Who: Tara King, Social Media Producer, Puffin and Ladybird Books.
What I made: Big Green Frittata, Quick Coconut Dhal and Broccoli Soup from Good + Simple by Jasmine and Melissa Hemsley.
What I thought: Making nutritious meals is top of the list for my children, but my own meals have fallen to the wayside. I was stuck in a food rut, wheeling out the same old daily dishes and basically feeling unsatisfied. With the aim of updating my tired roster of recipes, I tried a lot of the dishes in H+H Book and... loved them all!
Here are a few of the highlights from my H+H cookathon.
The Big Green Frittata is a fast frittata recipe that takes eggs to the next level. It’s the perfect Saturday lunchtime meal. Beat the eggs, grate courgette, chop some herbs, chuck it all in the pan, sprinkle with feta and boom, you’ve a delicious, nutritious and filling meal - with leftovers perfect for lunch or breakfast.
Another new favourite is the Quick Coconut Dahl with zingy slaw. Creamy lentils with coconut and kick of chilli - this is warming comfort food at its best. The zingy slaw of crunchy cabbage with parsley and a sharp lime dressing, has become a new staple.
The superbly simple Broccoli soup 3 ways won my husband and I over too. It looks like a watery green soup - but one sip and you’re sold. It’s light and fresh and great for a starter or a light meal. I made up a massive batch, froze portions and then experimented with the 3 toppings each serving. The thyme and feta pesto topping was our personal favourite.
Snacks are my weakness and often my hand wanders towards biscuits or a leftover fish-finger. H+H have lots of suggestions for nutritious snacks that hit the spot. An avocado is perked up with lemon and honey drizzle and works as an afternoon pick-me-up in the office or an addition to the picnic bag. Another winner was the Minty Broad bean dip. This creamy dip with a light and fresh flavour will take centre stage in a tray of nibbles. All you need is crudites.
The Hemsleys are big fans of batch cooking and have lots of brilliant ideas and tips for making meals and your cooking time last longer. It’s not just about packing out the freezer either. Ingredients are stretched across meals. A dip can be spread over toast or mashed into veg to add a boost of flavour - and this attitude has helped to update my cooking habits.
The great thing about this cookbook is you don’t just dip in and cook one thing and then let it gather dust on the shelf. This upbeat, colourful cookery book is packed with so many top tips and ideas you WANT to keep going back for more.