Food on Friday: The Fresh 20 book review

I’ve been looking for ways to routinize grocery shopping and meal prep, now that the spouse and I are back on a less restrictive diet. It’s got me looking again at resources on once-a-month cooking, freezer cooking, and all that jazz. One of the recent books that was highly recommended in this area was The Fresh 20, by Melissa Lanz, so I got it from the library.

It’s a cookbook and meal planner organized into four seasons, with four different weeks of meal plans and recipes for each season (5 dinners each week). I tried out a couple of the fall weeks and was underwhelmed. The recipes were basic and a little dull, with some lacking needed information (“1 eggplant, chopped” – if you’re not going to specify which kind of eggplant, at least tell me how big it should be). And the shopping lists were pretty spendy – one week called for you to buy a whole beef brisket, halibut fillets, and a pound of ham, which came out to over 50 bucks just for meat alone.

It’s not all bad, though – as the title suggests, these plans focus on fresh foods, and accessible ones – no hard to find ingredients or casseroles made from convenience foods (common in make-ahead cookbooks). I suspect that this book would be a good resource for families with young children, since they aren’t usually adventurous eaters. As for me, I’ll stick with my e-meals subscription and my own imagination.

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