This was a work book club thingy find and it was a steal, I think I bought it for about €8. I am sucker for cookbooks in a general sense, but when a deal like this appears, there's no stopping me! I have seen a few episodes here and there of the Hairy Bikers, as they are more commonly known, and I felt this book would definitely be worth a try as I couldn't imagine these two guys ever wanting to scrimp on the flavour side of things. Their approach to healthier eating is pretty simple really - healthier choices and lower calories in what they cook and eat but happily their mantra will appeal to all foodies: "first and foremost our diet recipes are great food". So here's to great food!
|The Hairy Dieters' Cookbook above, and below; some photos from the book - healthy chicken fajitas and biryani.|
1. The photos in this book are pretty ravishing and look quite far removed from the kind of food you'd think of as being low fat and tasteless. For example, the enticingly titled More Fab Fakeaways section displays some seriously good photos of healthier takeaway options, such as Doner Kebabs, Chicken Chow Mein, and Chicken Tikka Masala. The sides section at the back disappointingly has no photos. Other than that it works quite simply throughout the book, that each double page has the recipe and then its matching photo.
SCORE = 4
2. The writing is quite to the point generally in this book. A little bit of chat is indulged in about the recipe at the top of each page but they pretty much go right in with the ingredients and method, all very clearly laid out. Their first chapter is the part that may interest you if you want to find a bit more about their reasons behind this book, which is their second Hairy Dieters' book. They are honest and open about their struggles with weight and healthy living so you thankfully don't get that preachy tone. Their approach is a really common sense one, with a simple list of tips on page 11, for example.
SCORE = 4
3. What I really liked about this book are firstly that the recipes I've tried work and taste truly delicious and in no way do you feel you're eating a boring, restrictive kind of diet. The ingredients are also easy to source, which is always a plus. There is a great range of chapters suiting various mealtimes and also for times when you're looking for more of a treat - such as the great Fab Fakeaways chapter and also Food from Afar.
4. What I didn't like as much about this cookbook was the fact that the breakfasts chapter was a bit sparse and dull (diet alarm!!). The Something Sweet chapter didn't really draw me in either, but then again I am the kind of person who'd far rather cut back elsewhere and go all out on the full-on sweetness when I'm looking for a dessert. Then again I can see the merit to having healthier sweet options available too.
SCORE for 3 & 4 = 8.
5. To sum up, if you're looking for a healthy eating/diet style cookbook, you will not go wrong by adding this to your collection. And, as I've happily discovered on two occasions, their main course dishes go down very well at dinner parties!
Overall score = 16/20 or 80%
|The Hairy Dieters' Low-Cal Chicken Tikka Masala. Yummy!|
I previously blogged their Beef Stroganoff recipe if you'd like to give it a go and also their Chicken Tikka Masala, which is a favourite of mine too.
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