I must confess that I am a little bit of a cookery book addict: I am more than happy to curl up with a cup of coffee and a good cookery book and read for an hour or two, and Elly Pear’s Let’s Eat is my current favourite.
The author is actually Elly Curshen AKA Elly Pear, founder of Bristol’s Pear Café and also a food columnist, food panel judge, cookery tutor and Sunday Times bestselling cookery author.
Elly’s food is meat-free and pre-dominantly plant-based, but does include dairy and a little bit of fish and seafood. The approach is making simple, delicious food that is very easy to prepare. Most of the meals are also highly nutritious, although some ‘guilty pleasures’ are included! The book is perfect for vegetarians and vegans and particularly useful for anyone, like me, who is moving towards a more plant-based diet.
The book starts with a list of storecupboard basics and staples. I found I had the majority already in my cupboards; there’s nothing OTT.
There are then three major sections:
Freeze for Ease
My favourite section is Freeze for Ease. Elly provides 5 basic bulk recipes that make several portions, the gives 5 options for each base recipe. For example, I loved the vegan Mushroom, Lentil and Walnut Ragu which can be used as a pasta with feta and basil; as a chilli; as a shepherd’s pie, perhaps with a sweet potato miso and smoked garlic mash topping; or with polenta, garlicky spinach, and Parmesan and rosemany crisps. And once you have made a batch, I’m sure you will think of numerous other options. In each case, Elly makes the base recipes, divides it in to single portions then freezes it.
Building Blocks introduces techniques to make 9 recipes such as 10-minute flatbreads, satay dressing, labneh, green harissa, and roasted spiced plums, each with 3 completely different ways of serving them – but a multitude of other options are clearly visible. Just think how many options there are for using the 10-minute flatbreads! and let’s be clear on this one: that’s 10-minutes from when you first think of making them to being done – no additional prep time or proving time needed!
And then a host of Menus for occasions ranging from a Baby Shower to “Dinner for two when you need to eat now and there’s no time for prep” featuring seared seab bream with brown shrimps and watercress in a chipotle butter; green bean salad with soft herbs, toasted walnuts, shallots and feta; vanilla ice cream, candied nuts and maple syrup. Yummy!
The RRP on this book is £20 but amazingly, at the time of posting this review, Let’s Eat in hardcover format is available on Amazon Prime for only £3. BUY IT NOW while the offer is available. You’ll save at least that much on your very first batch cook!