New Year – New Books

Two cookery books have landed on my doorstep since new year.

  • Honestly Healthy Cleanse – by Natasha Corrett
  • River Cottage – Nice and Easy – by Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall

as well as the prospect of receiving Ella Woodwards – Deliciously Ella at the end of the month.

These books have similar goals – they just approach them differently. They all want you to cut down on acid forming foods that make you bloated – and there’s a general feeling that if you cook from the books and exercise a bit then you’ll probably lose some weight along the way.

Natasha Corrett continues on from her other two Honestly Healthy books with what is essentially New Year detoxes. The book is beautiful. There’s lots of ‘science’ at the beginning of the book and the recipes look amazing. Natasha’s book will probably not be for everyone as she uses ingredients you simply can’t pick up in your local supermarket. Ocado have recently started adding many of these specialist ingredients – but you just aren’t going to find Tamari or Spirulina powder in a Morrisons.

With the purchase of her previous two books I remember spending an absolute fortune on things I’d never heard of on sites such as souschef.co.uk and amazon grocery. I shortlisted 20 dishes from this book (which I’ll make once I get paid!) but I’ll have to wait until I can afford to make them. There’s a definite sense that you need to plan a weeks worth of Honestly Healthy dishes just so you don’t end up having loads of expensive ingredients sat in your cupboards. Granted I made a lot of recipes from the previous two books and I’ll probably do the same this time too – but this book might just end up sat on a lot of people’s shelves.

Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall’s book on the other hand takes ingredients that you’ll find absolutely anywhere and turns them into something special and healthy. He focuses very much on cutting out wheat and dairy – and there is a definite focus of vegetarian food – continuing on from his previous book ‘Veg’. He doesn’t bang on about cutting out meat and fish – he just uses them a lot less than he used to. Granted he encourages you to use the best tomatoes, carrots etc, but he pitches his wares to the everyday cook and I think most people buying this book will make at least half a dozen of the dishes. I’ve shortlisted over 30 already and I know they will all get made.

I don’t know what’s in store with Ella’s book yet – as it hasn’t been released – but from what is hinted at in the Daily Mail’s weekend supplement this week, the recipes will also be pitched at the everyday cook. I’m looking forward to this book as the previewed recipes are very low in fat – so I’ll be interested to see how this affects the taste. In my experience you do sacrifice taste when you take out the fat. The Quick Chilli I made on Monday was testament to this. It was nice – it just didn’t pack the punch of some other chillis I’ve made.

The next two weeks should see me posting some of Hugh’s dishes. Already shortlisted are:

  • Sweet Potato Rosti
  • Chickpeas Salas with Avocado Mayo
  • Quinoa and Gooseberry Tabbouleh
  • Beetroot Burgers
  • Puy Lentils with Brussels Sprouts
  • Baked Onions with Savoury Porridge
  • Parsley, Anchovy and Walnut Pesto with Cannelini Beans and Kos Lettuce
  • and many others

Watch this space.

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