Winter Giveaway Week: Win 1 of 10 Copies of the "Better Than a Box" eBook

Winter Giveaway Week: Win 1 of 10 Copies of the “Better Than a Box” eBook

gluten free breaded chicken nuggets

Making real food understandable (and the transition to it achievable) is a huge priority for me as a blogger.

Coming from a background of being raised on primarily processed foods and having to both learn to acquire a taste for real food, as well as learn to cook it, has given me a genuine desire to want to offer resources to help make the transition easier for others than it was for me.

Better Than A Box cover smallerOver the past month and a half, we’ve been writing about “Real Food Made Simple- A Beginner’s Guide to Eating Better“. I hope that the posts have helped to break down some concepts and make them easier to understand, and also encourage you to take small steps to buying and preparing more real food in your home.

Today’s giveaway, the ebook Better Than a Box, fits in with this perfectly!

Here’s what Katie of Kitchen Stewardship has to say about her latest ebook:

Whether you’re right-brained or left-brained, a scientist who follows every recipe to the pinch or an artist who tosses this spice and that into the pot, you can learn to tweak recipes to make them healthier.

If you love cooking with whole foods but miss your old favorites, this book is for you.

Better Than a Box is more than just a recipe book – it’s a tutorial in real food cooking, reverse engineering processed foods, and creative recipe development.

In the first 100 pages, you’ll learn step-by-step processes to transform your own family-favorite recipes by ditching the boxes and cans and using 100% real food. Through demonstrations of successful recipe remakes and the extensive section of basic recipes, your “Reverse Engineering” toolbox will be well stocked, and you’ll be inspired to take courage in the kitchen.

We leave no can of cream of mushroom untouched.

No box of Stovetop Stuffing is safe.


A book for EVERY real food cook

This ebook is NOT just for those who are trying to make the switch from eating processed, canned, and boxed foods. Not at all!

If you live in a house with a kitchen, and you want to prepare and eat real food, this book is for you.

(Did you catch that? In other words, anyone could benefit from this book!)

I’ve been teaching real food and traditional nutrition, kitchen tips and shortcuts, meal planning, and food frugality  for over 5 year at Keeper of the Home. This is a strong area for me and one which I’m passionate about.

So when I say just how many true nuggets of helpful, realistic, practical advice were in this book, I really, really mean it. As I read through my review copy, thoughts kept popping into my head like “Oh, that’s such a good thing to remind people of!” or “Right, I do that, but I wouldn’t have thought to explain it like that” or “Yes, that’s another great way to reduce cooking time- I need to remember that for myself!”.

The entire read found me nodding my head appreciatively, thinking what a gem this resource really is, and just how eager I was to share it with all of you.

Homemade French Onion Chip Dip

Some of the 5-star highlights from Better Than a Box:

  • Detailed instructions in how to “reverse engineer” your favorite (but not real food) recipes. Katie really delves into the process of how she likes to “real foodify” her recipes. Not only how she cuts out the processed foods and replaces them with whole foods, but also how she ups the nutritional content of meals in simple ways that your family will not object to.
  • Want to learn to streamline your prep and cleaning time in the kitchen? Katie is a whiz at this and she offers a crash course in turning complicated meals into one-pot wonders, as well as plenty of cooking and kitchen basics just crammed full of tidbits of advice on how to pre-cook, stock your freezer and fridge, cut out unnecessary steps, and just generally allow you to make more real food in far less time than you’d expect.
  • For those who feel lost when it comes to uses spices, herbs and flavorings, she breaks down a list of common seasonings that you’ll want to have around and where/how to use them.
  • Troubleshooting for all your baking #fails. What’s fantastic about this is that the more you understand the science and art behind baking, the more confidence you’ll have in adapting recipes to be healthier or even creating your own.
  • Real life examples of how she took processed food recipes that her family used to eat, and step by step, how she converted them into real food goodness that her family enjoys just as much or more as the original!
  • A detailed substitution list (aka The Real Food > Standard American Diet Language Dictionary). Trying to figure out what to substitute in your recipe for the bouillon cubes, Miracle Whip, or Italian Seasoned Tomatoes? No problem!
  • A solid selection of 35 “Remake Recipes” such as homemade dressing recipes, mix-it-yourself baking mixes, spice mixes, along with plenty of other from-scratch ingredients to use in your cooking.
  • Plus 25 ready-to-cook recipes including plenty of comfort food options like Tuna Noodle Casserole, Chicken Enchiladas, French Onion Dip and Chicken Nuggets.

Homemade Hamburger Helper

One of the challenges of ebook cookbooks is that you (like me) probably don’t want to have to print out all the full pages of recipes so that you can have them for easy access. I really appreciate that Katie created 18 printable recipe cards to go with the book, so that you can only print the parts that you really need and save your paper and ink!

Another perk is that for those using Real Plans (my preferred meal planning software– and you even have a chance to win a year-long membership right now!) is that all of the recipes are available to you through your Plan to Eat account when you purchase Better Than a Box.

Want to try out a recipe for yourself? Katie has made her Creamy Stovetop Stuffing Chicken recipe available as a free download!

Even better, want a copy of your own? Of course you do!

I’ve got 10 copies of Better Than a Box to give away! Here’s how to get entered:

Rather than simply leaving comments, I’m trying out a new method for entering giveaways. Click below to complete one Rafflecopter form, for all of your multiple entries, and then you’re done! If you’re reading in an email, make sure that you click through to enter from the actual website.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

For those who already know they want a copy to add to their real food recipes and resources, I have a coupon code to give you 25% off Better Than a Box. Use code KOTHBOX (expires 2/28). If you don’t want to wait until after the giveaway ends, I’ll make you a deal… if you buy a copy now, and then you happen to be one of the winners, I would be happy to refund your money, I like this book that much!

Giveaway ends 2/24/2013 at 12:00 am.

Disclosure: I received a copy of Better Than a Box for the purpose of review, although I am under no obligation to share it with you. All opinions are my own and I specifically asked Katie if I could run this particular giveaway because I wanted to get this book out to more of my readers. This post includes my affiliate links, meaning I earn a small commission on any books that you buy, which helps to support this site.

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  1. My friend just told me about this book and how much she LOVES it. I am so excited for the opportunity to win a copy. Thanks so much!

  2. Opps, I forgot to answer the question. I have a few family favorite meals that call for cream of soups. I guess that is one that I would like to find a homemade recipe for.

  3. Tortillas – hands down. I love tortillas, both corn and wheat, but haven’t figured out how to make them. And the ones from the stores available to us – ick.
    “Cream of” soups would be handy, too, as that would open a LOT of recipes back up to us.

    Thanks for hosting the giveaway! 😀

  4. Cream of soups would be my pick to learn. I’m already making my own chicken and beef broths, so I don’t think it would be a stretch. Thanks for the opportunity to win!

  5. Oh, there are so many. I’d love to learn to make tortillas & cream soups. I’m also still struggling to find a really good bread recipe!

  6. Totally entering this one 🙂 I’m loving this series and I’m sure the book would help my family on our way to a healthier, real(er) food diet.

  7. I would love to win this book. We don’t eat a lot of processed food and I’m looking for ways to streamline the homemade process. Thank you!

  8. Blue box macaroni and cheese is my processed temptation. I’ve never found a real food alternative that I really liked.

  9. Would love this book. I have some recipes that sound good but I don’t want to make them because of what they call for.

  10. I agree with the above, tortillas! I still buy the store version and know that they are filled with things I dont want to fee my family.

  11. Would like to know how to make my own yogurt,healthier substitute for ketchup, a real healthy condiment that goes with any sandwich in place of mayo.

  12. I don’t know why, but sour cream and onion dip is one that I have not tackled yet. We don’t eat any processed foods, but I am always looking for ways to recreate those packaged foods we loved as children.

  13. I very much love making homemade box mixes. We rarely buy boxed anything. If there is something I can gain from this book … even new recipes, I would love to win.

  14. I’d love to win this. I grew up eating grass fed beef and vegetables, but my husband did not. He’s a bisquick, velveeta, and canned soup kinda guy, and I HATE to feed my family that junk. I’d like some help bringing him over to my way of thinking. 😉

  15. This cookbook sounds so fun! I would love to learn more about streamlining the cooking process because sometimes I just get so overwhelmed!

  16. It’s hard to only choose one! Boxed cakes would be good because I haven’t found a yellow cake recipe that doesn’t have a TON of sugar thrown in! Tortillas, ketchup, and cream of mushroom are other handy ideas to know for my family. 🙂

  17. Probably tortillas – we’re slowly changing over on many things, but we still buy shells for our weekly taco night.

  18. I would love to have this collections of recipes for my kitchen. We have switched over completely to non processed foods. BUT many of my recipes that we love have processed ingredients so we have avoided them. Would love to enjoy them again in a healthy way.

  19. I would love to know how to make cream soups. Lots of my recipes call for it and I just don’t make them anymore 🙁 What a treat for my family to be able to go back to some of their favorites :)!

  20. This looks like an amazing book…would love to win a copy to jump start the process of coverting my family to a whole foods diet!

  21. White sauce mix/cream soups. I hardly use processed foods any more, but would love to have some options opened back up to us.

  22. I’m trying to make healthy changes in our menu a little-at-a-time, so as to not shock my kids lol. This would be a great tool!

    God Bless,

  23. We just started our journey of cutting out processed foods. I would love to figure out how to make mayo and cream soups!

  24. Cream soups! So many of my “go to” take alongs have them and I just don’t like serving them if I’m not going to eat them too.

  25. So many foods – “Cream of” soups, Stove top, bbq sauce, mayo, cereal, mac n cheese, bread, popular snacks for kids, like Goldfish, crackers, pop-tarts

  26. I wish there was a faster way to make pretzels, crackers, snacks like that. It took me a long time to realize that our “healthy” pretzels were just another white-flour food!

  27. Anything canned like tomatoes or cream soup and flavor enhancers like processed broth or bouillon cubes. I’ve started juicing and eating more greens and fresh ingredients and so, this book would be a great help for me to be able to cook more healthful meals for my family.

  28. My family hasn’t liked my attempts to replace their ketchup. Hoping to find a recipe they’ll all like.

  29. I tend to make a lot of things that call for canned creamed soups. I guess that would be the biggest thing I need to change.

  30. I would like to learn how to make my own cans of tomato products, such as canned tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, chopped/diced tomatoes, etc.

  31. I’d love the chicken nuggets recipe! My 4-yr old loves them, but I’d love a better option than the processed food variety!

  32. I think snacks are the last thing I’ve been struggling with making from scratch. And cereal… =( I would love to have some go to simple snack recipes!

  33. Not sure if this is where I leave my comment for the giveaway, but I’d love to see an all natural Mac & Cheese recipe. Thanks!

  34. I would love this book, I am working very hard to be as real as possible with our food and still be on a budget.

  35. I have been trying to find a recipe to make Golden Mushroom Soup. There is a recipe that my husband loves, but it calls for this can of Campbell’s. So far I can’t find anything that tastes anything like it! I’d love to win a copy of this cookbook.

  36. I haven’t quite figured out how to get the consistency right on homemade cream of… soups, and I love the motto “no can of cream of mushroom untouched!”

    I also have no clue about Velveeta substitutes, would love to read that!

  37. I guess I will have to go along with the cream soup recipe. I have tried several but I’ve not found one that really hit’s the mark.

  38. I’ve been doing a pretty good job at phasing out processed foods, but the one thing I haven’t been able to give up is crackers. I know there are recipes out there to make homemade crackers, but I just haven’t been able to give up my Wheat Thins and I’d like to learn a healthy alternative.

    1. Aimee,
      Oh my friend – the wheat thins crackers recipe in the book is at LEAST as good as the boxed ones! 😉 Katie

  39. i’d love to find alternatives to cereal and snacks that my kids would eat….the edible part is key 🙂

  40. I would love an alternative to ranch dip as well as recipes calling for canned soup! Thanks for the giveaway. Love you blog.

  41. I would love to have “Shake and bake” mixes made into real food recipes. Thanks for the giveaway!
    What a great cookbook.

  42. I would love to learn how to make “Cream of…” soup concentrate from real food! Thanks for the opportunity to win this book!

  43. I would love to win this book, everything I can get to make cooking healthier and better tasting is always a good thing.

  44. would love to be able to make over red beans & rice or anything calling for cream soup… tuna casserole, chicken & rice, etc

  45. I bought the ebook and the Plan to Eat subscription. I was excited to know the recipes from the ebook were available to the people who also have the Plan to Eat subscription. How do I get the ebook recipes into my plan to eat subscription? I’ve tried finding the answer on my own and can find it. Can you help? Thanks 🙂

    1. Kathie,
      The email should have come within a week of purchase (every Wednesday night). If you didn’t get it, it’s either in your spam box or an “oops” happened. Email me at kitchenstew at if you don’t see the email in your spam folder, okay? We’ll get you hooked right up! 🙂 Katie

  46. This sounds like an amazing book!! Thanks for the give-away!! We believe in less processed and more whole foods. I love reading your blog, thanks for all the wonderful and useful information!

  47. I’d love to learn how to make cereal and condiments. We’ve been taking baby steps to making all of our foods – it’s a big process! 🙂 Would love this book!

  48. I need to learn how to make an easy cream of _______ soup substitute. I’ve stopped making a number of our favorite recipes because they call for canned soup which we no longer eat.

  49. This sounds fabulous! I’m just starting to try to eliminate the boxes and cans from my pantry, and would love to learn how to replace them with homemade stuff.

  50. I’d like to learn how to make “condensed soups”–not the cream of…, I already do those–like tomato, or cheddar cheese, that are used in several recipes. Those cans are FOUL!

  51. This book looks AMAZING! Too many days before payday to order it with the coupon code, but if I don’t win one, this book is definitely going on my must-buy list!

  52. ah, my husband likes hamburger helpers and tuna helpers…so I’m always trying to find recipes that are relatively easy and taste good without the package!

  53. We’ve been on the real food road for several months now, and I love it! The most recent thing I have learned is how to replace canned creamed soups in casserole recipes. So easy!!!! I’ve honestly been surprised at how easy it’s ask been.

  54. I would love a little help with snacks like crackers, chips, bars, etc….I think that’s our toughest one. Thank you for the giveaway!

  55. I would want to learn how to make things like seasoning packets like ranch and taco. I just don’t know what is in them!

  56. I tried the free recipe you gave us for the crispy chicken casserole and it was a BIG hit in my house! I can’t wait to try the rest 🙂

  57. I would like to learn how to make pasta salad or soup dish that didn’t use processed sauces. Thanks for offering the giveaway.

  58. Thanks for running this contest! I’ve got granola bars, cookies, soup, and mac & cheese down pat — but would love to learn how to make real-food crackers, chicken pot pie (without Campbell’s cream soup and Pillsbury piecrust), nut butters, and more!

  59. This would be great… Trying so hard to eat better and eat more home made….tired of all the stuff in processed and boxed 🙂 Thanks for this!

  60. This looks amazing!!
    I am preparing to get married in July this year, and this would be so helpful as I start from scratch in my own kitchen, and create good, healthy, yummy (essential for my husband-to-be!) eating habits for my new home 🙂

  61. Would love the trouble shooting for baking fails! I have a hard time trying to convert recipes and usually give up because I have hard time figuring out what needs to be “tweaked”!

  62. My food needs flavor! I’ve given up processed foods and we’re left with bland…I know real food can be more exciting than what I’m cooking!!!

  63. My husband loves the boxed rices (rice a roni four cheese style) and the risotto I make at home just isn’t the same. I would love to clean up the rice box for a delish and good for you side!

  64. I confess. I use a lot of flavored coffee creamer. I prefer the fat-free versions, which pretty much limits me to vanilla and one or two others. I would like recipes to make a quart at a time, or varying flavors. Fat-free, of course, and without the non-dairy ingredients.

  65. I’ve never known what to substitute for the “cream of whatever” soups that are used in a lot of casseroles that I grew up eating.

  66. Oohh.. There are SO many.. Let’s see.. Pizza, Pastas, Casseroles that need “white sauce” for starters.

  67. Love to learn dressings and dips. I would also love to see someone elses versions of stuff I already make from scratch. 🙂

  68. Honestly I am brand new to real food cooking- so nearly all of my recipes have something artificial in them! Be is soy sauce, white sugar, or even ramen noodles…. 🙂

  69. I love the idea of this as living in Mozambique, it is hard to get these foods anyway! I would like to learn more about the replacement for crea soups. thanks, Laura

  70. A good granola can go a looong way in my house! Even when I make it from “scratch”, I wonder what Im putting into it!

  71. I’d love to learn more about making recipes gluten-free. It seems like removing the wheat and/or gluten is “reverse-engineering” recipes to better ingredients by nature. BUT, its not fool-proof, GF doesn’t necessarily mean super healthy or real food.
    The Better than a Box book looks great!

  72. I have just started on the journey of removing processed foods from my family’s table. This would be a great resource. Thanks!

    1. I’m most interested in the ‘cream of’ soups. I use them so often, I’d love to have a real food version to turn to!

  73. I really just want to learn how to work with beans! I always buy canned beans, but I want to switch to using non-canned beans. 🙂 I am not a very good cook, but eating local and organic is important to me. Thanks for the giveaway!

  74. I bake a lot (cakes and cookies) but haven’t had much success with homemade brownies. I still occasionally buy the boxed mix!

  75. My husband loves Mexican food. If I left it up to him, he’d be popping those frozen burritos in the toaster oven every night. I try to make healthier versions, but he’s not wild about them (even though I am!) Maybe I need a better method. 🙂

  76. I would love to learn how to make homemade dressing that actually tastes like dressing! I wouldn’t mind to learn shortcuts in the kitchen either(;
    Thank you.

  77. Soup is a big one…especially when it’s called for in a recipe! It’d be nice to have it on hand but homemade! Thanksgiving stuffing!! Would be awesome to trump the boxed stuff!

  78. I just found some stove top stuffing boxes & was excited to see a possible replacement here. I would love to get ideas on how to do that, especially being able to match up the spices to get the right flavor!

  79. This looks like a fabulous ebook so if I don’t win, I’ll likely use the coupon code to buy it at 25% off – Thanks!

  80. I’d love how to learn how to make spice mixes. Our favorite is the montreal steak seasoning, but I want a real food way to make it.

  81. I would love to learn how to make my favorite mexican foods (tacos, enchiladas, salsa, etc) that really has well rounded flavor.

  82. I would love to learn to make a thick cream sauce without having to use white flour or cornstarch. Not sure if that’s covered, but I would love to find out!

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