Simple ideas for using almonds and a new cookbook ‘5 ingredients in 10 minutes’

by sophie on March 18, 2013 · 12 comments

Post image for Simple ideas for using almonds and a new cookbook ‘5 ingredients in 10 minutes’

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).

stonesoup blog bannerFor 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


Jules March 19, 2013 at 05:45

Thanks so much for being part of the 5 ingredients 10 minutes blog tour… I feel honoured to be ‘reviewed’ on Mostly Eating.

sophie March 20, 2013 at 14:20

Hey Jules, I’m really enjoying the book. I made your tomato and red lentil soup yesterday which was also really good (though I must admit I couldn’t resist adding a 6th ingredient – a good big squeeze of lemon).

It looks beautiful too, and I love that the design echoes the blog

Marisa March 19, 2013 at 19:39

I recently bought my husband (who lives abroad for many months of the year) a copy of 5 Ingredients in 10 Minutes. He received late last week. He rang me earlier today to tell me he been looking through the book and thinks he will try some of the recipes. That was the idea! He is not a cook, he prefers to leave that to me, but he has been inspired. Well done Jules. This is truly an endorsement for your book, believe me.

sophie March 20, 2013 at 14:22

great idea Marisa – I think the book would be a great one for the non cooks amongst us. There’s nothing so overwhelming to a novice in the kitchen as a huge list of ingredients

Natalie March 21, 2013 at 11:03

Another almond lover here.. for breakfast every morning, toasted slithers in salads, in pestos and as snacks. I also grew up drinking traditional chai tea and the way it was made was sans milk, all the spices and served with a couple of blanched almonds in the bottom of the mug.
I also buy them raw and just roast myself, but I recognise not everyone has the time to do this (I like it this way as I only roast what I need).

Looks like a good book!
Nat x

Tom Franklin March 24, 2013 at 16:22

Thanks for sharing. “5 ingredients in 10 minutes” looks like a hit

Caroline Taylor March 26, 2013 at 13:18

This sounds like a great book!

Jen April 9, 2013 at 13:00

Your book on 5 ingredients in 10 minutes is really great – thanks. Dates and cream cheese – would not have thought of that, but is simply delicious!

Jennie May 12, 2013 at 15:01

I also love almond but unfortunately there would be time it is not available in our house though I can somehow manage it. This is quite a good book, quite interesting.

Victor June 19, 2014 at 07:42

This is an excellent book!!! Thank you very much!

Nicole February 8, 2015 at 05:11

Great recipes. I love adding almonds with a bowl of yogurt and blueberries too.

keukenwerkblad April 26, 2015 at 13:01

Thank you for the hard work you have made in writing this post. In the future I am hopeful the same best work from you as well. Actually your creative writing abilities has motivated me

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