A blog about travel, books and navigating your twenties in one piece

Monday, 1 August 2016

My Favourite Cookbooks

I spent my first year of uni in catered accommodation, which I stand by as having been the best choice for me at the time. However, having said that, when I came home for summer, I had a real urge to cook and try new things; probably because when I was at uni I didn't really have the option. It's always the way, right? The grass is always greener and all that. This time, though, wanting something I didn't have has actually worked out really well because 1. I've had an excuse to buy shiny new cookbooks 2. The organised side of my personality is super happy with all the meal planning I've been doing (I know, I feel middle-aged!) and 3. I actually get to eat yummy food that doesn't taste like a greasy school dinner... need I go on?!

So, now that I've had a chance to try some cookbooks out, I thought today I'd share my favourite finds with you on the off chance you're hunting for some food inspiration. I hope it helps!

Just a quick disclaimer: Some of these books are written by people who are 'known' for promoting the 'clean eating' hype. Whatever you think of this new food fashion (I, for one, am highly dubious that it's as healthy as it claims to be), many fitness or nutrition bloggers actually put together books with loads of delicious and balanced meals. So, while I'm not going to promote all the assertions clean eating bloggers have made, I'm not going to deny either that I absolutely love some of their cookbooks and recipes. I definitely don't agree with the clean eating stereotype that gluten, dairy-free and vegan etc, diets should be the norm as they are completely unnecessary for the majority of people, but I do agree with trying to be healthy where possible. I like to eat cake and chocolate as much as the next person (if not more!) but, to balance that out, am trying to be a bit healthier when I'm cooking for myself at home. Hope that all makes sense - on with the books!

1 // Madeleine Shaw's Get The Glow - "GET THE GLOW is a cookbook to be savoured. Madeleine shares 100 delicious, wheat- and sugar-free recipes bursting with flavour and nutritional value leaving you feeling full and nourished. Every mouth-watering dish is easy to make, contains ingredients that can be found in your local supermarket and won't break the budget. You'll lose weight, feel healthier and will glow on the inside and out."

I'm not sure that all the claims Madeleine makes will happen if you follow her eating philosophy but I have been enjoying trying out some of her recipes, most of which are *delicious*. There's a huge variety of recipes on offer, including for all three meals plus desserts and snacks.
My favourite recipes: Chickpea and lentil dhal, Banana and cinnamon loaf & Simple overnight bircher.

2 // Madeleine Shaw's Ready Steady Glow - "READY, STEADY, GLOW is a book of two halves offering weekday recipes that can be made in less than 30 minutes, alongside sumptuous show-stopping meals perfect for the weekend. All recipes are wheat- and sugar-free, bursting with flavour and nutritional value, and contain natural ingredients that can be found in your local supermarket." 

Madeleine's second cookbook offering, Ready Steady Glow, is much like her debut but contains loads of new recipes. What I love about this book is that it's divided into two sections depending on whether you're looking to rustle up a speedy meal on a weeknight or whether you're wanting to spend a bit more time on a meal to impress (either yourself or others!), which makes it perfect for both weeknights and weekends.
My favourite recipes: Chickpea curry & Red Thai salmon curry -  Can you tell I'm really into curry at the moment or have I not made it glaringly obvious enough? ;)

3 // The Lean Machines' Eat Well, Move Better and Feel Awesome - "Here, The Lean Machines share their secrets in their first book; a fun, fully illustrated guide for becoming the best version of yourself. Featuring easy nutritious recipes, as well as simple workouts, toning tips and mindfulness techniques, the boys prove that having a healthy lifestyle is achievable and fun." 

I LOVE this book. It's swiftly become a firm favourite of mine as every meal I've made has been incredible. I haven't tried the workouts but the recipes are *fab* and super easy so, if you're looking to just pick up one new cookbook, this is the one I'd recommend most highly.
My favourite recipes: Slow-cooked beef chilli, Cod parcels with white beans & Thai red vegetable curry.

4 // Alice Liveing's Clean Eating Alice: The Body Bible - "The Body Bible provides you with over 80 enticing recipes for clean-yet-delicious breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks to transform the way you eat and feel."

This book has some really yummy recipes in it and is the one that has given me by far the most lunch inspiration. I find lunch to be a pretty tedious meal to plan and so, to have a book that provides me with so many ideas for quick and easy lunches has made a huge difference and has definitely made it a worthwhile purchase for me.
My favourite recipes: Butternut squash, chilli and feta frittata is the standout for me.

5 // The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook - "In this irresistible book, the chefs from The Hummingbird Bakery share their recipes for a delicious range of 60 bakes, from deliciously light cupcakes with pretty buttercream frosting to moist chocolate layer cakes and zesty lemon meringue pie. Hummingbird recipes not only taste great but also look spectacular."

For anything sweet, this is the place to come. If you've ever been to The Hummingbird Bakery you will know that they do the best cakes in the world. I had a red velvet cake made by them for my 18th birthday and it was honestly one of the best parts of the day. Given how much I love the bakery, having all of their recipes in one place makes me so happy - 99% of the times when the urge to bake strikes I will pick up this book and the result will always be *divine* (unless I cock it up, of course!).
My favourite recipes: Red velvet cupcakes, Hazelnut and chocolate cupcakes & Lemon loaf.

And there you have it. I really hope that this post has been helpful and that you all have a wonderful week! Do let me know if there are any places you're currently getting your food inspiration from that I might not know about - it seems that cookbooks are some of my favourite things to buy at the moment so that would be really appreciated!

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