It’s been a loonngg time since I’ve bought a cook book. I find they end up sitting on my shelf gathering dust. However inspired by the recent television series of same name, I purchased Time to Eat by Great British Bake Off star Nadiya Hussain. and set about making it worth my money by cooking just about every recipe in the book.
Naan bread for breakfast?
The idea behind Time to Eat is to provide quick easy recipes to enable busy people to feed themselves and their families. The book is broken down into sections (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner etc) and features clear instructions, pictures and ingredient lists. On first read through I was surprised to notice the inclusion of Spaghetti Hoops and fish fingers. Yet not as surprised as I was when Nadiya suggested Naan breads for breakfast. Had I made a mistake?
To add to the naan bread/spaghetti hoop concerns, the amount of salt suggested seemed, to me, quite high. I never add more than a tiny pinch and don’t believe in putting a salt cellar on the table. So recipes requiring a tablespoon of salt alongside stock and marmite raised an eyebrow. There was also a slight lack of fruit and veg in the recipes. As the tinned spaghetti indicated, this book relied upon store cupboard ingredients and freezer prep. I was determined to not let the cobwebs win however so ignored the calling book shelf and set about with whisk in hand.
There were loads of recipes I wanted to try and my children were very excited at the thought of frying pan cookies. Within a week I had made the one-tray peanut chicken, prawn malay rice, chicken schwarma, fish finger enchiladas and yes, the naan pizza (which we had for lunch). All of which I found relatively easy to do and will make again.
Initially I was concerned about the level of spice as the recipes often included schiracha (chilli sauce). My spice sensitive hubby however and my 4 year old both managed easily enough.
Too many favourites!!!
My hubby’s favourite was by far the corned beef sub. The kids LOVED the cereal milk ice cream and the raw broccoli coleslaw was a revelation. It’s now being stuck into every salad I make! The recipes kept getting the universal thumbs up, which in my family of five is a rare thing. A lot of the ingredients listed were used multiple times, making it cost effective and the double up tips, where you make a meal and stick one in the freezer for later are very useful. Whilst it’s not the healthiest cook book out there, it’s the most family friendly and the recipes are a doddle to make. It’s well worth the price for the amount of recipes I’ve made and will continue to make.
I’m now casting a critical eye over the other cook books on my shelf. Few stack up to the multi recipe bringer that is, Time to Eat.