Top 4 Cookbooks for Family-Friendly Recipes

cookbooks for family-friendly recipes philadelphia lifestyle blog

Let's talk family-friendly recipes, shall we? J and I used to order pretty frequently because it was just easy. As you can imagine, this became cost prohibitive, quickly. We also never liked the idea of not knowing what ingredients were being used in our food. From meal delivery services to crock pot recipes, we're always experimenting and searching for the best way to cook delicious and nutritious meals for our family that have minimal ingredients and don't take all evening. That's not too much to ask for, is it?

Through all of our experimenting, we discovered that there is just nothing like home-cooked meals. Unfortunately, neither one of us can spend hours preparing Michelin star-quality meals, for obvious reasons. However, we do use four cookbooks for family meals that have healthy and tasty food that we can make quickly throughout the week. We make it a priority to eat clean in our family and try to raise our kids to have a love for healthy food. That means less processed food, less red meat and more lean proteins with fresh fruit and vegetables. I love a good steak and carbs as much as the next girl but I try to keep things in moderation during the week. On the weekends, I'm all about that pasta and pizza.

With the family-friendly recipes below, we now try to limit ordering food to once a week and cook each meal so there are usually leftovers for the next day. I hope these cookbooks and recipe suggestions give you some ideas for what to make when you're already doing all the things-raising families, building careers, starting businesses, finding a great pair of jeans, the usual. Leave a comment below with a recipe you're planning on trying out!

clean and nutritious • quick • delicious • minimal ingredients • family-friendly recipes

Top 4 Cookbooks for Family-Friendly Meals


I recommend reading this cookbook from cover to cover to get a sense of what clean eating is about. I find myself using The Clean Plate most often for healthy and family-friendly recipes, which I end up repeating often. When I made the Cucumber & Avocado Gazpacho, I subsequently made it another 4 times that month because it was such a hit. Most importantly, the kids didn't even think about the fact that they were eating avocado, cucumbers, mint, and garlic. They just loved repeating the word gazpacho.

One of my favorite recipes from the cookbook is the Rosemary Sea Salt Nuts recipe, which I often make when we have friends or family over. Warning, you will find yourself dipping the last few remaining nuts in any remaining spices on the pan. It's just that good. It's also quite easy and a great finger food. Another fan favorite for the kids is the Blueberry Cauliflower Smoothie recipe. We make it as a snack or desert sometimes and they always ask for 'purple smoothies'. Obviously, I am more than happy to oblige.

One thing to keep in mind is that most of the recipes serve two so I often double the ingredients. Therefore, I have enough for the family and for leftovers so I don't need to cook the next day. Most of the ingredients can easily be found in the grocery store but there are some recipes that call for a special trip to Whole Foods. We had most of the pantry items in our kitchen before I bought the cookbook because I've been doing the Tone It Up nutrition plan for years. That is to say, if you haven't used raw cacao powder or nori sheets in your recipes, you may need to add to your pantry.

Favorite recipes //

                    • Coconut Chicken Soup
                    • Cucumber & Avocado Gazpacho
                    • Blueberry Cauliflower Smoothie
                    • Chicken & Cabbage Dim Sum
                    • Chicken & Leek Soup
                    • Peruvian Chicken Cauli Rice Soup
                    • Rosemary Sea Salt Nuts

Recipes I'm excited to try //

                    • Cauliflower, Pea & Turmeric Soccata
                    • Chicken Meatball Pho
                    • Teriyaki Bowl
                    • Tex-Mex Bowl
                    • White Bean & Zucchini Burgers

This is definitely my most heavily bookmarked cookbook. It's All Easy addresses the constant dilemma busy parents have as they manage life, work, and try to provide nourishment to their growing children. How do you find time to make healthy and non-processed family meals? Written by Gwyneth Paltrow and Thea Baumann, this cookbook is marketed as weekday recipes for busy home cooks. Having a cookbook you're excited about and can turn to for quick meals was instrumental in going from eating out or ordering in all the time to making healthy home-cooked meals.

One of the meals I order most often is poke bowl. It's just so irresistible and easy. I'm happy to share that there is a really great recipe for salmon or tuna poke bowl in here, which has been satisfying my poke craving and saving money. Lastly, if you're having family over and looking for a protein, check out the Zuni Sheet Pan Chicken. It's straight-forward, flavorful and always a hit at our get-togethers.

Similarly to The Clean Plate, you may have to order certain ingredients like Dashi and Furikake seasoning from Amazon or go to an asian supermarket. Fortunately, for the most part, most of the pantry items are pretty common.


Favorite recipes //

                    • Salmon Poke Bowl
                    • Zucchini Cacio E Pepe
                    • Asian-Steamed Halibut With Scallions and Bok Choy
                    • Chicken and Zucchini Noodle Pho
                    • Spicy Shrimp Ramen
                    • Grilled Squid, White Bean, and Fennel Salad
                    • Zucchini and Leek Soup
                    • Shishito Peppers
                    • Singapore Rice Noodles
                    • Zuni Sheet Pan Chicken

Recipes I'm excited to try //

                    • Tortilla Soup Noodle Pot
                    • Chicken Wonton Soup
                    • Tikka Masala Roast Chicken
                    • Eggplant and Ground Turkey Stir-Fry
                    • Mixed Seafood With Sherry and Saffron
the clean plate it's all easy, easy, delicious and quick family recipes weekday

Le Creuset recipes can be more involved and take longer but they're totally worth it if you have the time. Since I'm using a dutch oven for most of these and making a large quantity of food, I usually use this website when we host dinners or if I need to make something that will last a few days.

One of my favorite recipes is the chicken vindaloo, which is perfect when you're craving Indian food but want to know all the ingredients going in your food. Another great option is the pan-fried noodles and shrimp. I can never say no to a dish with noodles. Comment below with your favorite dutch oven recipe.

I have been a proud Tone It Up (TIU) member since 2014. The founders, Karena and Katrina, created a nutrition plan consisting of uncomplicated and healthy meals, which I am always in search of. The recipe book is continuously updated so over the years, I have been able to try some weekday meal game changers. Looking back, the TIU nutrition plan helped me understand the value of clean ingredients and how to avoid processed foods. I remember the first week of meal planning when I went to Whole Foods with Julian to get all the ingredients we needed. Meanwhile, I was looking for items like Jicama, almond flour and tamari- ingredients I never incorporated in my cooking at that point, much less even heard of. If we're being honest, "my cooking" consisted of chicken & broccoli pre-packed mixes and pasta.

Another reason I turn to TIU recipes is that I have always struggled with what to make for breakfast. My sunny side up eggs can only take me so far. Overnight oats were the solution. Around 2014, I started making mason jar salads that I would bring to work when I was primarily in an office setting and overnight oats that I would set up the night before work. Recipes like the Chili Lime Shrimp Tacos have a minimal amount of ingredients and taste so good. If you're in need of quick recipes with few ingredients that actually taste good, give the plan a try. Start with the shrimp tacos!

cookbooks for family-friendly recipes the clean plate it's all easy, easy and quick family recipes weekday

Favorite recipes //

                    • Chili Lime Shrimp Tacos
                    • Three Bean Salad
                    • Blueberry Overnight Oats
                    • Zucchini and Caramelized Onion Egg Muffins
                    • Peach Raspberry Breakfast Bowl
                    • Green Giant Smoothie
                    • Spicy Shrimp Cucumber Collard Wrap
                    • Grapefruit and Shrimp Love Affair
                    • Caprese Skewers

Recipes I'm excited to try //

                    • Pumpkin Spice Donut Holes
                    • Avocado With Sunflower Seeds and Honey
                    • Strawberry Cucumber Rafts
                    • Spicy Mango Black Bean Tacos
                    • Tuna Salad Bikini Wrap
                    • Teriyaki Tray Bake

For more family life hacks, check out this post. 

Images: 1/2/3/4

One thought on “Top 4 Cookbooks for Family-Friendly Recipes

  1. Lina Shargorodsky says:

    I’m always looking for some clean eating recipes and new cook books. These recipes look amazing and so different than all the usuals I cook! Thank you! 😘 I’ve been meaning to get a le creuset, those recipes look awesome, maybe I should… hmmm.

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