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?

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Cookbooks: July – August 2017

Hello my fellow bookworms and foodies, over the summer break from school/work these are the recipes I tried:

Chicken Caesar Salad
Hairy Dieters 1 – Vegetables & Salads – Page 115

A hearty, classic salad that I had never tried before. I found the salad, chicken and croutons easy to make, however the dressing was tricky and to be honest I wasn’t a big fan of the dressing once I had managed to make it. So overall a perfectly edible salad but not to my personal taste. Okay recipe.


Easy Chicken Bake
Hairy Dieters 2 – Family Favourites – Page 62

A colourful one-tray meal, which is easy to prep and even easier to cook. Consisting of simple stuffed chicken breasts cooked nestled within a tray of roughly chopped veggies. I popped it in the oven, left it for half an hour and returned to a delicious, healthy family meal. I will definitely be making this again. Great recipe.


My family love a curry, so as well as remaking a spicier version of the Coconut Prawn Curry, I had a go at this new recipe too:

Turkey Keema Peas
Hairy Dieters 4 – Quick Feasts – Page 127

This is a lighter version of the traditional keema pea curry, which swaps the fattier lamb mince for leaner turkey mince. The mince and peas are cooked in a mild mixture of onion, spices, garlic, ginger, tomatoes and coconut milk. Really easy and quick to make and tasty; I simply served with plain brown rice. Good recipe.


Finally, this last recipe isn’t technically from a cookbook, however the Co-op Food magazines have some wonderful recipes in and this is another one I just had to share:

Scottish Salmon Risotto
Co-op Food – July Edition – Page 37

A light, summery risotto which is delicious, speedy to make and full of the good stuff; perfect served with a light side salad and a glass of wine. Before, I’d been nervous of making risotto for myself, but I needn’t have worried as this was super easy to make and it is another dish I will definitely be making again. Great recipe.

Plus after my dad returned from his holiday to Tenerife, I made Spanish Tomato Bread from a recipe I cut out of a much older edition of the Co-op magazine. It turned out delicious and helped to reawaken my dad’s sunny memories of his holiday. In fact, it went so well I have already made it twice.


Also in August, I remade the Veggie Bean Burgers which I first made during a bbq back in June. As it was during cooler weather this time though, I cooked them in the oven and they turned out even better than last time.

Overall, I think I have had another good month of cooking and I look forward to more, especially as I am now reading Plant Based Cookbook by Trish Sebben-Krupka and I have Super Food Family Classics by Jamie Oliver, which I am very excited about, lined up to read too.

Do you fancy any of these recipes?

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