Better Than A Box


Better Than a Box
(eBook Premium Package)

How to Transform Your Processed Foods
Recipes into Whole Foods Favorites
(218 pages + TEN bonuses, including Kindle + Nook)

price: $16.95

Any coupon code is entered after clicking the “Buy Now” button once the item is in your cart.

(Get a peek with the free download – Homestyle Chicken!)

If you can’t see the buy button, click here.
Amazon.UK Kindle book

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Ready for some real food magic?

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.

Buy now to get access to Better Than a Box plus ten additional bonuses, including the Kindle and Nook files, printable recipe cards and Plan to Eat integration.

Welcome to my Kitchen

I’d like to invite you into my busy real food kitchen, where I took a moment away from making dinner for my family to talk about Better Than a Box:

If you can’t view the video, click HERE to see it on You Tube.

price: $16.95

“This Book Changed My Life”

I keep this email in my inbox because it makes my day every time I see that subject line. When I cook, when I teach…it’s not just about the food and the flavors. It’s really, in a small, humble way, about changing lives. I’m proud to be a part of your journey…

I downloaded Better Than A Box onto my Kindle months ago but… at the time I thought it was just a cookbook, so I’d just skim a few recipes and move on. Then I actually opened the book. Wow. I couldn’t put it down!I loved your lessons in reverse engineering and your friendly and encouraging tone as you described your processes and pushed me to experiment. I’ve always been a “glued-to-the-recipe” cook, but since I’ve read your advice I’ve felt so much freer to take chances in the kitchen.

The other night I decided to make cheesy vegetables loosely based on your cheese sauce instructions. Out of key ingredients, I thought to myself, “Katie says I can do this – I’ll just improvise.” I mixed in some water, a bit of this and a bit of that, thickened it up, mixed in the frozen veggies, and added a couple handfuls of mozzarella cheese cause “cheese makes everything better.” Even my pickiest kid ate multiple serving of the “creamy vegetables!”

The more I realize how much easier these little steps simplify my life, the more motivated I become to do them…Thank you for empowering me to experiment in the kitchen and enjoy the adventure. I’ve been telling everyone around me about this great cookbook I’ve been reading (maybe I should start saying textbook).

Thank you again for inspiring me and bringing joy back to my kitchen.
Blessings, Amy

What’s in Better Than a Box?

  • 20 Reverse Engineering 101 “lab” demonstrations of how I got the processed foods out of favorite recipes and transformed them to whole foods; three of those are Create-your-own 101 with advanced techniques for writing your own recipe from scratch.
  • 35 Remake Resources, the recipes for basic ingredients that you’ll need if you want to reverse engineer your own recipes to ditch the processed foods; things like homemade chicken stock, mayo, BBQ sauce, dressings, bread crumbs, and more. Including…
    • Homemade White Sauce (Cream of “Whatever” Soup) Tutorial
    • Homemade Biscuits, Cornbread, Pie crust, Rolls, and Crackers
    • Stovetop Stuffing Substitute
    • Velveeta Substitutes
    • 5 Homemade Dressings
    • …and much more!
    • These recipes are on printable recipe cards, available as a bonus with the premium package…
  • 25 Ready-to-Cook Recipes, where I’ve done the work for you and you can just pull the recipes out and plan for dinner without having to think through anything. They include prep foods so you know what you need to have prepared, allergy-friendly notes and a section on each one called “Get Kids Involved” to give you courage to invite your little helpers into the kitchen. Including…
    • Dad’s Cheeseburger Helper (pictured below)
    • 2 Rice-a-Roni Substitutes
    • Grandma’s Tuna Noodle Casserole
    • Chicken Pot Pie and Not Pie
    • Homemade Chicken Nuggets
    • Homemade Chocolate Syrup
    • …and much more!

The full table of contents recipe lists are available after the FAQs at the very end of this page.

Homemade Hamburger Helper - A from-scratch, homemade hamburger helper recipe using real food. A kid-friendly and husband-approved easy real food dinner!

price: $16.95

Premium Package Includes:

When you purchase Better Than a Box here at Kitchen Stewardship, you automatically get the entire Premium Package:

PDF downloadable eBook, Better Than a Box (218 pages + TEN bonuses)

Better Than a Box IS available in print as well, but not as part of this package. View the print book on Amazon right here.


Kindle & Nook files


Printable recipe cards

18 of the basic pantry staples from the “Remake Resources” section

Access to all the recipes on Plan to Eat

(a 30-day trial account works to view them, and you’ll also want to be part of the
KS group to see over 200,000 real food recipes uploaded by readers)

To view the recipes on Plan to Eat, click on the link in an email that will come to you within 7 days of purchase (separately from the download email). Do not friend request Kitchen Stewardship.

Homemade Dressings Video Freebie

Exclusive Video:

How to Make 3 Salad Dressings from the book
(11 min., my 7-year-old son is featured demonstrating Homemade Ranch)

free printablefree printablefree printable

FOUR Info Printables:

Real Food Substitution Chart, Baseline Fats Chart, How to Cook Dry Beans, Chicken Stock Cliff’s Notes

free printable

Printable: Freezer Inventory List

price: $16.95

Better just got bigger! Download 32 pages to start transforming favorite meals now:


Signing up for the free download subscribes you to the KS monthly newsletter.

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What About Food Allergies/Dietary Restrictions?

There are 35 basic recipes + 25 reverse engineered recipes in Better Than a Box. Of those 60 recipes, here’s the breakdown:

  • Gluten-free: 51
  • Grain-free: 33
  • Dairy-free: 27
    • The sticking point for dairy is the cream sauce – which I understand can be made dairy-free, and there are adaptations in the book, but I still don’t count each recipe as dairy-free because I haven’t tried them all myself.
  • Vegetarian: 28 of the 35 “remake resource” recipes that have no meat. In the end section, only 8 of the 25 have no meat, but in 10 others, the meat is ground beef or shredded chicken added to a sauce/pasta/rice. One could cut it out or sub with a vegetarian option.
  • Eggs and nuts make rare appearances

Ultimately, the first 100 pages are a teaching section that anyone can use to learn techniques from, and the latter half is filled with the recipes. Better Than a Box would still be appropriate for any food allergy.

Satisfaction Guaranteed

If you are disappointed in the book for any reason, including that you can’t find enough recipes to fit a dietary restriction, I will refund your money without hesitation. Just email me!

Better Than A Box

Better Than a Box
(eBook Premium Package)

How to Transform Your Processed Foods
Recipes into Whole Foods Favorites
(218 pages + TEN bonuses, including Kindle + Nook)

price: $16.95

Any coupon code is entered after clicking the “Buy Now” button once the item is in your cart.

(Get a peek with the free download – Homestyle Chicken!)

If you can’t see the buy button, click here.
Amazon.UK Kindle book

Cart is empty $0.00


1. Do I need a special device to open the eBook?

Not at all. A PDF can be opened on any computer or mobile device. You’ll need Acrobat Reader, which you can download for free right HERE. Don’t forget to save it to your hard drive once you open it.

2. How do I load the files to other mobile devices?

On most tablets, you should be able to download the PDF files directly to your device by clicking on the links in your email confirmation from your tablet. For e-readers and tablets that don’t support file download, simply download the files on your computer and then transfer them via USB cord to your device. **Be sure to read your manual about how to connect and disconnect cords. I cannot be liable if something goes wrong.

3. Can I print the recipes?

Yes! Once the PDF is open on your computer, you can choose just a few pages to print when you find a recipe you want to make. I keep the photos off the recipe pages so you don’t have to waste expensive ink. The document is even formatted so that you can print back to front to save paper, and you’ll be able to put them into a 3-ring binder.

If you love a “real” book, Better Than a Box is available at Amazon HERE.

4. I can’t see the buy button. What do I do?

Your device needs javascript enabled to see the buy button. If it’s not working and you’ve tried a mobile device and a regular computer, you can just Paypal the cost of the book to kitchenstew at gmail dot come and send me a quick email telling me what it’s for. I’ll deliver your files myself! You can also try clicking HERE to add to cart.

5. It looks like a blank page when I download. Where’s the book?

When you click the download link, it looks like a blank page, but the eBook is actually downloading in the background. It will go into a “temp” file that may or may not automatically open up for you, depending on your browser settings. Click on your Firefox/Internet Explorer/Chrome icon at the bottom of your screen, and there is probably a new window downloading the book.

6. Can I give Better Than a Box as a gift?

What an awesome idea! I’m totally honored. A lot of the emailing stuff is all automatic, so the easiest thing to do is just forward the download links when you get them. Then you can explain to your friend what the gift is, etc. Thanks so much!

Like with a real book, one book is one book, so if you want a book to keep and a book to give, please purchase two copies.

Full Table of Contents

Here is the table of contents from Better Than a Box:

The Bad News
Why Reverse Engineering?
My First Reverse Engineering Meal
A Community Effort
What Will I Learn in Better Than a Box?

{Section One} Reverse Engineering 101: How to Look at a Recipe and Make it Yours

  • Reverse Engineering Cheat Sheet {The Visual}
  • Reverse Engineering Cheat Sheet {Basic Tutorial: How to Remake Your Processed Foods Recipes}
  • Reverse Engineering Cheat Sheet {Adding Nutrition to a Recipe}
  • Reverse Engineering Cheat Sheet {Make it a One-Pot Meal}
  • Designing Your Own Recipes {Use What You Have}
  • Designing Your Own Recipes {Eat What You Want}

{Section Two} Kitchen Basics 101

  • The Importance of Meal Planning
  • The Importance of Meal Planning {Connected Meal Planning}
  • The Importance of Meal Planning {Cook Once, Serve Twice}
  • Cooking Basics {Indispensable Time-Saving Tips to Save Your Sanity}
  • Cooking Basics {Stocking Up for Real Food Success}
  • Cooking Basics {Getting Comfortable with Herbs and Spices}
  • Cooking Basics {A Mini Herb & Spice Dictionary}
  • Cooking Basics {Herbs and Spices that Complement Your Food}
  • Baking Basics {It’s Different Than Cooking}
  • Baking Basics {How to Healthify Baking Recipes}
  • Baking Basics {What is Soaking Grains?}
  • Baking Basics {How to Soak Grains}
  • Baking Basics {How to Adapt a Recipe for Soaking}

{Section Three} Reverse Engineering Examples
{Reverse Engineering 101}

  • Katie’s Spicy Meat Chili
  • Basic Pepper Steak
  • Dad’s Cheeseburger Helper
  • Homestyle Beef and Potato Casserole
  • Honey Dijon Chicken Casserole
  • Easy Chicken and Biscuits & Chicken Pot Pie
  • Cheesy Beef and Mac
  • Grandma’s Tuna Noodle Casserole
  • Creamy Chicken Enchiladas
  • Chicken with Rice and Green beans
  • Stovetop Stuffing Remix
  • Real Food Beef Stroganoff
  • Simple Onion Pot Roast
  • Spicy Chicken Cheesy Dip
  • French Onion Chip Dip
  • One-Bowl Pumpkin Muffins (+ soaked version)
  • Southern Banana Pudding

{Create-Your-Own 101}

  • Homemade Caesar Dressing
  • Homemade Barbecue Sauce
  • Gluten-free Cornbread Stuffing

{Section Four} Remake Resources
The Real Food → Standard American Diet Language Dictionary
Basic Recipes:

  • Homemade Chicken Stock
  • Homemade White Sauce (i.e. Cream of Whatever Soup)
  • Cream of Potato Vegetable Soup
  • Bouillon Cube Substitute
  • Dry Onion Soup Mix
  • Cheesy Grain-free Biscuits
  • Mom’s Whole Wheat Biscuits
  • Bisquick Substitute
  • Grandma’s Pie Crust
  • Homestyle Cornbread
  • Gluten-free Cornbread
  • Homemade Whole Wheat Tortillas
  • Favorite Homemade Rolls
  • Homemade Wheat Thin Style Crackers
  • Homemade Bread Crumbs
  • Stovetop Stuffing Substitute
  • Homemade Sausage Seasoning
  • Basic Meat Marinade Framework
  • Bonus: Mexican Beef Fajitas
  • Roasted Shredded Chicken
  • Freezer Meatballs (& Meatloaf)
  • Not-so-Tough Beef Jerky
  • Macaroni and Cheese
  • Velveeta Cheese Substitute/Creamy Cheese Sauce
  • Homemade Mayonnaise
  • Homemade Caesar Dressing
  • Homemade Italian Dressing
  • Homemade Asian Toasted Sesame Salad Dressing
  • Tangy Greek Salad Dressing with Feta
  • Homemade Ranch Dressing
  • Ranch Dressing Mix
  • Seasoned Salt and Dip Blends
  • Homemade Barbecue Sauce
  • Italian Diced Tomatoes
  • Fake Whipped Topping
  • Instant Pudding

{Section Five} The Ready-to-Cook Recipes

  • Katie’s Spicy Meat Chili
  • Basic Pepper Steak
  • Dad’s Cheeseburger Helper
  • Honey Dijon Chicken Casserole
  • Easy Chicken and Biscuits
  • Chicken Rice-a-Roni Substitute
  • Mexican Beans and Rice
  • Cheesy Beef and Mac
  • Grandma’s Tuna Noodle Casserole
  • Creamy Chicken Enchiladas
  • Chicken Pot Pie and Not Pie
  • Chicken with Rice and Green Beans
  • Homestyle Crunchy Topped Chicken Casserole
  • Real Food Beef Stroganoff
  • Simple Onion Pot Roast
  • Spicy Cheesy Chicken Dip
  • Homemade French Onion Dip
  • Sausage Spinach Pasta Toss
  • Homemade Chicken Nuggets
  • One-Bowl Pumpkin Muffins
  • Real Hot Chocolate
  • Homemade Chocolate Syrup
  • Southern Banana Pudding
  • Homemade Whole Wheat Graham Crackers

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