A big fan of Jane Kennedy’s first cookbook, Fabulous Food Minus the Boombah, I was thrilled to see her second book hit the shelves. And I spent a week devoted to this new book, to check if it’s as good as the first.
What I loved about her first book was the simple, yet flavoursome and gorgeously presented, recipes that make eating at home even simpler than picking up takeaway. I loved that she had taken recipes such as Beef Vindaloo and removed the high fat content. Foods that were once the occasional, ‘naughty’ treat were transformed to become regular favourites in our household.
And Kennedy’s latest offering, OMG! I Can Eat That? contains more of these gems.
The title sets the tone; the humour for which Kennedy is so well known and loved is dotted throughout the book amongst the simple recipes that even the least confident cook can master. This is not a book aimed at creating restaurant foods that contain little nutrition; this is your no-frills way to kitchen perfection, without the carbs.
Kennedy’s no-nonsense attitude towards food and cooking gives a clear message to her readers: you can cook, but you don’t have to sacrifice dress sizes to enjoy the foods you love.
In this book, she turns to the classics for much of her inspiration, creating low-fat versions of some recipes that will bring back memories of childhood meals. Beef stroganoff, poached pears, lamb shanks, corn beef and even chicken parma all have Kennedy’s discerning boombah-radar cast over them.
One of my favourite aspects of Kennedy’s books is her ideas for making vegetables more interesting. Gone is the traditional meat and three veg – here comes the parsnip puree with a dash of spice, the Brussels sprouts, zucchini and carrot with added flavour. She continues with some favourite accompaniments from her first book, such as cauliflower ‘rice’, and adds some new ideas: zucchini ‘chips’, stuffed shiitake mushrooms, vegetable curry… all easy to make and so tasty.
And the week I spent devoted to cooking dinners from this book? We enjoyed a range of flavours and types of meals that my husband, two-year-old daughter and I all enjoyed. We ate chicken, lamb, beef, fish, pork, plenty of vegetables, and fruits for dessert. We had European, Asian, Indian and Italian inspired foods. We ate homemade sausages that were quicker to mix together than cutting a pack of snags apart. We ate well, and felt great for it.
My only point of contention with this book is its extreme approach. Not one to ‘diet’, I like to include all food groups into my diet which, yes, includes breads and cereals and pasta in moderation. But, that said, how many cook books do you use to cover all your meals, all the time? OMG! I Can Eat That? is a great addition to your favourites.
Kennedy has done it again. This is a book filled with a variety of options, all healthy but still full of flavour and appealing to adults and kids.
Home cooking is back and it’s simpler, healthier and better than ever.