FLAVOURFUL AND FRESH FOOD

‘Our favourite, foodie recipe books right now’

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So, it’s a new year and the January resolutions of drinking kale smoothies, eating nothing but chicken and broccoli with not a carb in sight are over.

As a couple, we try to eat in moderation but cutting out foods never happens as we love to cook and love eating even more. We cook from scratch every day but with busy lives and workloads, we can get into a recipe rut very easily. To inspire us with new ideas and ingredients we buy lots of cook books, where we try out and adapt lots of recipes.

Our favourites at the moment are – ‘Lagom’ by Steffi Knowles-Dellner for Swedish recipes asking for minimal cooking and lots of raw ingredients; Elly Pear’s ‘Fast day & Feast days’ great for the 5:2 diet; ‘A Modern Way to Eat’ by Anna Jones with over 200 vegetarian recipes; Yotam Ottolenghi’s ‘Plenty More’ which takes vegetables from side dishes into bold and spice laden meals and lastly; ‘A lot on her Plate’ by Rosie Birkett who writes crowd pleasing and accessible recipes full of seasonal tips.

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We both hate the word diets as it tends to feel negative and, let’s be honest, depressing – we prefer to think about how to cook meals that make you feel happy and a full of goodness, a change in lifestyle.

Elly Pear’s book shows recipes for both fast and feast days within the 5:2 plan; these are fantastic when considering moderation, there are pages that show you which types of food go with others to assist your digestion. Some examples of the recipes we cook on a monthly basis are; Root veg and Halloumi fritters along with the Pear café Frittata which is perfect for lunch boxes the next day.

Everyone is joining the veggie band wagon, whether is Meat Free Monday or Veganuary, it seems vegetarian recipes are most sought after at the moment.

IMG_2289Anna Jones’ book has hundreds of recipes perfect for showing us all how to make the most of seasonal vegetables from breakfast through to dinner; with pages of cooking times, alternative combinations and everyday cupboard staples. The ones we love to cook are – The really hungry burger, she uses brown rice and tonnes of mushrooms to make this convincingly meaty patty, which beats the usual sad and dry bean burgers. The ‘Killer roast’ is brilliant, no flabby Quorn chicken in sight; just well-cooked and beautifully flavoured vegetables and succulent sauces.

Rosie Birkett is a food writer and an Instagram storm, often presenting on programs such as ‘Sunday Brunch’ (we met her at Taste London last year and took a cheesy selfie…)

Her book gives us recipes for dinner parties and family meals, all of which include recipes where ingredients are easy to get hold of and quick to cook; but put on an impressive show to guests. Our favourites are the ‘Octopus, avocado & butter bean salad with a chilli garlic dressing’ and ‘Crispy sesame-crusted tuna tacos with mango salsa’ – both are fantastic for sharing plates, when everyone can dive in. There are even a few cheeky cocktail recipes at the back on the book!

So, why not put the chia seed pudding and protein shake down; pick up a recipe book and give some of these healthy and fresh dishes a try.

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