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

Parragon Book Buddy – “The Camping Cookbook”

Parragon Book Buddy -- “The Camping Cookbook”

It is summer time and I have the perfect cookbook for this time of year – The Camping Cookbook – Recipes for the great outdoors.

Like most of the time with Love Food cookbooks there is more to the book than just recipes. The Camping Cookbook – Recipes for the great outdoors contains a lot of great tips for your outdoors living including:

  • What to take – the equipment list
  • Hints & tips for pitching your tent
  • Campsite cooking – cooking with gas, cooking on the barbecue and cooking over the campfire
  • “Don’t forget” check list
  • Store cupboard essentials

It even offers some advice on why skipping breakfast is bad for you and how to beat bad weather blues.

So you see it is like a great outdoors guide all in one 🙂

The cookbook part in itself is split into five main chapters:

  1. The big breakfast
  2. Lunchtime
  3. Seriously filling dinner
  4. Something on the side
  5. All things sweet

There are over 70 yummy recipes in there or how I would describe them as a list of our favourites.

Some of the recipes are simple meals that we might do everyday anyways like Bacon Butties, Apple and Spice Porridge or a Rice Pudding but despite this fact I really like this book. I think it offers a great selection of dishes to pick from and it is written purely with outdoor cooking in mind, so you know the recipes will be fairly easy and will only require a minimum number of ingredients.

I picked few of my personal favourites to share with you.

Parragon Book Buddy – “The Camping Cookbook”  Spicy Fried Eggs

Spicy Fried Eggs – this reminds me of all the camping trips I took as a child with my parents. I actually still cook it from time to time but Mark isn’t so keen on it. He thinks that all the additional trimmings do not belong with eggs… but hey what does he know?

Parragon Book Buddy – “The Camping Cookbook”  Tomato Bruschetta

Tomato Bruschetta is my next pick. It is so quick and simple yet so delicious. I totally adore the taste on nice fresh toasted bread, sweet juicy tomatoes and basil. This is a perfect lunch meal… anytime and anywhere.

Parragon Book Buddy – “The Camping Cookbook” Sunshine Risotto

Sunshine Risotto makes for a perfect dinner meal; it is light and healthy, fabulous looking and full of goodness. This might not be the quickest meal but once camping we shouldn’t be in any rush. It is good to take your time and prepare your meal with love. This particular recipe features sun-dried tomatoes, which give the biggest flavour burst but it can be adopted to suit any pallet. If you are not a tomato fan you can try and create for example a mushroom risotto, especially if you are close by to some nice woodland and can go and pick your the wild mushrooms yourself.

Parragon Book Buddy – “The Camping Cookbook” Meatballs on a Stick

There are Meatballs on a Stick. This is my favourite recipe from the book. I totally love it and I just can’t believe that I’ve never thought about doing it before. The recipe calls for pork and herb sausages, fresh minced beef, breadcrumbs, onion, fresh herbs, egg and some salt and pepper to taste. It couldn’t be any easier. It reminds me of my Polish Meatballs 😉 I am sure cooking it on the BBQ will enhance the flavour and provide a great dining experience.

Parragon Book Buddy – “The Camping Cookbook” Fruit Skewers

Fruit Skewers is my choice for a pudding. I love fresh fruits and I love chocolate, so these two paired together makes for me a perfect combo. You are supposed to brush your fruits with a little maple syrup, which will make them caramelize over the fire. Then just drizzle over them some melted chocolate and enjoy the fresh sharp taste of the juicy fruits mixed with the sweet chocolate. Oh, this really sounds great!

So what do you think about my choices?

Would you like to try any of these dishes?

Parragon Book Buddy  “The Camping Cookbook”

***
The Camping Cookbook – Recipes for the great outdoors
ISBN 978-1-4723-5619-2
Published by Parragon Books Ltd in 2014
Part of Love Food
Number of pages: 192
RRP: £8
Hardback

*  I received this book for free from Parragon as a part of my Book Buddy pack.

What’s Cooking – Apple and Oat Cookies

Apple and Oat Cookies

Home-made cookies always make for a lovely treat and kids love them but what about sticking some goodies into them? This quick and easy recipe for Apple and Oat Cookies is a perfect combination of both – it makes for a perfect treat and it is full of good ingredients (more or less) 😉

This is yet another recipe from Make, Bake, Cookies – The Recipe Book I told you about some time ago. These one are from chapter 2 – soft & chewy and yes indeed they come out just as intended – nice and soft with lovely chewy middle. They are really nice with a cup of coffee, or milk or even a hot chocolate and make for a perfect snack.

Apple and Oat Cookies.

So how do you make them?

Easy… let’s start with the ingredients:

  • 2 large apples, peeled and cored
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 225g unsalted butter, softened plus a little extra for greasing
  • 100g brown sugar
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 225g self raising flour
  • 150g rolled oats
  • 85g raisins

Method:

Preheat oven to 180C / 350F or a Gas Mark 4.

Grease three large baking sheets.

Dice the apples and toss in the lemon juice.

Place the butter and sugars in a bowl and beat together until creamy. Gradually beat in the egg. Sift the flour and add the oats, raisins and apples. Mix until thoroughly combined.

Place dessertspoonfuls of the mixture on the prepared baking sheets spacing them well apart.

Bake in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes or until golden around the edges.

Leave to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes, and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

That’s all.

Nothing else to do but eat 🙂

Do you think they would count as one of your 5 a day?

Apple and Oat Cookies..

Link up your recipe of the week