Top positive review
Tasty, hearty, healthy food that's fun to cook
19 March 2018
As you'd expect from the Hairy Bikers, the recipes in this book are really tasty. Nothing faddy, no pseudoscientic guff about 'clean eating' and no food groups excluded - these are proper balanced meals full of flavour. Most of the main course dishes could be served as a family meal without leaving the non-dieters hungry, but if you do think your partner or kids need some extra calories, you could easily give them rice, bread or potatoes as a side dish. My partner and I have absolutely loved, in particular, the pork and black bean stew, the fish curry and the Szechuan chicken stir-fry - really delicious, vibrant dishes and properly hearty and filling.
I am, however, not convinced that you could always prep these in 30 minutes, even if you have everything out of the cupboard and ready to go when you start the clock - not everyone can chop veg with the speed of a chef! There are also one or two slightly unusual ingredients which, while not hugely outlandish, are not necessarily things most people have in their store cupboards and which you might struggle to find in a smaller supermarket. I was also slightly annoyed at how many recipes are made in a slow cooker or pressure cooker - I have a slow cooker but not everyone does, and I don't have a pressure cooker or have any intention of buying one.
Time and ingredients notwithstanding, once you have everything you need these dishes are really easy to cook, with no fancy techniques or special skills required, so they're great options for midweek dinners when you've just got in from work and just want to cook something tasty while chatting to your partner or family - nothing too stressful.
I have noticed a mistake in one of the recipes I've cooked - it tells you to use 'half the olive oil' and then at no point tells you what to do with the other half, as it's not mentioned again in the recipe, and I also think the cooking time is wrong, as it takes about 20 minutes rather than 10 to thicken into a stew. So a little more care in checking the recipes wouldn't have gone amiss. But so far, everything we've made has a) worked out fine in the end and b) tasted amazing.