Published by Nourish on May 17, 2016
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Bursting with quick, simple and deliciously healthy recipes, Healthy Speedy Suppers will inspire anyone who feels too tired or busy to cook at the end of the day.
Katriona MacGregor started her Speedy Weeknight Suppers column for The Telegraph online in 2013, after a move back to exhausting London office life caused a slump in her diet. Resolving to break away from eating ready meals and cheese on toast every night, she began developing recipes that took no more than 40 minutes to make, were packed with good quality, wholesome ingredients, and tasted fantastic.
The recipes are fresh, seasonal and nutritious and showcase a broad range of influences from around the world. Ingredient lists are short, prep is kept to a minimum and the methods are relaxed - often featuring one-pot or one-tray cooking. All of them have been put to the test at home after a busy day in the office, and the ingredients are easy to find and can be scooped up on the way back from work. Ranging from the summery Strawberry, Fennel & Chicken Salad, to warming Aubergine & Red Lentil Curry and zesty Sea Bass with Thai Vegetable Noodles, there is something here for every mood, diet and seasons. Most of the recipes are wheat- and dairy-free, and are all naturally low in fat, sugar and refined carbohydrates. Also including a guide to larder essentials, suggestions for leftovers, ingredient substitutions and simple variations, this is a one-stop cooking resource for stressed, busy people.
I work and there are days when I get home at 5:05 and we need to have eaten and be out the door for art class by 5:50. I need speedy suppers, which is why I was so excited to see this book. It sounds perfect- healthy, quick, real ingredients, but overall I was disappointed.
First, I didn’t need the first section. I’m actually a little tired of having cookbooks tell me what essentials to stock my shelves: give me the recipes, I can figure out what I actually want to keep in my cupboards and what pans I need.
I liked the variety of recipes and that most used common ingredients, even if she didn’t call them what I do, like courgettes=zucchini. There were several my daughter was never going to try, but I’ll run into that with just about any cookbook.
I also thought the use of photos was good. It’s full of pictures of the recipes, but the cover doesn’t showcase that well.
My real complaint comes with the “speedy.” I tried three meals: one was fine – not outstanding but fine; the other two were both very under-cooked if i had stopped with her cooking times. I know my oven is fine because other things work out perfectly well, done just right.
The Soy Roast Chicken Legs with Butternut Squash and Red Peppers was delicious, but needed more time.
The Turkey Ragu with Pappardelle was fine, but not memorable enough to bother making again.
I don’t have a picture of it, but I also tried the Cod, Green Bean and Cherry Tomato Parcels. They needed a bit more time too, but the flavors were good. I will admit that i didn’t serve them in the parcels as suggested. I just don’t like that paper on my plate thing.
Honestly, this is not a cookbook I’m going to be going back to often, and if I do, I will remember that the cooking times are not necessarily accurate.