A strange choice of books to review you might think. I know. Reviewing cookbooks wasn’t something I had on my list for blog posts, but I’ve given it a good thought and for some reason couldn’t wait to start writing on it.
Personally, I love books – a good novel, a light read for the beach, a heavy study of a great topic, and so much more. Plus cookbooks. I can’t help browsing through them getting inspired by the colours and ideas. Yet, I also find it very hard to pick a good cookbook that I would take home with me. One big reason is that most of the times, the ingredient lists are just a wee bit too overwhelming. The dishes look amazing and I’m sure taste, too, but scrolling down the list of ingredients only to realize that I need to go to several specialty stores to equip myself kind of takes the fun away. Or the way recipes are put together means a lot is going to waste as only little bits and pieces are being used. Yes, sometimes I do enjoy to get all fancy with my cooking, but on a day to day basis I prefer to stay practical, economical, and sustainable.
So I started making my own “recipes” trying to use up whatever I have in my cupboard up to a point when I kind of lost creativity and that’s when I bumped into Sarah Wilson’s book Simplicious Flow. It changed my thinking about how we eat, prepare food, and live in our environment even more. The recipes provide a wonderful range of ideas to use up leftovers, any sort of vegetables/fruits that are in season and best to get in bulk, options to replace ingredients with easily available items anyone can buy or prepare.
On top of that, Sarah provides great tips on how to best store food, prepare it and use it in a way that hardly anything gets wasted. I am now cooking up a storm every Sunday, roasting, boiling and steaming away as much as I can – not only does that mean I get my meals sorted for the entire week (and more), but also do I use up all of the groceries I have bought or still got at home. And it usually takes no more than three hours! You wouldn’t imagine how many different meals one tray of roasted vegetables can turn into!!!
I also love Sarah’s reminders on how to change our mindset around sustainability. Little notes around buying takeaway, the use of plastic bags and how to get the most of jars and containers that make it into your home.
Having that book kind of got me on a buzz to “flow” and turn my groceries into something that tastes yummy, no matter how crazy of an ingredient mix it might appear to be.
Soon I found myself running into Sarah’s forerunner book – Simplicious. I discovered it at the library and I couldn’t resist taking it home. I think by now I’ve tried almost all of the recipes of that one, too. Again it’s that easy approach to the recipes. Despite being nutritious and delicious, all of the dishes look fabulous and provide a great mix of flavours for the taste buds. In this one I loved her ideas on how to prepare lunches (for adults and children) without spending plenty of hours and money.
All of the meals seem to work whether vegetarian, vegan, or meat eater. And that’s why this book is such a gem – it contains recipes for everyone, that are doable, as well as loaded with all the good stuff we need for our bodies.
If you haven’t yet checked her books, I highly recommend to do so. It doesn’t matter if you are into cooking or not, Sarah has great tips on our overall relationship with food and how to use it without forgetting all about our lovely planet. Plus most of her recipes are so easy to make, that once you get on the “flow” you wouldn’t want to change it for the best takeaway.
Some of my favourite recipes would have to be:
From Simplicious Flow
- Rainbow Fritters (besides the great combo of colours, the added eggs and avocado make it the perfect lunch)
- Rockin’ Broc Skillet Scramble (one pan, that’s all you need to create a tasty, easy meal like this one)
- Broc Tots (another great snack, yet so delicious and providing a good load of veggie intake)
- Peanut Butter Jelly Sandwich (a variation of panna cotta filled with yummy goodness and a perfect amount of sweetness)
- Lasagne Pie (who would have thought that taking the traditional lasagne into a pie form and replace a few ingredients can be so yummy?)
- Not quite banana bread (this one is a must try – adding in parsnip just tops the usual banana bread as we know it)
- Eggplant Parmigiana (I loooooove eggplant and this one just turns them into the best combo ever – eggplant, tomato and cheese stacked up!!)
- Meffins (great idea for a snack or lunch add on)
I hope you get the chance to try some of her recipes and make your life just that bit easier AND friendlier for our environment. Let me know how you get on 🙂