Mommy reviewer Samantha, received a copy of the Weight Watchers Family Meals cookbook ($29.99 value) in exchange for this review. Any opinions expressed here are honest and her own.
As a mom of two busy little boys I find myself asking the question daily, “what should I make for dinner?” I am sure all of us have been there staring at the fridge and trying to find something that meets our dinner criteria. For me personally, this includes something semi healthy, yet something my kids and husband will still eat and will not take me forever to make.
I received the opportunity to review the Weight Watchers Family Meals cookbook. Now I understand family means something different to everyone. To me family is myself, my husband, and our two boys ages three and one. I of course can not forget our German Shepard, who let’s be honest, probably eats more of the dinner I make some nights than my kids do.
At first glance I liked how the book was broken up with categories such as Weeknight Dinners (quick and easy), Theme Night, and Entertaining. I will say after reading through it a few times I felt this book played heavily on the entertaining aspect. While this didn’t fit so well into my family dynamic, I could see how this would work well for others. I picked recipes from the different categories to try out just for you all.
Our first recipe was the Chocolate Fudge Cookie Bites.
This was a simple and easy to follow recipe. I had to try a dessert right? It’s a vegetarian recipe that contains your usual pantry items such as: flour baking powder, salt, sugar, cocoa, butter and vanilla (with the addition of something anyone with two toddlers probably has in their house, apple sauce). It was easy to follow the directions and my three-year old stirred most of the dry ingredients together while I mixed the butter with the sugar and cocoa and then adding in the applesauce and vanilla. We blended everything together, rolled them into balls, and baked. Later they were dusted with powder sugar. I loved how easy this recipe was and how it was low in sugar for the kids. Only 3/4 cup per 40 bites. These were a big hit with my husband and my youngest. My toddler has a sweet tooth and wasn’t buying that this was a dessert. Overall, I would make these again as they were a quick and a family-friendly snack.
From the Theme Night section of the book I made Blue Corn Nachos.
Nachos are a favorite of my husband and a staple in our meal night folder so I am always looking for new variations. This recipe had pinto beans, tomatoes, scallion, jalapenos(which I omitted for the sake of the little ones), Monterrey jack cheese, cilantro, and limes. It was super easy to follow. You basically throw everything on top of the chips except the cilantro and lime and bake for about 20 minutes. You then top with the few remaining ingredients and enjoy. This was a huge hit in our house and a nice change to our normal dinner.
We also tried the Crunchy Oven Fried Drumsticks with Thyme And Parmesan from the Anytime Entertaining section of the book.
What drew me to this recipe was that it used a cheaper piece of organic chicken and the drumstick and had just a few ingredients such as: buttermilk, garlic, salt, chicken, whole wheat panko, Parmesan cheese, thyme, and a pinch of cayenne. Now this recipe does take a little planning ahead as you have to soak the chicken in the buttermilk and garlic mixture. Recipe says to soak anywhere from twenty minutes to a whole day. I did this the morning of. When you’re ready to cook, you just mix the rest of the ingredients together and coat the chicken in the breading mixture. Then you bake on a lightly greases lined tray for about 35 minutes. This recipe was a huge hit with us and was by far our favorite. It had a light crunchy crust and drumsticks are a fun kid food in our house. I urge anyone who likes that crunchy piece of chicken to make this recipe, we definitely will be eating this again and again.
I tried a couple different sides both the Crunchy Parmesan Kale Chips and the Potato Gratin With Parmesan and Rosemary.
Now I will admit I made both of these because they had Parmesan which I already had on my grocery list from the chicken. The kale chips were super simple and aside from the kale, it called for all things I already had. Parmesan, salt, garlic powder and olive oil. Now I love kale chips and my kids love kale chips so these were a huge success for our family and also something my older son loves to help with. Just mix everything except the Parmesan in a bowl and bake. When they cool sprinkle with the cheese and enjoy. The potato gratin I also found to be fairly simple and the only item I had to specifically buy for this was cream cheese. The recipe calls for pantry staples like flour, milk, garlic, rosemary, thyme, salt, pepper, Parmesan, cream cheese and of course potatoes. Now this recipe does require you to cook the flour and milk in a sauce pan. Once that is smooth, you add all the herbs and spices and cook for about five minutes. You then add the cream cheese and when that’s melted you add the Parmesan. You pour this mixture over your sliced potatoes and bake. This was a tasty recipe that everyone enjoyed with no hidden boxed preservatives, which this momma loves.
I will say it again, that overall our favorite recipe as a family was the Crunchy Oven Fried Drumsticks With Thyme And Rosemary. This was simple and delicious and a definite kid-pleaser in our house. It’s a healthier version of everyone’s favorite fried chicken and who doesn’t love to feed their family their favorite foods? You don’t have to tell them it’s healthier, I never will. 😉
Michigan Mom Living would like to thank the folks over at Weight Watchers for allowing our mommy reviewer “Samantha” to try out some of the recipes from your cookbook. The recipes sound and look amazing!
You can purchase the Weight Watchers Family Meals cookbook on Amazon.com and other local bookstore retailers.