Books | Cook books I love…

I’m one of those people who loves a good cook book.  I love to read them, get excited about ingredients and imagine eating and sharing the dishes.  I never thought I was a ‘foodie’, not one to make sure I’ve got the fridge stocked with dishes I’ve made over the weekend nor am I the one to seek out new restaurant openings.

But, I do plan city breaks around food and coffee.  I think Dan has influenced me with this. His stomach is always on ‘feed me’ alert, that and two growing teens – food is now highly important.  Our recent trip to Amsterdam was centred around food.  I used to find it annoying, that my site-seeing (photography) was constantly interrupted with the need to eat.  But now I relish it.  A chance to try great food in fantastic cafes is surely the best thing about travelling. Plus if the decor is cool – then I’ll photography that!

This aside, food has become increasingly important to me. With the want to eat better, nutritionally wholesome dishes that don’t break the bank – I’m always looking out for great cook books that can offer this.  So here are my favourites – at the moment:

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So, I thought I would share a few of my favourite cooks books I’m using at the moment:

Strudel, noodles & dumplings by Anja Dunk

A celebration of modern German home cooking from Anja Dunk’s young family kitchen.

Anja Dunk’s German food is gently spiced, smoky and deeply savoury. From recipes such as whole-wheat buttermilk waffles to caraway roast pork and red cabbage, quince and apple slaw, her way of cooking is vibrant, honest, quick and deeply intertwined with the seasons and the weather.

Featuring over 200 recipes for the everyday family table, as well as for snacks and special occasions, Anja’s cook book is an essential guide to all the basics of German cuisine, providing inspiration for appetising and comforting meals throughout the year.

My favourite recipes are: Traybaked chicken with shallots and plums.  Little potato dumplings with Spinach cream.

Anja’s recipes are perfect for a rainy day.  Such comfort in a bowl.

A simple table – recipes and rituals for a life in balance by Chi-San Wan and Natali Stajcic

Grounded in the belief that ‘less is more’, A Simple Table is about a shared love for a natural, balanced and sustainable way of living, good food and drink, and the simple measures we can take to have a healthier body and mind.

Chi and Natali’s easy recipes are brimming with beautiful flavours and full of fresh, whole foods that provide energy for the challenges of modern life. Gently guiding you towards ingredients that nourish your body, nothing is ‘forbidden’; rather their focus is on eating uncomplicated, healthy, natural food.

In addition to the recipes, the book offers rituals that instil calm within a busy daily routine; from natural beauty and tips for sleeping, to gentle movement, meditation and daily gratitude.

Amid the pressures and demands of modern life, A Simple Table will encourage us to stay grounded. Feed your body and soul with this book designed for the way we live now.

I cook from this book when I feel I want to eat better.  Pure, simple and nourishing.  No fads here.

My favourite recipes are:  Kitchidi (an ancient Ayurvedic rice dish, yes it is wholesome). Greens, butter beans and chorizo stew.

A modern way to cook by Anna Jones 

Anna delivers again and again in her cook books.  The second in her trilogy, I’m still going through and discovering her beautiful vegetarian recipes.

Many more of us are interested in eating healthier food on a regular basis but sometimes, when we’re home late, tired after work, and don’t have time to buy lots of ingredients, it can just seem too complicated.

In this brilliant new collection of recipes, Anna Jones makes clean, nourishing, vegetable-centred food realistic on any night of the week. Chapters are broken down by time (recipes for under 15, 20, 30 or 40 minutes) and also by planning a little ahead (quick healthy breakfasts, dishes you can make and re-use throughout the week). Anna’s new book is a truly practical and inspiring collection for anyone who wants to put dinner on the table quickly, without fuss, trips to specialist shops or too much washing up, but still eat food that tastes incredible and is doing you good.

My favourite recipes are: Spinach & Lemon polpette. My favourite lentils with roast tomatoes and horseradish.

New Kitchen Basics by Claire Thomson

My good pal Claire and Sisterhood Camp chef has written here fourth book – and it’s a doozy!  Packed with all the good things and easy to use to.  Using everyday kitchen store cupboard staples, Claire has built some fab recipes.

Most of us buy the same ingredients week in, week out, and cook the same old recipes. Cookery writer Claire Thomson wants to encourage people to ditch the boring chicken stir-fry, the all-too-predictable spag bol and dreary fish pie, and enliven their cooking and eating.

Claire takes our 10 favourite supermarket ingredients and reinvents them as modern classics. With sections on chicken, tomatoes, eggs, cheese, minced meat, pasta, potatoes, salad, lemon and chocolate, each chapter covers the basics about that ingredient, then offers recipes using each in ways that will brighten up mealtimes. Claire’s cooking is simple yet imaginative, and her kitchen expertise and knowledge of flavour combinations mean that these dishes will become your new standby meals.

This is the new essential cookbook, a modern solution to the eternal question: “What shall I cook tonight?”

My favourite recipes are: Fried Halloumi with aubergine and butter beans. Tomato, courgette and tarragon galette.

All this writing about food has me a bit hungry. So what are you cooking for tea?  Would you like me to do some recipe posts on here?