Cookbooks: January 2019

Hello my fellow bookworms and foodies, rather belatedly, due to my being so behind on my book reviews, here are the comforting new dishes I tried over the cold month of January:

Chicken Turkey and Ham Tangle Pie
The Hairy Dieters (1) by Si King & Dave Myers
Pies – Page 80-82

On New Year’s Day, I had my grandad round for lunch and decided to use up the leftover Christmas turkey in this new pie. Made with smoked ham, leeks, white wine, half-fat crème fraiche and cooked turkey (instead of chicken), this pie tastes so rich and creamy you’d never know it was low-fat. Rather than one large pie, I prepared three small individual pies with puff pastry lids, and served with new potatoes and Brussel sprouts. Yum! Great recipe.


Baked Bananas With Chocolate Rum Sauce
The Hairy Dieters (4) Fast Food by Si King & Dave Myers
Speedy Sweets – Page 182

In the comments for my last cookbooks posts, I discussed how I never try new dessert recipes – Something I thought needed remedying. So for dessert on New Year’s Day, I decided to try these bananas, baked with a little rum and demerara sugar, with this divine, homemade dark chocolate and rum sauce. Which I served with a small, naughty scoop of vanilla ice cream. Super easy, super quick and super tasty. Great recipe.


Sweet Carrot Smash
Jamie’s 30 Minute Meals by Jamie Oliver
The Meals – Page 92

With carrots not being a particular favourite in my family, I have to be canny about how I serve them. So this delicious yet simple side dish recipe was perfect for me. The carrots are simply sliced and boiled, with some olive oil, seasoning and thyme, then roughly mashed. That good it has already been lapped up several times by my non-carrot-loving father. Good recipe.


Courgette, Mint and Lemon Soup
The Hairy Dieters (5) Go Veggie by Si King & Dave Myers
Soups and Salads – Page 56

I absolutely love courgettes, so I was thrilled to find this lighter, Vegan-friendly recipe not made with milk or cream, as many other courgette soups are. Instead King & Myers have kept this simple with a healthy blend of courgette, peas, baby spinach and a little potato to thicken it. All given a fresh tang with a touch of lemon and mint to. All in all a tasty, super green soup, which should help keep us lean! Good recipe.


So altogether that was four new recipes tried back in January. Over the month, I also remade Jamie Oliver’s Veggie Bolognese and Super Leek & Potato Soup (Super Food Family Classics), and Minty Cabbage (30 Minute Meals) several times. As well as The Hairy Bikers’ Quick Cod and Prawn Gratin (Hairy Dieters 1).

Do you fancy any of these recipes?

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

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Cookbooks: November 2018

Hello my fellow bookworms and foodies, as the days have turned cooler, I have found myself craving comforting, traditional food. So I gave these new recipes a go:

Creamy Mash
The Hairy Dieters (2) Eat For Life by Si King & Dave Myers
Along Sides – Page 180

As, like Si & Dave, I couldn’t possibly live without mashed potato, especially now the days are getting colder, it is great that they have come up with a couple of different ways to serve it without overdoing it on the calories. This one is simply potatoes boiled and then mashed with half-fat crème fraiche, instead of butter or milk. It was yummy and very creamy. Good recipe.


Mashy Peas
Jamie’s 30 Minute Meals by Jamie Oliver
The Meals – Page 142

A delicious yet simple side dish made by cooking and then mashing potatoes, broccoli and regular, garden peas together, and then finished off with some seasoning and mint. I also stole from The Hairy Bikers above by replacing the butter here with half-fat crème fraiche. My only issue with this recipe was there was no timings, as I wasn’t cooking the whole recipe just picking out one of the sides. However I managed well enough. Good recipe.


Four Seasons Minestrone (Autumn)
Super Food Family Classics by Jamie Oliver
Soups – Page 212

A recipe that makes use of beautiful seasonal vegetables and guarantees you will get your 5-a-day portions in just one serving of this! On top of the basic soup base, there were the autumnal additions of butternut squash and fresh and dried mushrooms. I enjoyed this autumnal take on this classic Italian soup even more than the summer! I look forward to trying the winter twist next. Great recipe.


Pork Chops, Crushed Potatoes and Minty Cabbage
Jamie’s 30 Minute Meals by Jamie Oliver
The Meals – Page 242

With a couple of batches of pork chops in the freezer, I thought I would try this. Instead of going straight to the grill, Jamie had me fry the chops to crisp the fat and then pop them in the oven, with garlic, sage and honey, to finish. Served with crushed, mustard potatoes and minty savoy cabbage. Yum! Relatively simple to make and no timing issues this time, as I was following the whole recipe. Great recipe.


That’s four tasty, new recipes tried over the last month. During that time, I remade new favourites: Jamie Oliver’s Hungover Noodles (Save With Jamie), Trish Sebben-Krupka’s Curried Cauliflower Coconut Soup (Plant Based) and The Hairy Bikers’ Gammon with Parsley Sauce (Book 1), which made a nice change when we had my granddad round for Sunday lunch. I also finished reading The Hairy Dieters (6) Make It Easy by Si King & Dave Myers, so lots more new, healthy recipes to look forward to!

Do you fancy any of these recipes?

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

Cookbooks: May 2018

Hello my fellow bookworms and foodies, I am sorry this is a little late! I am pleased to announce the weather, here in the UK, did improve dramatically over the month, which saw me trying out these simpler, lighter recipes:

Ham Salad Wraps
The Hairy Dieters (2) Eat For Life by Si King & Dave Myers
Meals On The Move – Page 140

Instead of making my standard, rather boring sandwiches, I gave these fresh, juicy salad wraps a go. These are simply large tortillas generously filled with lettuce, sliced pepper, cucumber and carrot, good-quality, thin ham slices and a low-fat creamy dressing, which made for a lovely, satisfying lunch without too much stodge. I have made these several times already and I can see myself making them many more times. Great recipe.


Cottage Pie
The Hairy Dieters (1) by Si King & Dave Myers
Pies – Page 90-91

With my granddad coming round, one particularly busy Sunday, I decided to try this new recipe for this classic British dish, as I could prep it all in advance and then just pop it in the oven just before lunch. By using lean beef mince, no oil and bulking out the mash topping with leeks, this is much lower in calories, but you’d never know it! It made for a delicious, comforting meal, which we enjoyed out on the patio with some steamed greens. Great recipe.


Pregnant Jools’s Pasta
Jamie’s 30 Minute Meals by Jamie Oliver
The Meals – Page 32

One evening, to feed his pregnant wife’s instant craving for a sausage ragu, Jamie created this quick cheat’s recipe. Packed with springs onions, carrots, chillies and sausages (blitzed for speed), tomatoes, garlic and balsamic vinegar, this delivers the rich, comforting flavour of a ragu, but is cooked in about a quarter of the time! I don’t think I got the consistency of the sauce quite right though – a little practise needed! Good recipe.


Chicken Stir-Fry
The Hairy Dieters (3) Good Eating by Si King & Dave Myers
Friday Night Suppers – Page 72

After filming in Asia, King & Myers put their discoveries to good use in this healthy recipe. A stir-fry with some traditional Chinese flavours and packed with veg, so you can have generous servings! And as I learnt from their fake-away Chicken Chow Mein recipe, I used double the bean sprouts as a lighter alternative to noodles. Took some time to prep, but it was then super quick to cook and delicious. However I need to practise the golden coating on the chicken… mine didn’t really stick! Good recipe.


Spring Risotto
The Co-operative Magazine

After loving the Co-op’s light, summery Scottish Salmon Risotto, I thought I would try another of their risotto recipes, which I had cut out and saved. This is a more traditionally cooked risotto, where the rice is simmered slowly, bit-by-bit, in white wine and stock, with leeks, spring onions and pancetta, although I used bacon instead, and finished off with spinach and parmesan cheese. It took longer to make, but it was well worth it. Great recipe.


That’s five tasty, new recipes tried over the last month. As I said before, the weather has warmed a fair bit over the month, so along with trying the Ham Salad Wraps above, I also made up batches of The Hairy Dieters’ Simple Tuna and Sweetcorn Pasta Salad (Book 1) and Prawn Pasta Salad (Book 2) for more, lighter work lunches.

Do you fancy any of these recipes?

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