Through the Cookbook – Well Fed Weeknights – Introduction AND Giveaway!

I’m so excited to announce my project (and GIVEAWAY to start it off!) for 2018. Through the Cookbook – Well Fed Weeknights. This means I will be cooking and thoroughly reviewing EVERY SINGLE RECIPE in the Well Fed Weeknights Cookbook. All of them. Yes ALL of them.

Why Well Fed Weeknights?

I love cooking and experimenting and “doctoring up” recipes. There is hardly a recipe I cook that gets made “as-is.” In fact, Melissa Joulwan’s recipes are the ONLY ones I’ve cooked where I didn’t feel the need to make any changes or substitutions afterwards. This meant one of her books had to be the starting point to this experiment. Why the Weeknights book? Easy: I need a life! I’m a real person who works full time. As much as I love this blog, it’s my hobby. I also have a toddler, am currently pregnant with our 2nd child, and am pursuing my MBA full time. I love making goals, but those goals need to be attainable. Her earlier books {Well Fed and Well Fed 2} contained recipes that were delicious, but quite time consuming. To make this challenge realistic, this book seemed like a good place to start since every recipe is meant to take 45minutes or less. In fact, this perfectly leads us unto the rating system for each recipe…

The Rating System for Through the Cookbook

This is my idea as of right now, but if anything changes as time goes on and I get into the groove of typing up these reviews I’ll be sure to update this. If you have anything you want to know about each recipe please comment to let me know!

  • 45 minutes or less 

    As mentioned above, I have a lot of different priorities. That means one of the biggest tests is if these meals can actually be made in 45 mins. I consider myself to have average culinary skills. Often I wonder if people writing recipes have a magical robot that does all of the chopping for them. Don’t worry, I will make sure to mention if time was taken out for a toddler meltdown and to account for this when scoring.

    • Yes! – 5 points
    • “If you are better at cooking than me it might/probably would be” – 3 points
    • No – 1 points

  • Taste

    Pretty simple but I want to get mine and my husband’s opinions on how these taste AS IS. No substitutions. No changing spice ratios. This is very hard for me as I’m a bit of a rule bender, but we shall manage.

    • 1-5 with 5 being the “Oh my goodness, this must go into our regular rotation because it’s THAT good.
  • Budget Friendly

The name of this blog is “Budgets & Kale” for a reason….we’re on a budget! We’ve followed the Dave Ramsey Baby Steps and are on Baby Steps 4/5/6, but it was not long ago that we were paying off student loans. We’re a young family so maintaining a reasonable grocery budget is really important to us. I shop primarily at Aldi, Sam’s Club (click here for a free $20 gift card if you choose to become a member!), and Meijer. Occassionally I purchase an item or two at my local health food store, Amazon, or Trader Joe’s. I limit those items to maintain our budget. I want everyone to feel that eating Paleo/Whole30 can be affordable!


  • Dishes Made –

    This probably isn’t on many people’s lists of ratings, but let’s be honest. Eating healthy can mean a lot of dishes at times. When people say they
    “don’t have time” to cook, they actually mean they “don’t have time to cook and clean up”


What this is NOT:

Me Illegally Giving You the Recipes.

To be clear upfront: I will not be writing out the recipes. That is called copyright infringement and Melissa Joulwan deserves all of the credit for her book. You can buy it here {link!} or check if your local library has it available. A few recipes are available on Melissa Joulwan’s website and I will be sure to link to them if they are available. I simply love these recipes and think it will be fun to “cook my way through the cookbook” with the world.

Long term I would LOVE to continue to do these with other cookbooks, but for now I’m just commiting to this one because that’s a lot of cooking!

Page by Page through the Book

While it’d be kind of cool to go through the book recipes in order, I don’t think it’d be realistic for my family’s budget OR our tastebuds. Well Fed Weeknights is arranged by protein type, and I don’t think I could handle 30+ days of pork in a row. That doesn’t sound enjoyable and Through the Cookbook is meant to be a fun experiment and meal prepping plan.

Want to Join the Through the Cookbook Community?

Join the Facebook Group

Through the Cookbook: Well Fed Weeknights

Follow Me on Social Media –


To celebrate the beginning of this, Melissa Joulwan herself has given her blessing/best wishes and partnered with me in a giveaway of Well Fed Weeknights! This giveaway will be open internationally until 11:59pm EST January 6th, 2018. Winner will be announced on January 7th, 2018.

How to Enter – EACH of these will give you a chance to win.

  • Follow @budgetsandkale on Instagram- link!
  • Tag a friend in THIS Instagram Post – link!
  • Follow @budgetsandkale on Twitter – link!
  • Retweet THIS tweet – link!
  • Repin THIS Pin – link!
  • Subscribe to my email list (worth 2 entries!)
  • Join the Through the Cookbook – Well Fed Weeknights Facebook Group – link!

I hope you enjoy!


psssst! if you are curious about me and who I am, click here 🙂

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