Top critical review
Broccoli steak, anyone?
on 5 September 2014
This book promises to give you the world - better skin, more energy, weightloss, a generally happier existence - and all you have to do is almost completely give up bread, potatoes, rice and pasta. Don't worry though, because you can replace potatoes with pureed white beans, or rice with grated cauliflower. Yum.
This is a nicely put together book with pretty (if dark) photos, nice little introductions to each recipe, and lovely glossy pages. There are seven sections after the introduction: breakfasts, snacks, soups, sides & salads, summer meals, comfort food and puddings. My problem was that I struggled to find more than one or two recipes in each section that looked at all appetising. There are definitely some dishes that tempt me to make them - the socca (chickpea flour pancakes) with salmon, the roast bloody Mary soup, the piri piri chicken and a few of the desserts caught my eye. However, the majority of the recipes are not at all inspiring for me.
This book also has some of my pet hates for cookbooks. Firstly, not all the recipes have photographs (most do, but not all). Secondly, there are no indications of how many calories are in the recipes, or any nutritional values, or even any times of how long the recipes will take to make. This makes it difficult to make informed choices about what to try cooking and when, and seems particularly odd when you consider that it's a book dieters may wish to use.
Also, I am a little confused by the puddings section. The introduction points out that you shouldn't eat them everyday - once a week, perhaps - and most of the recipes include fairly large amounts of caster sugar. There are so many alternatives for sugar around that it seems very odd for an anti-white-carb book to advocate the use of so much sugar. The dessert section almost feels like it belongs in a different book. Why not include more recipes for healthy, low-GI, low-carb desserts that could be enjoyed more regularly?
Overall, this book is just OK in my opinion. There are dishes I will make, but a lot that I won't. Perhaps if you're a bigger fan of lentils than I am, you will find more here to your liking.