Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The Healthy Family Slow Cooker Cookbook Review

One of the authors of the Snow Valley romance novels, Christina Dymock, has also written some cookbooks. I've had a lot of fun reviewing her latest one: The Healthy Family Slow Cooker Cookbook. It contains over 70 simple recipes categorized into poultry, pork, beef, soup and salad, sides, and sweet endings. I tried three of the recipes.

The first one I made was the chicken gyros. I added some spinach for a fresh, leafy crunch and some hummus for extra moisture since I overcooked the chicken. The seasoning was delicious, and my husband really liked the homemade tzatziki sauce.

The second I made was the turkey and veggie sloppy joes. I didn't put in all the required veggies because I didn't have them all. I used carrots, onions, and peppers, and added mushrooms because we love them. Next time I would definitely include celery. I served the sandwich on whole wheat hamburger buns instead of crispy rolls and had veggie chips as the side. I wouldn't say the flavor reminded me of a sloppy joe, but I still thought it was very yummy.

The last one I made was the cookie bar. This one wasn't my favorite. It reminded me of a blond brownie, and I prefer my brownies dark and fudgy. The boys gobbled it up, though! The directions didn't specify the heat setting, so I started on low to be safe. The cookie wasn't baking, so I switched it to high and ended up overcooking it. Just a tip: the top may still look raw even when it's done (at least, to me it did). The plus side is that the clean-up was a million times easier than it is after making cookies the traditional way!

*The cookbook motivated me to use my slow cooker more. It was much more enjoyable preparing things early and not having to scramble around trying to figure out dinner in the evening with hungry, whiny boys.
*The recipes are easy to alter to fit your needs. I normally don't have all the ingredients needed for a recipe, so I appreciated that I could make changes and still have it come out great.
*The meals are simple and most are loaded with vegetables. They are also kid friendly. My boys ate both meals without complaint, which is how I determine a dinner's success!

*This is where I get nitpicky as an editor. For the most part, I loved the layout. It was simple and clean, exactly my style. However, I prefer directions in bullet or numbered form, because it's easier to find your place in the recipe and divide it into steps. I also thought some of the photos were less professional looking than others, particularly the ones that were super close up or had poorer lighting.

Overall, this cookbook is a great resource for planning easy, healthy meals, whether you're a busy mom or not!
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