The MamaBake Book: The Easy, No Fuss Way to Put a Healthy, Nutritious Meal on the Table 7 Nights a Week

Do you dream of being the perfect parent, with healthy meals, a clean kitchen and time to do it all, but find your reality severely lacking?  Are you ridiculously busy all week, every week?  Do you want to put a healthy, delicious meal on the table every night, but lack the time/energy/motivation/organisation to do so?  Do you want to meal plan each week, but aren't sure where to start?  Then we have the perfect no fuss, minimal effort solution for you!

These days we're all too busy, almost all the time.  Trying to find the time to run a busy home alongside jobs, childcare, life, can be a real challenge, and all too often eating well falls by the wayside.  We roll in the door after work, after-school clubs, playdates and all the other endless demands on our time, and gaze at the fridge in despair.  Tummies are rumbling, tempers are fraying and there's a distinct feeling of h-anger in the air...

What to do?  All too often we reach for the quickest and easiest solutions: the ready meals, the easy freezer or cupboard staples, or the dreaded take away menus.  Nutrition and health go out the window as we frantically grab something, anything, for everyone to eat.

What if there was another way?  What if you could serenely breeze in, serve up a healthy, nutritious and delicious meal in minutes, and sit back with a smile knowing the rest of the week's dinners were sorted too?  And all with minimal effort and only a little bit of time and organisation.

This simple solution comes via The MamaBake Book, a revolutionary new cookbook which grew out of the highly successful MamaBake movement in Australia.  MamaBake began after founder Michelle Shearer was given a family-sized lasagne by her friend at the school gates.  This simple kind gesture prompted Michelle to help other mums the same way.  Thinking about how wonderful it would be to not have to think about, prep and cook dinner every night, she set up a local group of mums who would cook for each other.  Every week they would cook a big batch meal each then share it round, so each mum took home a week's worth of freshly cooked, home-made meals.

Soon there were MamaBake groups in other areas of Australia, with the concept spreading like wildfire online, and MamaBake groups springing up across Europe and the US too.  Now the MamaBake movement is in book form for all of us to try, even if we don't have a network of other parents to share the cooking with (although there's nothing to stop you starting one).

The MamaBake Book translates the core philosophy of cook once, eat all week into a collection of more than 200 simple but delicious recipes, all collated into weekly meal plans.  Its premise is to show time-pressed mums (or dads) how to save time, to slash the food budget, but still serve delicious, healthy, home-cooked meals every night of the week.  Just think what you could do with all that extra time - and money!

The MamaBake way really does require only a minimum of effort, and proves that you don't need to spend hours in the kitchen every day to feed your family delicious, healthy food.  Each once a week cooking plan takes 1 to 4 hours, perfect for a Sunday afternoon or Monday morning, and at the end of that time you will have 7 great meals ready to go.

This is no ordinary cookbook, and it really will revolutionise the way you prepare family meals.  By shopping, preparing and cooking for a week's worth of meals in one go, you will save money, free up time, and never again face that 5pm 'what's for dinner?' panic!

Finding the time to plan, prepare and cook every day is an endless juggling act for busy parents, especially when children are young, although ravenous teens who can't wait another minute to eat are likely equally challenging.  This book removes all the stress and effort of that daily battle.

With step-by-step instructions, easy-to-follow plans for one morning or afternoon a week, and a wide variety of delicious meals, the MamaBake plan would last you 4 months if you made them all.

Each of the 18 once-a-week cooking plans is complete with full ingredients list, shopping list, time plan and all instructions, so you can launch straight into your first week's cooking immediately.  And don't worry that this is just one big vat of tomato sauce seven ways, there is a huge variety of meals in each plan and you can, of course, mix and match if required, as well as freezing a few of the meals for future use.

We love the big batch recipes for dishes, breads, puds, jams and sauces which you can freeze in smaller portion sizes so there is always something fabulous on hand. (Stacking the freezer with no-nonsense nutritious meals for when you have no time is definitely a parenting win!)

This book will completely revolutionize the way you cook, as well as saving you both time and money.  With over 200 recipes, there really is something to suit all tastes, and plenty of recipes you won't have tried before as well as some classics.  The huge variety of dishes and ideas is impressive.  There are vegetarian and vegan plans for when you fancy a change or have guests staying (although lots of other meals are adaptable), and there are simple plans for when time is even more limited than usual, packed lunch plans, and even dinner party ideas.  Truly something for everyone, and for all occasions.

We love the MamaBake no-nonsense approach and the inspiration for getting organised and cooking or at least prepping ahead.  I thought we were quite organised with meal planning, but reading this book has shown me ways to both cut costs and time, meaning more hours to get outside now the sun is shining - win win!  With tips on how to organise your cooking, your food prep and even your kitchen, as well as dozens of delicious recipes, even experienced cooks will benefit.  The book has even convinced this vegetarian to go out and buy a slow cooker!

The MamaBake Book is the perfect solution for busy parents who want to cook, people who lack time but don't want to compromise on quality and don't want to spend a fortune.  Try the MamaBake way!

The MamaBake Book by Michelle Shearer & Karen Swan is published by HarperCollins, RRP £12.99

If you would like to see one of the recipes from the book, my friend Galina has made the Pumpkin & Ricotta Cannelloni.

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