Cookbooks: December 2016 – January 2017


Hello my fellow bookworms and foodies, although the weather here in the UK has been milder than expected, it has generally been cold and miserable. So I have definitely still be in the mood for hearty, comforting food. First up, soup:

Red Lentil and Bacon Soup
Hairy Dieters 4 – Soups and Starters – Page 47

A hearty, comforting soup of bacon and red lentils with a good, healthy portion of onion, pepper and ‘super food’ sweet potato in too. Really easy to make and one bowl filled me up nicely which left 4 portions to freeze, so yummy work lunches too!


I also re-made the  Hairy Bikers’ Golden Vegetable Soup (twice!) and Jamie Oliver’s Happy Frumpy Minestrone, which made for wonderfully warming lunches.

Then I find there is nothing more comforting and warming than a hot and spicy one-pot of goodness, so I tried these new recipes:

Vegetable Curry
Hairy Dieters 3 – Friday Night Suppers – Page 60

A super simple dish to make with a lovely blend of onions, aubergine, courgette, mushrooms and green beans cooked in a simple, tomato curry sauce. Which is tasty, full of fibre and very good for the waistline. Could be served as a main with rice, as I did for me and my vegetarian friend, or as a side to a meat dish.


Chilli Con Carne
Hairy Dieters 1 – Pasta & Rice – Page 163

A rich, meaty dish with a delicious mixture of herbs and spices: chilli powder, cumin, coriander, oregano and bay. This recipe helpfully had the option to make this hot or mild; I went hot! A simple recipe with great results – I will definitely be making chilli this way again.


Coconut Prawn Curry
Hairy Dieters 1 – Fakeaways – Page 143

A lighter version of a Keralan curry, which is a Hairy Biker favourite. I have never eaten one before so wasn’t sure what to expect. Turns out it is yummy with a creamy, tangy, sweet flavour and super simple to make. The recipe calls for medium curry paste – I am tempted to go hotter next time I make it!


(Keralan Chicken Curry – I edited the above prawn curry, with the help of a recipe out of the Co-op magazine, to make a hotter chicken version. ***)

Mushroom Rice
Hairy Dieters 2 – Along Sides – Page 179

When I have a naughty take-away curry I love to have mushroom pilau rice with it, so I was thrilled to find a lighter version from the Hairy Bikers. Super simple to make and absolutely scrumptious – I served it alongside the Keralan Chicken Curry above.


So pleased with all the recipes I have tried over the last two months and I look forward to many more. I am also excited about reading my new cookbook: Jamie’s 30-minute Meals By Jamie Oliver.

Do you fancy any of these recipes?

What cookbooks are you reading? Have you tried any new recipes?


10 thoughts on “Cookbooks: December 2016 – January 2017

  1. I’m trying to keep meals fresh with a library-loan cookbook each three weeks. Unless I am in love with a recipe or book, I just return it when it’s due (unlike so many other books), but it keeps me trying something new. We cook at home all the time, but I tend to cycle through favourites and it can get tiresome, especailly in the winter, when there aren’t a lot of readily accessible veggies in season. Good luck with your projects!

    1. Thank you BIP – I am glad to hear you have been trying some new recipes from a cookbook from the library. I ended up making the golden vegetable soup twice because it is a great one for using seasonal root vegetables like carrots, swede and parsnips 🙂

  2. Tragically, I fancy ALL of these recipes! I really must try one of the Hairy Bikers books – every time you talk about them I find the recipes appealing…

    1. FF its not tragic that you fancy all of these recipes especially as they are all dieter versions, so not just tasty but also good for you too. I love the Hairy Bikers as they cook down-to-earth food that I think anyone can have a go at; for that reason I highly recommend their cookbooks 🙂

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