Reviews: A tasty line-up of cookbooks

September 29, 2015
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One-dish Dinners: Easy all-in-one meals, by Penny Oliver (Penguin, RRP $40):

From the author of the quintessentially Kiwi Bach, Beach, Boat, Barbecue, comes a collection of recipes that are packed with flavour but won’t have you spending hours in the kitchen cleaning up.

As you can probably gather from the title, all the recipes in Penny Oliver’s book need just one pot, pan, bowl, baking dish or casserole.

The recipes are tasty and offer plenty of variety and inspiration for family dinners. The ricotta and roast vegetable tart was a winner with our family, and is a great option if you’re looking for some meat-free meal ideas.

The author began her food writing career in 1987 and as well as her five popular cookbooks, she was also developed recipes for magazines such as Cuisine, Taste and Real.

Whole, compiled by Bronwyn Kan (Beatnik Publishing, RRP $44.99):

Every second foodie story we read in the news lately seems to be singing the praises of eating unprocessed foods and there are blogs galore springing up online that push the same message.

No surprise, then, that we’ve now got a book of recipes for simple wholefood eating from New Zealand foodies.

We are more aware than ever of the importance of quality when it comes to food, but unfortunately I think many of us end up going for the easy and often not-so-healthy option. This book aims to show that healthy wholefoods can also be easy, tasty and achievable for us all.

There’s a bit of an exploration of “the personal relationship between each contributor and the food they make”, which I kind of skimmed over (time’s short, life’s busy and I want a recipe book to give me recipes, not philosophy).

All-in-all, I found it a wee bit preachy but the recipes themselves were pretty good, simple and tasty. Many of them didn’t use a lot of ingredients and many of those ingredients weren’t always anything out of the ordinary, which makes the recipes so much more approachable.

Contributors included Kelly Gibney of the Bonnie Delicious healthy eating blog; Sophie Carew, creator of Carew Kitchenfresh, hand-pressed almond milk fame; Buffy-Ellen Good of Be Good Organics; and baking guru Jordan Rondell, aka The Caker.

The Caker: Wholesome Cakes, Cookies, & Desserts, by Jordan Rondel (Beatnik Publishing, RRP $49.99):

Speaking of Jordon Rondell, her book is also available now and is packed with 76 healthy and yummy recipes that will ensure you have the right cake recipe for every occasion.

The author developed a love of baking from an early age and has been known as The Caker since 2010. Her recipes are surprising, sometimes pull together unexpected and quirky flavour combinations, and are all easily adapted to suit dietary requirements.

The book is organised by season, and if you are able to resist summer’s gorgeous fresh berry options, then you’re made of sterner stuff than me.

Who says you can’t have your cake and eat it too?

 

 

 

 

Jillian Allison-Aitken

I come from the other land down under, where men are men, and sheep are nervous. I'm a sub-editor and in the past have been a proof-reader, news editor and web editor. I am also an ex-columnist, and book and software reviewer for the local daily newspaper.I still read. A lot. And surf the web. Also a lot.You'll find a little about both of those pastimes here, and on By George.

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