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I want to cook from scratch, and eat less processed food. Recipe book recommendations please?

(55 Posts)
Didyouevah Wed 05-Nov-14 20:59:37

I have 2 dc, overweight dh and a baby on the way.

I have time to cook better than I do. No allergies... And yet I just cook the same old stuff. Pasta bake, risotto, baked potatoes.

Not enough fresh stuff, fruit, veg.

Any suggestions welcome thank you smile

BL00CowWonders Thu 06-Nov-14 08:41:30

Jamie Oliver - Ministry of food. I find its s good all rounder

dreamingofsun Thu 06-Nov-14 09:10:43

i didnt get on that well with jamies. the hairy bikers diet book is good, and anthony warrel's BBQ (i just do in oven/hob in winter), plus anthony's family recipes and the cake lady (mary whats her name) does a family cook book that has tonnes of recipes in. could you get a few from the library and see before you buy?

i like some of the student ones as they don't have tonnes of ingredients and are normally pretty quick and easy, but they do sometimes have ingredients like tom sauce so might not suit your less processed criteria

NotMrsTumble Thu 06-Nov-14 09:14:36

Not a book, but I downloaded the m&s cook app in the wee small hours when I couldn't sleep last night. The recipes look good, and they all have a time and difficulty rating, so you know what you're getting into.

GoodSouls Thu 06-Nov-14 09:16:37

Anything by Mary Berry-(the cake lady!) is great. She writes very good, easy to follow recipes. I have cook now, eat later and real food-fast.

Placeinthesun Thu 06-Nov-14 09:17:35

The Jack Monroe books are great and I swear by my Good Housekeeping Family Meals for £5 book. Recipes in both are clear and simple and the GP one full of general tips for leftovers/how to prep basics etc.

Placeinthesun Thu 06-Nov-14 09:18:04

Oops... GH not GP

ConkerTime Thu 06-Nov-14 09:51:34

I found the hairy bikers diet books to be quite similar to how I cook our (non-diet) food anywaY, BUt they helped me extend the range and add in curries!

They are quite meat orientated and choose lower fat meats which tends to be expensive for family cooking.

Didyouevah Thu 06-Nov-14 16:21:41

Lovely. Thanks all.

I have jack Monroe - having her risotto tonight smile. Should probably substitute white rice for brown though....

snowgal Thu 06-Nov-14 16:34:02

Mary Berry's complete cookery course, heaps of classic recipes and lots if good colour photos showing you steps. Varies from super easy to more testing. Chicken cacciatore is amazing

Pantah630 Thu 06-Nov-14 16:39:02

Nigella's How to Eat is very good and seconding/thirding HB Diet book, they curry book is a hit here too.

pregnantpause Thu 06-Nov-14 17:56:54

I am not a fan of Jamie for family meals- far too liberal with chillies and interesting salads for my dcconfused

I like the hairys diet book- some great recipes but it's not their best- IMO their mums know best books are some of the best family recipe books out there- but they aren't diet books, but they are hugely varied, family , interesting recipes.

Nigellas how to eat is great and covers all bases too. Definitely one of the recipe books I'd give my children when they become mothers iykwim.

Not well known but everyone should have a copy of Mince! By mitzie Wilson ( I think that's the author) honestly it's amazing, full of family meals that are all cheap and tasty and the huge variety if what you can make with such a cheap ingredient is staggering.

I also really like economy gastronomy by Allegra mceverdy and Paul someone-it taught me how to meal plan and I love most of the recipes and the idea behind it. Saved me a fortune over the years and it's family orientated.

Didyouevah Thu 06-Nov-14 18:16:37

So helpful - thank-you.

I think that I'm trying to overcomplicate things. I need to cook like my Grandmother did!

babyblabber Thu 06-Nov-14 18:55:09

I find Jamie Oliver recipes contain too many ingredients and can be daunting as a result.

Rachel Allen is good, loads of books to choose from. Straightforward and easy. (Although can't stand watching her!)

couldbeanyone Thu 06-Nov-14 20:20:47

Any of the river cottage everyday books, and Nigel slater real food, 30 minute meals, real fast food, or eat would be my choices. Nigel slater books always excellent simple meals but tasty! And the river cottage ones are also meant for everyday meals rather than anything fancy but lots of emphasis on fresh food and veg

quesadillas Thu 06-Nov-14 20:20:59

BBC Good Food is where I go for ideas. You can search by ingredient, level of skill etc.

Didyouevah Thu 06-Nov-14 20:32:48

Oh yes - river cottage! Lots of fresh stuff...

I do use BBC good food when I already know what I want to cook. I'm a big meal planner, and I like Cook books to provide inspiration.

agoodbook Thu 06-Nov-14 22:14:02

I second Nigella Lawson - any of her books are good- she's very laid back and also easy to read ( I do enjoy reading a good cook book!0

TheSpottedZebra Fri 07-Nov-14 01:11:11

Another recco for Jamie Oliver's Ministry of Food. That was the book he write to teach people how to cook, or tempt them back in. Yes it is more basic than some of his others, but it is really good for giving you twists on basic recipes -eg you master mince, then use it for spag bol, shepherd's pie etc etc.

It's really good for when you're stuck in a bit of a rut, but it's midweek and you have fussy kids to feed and don't want to go too wild...

howcomes Fri 07-Nov-14 01:25:37

I love Ainsley Harriet recipies, common ingredients resulting in very tasty dishes. I find him irritating to watch but can't fault his food.

ConkerTime Fri 07-Nov-14 09:08:47

I reverted to cooking how my Mum did in that the "it's Friday so it's fish" that I'd mocked at a certain age started to make sense! Certain evenings have activities now and need to be quick and reheatable later for example. That's soup and salad night, or casserole in winter. Then there's Saturday when I pass the fish shop. I don't meal plan beyond that but do look to vary ingredients as I shop and then look up recipes on-line.

Re the less processed remember frozen vegetables can be higher in vitamins than "fresh" that have been hanging about a while. I always have frozen peas, green beans and spinach in.

Didyouevah Fri 07-Nov-14 09:54:36

I've seen a Hugh fearnly that I like the look of.

I'm going to check charity shops tomorrow and then go for "river cottage light and easy"

I've seen the ministry of food one, and as it's not new I might get it for a bargain.

Thanks all!

Didyouevah Sat 08-Nov-14 15:56:08

Right. Had a smashing trip round charity shops. Spent £11 and got this lot. Feeling quite inspired.

Interestingly there were loads of Jamie 'naked chef' books (we have one already). I saw a hfw but it was an original one with loads of info and not many recipes.

I think my objective will be achieved if I meal plan, get quality ingredients and cool from scratch smile

Clutterbugsmum Sat 08-Nov-14 16:49:13

If you can start to build a basic food cupboard of stores. I think it is easier if you don't have to go and buy a 'specific' ingredient.

twattock Sat 08-Nov-14 19:39:07

Try the yummly app, that works well

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