Cooking The Books: Everything you ought to be eating and cooking

  • Food News
  • Saturday, 08 Sep 2018

Pick up your copy of The Sunday Star paper tomorrow (Sept 9) for a 25% discount on these cookbooks. Look for the coupon in Star2.

Disaster Chef: Simple Recipes For Cooks Who Can’t

Authors: Nadia Sawalha & Kaye Adams

Publisher: DK

Price: RM116

There is an interesting dynamic at play between Nadia Sawalha and her best friend, Kaye Adams. Sawalha is a Celebrity MasterChef UK winner while Adams has confessed that even her boiled eggs don’t necessarily turn out the same every time. Sawalha’s frustration with Adams’ culinary efforts resulted in a hit YouTube series called Disaster Chef. This, in turn, has translated to a cookbook.

As cookbooks go, this one is pretty hilarious. Each recipe includes useful hacks as well as speech bubbles from Sawalha (who provides tried-and-tested information) and Adams (who provides the humour with questions like “How on earth do you pick up a hot chicken?”).

Recipes For Heart, Health In September's Cooking The BooksThe recipes in the book are designed with beginners, or disaster chefs, in mind – basically people who need to cook to survive but simply don’t know how or where to begin. As a result, many of the recipes are incredibly simple, like boiled eggs, mashed potatoes, cheesy bread and butter pudding, and buttery carrots with parsley.

What’s enticing about the recipes is how few ingredients are required to assemble each dish, and how the step-by-step instructions document everything down to the last detail. If you’re after fuss-free recipes that show you how to make meals from scratch without boggling your mind with foreign ingredients or elaborate techniques, you’ll adore this entertaining cookbook. – Abirami Durai

Recipes For Heart, Health In September's Cooking The Books

 Eat Better, Live Longer

Authors: Dr Sarah Brewer & Juliette Kellow

Publisher: DK

Price: RM98.95

EVER wondered what’s going on in your body as you age, asks the blurb on this book’s back cover.

It’s a question we probably should consider as we get older, though thinking about it isn’t always all that fun. Nor is observing good practices to combat the adverse effects of senescence.

But trusted reference book publisher DK (formerly Dorling Kindersley) has made the subject interesting with its signature colourful graphics and illustrations.

You may already know what is good and bad for you – adopt a healthy diet, get active, deal with stress, etc – but this book helps build on that knowledge with up-to-date research based on science.

The authors look at the world’s longest-lived communities (Japan, Switzerland and Singapore are the top three), identify the common eating habits among them, and recommend a longevity eating plan.

Interspersed throughout the book are recipes as well as information on the anti-ageing benefits of 20 “wonderfoods” and “supergroups” of food, including yoghurt, pulses and root vegetables.

Having proven health benefits, plant-based dishes form most of the recipes in the book. For those of us who lean towards a rice-based diet, the four-week eating plan may take some getting used to. But the recipes are easy to make and look delicious.

Even if the plan doesn’t appeal to us, the book contains a lot of information about food and eating habits that will aid in future-proofing. – Jane F. Ragavan

Greens 24/7: Delicious Recipes For Green Veg At Every Meal Recipes For Heart, Health In September's Cooking The Books

Author: Jessica Nadel

Publisher: Quantum Publishing Limited

Price: RM130

THE plant-based diet has gained momentum in the past few years, as research has increasingly shown that embracing the diet can lead to lower rates of heart disease and diabetes.

Although theoretically it would be better to eat as much plant-based foods as you can, when you’re staring down recipes like spinach brownies (an actual recipe in this cookbook), you can’t help but wonder, “Is this really worth it?” Well, as with most things in life – don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.

Greens 24/7 was written by Jessica Nadel, a Canadian vegan blogger who also has her own vegan bakery and is thus uniquely qualified to write this book. In terms of recipes, you’ll quickly discover that while the ones that mimic meat-based originals are laudable – think courgette noodle Bolognese and sweet potato and greens burger – it is original recipes like puff pastry with fennel and turnip greens, and kale and herb cornbread muffins that prove far more compelling and might just give you the push you need to test them out.

Ultimately, though, the book offers lots of new ideas for people looking to infuse more plant-based options into their everyday meals (even if it means embracing vegetable-dessert hybrids like chocolate-dipped kale crisps!). – AD

Recipes For Heart, Health In September's Cooking The BooksLonely Planet Food’s Ultimate Eatlist

Publisher: Lonely Planet Global Limited

Price: RM129.90

The follow-up to Lonely Planet’s Ultimate Travelist, Ultimate Eatlist features 500 must-eat meals trawled from all over the globe. Compiled based on the experiences of Lonely Planet staff as well as top chefs and food writers like Andrew Zimmern, Jose Andres, and Curtis Stone, aided by a panel comprised of TV presenter Adam Liaw and food blogger Leyla Kazim, the list is an exhaustive collection of unique food experiences dotted across the world.

The compilation has been talked-about ever since it was released – in Malaysia, there has been jubilation that our food status has been celebrated with 11 entries in the book, with curry laksa coming in at No.2 (in the world!), and other iconic local food like ikan bakar, assam laksa, roti canai, wantan mee, beef rendang, kaya toast, Hokkien mee, char kway teow, durian and bak kut teh also making it onto the list.

Beyond Malaysia, plenty of other eating experiences abound – from more well-known culinary pursuits, like the full English breakfast in London, sushi in Tokyo and chai in India to lesser-known epicurean delights like pepperpot stew in Guyana, wallaby tail soup in Melbourne, salo in Ukraine and lahoh from Yemen.

Ultimately, this wonderful book offers an incredible homage to food in both familiar and unfamiliar parts of the world and will prove to be a trusty bible for gastro-tourists looking to heighten their travel experiences with local food experiences. – AD

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