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on 8 January 2013
I wanted to write a bit about The Kitchen Revolution because I'm finding that after two years it has become one of my most-used cookbooks. I use it in two different ways.

Firstly, if it's time to shop and I really have no ideas, I just order the relevant week's shopping (or the one before or after if that looks more interesting) from Kitchen Revolution and plan to cook from that. We do get a veg box, but we're told what's in it so I can match that against the requirements for Kitchen Revolution. Because the book is seasonal and British, the veg normally matches up quite well and the food fits the weather. Obviously I'll switch root veg, brassicas and so on to use what I have. Like most 'big cooking' books, this one works far better in autumn and winter than spring and summer. I'm an experienced family cook so I have most of the 'storecupboard' things that this book uses, though not all. I have used other meal planning systems (Menu Mailer and The Resourceful Cook); Kitchen Revolution is British, unlike Menu Mailer, and is a more adventurous style of cooking (and a bit more expensive) than The Resourceful Cook.

Secondly, if I get a large lump of meat cheap, I look at Kitchen Revolution to find a week's meals that I can plan around that joint. Supermarkets often have very good deals on big joints, but you have to make them do several meals to make it economic. This book really works well for that; most of the large meals are interesting and well-structured. You do need time to cook, and although I find the timings accurate they will be tight if you are a beginning cook.

As others have noted, portion sizes are normally large. My teenagers now have adult appetites, but many of the dishes have more generous portions than we have. We box up leftovers to take to work for lunch, but you could just cook less. A few of the meals use really expensive ingredients and they also (unsurprisingly) have the smallest portions. Irritatingly, they're not super-delicious to make up for the expense, so I tend to avoid those now.

I have also incorporated two general strategies from the book into my cooking; the first is trying to invariably cook a double-sized meal once a week so that there's always a cooked meal in the freezer, and the second is keeping in stock the ingredients for a couple of the 'larder meals'.

I prefer books with lots of recipes and no photos, so no problem there, but a point off for some meals that are under-tested, or fiddly and not-worth-the-hassle, or expensive; and for the small print. Nevertheless, this is a really useful family cookbook.
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on 30 May 2009
So, we've had this book a week. My husband and I (both fussy eaters) have agreed to just give it a go with a few exceptions (coriander, garlic, mustard and anchovies being no-nos in this house; but lamb, vegetarian meals and fish with heads on are being allowed, even though we don't normally go there ...). We both love to eat good food, and are fussy (see above) and are VERY bored of our repertoire (and I am very bored of trying to come up with week after week of menus and shopping lists). I have tried something similar to this before (a US-based website which does a similar thing) but wasn't impressed because the quality of the meals weren't good enough for us (not enough "real food" and generally too many processed ingredients).

We've done a week, and think this is fab. We have both eaten things we never would have done (radish and orange salad; lamb; polenta and beans) and although dubious about several dishes have reported back that they are quite tasty and better than we expected them to be. I am so enjoying not having to think about shopping or menu planning, and KNOW that I am not wasting food, and can put together an original (to us) meal fairly quickly (I agree that the times are longer than they say, but I find that true of most recipe books) .... I'm in kitchen heaven.

It's not cheap by any stretch, and you do have to buy other food (breakfast and lunch, for one, add to your grocery bill, along with essential items like chocolate and laundry powder) but it hasn't proved any more expensive for us, and there is certainly less waste. I feel like we are eating widely, adventurously and healthily with very little effort from me. Long may it continue!

Additional comment three and a half years later: I do not know how I ever lived without this book. We did the first year pretty religiously, and since then this book has been my main recipe book and meal planning book. It is now falling apart, although the spine which has come off makes a useful book mark ... and the whole book is covered in our comments on what we think of the recipes and how we have adapted them to work better for us (yes, typos and errors in it as well). There are several weeks where we didn't like any of the recipes, which we now skip out entirely, but I am now wishing there was another book like this so I can do it all again. We eat SO well, with such a wide variety of vegetables, and menu planning is just not a headache any more. I have also learnt so much about how to do truly speeding cooking every day of the week from good basic ingredients, and how to eat a truly balanced and healthy diet (I regularly diet to lose weight after some foodie indulgences and the recipes are easy to adapt to any diet.) If you like cooking proper food but are fed up with planning and are prepared to be a little adventurous BUY THIS BOOK.
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on 6 June 2012
We've been using this book every day since about 2008 - it's great - we don't have to think about what to cook each week, and we eat a much greater variety of meals! I have just bought another copy of the same book as the first one was worn out - and have given as a present to other people who have enjoyed recipes when I've cooked for them. I try to make notes on each page, saying what we thought of the meal, with our suggestions on how we would improve it. Many times the comment is "Much better than expected" (some of the recipes sound a bit odd but taste great). We've added comments such as NB use a stronger cheese, works well with crusty bread, takes a bit longer to cook etc but on the whole the comments are positive and the recipes are very clear and easy to follow.
There have been a handful of recipes that we've made a note not to repeat, but then it is easy to slot in a replacement for that day. We download the list from the website each week and that is the basis of the weekly shopping list. I have to agree with an earlier review - the cost of ingredients is higher than £50-60, and sometimes the cooking takes a little longer than they say in the book - but the instructions are really clear and the recipes consistently successful. This is for people who enjoy cooking - there is a certain amount of preparation involved - but as my husband and I both cook we don't find it a chore.
I really like the way that you use seasonal ingredients and eat a wide variety of meat, fish and vegetarian meals. It's a great book!
PS The Website doesn't seem to be going any longer - it's a shame as it was very useful, giving the weekly shopping lists electronically - but they are still shown in the book so it is not a total disaster (and I have saved a copy of every week's list on my computer!!).
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on 23 May 2016
First review I've written. Bought this book years ago now and still probably our most reached for recipe book. The recipes are pretty balanced health wise, and mostly utterly delicious. The ones that are only good or very good are almost disappointing as the general standard sets expectations too high. Tend to pick a few days or a week from time to time, rather than going through it every single day, due to time constraints and the fact the meals are quite filling/rich.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 15 July 2009
This is not the most aesthetic of cook books, but is a great idea and the recipes are varied and different. For the first few weeks, it seems that your food bill is high, but once you have a stock built up, it works our cheaper. Would like to see more puddings and while the authors argue that listing recipes for four means quantities are easily divisible, in practice that's not always the case and there is some inevitable wastage. But a practical book and some novel recipes.
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on 23 January 2016
really well thought through book. it takes a bit of adjusting and getting used to and i would think you'd need to be a reasonable cook to begin with - otherwise you cannot make full use of the 'use it up' meals planned for that week.
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on 3 February 2014
Excellent recipes divided into weekly groups with a shopping list. I think its a great idea & an excellent system. Well worth 5 stars as I use it daily. Some recipes are a little hot & spicy for my family so will reduce the quantities. Otherwise am delighted with it.
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on 11 February 2017
Excellent recipes and made the weekly shopping so easy! Really relaxing to know that if you order the list there will be plenty of meals ready without having to think through ingredients.
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on 12 March 2013
I love this book, The variety and seasonality of the recepies is great and they consistantly work, so I am now happy to cook from this book if I have friends coming round even if I haven't done it before. Occasionally I have done the whole weeks plan and it is so clever how organised and thrifty it is. All my friends have copies of this now as we have all bought it and cooked for wach other from it. ( The Lemon, butternut squash and pine nut lasagne was the start of it all, and is a big hit with vegetarians and non vegetarians).
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on 2 May 2014
This is a great idea, well executed and lovely to use. However, you will never save money when you buy the expensive ingredients!! Don't let that put you off though.
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