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Customer reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Kitchen Hero: Great Food for Less
Format: Hardcover|Change
Price:£7.44+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on 22 May 2012
There have been a number of frugal cookery books published over recent years and Donal Skehan's Kitchen Hero: Great Food for Less both impresses and stands out. The book starts with a general guide to frugal food shopping, telling the reader which cuts of meat are which - how many people actually know that chuck steak comes from the neck and shoulder for example? Knowledge is dispensed in a factual and non patronising way. Brief advice is given on growing your own, and how to love leftovers.

Recipes are accessible, requiring the minimum of equipment, and come with suggestions on how to vary them the next time you cook them. Many are traditional recipes from Donal's family - from his mother's, grandmother's and aunt's kitchens, the food he grew up on. There is a wide range of dishes, family friendly one pots, cakes, healthy green stir fries and curries and stews. As well as classic Irish and British dishes food is spiced up with international dishes, Indian spices, Thai curries to cowboy beans. I like the fact that Donal encourages you to try lots of vegetarian dishes, with cheap, filling and delicious lentils and pulses. We loved the Indian chicken & rice bake (basically a biryani). Well written, it is like donal is standing next to you in the kitchen, helping and gently encouraging.

If proper cookery - rather than the current food science - were to return to the National Curriculum this would be the perfect book for students to learn to cook from. Essential for those wanting to learn to cook, leaving home for the first time, or needing to cook good home food for others.
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on 6 May 2016
I first got this book from my local library and thought it was some boyband chap trying his hand at cooking. How wrong was I! It is a truly TRULY lovely book. First I renewed it all time from the library, but when that got silly I went and bought it many months ago and now use all the time. The recipes are very diverse, Asian, Irish, French... but all are absolutely delicious and a great success with my family and two small kids to feed. They are healthy, delicious and I just don't get any complaints ever. I swear! And it is pretty (no, not the boy...), lovely pictures on every other side illustrating almost all recipes. Fab!

I have read reviews here comparing him to Jamie Oliver and although I own most of Oliver's books, I keep coming back to Skehan for ease, speed and taste. There's no faff here, just great food like mum used to make it. And now this mum does. Boy Wonder, you've done good!
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on 16 October 2017
its a worth while purchase if you are a Donal fan, but the recipes are basic and very meat orientated!
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on 25 April 2013
Great (and very easy) recipes which not only taste great but actually look exactly as portrayed in the pictures (in the book), when cooked. Outstanding and highly recommended!
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 1 February 2013
Many recipe books tend to forget that the average family is on a budget and no matter how much one might want to spend on the best-quality ingredients it is not always possible to achieve these lofty, desirable aims. This book sets out to show that healthy, good, home-cooked food need not break the bank.
After a brief overview of the goals and objectives of so-called frugal cooking, the reader is given a tour of `key suppliers' who may be best placed to serve you: your local butcher, greengrocer and fishmonger. Many people assume that supermarkets are bound to offer lower prices and greater value-for-money. No doubt, that is the perception they wish to promote, yet the author shows that reality can often be different. A few mini lectures follow about cooking techniques, use of leftovers and even growing your own food where possible and then it is straight to the recipes.
Split into seven distinct sections - slow-cooked meals, soups & stews; everyday easy suppers; cheap & healthy; pasta; simple sides; desserts and baking - the reader is able to dip straight in for culinary inspiration. Each recipe is accompanied by a fairly tempting photograph of the finished dish and this tended to steer the reviewer through the book rather than any text. A browser's paradise indeed. The diversity of the recipes is pleasing as many books of this type seem to fasten on a variation of a theme and that can soon lead to boredom.
Each recipe starts with a degree of commentary about its origin, inspiration or maybe some little hint or tip. Some readers like this stuff, some hate it but you really do need to at least check it out lest a little pearl of wisdom be lost. The recipes themselves are broken down into many steps, making this very `beginner-friendly' without being patronising or alienating to the more experienced cook. However, it would have been nice to have a couple of pages for a glossary to help the beginner understand some of the culinary terms used. Not everyone will know what, for example, `cook until al dente' means. Simple things can make a big difference. Similarly it would not have hurt to have given an approximation of the preparation time and cooking time in a little breakout box by each recipe.
First impressions of this book were that this was a bit of a samey-samey type of book with a price tag to match. Yet once you start leafing through it and see the quality and diversity of the recipes initial reservations can be swept away. This book manages to carve out a little space of its own rather than being lost in a sea of competing works. You might be advised to browse through it and if your eye fastens on a number of recipes of interest then put it in your shopping basket. If you are shopping online and can get a great deal on this book, why not press the `buy' button?
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on 9 November 2012
When I received this book I had no idea who Donal Skehan was but soon learned that he is a food blogger from Dublin turned cookery author and this is his third book. On his blog he describes himself as a home cook, photographer and food writer. Indeed he does all his own photography for his books and blog. He has to date had 2 prime-time cookery shows on RTE TV.

So this book is aimed at anyone from a student to a family and has plenty of tips for the novice regarding frugal cooking, cuts of meat, growing your own, frugal cooking practices and using up leftovers. My favourite tip is freezing your left over wine in an ice cube tray (note to self, remember this) to use in sauces at a later date.

Once you get past the introduction you get into the heart of Donal's favourite recipes from his family, his friends and his own creations. There are beautiful photographs to accompany most of the recipes and there is something for everyone whether you are a meat/fish eater or a vegetarian.

The 7 chapters of the book cover: Slow-cooked Meal, Soup & Stews; Everyday Easy Supper; Cheap and Healthy; Pasta; Simple Sides, Desserts and finally Baking. As soon as I got this book I was sticking bits of torn paper in as bookmarks and the bits of paper got smaller and smaller as I bookmarked 12 recipes immediately. I have made three recipes so far which are the Cauliflower & Broccoli Mac `n' Cheese, Moroccan Chickpea Burgers and Swedish Kladdkaka (Gooey Chocolate Cake). My family's favourite was the Mac `n' Cheese (for recipe click here). The Moroccan Chickpeas Burgers I felt needed some garlic in the yogurt to give them a kick so will do this next time and the Swedish Kladdkaka needed slightly less time in my oven but was so easy I will be making this again and again.

I have so far made: Cauliflower and Broccoli Mac `n' Cheese, Moroccan Chickpea Burgers and Swedish Kladdkaka (Gooey Chocolate Cake).

Next I want to make Roasted Tomato and Garlic Soup, Thai Red Fish Curry, Quick Bean & Tomato Stew, Zesty Orange Puddings, Frozen Chocolate Chip Cookies and Swedish Gingerbread. To be honest it would be far quicker to say which recipes I won't be cooking which would probably only equate to a handful, no not even that many. So technically this book is superb value for money as it is crammed with irresistible recipes that are sure to become firm favourites as there is something for everyone!
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on 9 March 2016
I bought this with the expectations that it would give me recipes for my kitchen hero machine. The recipes are for ovens and not the kitchen hero. It was most disappointing and I returned it.
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on 14 October 2015
I honestly love the book!! The recipes and little stories behind are awesome! The descriptions are super easy, so that so far everything I made was a success and tasted delicious. Nice mixture of ingredients and lots of new inspiration for your everyday kitchen. Highly recommended if you don't need super fancy food.
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on 9 November 2012
Having copies of Donal's 1st 2 books on the shelf I looked forward to the release of Great Food For Less, and I wasn't disappointed. The book starts off with a section packed full of frugal tips and information on cuts of meat, storing and using leftovers, and good cooking practices. These things can often be overlooked when people are learning how to cook so it's great to have a handy reminder to reference. I have cooked from this book on many occasions when I have needed inspiration for mid week dinners, and even if I don't have all of the ingredients to hand it's quite easy to substitute items for similar without having to run to the shop. I also like that the recipes don't require hours of work in the kitchen so tasty meals can be made even when time is short. My favourite recipe from the book has got to be the Swedish kladkakka, it is a really quick and simple cake to mix up and I have made it lots of times when people visit at short notice. This book is great for those who enjoy to cook and also those hoping to learn as the recipes are easy to follow and don't include any complicated methods. I bought a copy for my 12yr old neighbour and she has taught herself to bake using it.
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on 4 April 2016
Bought this book second-hand. It cost approx €5.50 in comparison to €30 in shops here in Ireland.
Had borrowed from our library initially and food it to be an excellent book for family receipes, many of which are now regulars in our diet. Scones to die for!
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