over the years is using cookbooks. What I’ve found is if I like a few of someone’s recipes, I tend to be more confident that other dishes they’ve created will be good, too. And usually, I end up with a yummy meal.

Whether you’ve been cooking for years, are just getting started or are learning a new way to cook based on some health challenges or the way you want to feel, using a cookbook can be a great way to bring some excitement and variety to your kitchen.

Check out a few of my favorite go-to cookbooks when I’m feeling burnt out from Pinterest, am looking for inspiration, or just want to go old school and use an actual book instead of a website. I’ve also given you a list of the top cookbooks on my wish list. Any of these would make great Christmas gifts for yourself or the food lovers in your life!

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Nourishing Meals: Healthy Gluten-Free Recipes for the Whole Family by Alissa Segersten & Tom Malterre

You know a book has good recipes when you have about 100 Post-it flags sticking out of it of all of the recipes you have made or plan to make. My nutritionist raves about Tom Malterre, the co-author of this cookbook, citing him as one of the best nutrition experts out there. He and his wife, Alissa, have 5 kids and are incredibly knowledgeable about how to eat for health AND make kid-friendly meals and snacks.

Favorite Recipes: Asian Chicken Salad, Apple Cider Baked Beans, Cajun Red Beans and Quinoa, Chipotle Yam Fries, Chana Masala, Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream and Peanut Butter Monster Cookies. I could go on forever! This is hands-down one of our favorites.

The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook by Alissa Segersten & Tom Malterre

In their newest cookbook, Alissa and Tom feature 300 Delicious, Whole Foods Recipes, including Gluten-free, Dairy-Free, Soy-Free, and Egg-Free Dishes. They don’t just share recipes for everything from smoothies and muffins to dressings, dips and desserts. They also teach some vital information about food sensitivities (we’re not just talkin’ peanuts), digestive health, how to stock your kitchen, and cooking techniques. Not only that, but the photos are stunning!

Favorite Recipes: Banana Almond Pancakes, Apple-Cranberry Oatmeal Muffins, Gingered Carrot Soup, Spiced Citrus Salmon, Superfood Fudge, and Chocolate-Raspberry Hazelnut Tart. Hungry yet?

3 Books

Clean Food by Terry Walters

Written by a graduate of my health coach training program, Clean Food, was a gift from my mother-in-law when I finished grad school. Chef Mario Batali said:

“Clean Food is the most exciting book based on fresh produce and simple produce I have used in years.”

He’s seen a lot of cookbooks, too! I love how Terry organizes the cookbook by season and promotes the use of whole, fresh ingredients. Also, for anyone who has food sensitivities or allergies to things like dairy and gluten, this cookbook will give you tons of new inspirations and alternatives, and you will not feel deprived or slighted in the least!

Favorite Recipes: Basic Balsamic Vinaigrette, Three-Bean Chili, Roasted Kabocha Squash, Ginger and Pear Crisp, and Banana Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies

Undiet by Meghan Telpner

I’ve spent the past three months boosting my culinary nutrition skills and knowledge and being entertained by Meghan as she has taught me and dozens of other students the keys to culinary nutrition. Her book, Undiet, includes practical tips and guidelines for how to get yourself off the “diet” train so you can enjoy life, eat amazingly delicious and nourishing food, and thrive! Any recipe Meghan puts out there, whether it’s in the CNE program, through her blog, or in this book is a winner. She’s releasing her first full cookbook in October 2015, so stay tuned for when that happens. I will definitely be talking about it!

Favorite Recipes: Yogi Tea, Lemon Lentil Vegetable Soup, Sundried Tomato & Bean Hummus, Life-Affirming Chili, Veggie Rice Wraps with Almond Dipping Sauce, and Almond Power Cookies

The Beauty Detox Foods by Kimberly Snyder

I’m not entirely sure what prompted me to buy this book, but I’m glad I did! I use this book not only for the recipes but also for the guide that it includes to highlight which foods are best for which beauty and body goals. I often give this book to brides-to-be as part of a shower gift to help them beautify their bodies before the big day! Because it’s more of a detox-focused book, it’s not something I use every day, but I have found some staple recipes and have learned a lot about different foods and their beauty benefits, which has made this book worth it for me!

Favorite Recipes: Creamy Dijon–Tahini Dressing, Raw Purple Cabbage Slaw, and Raw Gorilla Taco Wraps

And now for a few cookbooks on MY Wish List 🙂

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The Oh She Glows Cookbook: Over 100 Vegan Recipes to Glow from the Inside Out by Angela Liddon

Don’t let the word “vegan” in this title scare you off. You’ll miss out if you do. One of the reasons I like vegan recipes is because they automatically nix dairy products (a trigger food for my history of health issues – and many other people’s as well!) and because they make plants the focal point of the dish. Most of us don’t eat enough plants, even though they are the most nutrient-dense, antioxidant-rich foods out there.

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Practical Paleo: A Customized Approach to Health & A Whole-Foods Lifestyle by Danielle Sanfilippo

I’ve heard from multiple people that this book is a must-have for anyone living a dairy-free, gluten-free, grain-free lifestyle. The cookbook includes 30-day meal plans, over 120 easy recipes, and even some handy tear-out guides.Danielle also writes for a paleo blog called Balanced Bites, which is definitely worth checking out!

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The Blender Girl by Tess Masters

I’ve heard great things about this book (and the beautiful pictures in it) from one of my favorite people (and head of the CNE program I just finished), Meghan Telpner. She raved about this book, so I plan to get it! I’ve also checked out some recipes on Tess’s blog and love the variety, especially for smoothies. She even has a smoothie app now, too. The app lets you punch in what you feel (happy, sluggish, wired), need (a detox, to lose weight, to chill out), and crave (light and fruity, clean and green, an exotic ride) to find the right smoothie for that day. For great detox and weight loss smoothies, check out this list from Dherbs.

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Make-Ahead Paleo: Healthy Gluten-, Grain- & Dairy-Free Recipes Ready When & Where You Are by Tammy Credicott

I was not familiar with this book, but a classmate from the Culinary Nutrition program I just finished suggested it as one of her “go to” cookbooks, so I thought I would add it to my list! Bill and I meal plan most weeks (as often as we can!) to make it easier and more affordable to eat the way we do – fresh, whole, unprocessed. Just this past week, we thawed out a vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie we had made in October and enjoyed it again for a few lunches this week. It saves so much time to have meals made ahead of time.

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How to Cook Everything: Completely Revised 10th Anniversary Edition by Mark Bittman

As the title says, use this book as a guide to learn every basic (and not so basic) cooking technique you could ever imagine. Bittman explains in simple, how to steps with lots of pictures and has even given a really great TED Talk about food. I gave this book to one of my best friends, who doesn’t feel confident in her cooking skills, as part of her wedding gift this year.

What are some of YOUR favorite cookbooks? Feel free to comment below!

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