Eat Happy by Melissa Hemsley is one of the releases we are most excited about this year. We loved Melissa's first two cookbooks, written with her sister Jasmine, so we couldn't wait to get our hands on her first solo collection of recipes, especially as it promises quick and easy food ready in under 30 minutes that makes you feel great. Whether you're after substantial breakfasts, quick midweek meal ideas, veg-based mains or indulgent desserts, Eat Happy has it all.
With the goal of becoming even happier foodies, we took to our kitchens to try out some of the many recipes that caught our eye. Here's how we got on...
Who: Julia Pal, Senior Marketing Manager, The Happy Foodie
What I made: Go-To Green Smoothie; Mexican Bean Burgers; Easy Ratatouille
What I thought: I just can’t stop cooking from Eat Happy. Every couple of days I flick through it and spot another recipe I want to try. The book is such a joy because I know that, whatever I choose to make, I can have it on the table in 30 minutes and, chances are, I’ll have all the ingredients lurking around my cupboards and fridge already. The Mexican Bean Burgers were a big hit with my family served with guacamole and sweet potato chips. My notoriously fussy other half exclaimed that he’d happily eat them every day of the week. The ratatouille was a doddle and I now have several servings of it stashed in the freezer for busy nights when I need a veg fix but have no time. And I LOVED the green smoothie, which is helping to train my palate away from the sickly sweet ones that are available to buy in the shops. I am looking forward to cooking my way right through this book. I have a feeling it’s going to be one of the most-used in my kitchen
Who: Caroline Butler, Senior Marketing Manager, Ebury
What I made: Little Chocolate Pots
What I thought: I am a sucker for buying little pots of choc mousse in the supermarket. This is so much better and dangerously easy to make. Its just milk, chocolate, an egg and some maple syrup and a little vanilla extract. Popped it in a high powered blender and in the fridge. Topped it with a little raspberry and some salt. Heavenly. And in the little glasses I had it looked pretty special. Also they can be frozen for a few days so you can prep ahead if you’ve people coming round to dinner for a quick and easy home made pudding. But really, who am I kidding? They’re lovely and rich. They’re all for me. Definitely made me happy!
Who: Alice Palmer Brown, Senior Marketing Executive
What I made: Monday Miso Noodle Soup
What I thought: I’m notoriously bad at following recipes and on the rare occasion that I do, it’s usually for baking (where exact measurements are often required) or complete basics. That’s not to say that I’m a bad cook, it’s just that I am not particularly great with direction. I was tempted to try Eat Happy as it’s 30 Minute Meal message resonated with my short attention span plus I follow Melissa on Instagram and her recipes always look delicious.
And so it began. I chose miso soup as I’m a huge fan of noodle soups but have never attempted to make one and having lived in Asia quite recently Melissa had a lot to live up to! From the start I was impressed with how easily I could find the ingredients and was also happy to find that a few of the items were simply listed as ‘a bunch of’ or ‘a 3cm piece’ as opposed to grams, which saved me the hassle of weighing everything out. In total it probably took me 25 minutes to cook and was a totally stress-free experience that I would definitely repeat again. It was incredibly simple to throw together and the end product was delicious. This is a dish not just for Monday but any day of the week – one I will return to!
N/B the 6 1/2 minute eggs were cooked to absolute perfection!
Who: Lottie Huckle, Marketing Manager, Ebury
What I made: Spanish Chickpea & Almond Stew
What I thought: It’s a bit of a joy to flip through a cookbook and think ‘oh I could easily cook that on a weeknight, and that, and that’. Eat Happy is bursting with simple, tempting dishes that are low maintenance and delicious, making them perfect for restorative weekday suppers. This chickpea stew proved no exception. It was easy to assemble and was on the table in under 25 minutes. And it was a triumph! The flavours of fresh parsley, toasted almonds and smoked paprika sing together in this simple stew. I served mine with a slice of toasted sourdough as I find extra sourdough is a necessity in January.
Who: Clara Triboul, Strategic Marketing Analyst
What I made: Turkish scrambled eggs
What I thought: I flicked through the book on a lazy, cosy Sunday morning, and got very excited when I discovered the breakfast section. The Turkish scrambled eggs turned out to be the perfect easy going, comforting recipe I was looking for - especially because I already had all the ingredients in my cupboards.
It was indeed quick and easy to make, I especially enjoyed chopping the fragrant, colourful vegetables and herbs. Being able to do everything in one pan was definitely a plus, but the most fun part was the finishing touch: piling as much feta and parsley as possible on the eggs. I devoured them straight away with a piece of toast, they were as delicious and comforting as expected, I will definitely make this recipe again.