Whole in One: Complete, Healthy Meals by Ellie Krieger

Cookbook cover for Whole in One: Complete, Healthy Meals in a Single Pot, Sheet Pan, or Skillet by Ellie Krieger

“New York Times bestselling author and James Beard Award winner Ellie Krieger gives her signature spin to the one-pot trend for meals that are nutritious, easy, and delicious.

We want the food we love and we want to be healthy, but who has the time or energy to figure it all out? James Beard Award winner and bestselling cookbook author Ellie Krieger shows you how to create a meal in a single pot, sheet pan, baking dish, or skillet — no additional gadgets or tools required. Divided by main ingredients — meat, poultry, seafood, vegetarian, dessert — and further separated into sheet pan, baking dish, skillet, and pot-cooked meals, the 125 nutritionally complete dinner recipes (plus healthy desserts) can each be prepared simply.

Whole in One puts home-cooked meals within reach by minimizing the work load on both ends of the dinner process — cooking and clean-up — with one pot dishes that check every box. Minimal steps? Check. Crowd-pleasing flavors? Check. Easy-to-find ingredients? Check. Nutritionally complete? Check. Breezy cleanup? Check.

Nutritionist Ellie Krieger is the Host and executive producer of the Public Television cooking series “Ellie’s Real Good Food,” and well known as the host of Food Network’s hit show “Healthy Appetite”.”

My Review

Since I haven’t watched Ellie Krieger’s cooking shows on tv, I was not sure what to expect from her cookbook. I found I mostly agree with her food philosophy.

“There is no one ideal diet (despite what many marketers like to tell us). The truth is, humans can thrive on a wide spectrum of different eating patterns when they have a selection of wholesome foods to choose from. …Tailor your choices to what works best for you at any given time.”

Yes, she advocates not labeling any food as “never eat”. This makes so much sense. We need to balance our emotional outlook on health and food. How we eat also affects how our children eat and see themselves too. I agree it is healthy to allow ourselves a variety of foods, even ones that we may deem unhealthy occasionally.

The somewhat processed ingredients in this cookbook’s recipes include fish sauce, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, all-purpose flour, brown sugar, and cornstarch. Ellie does recommend a couple substitutions such as cornstarch instead of flour. The recipes in Whole in One uses ingredients from all the major allergens so some  people may need to substitute ingredients. The Complete Food Substitutions Handbook: Including Options for Low-Sugar, Low-Fat, Low-Salt, Gluten-Free, Lactose-Free, and Vegan by Jean B. MacLeod is a nearly complete list of food substitutions I bought to simplify this process for my children when they cook.

The great part about Ellie’s recipes is she use sweeteners sparingly. Honey and maple syrup are most commonly used with some brown sugar and a tiny bit of confectioner’s sugar. I love that the recipes call for lots of antioxidant spices and fresh herbs.

The promise of using only one pan or pot for cooking was very alluring. I was a little disappointed some recipes use several mixing bowls or a food processor so the dish cleanup is more than I imagined. None would be great, right? However, the Chocolate–Chocolate Chip Sheet Cake recipe really uses just one pan. All the mixing is done right on the baking pan. Cool!

Trying a Recipe: Maple Pecan Dessert Pancake

Maple Pecan Dessert Pancake recipe was my first choice to try. To make it a little easier, I used my Blendtec blender instead of a food processor as it is easy to clean.

I didn’t have maple syrup so used our usual homemade honey pancake syrup instead. Dates made a great substitute for brown sugar and were easy to process in the blender with the other ingredients. The batter was delicious!

My family loved the end results. My daughter declared the leftovers would make a great breakfast. Luckily, I got to it before she did the next day so we both got some.

I will definitely make this again. It would be delicious served with pumpkin ice cream or made with pumpkin instead of milk. I’m also wondering how a chocolate hazelnut version would taste. 😋

Conclusion

I am looking forward to trying Black Rice Coconut Pudding next. There are several dinner recipes that also look tempting.

One feature I really like is the nutrients especially available in each recipe are noted. Ellie does a great job combining healthy whole foods with spices and herbs for interesting flavor combinations and boosted nutrition.

If you have allergies, multiple food sensitivities, or are trying to get rid of inflammation or candida this may not be the best book for you unless you are used to substituting ingredients. It might still be fun to check out from the library though for some new recipe inspiration.

I will be enjoying more of the recipes from Whole in One very soon.

I received a free advanced reader copy of this book. All opinions are completely my own.

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