Parragon Book Buddy – Natural

Natural – Wholesome Recipes for Pure Nourishment – 320 pages of wonderful recipes that use fresh, natural and simple ingredients to help provide a healthier and cleaner approach to everyday eating.

Natural – Wholesome Recipes for Pure Nourishment – 320 pages of wonderful recipes that use fresh, natural and simple ingredients to help provide a healthier and cleaner approach to everyday eating.I have to admit, this is by far the biggest cook book I’ve ever had the pleasure to review from Parragon Books. Not only is it large in presence but it also has a solid feel with over 300 pages stuffed with ideas and inspiration. The picture above doesn’t do its justice as in reality the cover of the book is embossed but as much as I wanted to show it, I simply couldn’t photograph it in any way that it would be visible.

Natural – Wholesome Recipes for Pure Nourishment contains eight main chapters:

  1. Wake Up!
  2. Energy-Fuelling Lunches
  3. Super-Charged Snacks & Sides
  4. Dressings, Sauces & Dips
  5. A Feast of Vegetables
  6. Power-Packed Protein
  7. The Sweet Stuff
  8. Healthy Nectars

The titles are pretty self-explanatory so they give you a very good idea what type of dishes you might find inside this cook book.

Natural – Wholesome Recipes for Pure Nourishment – 320 pages of wonderful recipes that use fresh, natural and simple ingredients to help provide a healthier and cleaner approach to everyday eating.In addition, as with most books from the Love Food series, this cookbook provides tons of information about naturally good ingredients. You can find in there all the knowledge you could seek about food superheroes like chia seeds, wheatgrass, coconut oil or water and well as many more.

Natural – Wholesome Recipes for Pure Nourishment – 320 pages of wonderful recipes that use fresh, natural and simple ingredients to help provide a healthier and cleaner approach to everyday eating.All the recipes in the book come providing the number of servings, preparation and cook time as well as a lovely clear picture of the final dish ready for serving. I love cookbooks that come with nice photography as it makes me more inspired to actually recreate the dish. Plain text might be good for some but I like to see what to aim for and how close I can get my copy cat dish to its desired form and plating.

To add to this, Natural – Wholesome Recipes for Pure Nourishment also gives you the expected nutritional value for each dish being calories, fat, saturated fat, sugar, carbs, fibre, protein and salt.

Natural – Wholesome Recipes for Pure Nourishment – 320 pages of wonderful recipes that use fresh, natural and simple ingredients to help provide a healthier and cleaner approach to everyday eating.Natural – Wholesome Recipes for Pure Nourishment – 320 pages of wonderful recipes that use fresh, natural and simple ingredients to help provide a healthier and cleaner approach to everyday eating.For us 2016 is a back to basics year; we have big changes coming and one of them is to go back to our roots when it comes to food… eat natural, eat clean and most of all eat healthy, so this cook book was a wonderful gift which I am sure will get a lot of use and you will most likely see a lot of recipes on the blog which were inspired by it.

Do you have any food related plans and resolution for 2016?

***
Natural – Wholesome Recipes for Pure Nourishment
ISBN 978-1-4723-9243-5
Published by Parragon Books Ltd in 2015
Part of Love Food
Number of pages: 320
RRP: £20
Hardcover

*I received this book for free from Parragon as a part of my Book Buddy pack.
**All pictures in this post are from “Natural – Wholesome Recipes for Pure Nourishment” cookbook.

Parragon Book Buddy – Christmas Recipes & Crafts

Christmas Recipes & Crafts” from Parragon Books offers a wonderful selection of ideas for the perfect homemade Christmas.

"Christmas Recipes & Crafts" from Parragon Books offers a wonderful selection of ideas for the perfect homemade Christmas.Christmas is a truly magical time of the year. There’s the crisp, cool bite of winter, the smell of pine needles, twinkling lights and, if you are lucky, even a few jingle bells jingling, too. And that’s just outside. Inside cosy homes everywhere, the smell of fresh baked mince pies and biscuits mingle with the scent of the freshly cut Christmas tree… this is the beginning to the introduction… isn’t it a wonderful way to put you in the festive spirit?

The cookbook is stuffed with everything you might need for a perfect Christmas feast. Starting with the morning meal like rich orange crepes or pain au chocolate cinnamon rolls, via starters, main meal, sides and sauces and of course a selection of desserts and baked goodies; there is even a chapter on Christmas drinks like eggnog, mulled wine or a hot brandy chocolate. And if you don’t fancy a rummage through the entire cookbook, simply open up to the Christmas favourites section where you will find 14 recipes which will keep you, your family and friends well fed through the entire day.

Christmas Recipes & Crafts from Parragon Books offers a wonderful selection of ideas for the perfect homemade Christmas. Each and every recipe is clearly presented, providing you with an estimated cook time, number of servings and of course the ever essential ingredients list and method; and you can see the final dish just to give you a rough idea what to aim for.

The last chapter of the book features crafts; there are 10 projects to pick from and they vary from stockings, snowflake cards to a Christmas wreath. There are even templates, which you can use to make your crafting project easier.

Christmas Recipes & Crafts from Parragon Books offers a wonderful selection of ideas for the perfect homemade Christmas. The book itself is beautiful. The pages are smooth and shiny and they feel very luxurious. Each recipe has a clear pictures and the food photography is lovely, it really makes you want to recreate it and devour as soon as it is ready.

Christmas Recipes & Crafts from Parragon Books offers a wonderful selection of ideas for the perfect homemade Christmas. I know that most of us like to stick to the old favourites when it comes to Christmas but if you are open to something new or in need of some festive inspiration, I can truly recommend this book.

Do you like to experiment and try new dishes this festive season?

***
Christmas Recipes & Crafts
ISBN 978-1-4723-9253-4
Published by Parragon Books Ltd in 2015
Part of Love Food
Number of pages: 224
RRP: £15
Hardcover

*I received this book for free from Parragon as a part of my Book Buddy pack.
**All pictures in this post are from “Christmas Recipes & Crafts” cookbook.

Parragon Book Buddy – Casual Cooking – Go On, It’s Healthy

Parragon Book Buddy – Casual Cooking – Go On, It’s HealthyToday I would love to share with you a new cookbook that I received from Parragon Books – “Go On, It’s Healthy“. This 192 pages cookbook has a wide range of delicious recipes to help you enjoy a wholesome, nutritious diet, every meal of the day. Wake up with a vibrant recipe from Rise & shine! Or knock up a sustaining small meal with Smalls, sides & shares. Whip up a quick and healthy snack with Snack attack, or a nourishing family meal with What’s for dinner? Finally, finish off with a light sweet treat with All things sweet.

“Go On, It’s Healthy” is the perfect cookbook for anyone looking for healthy meal options. In addition to mouth-watering recipes this cookbook also contains a lot of top tips which will help you to determine what a healthy diet really is and how to incorporate it into our everyday life and interesting facts about common ingredients we use in everyday cooking.

I found a section about making healthy swaps particulate helpful – I knew that I can replace golden syrup with honey, but I had no idea that to reduce sugar intake I can also replace them both with a rice malt syrup (it is a fructose-free sweetener made from fermented cooked rice). This is just an example of a clever swap we can make in order to improve our eating habits and take them to a “healthy level”.

We all have different requirements when it comes to our diet. I might want a reduced fat recipe but someone else might be more interested in a reduced sugar or a high fibre meal. “Go On, It’s Healthy” takes this into account; if the recipe falls into one of these five categories:

  • Reduced saturated fat
  • Reduces sugar
  • Reduces calorie
  • High protein
  • High fibre

…it will be clearly marked as such.

Parragon Book Buddy - Casual Cooking – Go On, It’s HealthyThis actually makes your decision about recreating each meal much easier. To add a bit extra, each recipe has a clear count of calories, fat, saturated fat, fibre, carbs, sugar, salt and protein, so if you follow the recipe to the letter, you know exactly what you ate in terms of nutrition value.

I didn’t have the chance to cook anything from my new book as yet but I love the selection of different healthy meals in it. When I do get the time to cook this properly I think I might start with an Indian spiced slaw, followed by the turkey & rainbow chard roll-ups going on to some wholemeal banana flatbreads bites and finishing with what I consider to be a fantastic looking superfood chocolate bark 🙂

Casual Cooking – Go On, It’s Healthy - Indian spiced slawCasual Cooking – Go On, It’s Healthy - turkey & rainbow chard roll-upsCasual Cooking – Go On, It’s Healthy - wholemeal banana flatbreads bitesCasual Cooking – Go On, It’s Healthy - superfood chocolate barkOne thing you can be assured off is that as soon as I have created some of these they will be posted on my blog for you to read about and maybe if you’re tempted you will cook them too.

…Yummmm, I am basically drooling already.

Do you have any top tips when it comes to healthy cooking?

Do you use any clever ingredient swaps to help assure you and your family are getting all the necessary nutrition they need and deserve?

Parragon Book Buddy – Casual Cooking - Go On, It’s Healthy***
Casual Cooking – Go On, It’s Healthy
ISBN 978-1-4723-8487-4
Published by Parragon Books Ltd in 2015
Part of Love Food
Number of pages: 192
RRP: £9.99
Paperback; perfect bound

*I received this book for free from Parragon as a part of my Book Buddy pack.
**All pictures in this post are from “Casual Cooking – Go On, It’s Healthy” cookbook.

Parragon Book Buddy – Food Heroes “Use Your Noodle”

Parragon Book Buddy – “Use Your Noodle”

I don’t know about you but I love noodles. Now it isn’t my go to food when thinking about what shall we eat tonight as the option gets drowned out with other choices in my planning stage, but and it is a big but, when I do actually have them I really, really love them. So why does this dilemma exist there is a food I love but my thoughts do not offer it up as a solution to the daily what shall we eat conundrum. Well as it turns out it’s all about ideas regarding the different ways of preparing them, how do I know this you may wonder, I have a little helper in my corner 🙂 Parragon books sent me a “Use Your Noodle” cookbook and I am very grateful.

This cookbook is packed with yummy recipes from all over the world covering different types of noodles.

The cookbooks’ contents are split into four main chapters:

A Bird in the Hand – covering all your bird based noodles recipe

From the Farm – covering farm meats like pork or lamb

From the Sea – this part is packed with recipes requiring prawns, cod, tuna and all the other lovely types of fish

Veg Out – the last chapter is for all veggie lovers out there

After reading just a few pages, how easy they are and how amazing they look and taste noodles are on my mind.

In addition to lots of recipes, like all Love Food cookbooks I have had the pleasure to read, “Use Your Noodle” also contains a lot of useful hints and tips. My favourite is the “know your noodle” part.

Noodles Types as per “Use Your Noodle” by Parragon Books
In just two pages is an easy to understand explanation about many different types of noodles covering such wonders as:

Soba – mainly made from buckwheat flour and did you know the most popular noodles in Japan.

Ramen – this wheat flour noodle is generally treated as a comfort food and used in a variety of broth-based recipes.

Udon – generally thick and white, made with semi whole-wheat flour; they are light and very easy to digest.

Rice – they are made from rice flour and these are my favourite 🙂

Egg – made with wheat flour, water and eggs – they cook fast and are idea as all-purpose noodles.

As I said above the cookbook is packed with a great selection of recipes. As you would expect from Parragon books all the recipes have a clear indication of both preparation and cook times as well as how many people it will serve. Every recipe has a clear ingredients list and easy to follow cooking instructions and best of all you can see a full colour picture of the final dish so you know what you are aiming for.

I have a few favourite picks from the book.

Chicken Noodle Soup

Chicken Noodle Soup

Steak & Soba Noodle Salad Steak & Soba Noodle Salad

Udon Noodle Stir-Fry with Fish Cake & Ginger Udon Noodle Stir-Fry with Fish Cake & Ginger

Sichuan Noodles Sichuan Noodles

So now when I am out shopping I am always on the hunt for new and exciting noodle options as I plan to get myself a nice selection of noodles to cook with.

Do you like noodles?

What’s your favourite noodle dish.

***
Food Heroes: Use Your Noodle
ISBN 978-1-4723-6451-7
Published by Parragon Books Ltd in 2014
Part of Love Food
Number of pages: 128
RRP: £6
Paperback; perfect bound

*I received this book for free from Parragon as a part of my Book Buddy pack.
**All pictures in this post are from “Use Your Noodle” cookbook.

What’s Cooking – Christmas Gingerbread Man Cookies

What’s Cooking - Christmas Gingerbread Man Cookies

The Christmas season is in a full bloom so it is time to get some festive food ready. What can be more festive than some tasty little gingerbread cookies?

The recipe I want to share with you today is from The Christmas 3D Cookie Kit from Parragon. The kit contains 3D cookie cutters (so you can make your own 3D snowman and 3D Christmas tree) and a recipe book with a fantastic selection of Christmas cookies.

The recipe I’ve chosen was originally for a Mini Gingerbread House Cookies, but we thought that a gingerbread man shaped cookies will be a better choice 🙂What’s Cooking - Christmas Gingerbread Man Cookie

Ingredients:

125g butter

2tbp golden syrup

175g light muscovado sugar

300g self-rising flour

2tbsp ground ginger

1 large egg

Method:

Prepare 2 large baking sheets, ideally pre-lined with a baking paper.

Heat the oven to 160C.

Place the butter and the golden syrup in a pan and heat gently, stirring all the time until melted.

Remove the pan from the heat, add sugar and stir until dissolved.

Sift the flour and ginger into a large bowl and make a well in the middle ready for the wet ingredients.

Pour in the warm, wet ingredients and add the beaten egg into the mix.

Stir thoroughly to form a smooth dough.

Wrap it in a cling film and chill in the fridge for about 20 minutes.

Remove your dough from the fridge and prepare to roll it out; ideally you want your rolled dough to be about 5mm thick.

Cut desired shapes using a cookie cutter or an upside down glass if you want to make a classic round shape or even a knife if all else fails.

Transfer your cut cookies to your baking sheets.

Chill in the fridge for a further 10 minutes.

Bake in earlier preheated oven for about 12-15 minutes or until firm and lightly brown.

Remove from the oven and allow them to cool down.

Now the fun can begin…

It is time to decorate!

What’s Cooking – Christmas Gingerbread Man CookieWhat’s Cooking -- Christmas Gingerbread Man Cookies

If you are good with decorating you can make your own royal icing (just mix 150g of icing sugar with 2tsp of white egg powder and 2 tbsp of cold water)… I am not a master decorator so we used shop bought icing pens to make this job easier 😉

Happy baking!

What’s Cooking – Christmas Gingerbread Man Cookies