Cookbook Review: Little Bird Goodness

Little Bird Goodness by Megan May, Penguin Random House New Zealand

Little Bird Goodness
For many people, food intolerance is a huge interruption to everyday life.  Product availability has improved with gluten-free, wheat-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free, or egg-free items now being available in many mainstream grocery stores.  Larger cities also have the luxury of vegetarian, vegan or raw food café’s such as Megan May’s award-winning Unbakery Café’s.

With the release of her first cookbook The Unbakery, raw food became more accessible to people living outside of the main centres or without access to café’s catering to specialist eating programs.  Little Bird Goodness, Megan’s second cookbook, is aimed at a larger group of people, not just those already eating raw food.  These recipes are all plant-based but some include a cooked portion to help newbies ease into this type of eating.

Thankfully, only one of our family members suffers from a food allergy/intolerance, but the vitality and enthusiasm of Megan for eating a plant-based diet encourages me to try to incorporate more raw components into our diet.  Simple ideas such as Watermelon dipped in citrus spice mix, chocolate-dipped dried fruit or green superfoods popcorn all look delicious, fresh and healthy snack choices.  The spiced pumpkin salad with caramelised shallot dressing would also fit into our diet without too much trouble ie ordering in a raft of new exciting ingredients.

At the back of the book, the Basics section covers sprouting, (sprouts are fundamental to a raw food diet), as well as fermented foods such as kefir, yoghurt, kimchi and sauerkraut all of which are easy and very satisfying to make.

Each recipe includes an equipment needed list which is useful to know before beginning a recipe, particularly as some equipment specified is not what an everyday regular kitchen would have, such as a cold brew coffee maker or a cold-press juice extractor.

First up on my list of recipes to try is the Pea Guacamole and the popcorn.  Megan also shares recipes on her website and for Bite Magazine (such as this delicious-looking intriguing-sounding Winter Spice Buttercup Cake with Coconut Cream Frosting.

 

Cookbook Review: Chop Chop

Chop Chop – Brett McGregor

Chop Chop
Asian food is my nemesis so I am glad for all the help I can get when it comes to preparing delicious meals with an oriental flair.  Curries and Thai food I have a handle on but anything else bewilders me.  I can’t tell if the recipe is Malaysian, Vietnamese, Chinese or otherwise.  Not so for Brett McGregor, New Zealand’s first MasterChef winner.  This is his third cookbook, and as with his first (Taste of a traveller) and second (A Taste of home), Brett shares a whole heap of tasty recipes suitable for family cooking. Continue reading

Cookbook Review: Melie’s Kitchen

Melie’s Kitchen by Amelia Ferrier (Penguin Random House New Zealand)

Melie's Kitchen

I have a fair collection of cook books both new and old.  My favourite cook books are anything with baking or preserving (jams and jellies and such like).  Some books I have never made anything from, although I want to try three or four of the recipes.  Other books I have get me extremely inspired to get into the kitchen and try stuff out.  Melie’s Kitchen falls into the second group – there is so much in there that is just ‘wow’ and ‘oh-my-goodness’ and ‘I’d never have thought of that’.  It’s so exciting (and no, it is not sad that I find a cookbook exciting). Continue reading

Cookbook Review: Pipi at home

Pipi at HomePipi, a vibrant pink café in Havelock North, Hawkes Bay, has locals bowled over and visitors listing it as one of the attractions not to miss when visiting the region. That being said, I haven’t yet managed to find my way there despite being in and through Havelock North many times. The main reason (excuse) is that we are usually on our way to somewhere or we are visiting friends so time to sit and have a leisurely meal hasn’t presented itself as yet. It doesn’t help that Havelock North is stuffed full of fabulous places to visit – from Bellatino’s Foodlovers Market and Poppies bookshop which, as I’ve mentioned before, is packed with a huge variety of cookbooks to the Adam & Eva café & food store and Jacksons Bakery & Café.  It is also worth a mention that Pipi, while described as a café, is open 4pm – 10pm so it is an evening meal destination (or very late afternoon tea/lunch).

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This cookbook is a keeper: One-dish Dinners – Easy all-in-one meals

One-dish dinners – Penny Oliver

Published by Penguin Random House (NZ)
One-dish dinners
I was lucky enough to receive a review copy of One-dish Dinners by Penny Oliver.  A long-time NZ food writer, Penny has written six cookbooks including Beach Bach Boat Barbecue and Single Serve.  The easy all-in-one meals theme of her latest book, One-dish Dinners, appealed to the busy-week-night-mother-with-hungry-chickens in me.  I work from home, so I have more freedom than most working mothers in that I can put tea on at any point during the day.  However, with after school trips to guitar lessons, choir practice and such-like, dinner prep time can be a harried affair.  On these nights, I don’t want to create a delicious healthy macaroni and cheese that uses every pot I have in the kitchen and most of the bowls as well.  I do want to create delicious healthy meals with minimum fuss and bother. Continue reading