Cookbooks: August – September 2018

Hello my fellow bookworms and foodies, in the last month or so of summer here are the new recipes I have tried:

Spinach and Rice Stuffed Tomatoes
Plant Based Cookbook by Trish Sebben-Krupka
Vegetables – Page 141

When I came home from my uncle’s farm with some of his home-grown large, juicy beef tomatoes I just had to try this recipe. Which had me stuffing them with a cheesy rice, spinach and pine nuts filling and then baking them until they were tender and sweet. Simply served with a large, dressed green salad this made for the perfect taste of summer. Great recipe.


Marinated Fish With Stir-Fried Greens
The Hairy Dieters (4) Fast Food by Si King & Dave Myers
Fuller Faster – Page 94

I also came home with a home-grown cabbage from my uncle’s which was stir-fried with spring onions, green pepper and chilli, to accompany fresh salmon fillets cooked in a sticky Chinese style marinade. A refreshing, tasty new take on fish and greens, but I did also need to cook some rice to serve with it, because this wouldn’t have been filling enough for my family’s appetites otherwise! Good recipe.


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

A recipe that makes use of beautiful seasonal veggies and guarantees you will get all of your 5-a-day portions with just one serving of this! On top of the basic soup base there are suggested veg for each season to top it up – I used baby artichokes, fresh tomatoes* and runner beans* (*brought back from my uncle’s farm). I enjoyed this seasonal take on this classic Italian soup and I look forward to trying the other seasons’ twists. Good recipe.


Pasta with Summer Vegetables and Parma Ham
The Hairy Dieters (3) Good Eating by Si King & Dave Myers
Comfort Classics – Page 112

This deliciously summery dish is made by gently cooking leek, asparagus, peas and runner beans in a light white wine and low-fat crème fraiche sauce. Then cooked pasta and ripped pieces of Parma ham are simply tossed in to finish it off. A super simple but super tasty pasta dish, which made for a refreshing change from the usual tomato-based pasta dishes. Great recipe.


Roasted Cod with Parma Ham and Peppers
The Hairy Dieters (1) by Si King & Dave Myers
One-Pan Dishes – Page 43

Another colourful one-tray meal which is easy to prep and even easier to cook. Consisting of cod fillets wrapped in parma ham, cooked nestled within a tray of roughly chopped peppers, courgettes and onion. I popped it in the oven and returned to a delicious, healthy family meal. However I did serve it with some boiled new potatoes, because this wouldn’t have been filling enough for my family’s appetites otherwise! Good recipe


That’s five new summery recipes tried altogether. I also remade the Co-op’s rich, spicy Summer Veg Pilaf and The Hairy Dieters’ gutsy Chilli Salad Bowls. Although I enjoyed our blistering summer, I am now looking forward to trying some new, comforting autumnal recipes.

Do you fancy any of these recipes?

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

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Cookbooks: June & July 2018

Hello my fellow bookworms and foodies, over the last month and a half these are the new recipes I have tried:

Sag Aloo Korma
Super Food Family Classics by Jamie Oliver
Curries & Stews – Page 128

Just before the mad heat arrived, I had my vegetarian friend come round for dinner, giving me the perfect opportunity to try out this veggie korma recipe. A mixture of regular potatoes, sweet potatoes and spring onions are fried off in korma paste, then simmered with chard, spinach and chickpeas in milk, and as the potatoes naturally thicken the sauce – no naughty cream is needed! A rich, ‘creamy’ curry, which is packed with all the good stuff. Win, win! Great recipe.


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

After enjoying the fresh, juicy Ham Salad Wraps in May, I decided to try this tuna version. Like the ham wraps, these are simply large tortillas generously filled with lettuce, sliced pepper, cucumber and carrot, but this time with a mixture of tuna, sweetcorn and mayonnaise. Again these made for lovely, satisfying lunches without too much stodge, which I enjoyed even more than the ham ones! Definitely be making these again. Great recipe.


Chilli Salad Bowls
The Hairy Dieters (1) by Si King & Dave Myers
Vegetable & Salads – Page 116-117

Then the heat wave hit and eating our regular chilli favourite became pretty much out of the question, so I decided to give this a go instead. A real gutsy salad of lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes and spring onions; tossed in lime juice; served in baked tortilla bowls and topped with chilli mince, cheese, salsa and crème fraiche. While a little messy to eat, this was delicious and easy to make, especially as I used ready-made tortilla bowls. Great recipe.


Summer Veg Pilaf
The Co-operative Magazine

After enjoying two of the Co-op’s light, summery risotto recipes, I thought I would try this alternative rice recipe, that I had also cut out and saved. I have never made a pilaf before, but this was super simple to make in just 35 minutes. A rich, spicy one-pan rice dish with peas, green beans and courgettes, which was perfect served with crunchy, salad leaves for an easy mid-week meal. Great recipe.


That’s four fabulous new recipes tried altogether. I also re-made The Hairy Dieters’ yummy Chicken Stir-Fry, although I think I might need to give up on the crispy coating on the chicken: it just won’t stick!

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?

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?

Cookbooks: June – July 2017

Hello my fellow bookworms and foodies, with the exception of one wet week the temperatures have been soaring here in the UK, so it was the perfect time to try out these summery new recipes:

Veggie Bean Burgers
Hairy Dieters 2 – Family Favourites – Page 58

Even though I do eat meat, I do love a good bean burger, so for a recent home BBQ I gave this recipe a go. I found them a little messy but easy to make, and they were enjoyed by meat eaters and vegetarian a like. To be cooked in the oven I adapted for the BBQ. While they did stick, more the one use BBQs fault than recipe, they still turned out yummy which is of course the most important thing.

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Tuna Salad with Red Onion and Beans
Hairy Dieters 2 – Snacks and Salads – Page 156

The Hairy Bikers’ take on the Italian classic tonno e fagioli: a filling salad made with tuna, beans, red onion, lettuce, parsley and olives with a tangy dressing. I made the full batch of this and portioned it out in tubs for work lunches when it was far too hot for soup! Not sure about the parsley but everything else worked for me.

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Now this next recipe isn’t technically from a cookbook, however the Co-op Food magazines have some wonderful recipes in that are worth sharing:

Tuscan Bean Soup
Co-op Food – July Edition – Page 11

A light but filling soup that is packed full of the good stuff, including: onion, carrot, red pepper, tomatoes, beans, kale and broccoli. A delicious and simple to make, one pot of joy which was perfect for an easy comforting meal on one of our cooler weekends.

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Finally you may be wondering where is the obligatory curry recipe? Well never fear I certainly didn’t go without curry, however I didn’t try a new recipe. Instead I chose to remake our new favourite Keralan curry. I have also already remade the delicious Beef Stroganoff.

Overall, I think I have had a great month of cooking and I look forward to more. I still have the Plant Based Cookbook by Trish Sebben-Krupka and Super Food Family Classics by Jamie Oliver to read too.

Do you fancy any of these recipes?

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