The tricky thing with cookbooks is that, not only do they have to list recipes but they also have to motivate you to make those recipes.
And the two things that force me to don an apron and whip out a frying pan?
It really is that simple but somehow so many cookbooks seem to promise these things and then when you get them home you find that the supposed ‘3-step-recipe’ is actually 20 billion mini-steps crammed into 3 paragraphs and that even though there are a couple of photos, each dish isn’t photographed properly or maybe they’ve just taken photos of themselves (the chefs that is) and left out the actual food.
So we are all in luck with 5 Ingredients, 10 Minutes. Each and every recipe is, as promised, made up of just 5 ingredients and they all have beautiful, full page coloured photographs to accompany them.
This is fabulous because not only will you know what the dish will look like when you’ve made it but you can also flick through the book quickly and find a recipe by looking at the photos as opposed to having to read every single one, step by step (a huge time saver when you’re tired and need to prepare something quickly)
Of course each recipe includes the conventional list of ingredients followed by incredibly simple directions for cooking. The layout is minimalistic and the steps are simple.
There’s none of the faffing around that often puts me off making a recipe and because you know that each meal is going to take you 10 minutes, you become more adventurous and try recipes you would normally steer clear of.
Each page includes a “handy hint” which gives you tips on cooking the ingredients. For example, on one page it suggests you begin cooking your sausages before you begin to prepare the rest of your ingredients because the sausages take longer to cook.
Another excellent feature is the notes at the bottom of each page with suggestions on how to alter the recipe to suit your dietary requirements (Vegetarian/Vegan/Gulten-free/No-Dairy) and even alternatives to suit what you might have lying around in the fridge, if you want to bulk up the recipe or make accompaniments if you’re cooking for more people.
5 Ingredients, 10 Minutes also has an index of recipes and most importantly, an index of ingredients at the back so you can look up recipes depending on what you have in the fridge.
While these little details may seem superfluous as I explain them to you, they show that this book has evidently been thought out incredibly well and I am deeply impressed at how thorough it is.
Lastly, all of the recipes in 5 Ingredients, 10 Minutes are healthy without being boring which is especially great because it acts as a kind of motivation to eat healthily without feeling like you’re stuck in a bland diet of dry salad leaves. I don’t know what more you could ask for in a cookbook really.
5/5- As far as cookbooks go, I think 5 Ingredients, 10 Minutes is one of the best (And I have a lot of cookbooks) Jules Clancy has clearly written it with her readers in mind and she made me want to cook every single recipe she suggested.
5 Ingredients 10 Minutes is out on the 14th of March in the UK. For more information, go to her website.