As you’ll know, I’m not one to fill this little online space with reviews. I think the last book review I did was probably my second ever blog post in 2007. But I’m very happy to say a few words here about Jules Clancy’s new book, ‘5 ingredients in 10 minutes’. Jules has written her great Stonesoup blog for as long as I’ve been hanging out over here and so she feels like an old friend (albeit a virtual one). More recently I’ve been enjoying her experiments in cooking with only 5 ingredients. Limiting recipes to only 5 ingredients is a real discipline, and one that can give life to some very elegant solutions (and I must admit some others that make me itch to add that little bit of extra spice, or another vegetable).
For me the beauty of this book is that provided you have an even half-decently stocked larder and fridge, you will always be able to find something to make for dinner. Unlike many of the books which claim to feed you quickly, this one has an ingredients palette firmly populated with real foods rather than manufactured shortcuts.
There are some beautifully simple ideas and recipes in the book including:
- broccoli with lemon zest (yes, this simple)
- quinoa with cauliflower and pesto
- noodles with hot tuna and aubergine
- lamb fillet with mint and houmous
- chickpea and rosemary frittata (delicious in a wrap with a dollop of autumn chutney)
This isn’t a vegetarian book, but I don’t think a vegetarian would be disappointed with their purchase. We eat in a flexitarian way, with some fish and very little meat, and I was spoilt for choice. with ample lentil, bean, egg, tofu and cheese dishes. Along side this for every recipe Jules has included variations for making many of the meaty dishes vegetarian and the vegetarian dishes vegan and/or dairy free.
I’ve also included a few tips here from Jules on using one of my store cupboard favourites – the almond
How to use almonds – Jules says …
“I love all nuts but almonds are one of my all-time favourites. They are brilliant for adding crunch to your cooking without increasing the cooking time. I also use them to add veggie protein to make a meal more substantial. They’re also my go-to healthy snack. I’m kind of kicking myself now that I didn’t include a picture of almonds on the cover of ‘5 Ingredients 10 Minutes’ given how frequently I’ve used them in the book.
I usually buy dry roasted nuts because the flavour is so much better. The only downside to roasted nuts is they are more prone to go rancid than raw nuts. So if you aren’t going to be eating them within a month or so it’s best to buy raw nuts and roast as you need them.
Add almonds any time you want a bit of crunch or if you feel like you need to make a dish more filling. They’re brilliant tossed in salads or with most vegetables. In the book I use them to make a meal out of a big bowl of ‘super simple’ cooked broccoli. On another recipe they provide protein to a simple pasta supper of fresh noodles and wilted greens.
Almond meal or ground almonds are a great gluten-free ingredient that I use for more than just baking. Toss a few handfuls of almond meal in to thicken up a watery soup. In the book I team almond meal with peas for a creamy thick dairy-free soup. Or try mixing equal amounts of almond meal with good quality mayonnaise for a lovely ‘instant’ almond sauce to serve with chicken, fish or roast vegetables.”
Jules will be sharing her ideas for other ingredients as part of a blog tour – see the image for details where and when
Disclaimer: penguin sent me a free copy of this book to take a look at