“The Family Cooks:” Book Review and Giveaway!

by Bettina Elias Siegel on April 25, 2014

Back in 2011, I had the honor of interviewing Laurie David, author of The Family Dinner: Great Ways to Connect with Your Kids, One Meal at a Time.  At that time, Laurie was better known for her environmental activism and as the executive producer of the Oscar-winning “An Inconvenient Truth,” but she and her co-author, chef Kirstin Uhrenholdt (whom I also interviewed), had created a terrific resource for busy families trying to eat together more often, replete with recipes, tables games, discussion topics and more.  If you haven’t yet read it, I encourage you to check it out.

Laurie’s again making news, this time with the pending release (May 9th) of a new documentary about the obesity crisis called Fed Up. Co-executive produced by Katie Couric, the film exposes a decades-long campaign by the food industry to confuse and mislead the public about the factors leading to weight gain, resulting in one of the largest health crises in our history.  (I’ve seen a screener of the film, which is excellent, and am honored to be a member of Fed Up‘s advisory board.)

The Family CooksThe film concludes with information on how Americans can fight against the obesity tide, and one of the most important pieces of advice is for families to reduce their reliance on restaurants and processed foods by getting back in the kitchen.  To that end, Laurie and Kristin have banded together again to create a new book, The Family Cooks: 100+ Recipes Guaranteed to Get Your Family Craving Food That’s Simple, Tasty, and Incredibly Good for You.

The Family Cooks is beautifully photographed and engagingly written in a causal, conversational tone.  You feel as though your good friend has dropped over for a glass of wine during dinner prep and is sharing her favorite healthful recipes with you.  The book includes useful tips on creating grocery lists, handling picky eaters and planning meals, and many recipes are so easy they’re marked with a “K” for “kids in charge.”  You’ll find everything from reliable basics like “Weekday Roast Chicken with Lemon and Garlic” to more exotic dishes like “Curried Quinoa ‘Risotto.”  It’s a great new resource for experienced and novice cooks alike, and I can’t wait to start cooking from it!

And now for the giveaway: one lucky reader can win a free copy of The Family Cooks just by leaving a comment below before 7 pm CST on Monday, April  28th.  You can tell me why you’d like to win, your biggest family dinner challenge or you can just say hi.  I’ll use a random number generator after the comment period closes to select one lucky winner and if you comment twice (e.g., to respond to another reader’s comment), I’ll use the number of your first comment to enter you in the drawing.  I’ll email you directly if you win and announce the winner on TLT’s Facebook page, too.  (This offer is open to U.S. residents only.)

Good luck!

 [Blogger disclosure:  As with most of my book reviews, I received a free copy of this book for my perusal.  However, I never accept any other form of compensation for the book reviews you see on The Lunch Tray.]

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{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

Susie Kinsey April 25, 2014 at 7:33 am

Very excited about this book! I would love to have it! I have actually started a page to bring the “Fed Up” movie closer to my area. I feel that it is VERY important to see it! Thank you!


Mara April 25, 2014 at 7:59 am

Sounds like great book! I need help getting out of my usual dinner rut!


Amber P April 25, 2014 at 8:20 am

Hi! I would love to win this book, it sounds amazing!


Melissa April 25, 2014 at 9:00 am

I just read her other book and I’d love to win this one!


Sue April 25, 2014 at 11:51 am

Sounds great!


Gretchen April 25, 2014 at 11:52 am

This looks like just what I need to make more progress on my weeknight dinner recipe project!


Anna April 25, 2014 at 12:04 pm

Can’t wait to read this!


Lisa April 25, 2014 at 12:20 pm

Looks like a great book!


Tracy April 25, 2014 at 1:20 pm

Fun read, no doubt!


Karen April 25, 2014 at 1:28 pm

I’m in!


Tracey April 25, 2014 at 5:08 pm

I’m always looking for good, healthy ideas for dinner and just love cookbooks so thought I’d add my name to the list. I also have a lot of faith in anything Bettina promotes.


Gigi April 25, 2014 at 5:39 pm

I work with low income families on how to spend more meaningful time connecting with their children…this would be a great resource!!


Melissa April 25, 2014 at 11:54 pm

I’d love to win this because I’m tired of cooking the same old things.


Andi Georgsson April 26, 2014 at 5:32 am

Oooo, sounds good.


Erika April 26, 2014 at 10:07 am

Looks like a very helpful book. My kids are getti old enough to help more in the kitchen and this sounds like it would be a good book to start with.


Sophia Johnston April 26, 2014 at 12:52 pm

Making healthy meal choices is always a challenge especially when we are traveling. The easy way is to eat out or just have a meal delivered. On the weeks I am home it helps to have a plan and prepare ahead.


Martha April 26, 2014 at 3:53 pm

This looks like a wonderful resource to assist me in serving nutrition to my school children. Again thanks for all you do!


Kristina McCook April 26, 2014 at 10:38 pm

My biggest dinner challenge is that my husband isn’t on board with healthy eating habits.

Would love to win!


Mom in NJ April 26, 2014 at 11:48 pm

Recipes sound interesting. I love the “K” idea.


miranda April 27, 2014 at 10:57 am

I love new meal ideas


Gary April 27, 2014 at 10:58 am

looks like a great family book


Bill April 27, 2014 at 10:59 am

Love this idea!


Ella April 27, 2014 at 4:46 pm

I came across this book the other day while browsing at Chapters… almost bought it, but decided to hold off. Now, after reading reviews, I think that it is a must have! Stunning, mouth-watering photographs (a definite plus for inspiring healthy eating!), and promoting an approach so many more of us should adopt for ourselves and for our families!


Amy April 28, 2014 at 8:02 am

Looking forward to having a cookbook that engages everyone in the family. Thanks for bringing it to our attention!


Donna April 28, 2014 at 8:43 am

Help me out of my dinner rut!


Jodi Furman April 28, 2014 at 4:53 pm

My biggest dinner challenge? Finding a variety of recipes that I can make safe for my family. We deal with several life threatening food allergies and I get in a rut often. I’d love to have more ideas to work with.


Lacy Willey April 28, 2014 at 5:40 pm

Sound like a great book. I’m excited for the “Kids in charge” recipes.


Bettina Elias Siegel April 29, 2014 at 8:04 am

The entry period for this giveaway is now closed.


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