Search the word cookbook on Amazon and over 146,706 results come up! That is a crazy amount of cook books to choose from and more are being released each day. We are not all made of money and can’t afford to buy into every celebrity chef and healthy eating fad that comes our way, so how do we know which book to choose?
When I originally had the idea of starting this blog it was going to be based on giving you reviews of cook books. How easy they are to follow, are the ingredients expensive and hard to find, how tasty the meals are etc. I then realised that due to a lack of funds (it’s the year of the save people!) and lack of space, I am limited to the amount of cookbooks I can buy and test out; the blog certainly wouldn’t have lasted long! I do have a small cookbook collection though and a few of them are simply amazing, others have barely been used, so I thought I would start a series of posts doing exactly what I mentioned above, reviewing cookbooks. Hopefully this will encourage me to use some of my barely used ones and of course I may have to buy a few more, in the name of research of course!
So here is my first cookbook review, and who better to stat with than social media star Joe Wicks aka the Body Coach and his Lean in 15 book.
Joe Wicks became an Instagram star by creating 15 second videos of his meals that could be cooked in 15 minutes. Joe offers a 90 day shift, shape and sustain plan and this book follows the cycle he gives in the shift phases.
The book is split into 3 sections; reduced carbohydrate meals, post workout carbohydrate-refuel recipes and snacks and treats. If you follow the plan properly you would eat 2 reduced carb meals, 1 post workout meal (after training) and 2 snacks on a workout day and 3 reduced carb meals and 2 snacks on a rest day. Paired with regular training (Joe provides a HIIT workout in the book along with many videos on YouTube) this plan should help you burn fat and build lean muscle. It’s all about learning to fuel your body properly.
What will I need to buy?
The good thing about this cook book is that you don’t need hundreds of expensive, rare exotic ingredients to try out some of the meals. The main thing you will need is coconut oil as this is in a lot of recipes. Also most recipes are meat or fish based, very few are vegetarian, so it can get a bit pricey if you are eating meals from it 3 times a day, 7 days a week.
I have to say that this is the most used cook book I have ever had. I think between me and Mike we have tried out around 10 of them. Some of the ones we have tried are:
- Cheesy Chicken and Chorizo – OMG this meal is the one!! It’s super healthy containing chicken, chorizo, spinach, tomatoes, onion and mozzarella but is extremely tasty and really quick and easy to cook; I think we actually make this one within 15 minutes now. It has become a regular meal on nights where we are both home late and fancy a quick and easy meal but want to eat healthily.
- Chilli con Avocado – I only just discovered chilli in the past 12 months and love it. After turning into a jar free household I was on the lookout for a flavoursome, easy chilli to make and I found it right here. Also it skips out the rice so it’s perfect for me as I try to limit my carbs and it makes the cooking time a lot shorter too. The addition of the avocado and Greek yoghurt provide a cooling effect to the spiciness of the chilli and is a great combination.
- Chicken quinoa stir fry – I love quinoa and feta cheese so this meal is perfect for me! The recipe advises using pre-cooked quinoa which cuts the cooking time down, however I have yet to see any pre-cooked quinoa in any of my local supermarkets so I just cook normal quinoa how I usually would and then add it into the stir fry. I struggle with cooking quinoa and it usually turns out a bit wet and sloppy but when cooking this meal it never does, probably because it’s fried afterwards. The chicken, vegetables and feta cheese taste amazing together and this really is a comfort meal. Very quick and easy to make, every time we eat it we are surprised by how delicious it is.
- Sweetcorn and feta fritters – I have actually only made these once and even though they are in the snack section, it made that much that we just had them for dinner. These would be perfect along with some green veg for an evening meal. The only problem I had when cooking these is that it was hard to get it cooked all the way through to the middle and the smoke alarm started going off from all the smoke the frying was causing. However they were very tasty, they tasted really bad for you but all they contain is sweetcorn, feta cheese and flour so how can they be? Definitely a meal I will be having gain soon.
Buy this book if;
- You want easy to follow, quick healthy recipes
- You like meat and fish
- You don’t want to buy rare expensive ingredients for one recipe only to sit in the cupboard and never be used again
- You are cooking for one – most of the recipes are to serve one, although the portions are massive and it is easy enough to multiply the recipes to serve more people if needed.
Don’t buy this books if;
- You are a vegetarian – there really aren’t that many meat free meals
- You are looking for family meals – some people’s children might eat stuff like this (who are you, how do you do it??) but my daughter definitely won’t. Also some of the meals such as protein pancakes, contain protein powder which is not suitable for children
So there you have it, my first cookbook review and possibly slightly biased as it is my actual favourite cookbook. Let me know in the comments what you think of this post and if you would like to see more of this type. Have you tried any of the Lean in 15 meals? What is your favourite one?