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My husband, bless his cotton socks, is not much of a cook. Don't get me wrong, he can make a mean jacket potato or pasta bake (and he's also been known to heat up MY homemade chilli, stick some rice in the microwave and claim all the praise for "making" dinner himself!), but try getting him to cook something from scratch, or something that requires using more than one pan at a time and something in his (highly scientific, engineer mind) just can't cope with it! I know men aren't meant to be able to multi-task (why, oh why, does it not occur to them to wash the dishes whilst they're waiting for the kettle to boil???), but I just cannot understand why having two pans on the go at the same time is such an obstacle for him...the man built his own mountain bike from scratch for goodness sake!
Anyway, I digress! Whilst on the lookout for little stocking fillers for him a few years ago I stumbled across the 101 One-Pot Suppers book (I also bought another in the series called 101 Simple Suppers, but they proved none too simple for hubster!) and, at only £3.99 on offer down from £4.99, I snatched it up in the vain hope that it might get husband into the kitchen more and me out of it more! If only...
It's a handy little book size, measuring only about 5 inches square and about 3/4 of an inch thick, although I personally prefer bigger, thicker cookbooks - in fact I wish publishers would make all cookbooks the same size so they looked neat and pretty on my kitchen shelf, instead I have to hide half of them in a cupboard! This one is produced by BBC Books and GoodFood Magazine, which immediately reassured me as I use the BBC GoodFood website A LOT when looking for inspiration or something a bit different. It also claims on the front cover that the recipes are "tried and tested" and has the obligatory tempting, hearty, mouthwatering colour photo to entice us to look futher.
Apart from the introduction (not much use for me, a waste of a page I'm afraid!) and the index (self-explanatory), it is divided into 6 sections:
- Meat and Poultry
- Fish and Seafood
- Veggie-Friendly Dishes
- Suppers for a Crowd
- Puddings and Desserts
One thing I did find a little strange is that there is no separation between the sections. Normally there would be a title page at the beginning of each section, but in this book they just merge together. The only way you know you've gone from the soup to the meat section (apart from the recipes, obviously!) is the word soup or meat and poultry in very small print at the bottom of the page.
There is also a handy little section with conversion tables for both measurements and oven temperatures...very useful for people like my husband, and myself admittedly, as I frequently cook from American recipes.
Each recipe covers a double page spread. The left hand side has a brief one or two line introduction, a list of ingredients, method and nutritional information and the right hand page shows a beautifully staged photo of the dish.
Being a one-pot cookbook you would expect the recipes to be easy to follow and they really are. Most of them have only two or three steps in their methods and so are generally quick and simple. The vast majority of them only use either store cupboard ingredients or ones that are readily available from supermarkets etc. There are one or two exceptions, the fresh kaffir lime leaves spring to mind - hands up who knows where to buy lime leaves?? But generally speaking, the average person living in the average town shopping in the average supermarket should have easy access to 99% of the ingredients they use.
To be fair, we haven't really used this cookbook as much as some others on my shelf (I say we, obviously I mean I!). Mainly because this doesn't live on my shelf, it's in a cupboard, out of sight, with all the other odd-shaped cookbooks I own, so when I'm looking for new ideas or inspiration I often forget about it. Having said that, however, the recipes I have tried from it have all been tasty and easy to make and have lived up to the titles promise of only using one pot - although many dishes require side dishes, so obviously these use other pots. Not that I care. If he's not going to even try cooking from this book then the more washing up for him at the end of dinner the better as far as I'm concerned! Or does that make me evil? :)
Recipes we've tried (I've tried) are the Roasted Ratatouille Chicken (very nice but nothing special, and certainly nothing I needed a recipe for), Sausage and Leek Hash (ditto), Cheesy Chops and Chips (VERY nice!), Spicy Prawn and Chorizo Rice (tasty, but not as good as my Jambalaya apparently!) and Red Thai Squash Curry (very tasty and mightily impressed my veggie mother-in-law).
The main let down for me when it comes to this book is the dessert section. What kind of cookbook doesn't include a single chocolatey pudding in it's dessert section??? MADNESS! Ok, there is chocolate in the Tiramisu, but apart from that there is a severe lack of my favourite ingredient! Who on earth would include a recipe for Sticky Cinnamon Figs and not a whiff of a chocolate pudding in sight? Poor, very poor!
For us this book isn't really much use to be honest. It was bought in an attempt to get my husband cooking more, but has sorely failed in that attempt...although he does still spoil me with toast and marmalade! Whilst I don't consider myself to be an expert cook I am more than competent in the kitchen so, for me, this book is a bit too simple and many of the recipes are ones that I would just concoct anyway if I had the ingredients in the fridge/cupboard. I could have a pretty good stab at Broccolli and Goats Cheese Soup without having a recipe in front of me, ditto for Spiced Pork with Stir-Fried Greens, for example. I won't deduct a star for this though, as it's not the books fault it doesn't get much (any) use by the person it was bought for.
If you were a starter cook or not very confident in the kitchen then this would be a very good investment. The recipes really have all been delicious and very easy to follow and they're mostly ready in under an hour, and many in less than half an hour, making it an ideal way of bringing some variation to your evening meals during the week. Unfortunately for me the recipes are just too simple to keep hold of my attention, so in my cupboard it will most likely stay. But for less than a fiver it's a good addition to MY collection of cookbooks and if nothing else, it's always useful to have ideas for visiting veggie guests.
(The loss of a star is for the chocolate issue!)
I have never really been much of a cook. To be honest I don't really enjoy it and find cooking very stressful. So when I got with my fiancé and he enjoyed cooking I was happy. Every night I got home from work (he finished before I did) and tea would be done, all home cooked and lovely. But then three years ago I had my son and decided I couldn't leave him so decided to be a stay at home mum. Then the arguments began my fiancé found it unfair he had to work all day then come home and cook. I did tend to agree but I hated it. My dad lent me (and he has never seen since!) Good Food 101 one pot dishes. A one pot dish sounded perfect to me as having lots of pans on the go at once stressed me out.
This cookbook is rather on the small side but is very compact. It measures 15cms by 13.5cms and although it's great because it doesn't take up much room on your worktop it is difficult to keep it open. To begin with I tried balancing heavy things on the corners of the book to keep it open but they couldn't be too big otherwise they would cover the recipes. As you can see I am pretty useless in the kitchen. Even getting the book to stay open stressed me out. But now after many uses it stays pretty much open it's self. It is a well used cookbook by me and my dad seems to have forgotten about it!
Now I won't try and pretend I have done all the recipes in the book that is near impossible. Who does all the recipes in a cookbook? Some of them just don't take my fancy or aren't suitable for my little son's. At the beginning of the book is a double spread of conversions on metric, imperial and cup sizes. It also tells you oven temperatures dependant on what type of oven you have. All of these are useful for someone like me.
Then the recipes begin. The recipe is on the left hand side of a double page spread and a lovely mouth watering picture is on the right. Underneath each recipe is in smaller text calories per serving along with the amount of fat, fibre etc so excellent if you're on a health watch. The text of the recipe isn't that large but fits the page nicely. It is very clear and the instructions are nice and simple to understand. The book is split up into sections. To begin with we have the soups as you would expect, followed by meat and poultry, then fish and seafood, then veggie friendly dishes, then suppers for a crowd and last puddings and desserts. Some sections are larger than others. I think the last two are the smallest.
Just by looking at the book I can tell some recipes have become my favourite! Why is it my cook book always gets messy on the pages I use. I end up with marks on the pages; I just must be a messy cook. Some of my favourites are the Sausage and leek bake a nice simple one for all the family, cheesy chops and chips my fiancés favourite, Bangers and beans in a pan my son loves sausages, macaroni cheese and mushrooms and the list is endless. All the recipes I have done out of this book have been very tasty.
The recipes are good homely cooked food so not a book for an advanced cook that likes to experiment with food. I have found this book has helped with my fear of cooking and I have got better. I won't go as far as saying I enjoy cooking but I don't get as stressed now.
There a large range of the Good food 101 books and it just may be there is one for you. There is 101 meals for two, 101 speedy suppers (another one I borrowed from my dad), 101 low fat feasts etc. I have seen them on sale it lots of places our local garden centre has them and they are also available on trusty old Amazon! They retail at £4.99 but Amazon has this particular one for £3.29 at the moment.
101 ONE-POT DISHES is from the BBC Book range of good food magazine recipes and costs £4.99 from books shops like Waterstones and you can buy them in some supermarkets like Morrison's in the book and stationary aisles but they are not always in stock there, you can also buy the book from Amazon but will have to pay for postage.
The book is a small thick book light blue in colour with a dish of Chunky Winter Broth on the front picture. This recipe can be found on page 10 of the book, if you like the look of it.
I like to follow a new recipes book as I get fed up of the same meals day in day out and there are some great new easy to follow recopies in this book.
All of the recipes are for meals that can be made in some kind of pot or other and be taken from the oven and put straight onto the table to be served. You have to stand the pot on a mat so as not to burn the table but this is easy and saves on the washing up by not having to use lots of different dishes to cook with. Once the food preparation is done all the ingredients can be added to the pot and cooked.
The book's editor is Jeni Wright and has good colour pictures for you to look at before you choose the meal your going to make and to give you and idea of how the recipe will look when you have made it.
There are different sections to look at in the index starting with -:
Meat & Poultry
Fish & Seafood
Puddings & Desserts.
These are the sections you can chose from and each recipe is plainly written with the ingredients at the top of the left hand page and the method underneath then a colourful picture of the meal on the right side of the page.
On page 8 and 9 of the book is a handy measuring table for you to follow and this tells you the guides for temperatures of the oven for example-:
Gas C 190 degrees / Fan C 170 degrees/ and F 375 degrees = moderately hot
It also tells you the spoon measurements - example - 1 teaspoon = 5ml
Then the liquid conversions - example - 300ml - 10floz/ half pint or 1 and a quarter cups standard mug size.
I find this handy as I'm not always spot on at measuring things out and was taught to cook by an aunt who used cups as measurements.
I find the recipes turn out fine with this table to follow.
All in all the recipes are delicious, there's a great choice and they are easy to follow, from soups to meals I am slowly working my way through the book and would recommend it to you as it's such a good choice of new ideas to try.
Here's an the meal we had last night.
Pork and Apple Braise.
500g/1lb 2oz of pork tenderloin
1tbsp of plain flour
2 tsp of olive oil
1 onion chopped
1 apple chopped
300ml chicken stock or stock cube
2 bat leaves optional
2tbsp chopped parsley
Fry the pork and set aside
Fry the onion, add the apple, stir in the stock, add the pork to this and then the bay leaves and mustard.
Simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes stir in the parsley and season.
Serve with mashed potato or cous cous or chips.
This serves four people.
BBC books has published a whole host of these GoodFood magazine 101 recipe books. I have several but my favourite is this 101 one-pot dishes. When my husband and I both worked full time this was our bible for quick easy meals to do when we got home from work. Since the arrival of our first baby it is still used every week as my husband (who stays at home with our daughter) can prepare of these recipes while I'm at work without slaving over a hot stove for hours and means he can cook and keep one eye on our now very mobile daughter.
They say each recipe is written with simple step by step instructions and is accompanied by a useful nutritional analysis and a full colour photograph, so you can cook with complete confidence.
I personally can't stand following a recipe without a picture. I am an awful cook and really need all the guidance I can get so never attempt any dish without sight of what it's meant to look like. The instructions we always find good enough which is a surprise as at first glance they look very short but this is because they are meant to be quick recipes without many steps. Your cooking skills don't have to be Michelin stared to follow the recipes either.
The nutritional guidelines we do find helpful but treat as a very basic guide as surely the book doesn't know exactly which cream you will buy from the supermarket? If on a diet I don't think this will be accurate enough for you if counting calories etc. The recipes do lend themselves well to putting on your twist on them tweaking the ingredients here and there either to make them healthier or just take out something you don't like.
The size of the book is quite small compared to all my other recipe books as this is less than half the size of an A4 piece of paper (less than A5 I think the next size down is called) but it is reasonably thick. We don't find it stays open on the page we need which is a little bit of a nuisance but as they are easy to cook recipes this isn't a major problem. It's a paperback which is possibly why it doesn't stay open but the cover does wipe clean when my dirty mitts have got flour etc over it!
The book is divided into chapters on 6 different areas:
Meat and poultry
Fish and seafood
Veggie friendly dishes
Suppers for a crowd
Pudding and desserts
So you could cook a delicious and quick 3 course meal for one person or a dinner party for several of your nearest and dearest.
There is a real mixture from different cooking tastes such as Italian, Chinese, Indian etc as well as stable favourites such as hotpots and fry ups.
Our 2 favourites are a quick meatball casserole which uses turkey mince so works out extremely cheap to make and works well for as many people as you want to cook for. The other is pizza chicken melts which we have served for nieces and nephews who scoffed down.
I brought mine from a book club that comes round to where I work for £3. I have seen then in WHSmith for £4.99 or on Amazon for £3.43. Well worth the money.
I do always try to cook my boys and hubby meals from scratch but as this leads to a whole load of washing up, which in my house is Mommy's job, I was thrilled when I came across this book as it has 101 recipes for one pot meals and I though it would reduce the time I spend at the sink.
The book has been made by the BBC so I thought it would be a good and relatively healthy recipe book. I can say that I was not disappointed in any way when the book finally arrived. It is a small book and only measure approximately 12 by 12cm. It has a glossy cover and the inside also contains bright colourful pictures of what the end meals should look like.
The book is split into 8 sections but before this we do have a brief introduction which explains about how the recipes have been made and tested before being published. The sections which the book has are soup, meat and poultry, fish and seafood, veggie-friendly dishes, supper for a coward, puddings and deserts sand then at the very end we have a complete index. Another part of the book which can be found at the beginning after the introduction is a full conversion chart. This is very handy as it not only gives conversions for oven temperatures but also for the metric and imperial weights and the equivalent measures for when it says table or tea spoon. I have found these two pages to be very handy not only when cooking from this book but also others too.
When it came down to cooking from the book the only problem I had was trying to keep the book open at the specific page. I did in the end have to put a heavy chopping board at the very top of the open pages to get this to happen but then again with the spine being so tight it means the pages are not going to come loose.
The recipes are all very easy to follow and have been written with very simple to follow methods. I did not have any problems following them at all. I think the pictures which accompany each and every recipe are very good as it gives an indication as to what your meal should look like at the end. I did notice that the pictures were not all perfect and some of the pots which were shown did have the likes of gravy spilled down the side or a slight burn mark and for me this made me feel so much better about my end creation.
There are a lot of recipes which I have used but did slightly alter as some of the vegetables which ere used were not liked in my house so I simply used a different one and the end result was still good and tasted fine. I think that as the majority of them are containing vegetables this can be done very easily. The fish dishes is also another where a substitute can be used as the fish stated may not be liked but one which is liked will work just as well with the accompanying foods.
At times I did find that it was not completely a one pit meal when you had to add slightly cook vegetables or meat as this does require another saucepan or pot to part cook them in but this is the only on a few of the meals so it can be forgiven.
At the end of each recipe it does give the calories and fat count for a serving of each of the meals and I think this is excellent for those on a diet or watching what they eat.
The book does have a retail price on the back cover of £4.99 and think this is very reasonable. I did actually manage to find the book, brand new, on Amazon for the excellent price of £1.97.
After trying and testing out several of these recipes now I do highly recommend this book not only for the fact it reduces the washing up but it has some very tasty food which can be adapted to suit all tastes and they are all easy to cook and make following the simple instructions. Go on out and get yourself a copy and become the budding chef in your home!
Continuing on my reviews of the brilliant recipe books by the BBC that have been brought out I take you on my review of the Good Food 101 One-Pot dishes book. We usually se this book for pure ease as the title suggests that you can just throw things together in half of these recipes which is great after a hard day's work. It is a great recipe book and a worth addition to your collection and here is why.
So my little bit about the books for those of you who haven't read my reviews. The good food books all have 101 recipes in each. They are quite small and neat and are produced by BBC Books. They all have the ingredients, recipe and nutritional information on the left hand side and then the picture of what you are cooking on the right hand side. There is also an index at the back of the book with a list of all of the recipes so you can easily find something you are after.
The One-Pot dishes book is a blue book and has a picture of a very appetising looking stew on the front which is actually in the book as chunky winter broth. This book contains veggie dishes, meat dishes, fish dishes and also has soups and some puddings. We pick up this book when we can't be bothered with much preparing and we want to keep the washing up down to a minimum. I also find it one of the easier books to follow in the series.
I will now take you through some of my favourite recipes in this book that we have used a few times as we pick up these books a lot.
The first recipe we use a lot because we can adapt it to how we like, is the frying pan sausage hotpot. This we use quorn sausages as I am not a fan of real ones. Plus you can use different types of sausages so we have had ones with apple in them and everything. With this meal you literally get some sausages and cook them along with sliced potatoes (even easier if you can find ones that are already sliced and cooked) and then you add caramelised red onions and some red wine and you are sorted.
Now this dish tastes delicious and I am not a wine fan but you can't taste it that much which is good for me. Instead you get a nice sweet sauce which is not too sweet and does not taste sugary. The sausages mute the sweetness and the wine dulls it down a bit too so all of the flavours complement each other. This recipe takes literally half hour to cook and most of that is waiting for the sausages. There are almost 600 calories in each portion according to the book but as it is an evening dish that's not too bad. The good thing about this dish is for winter it is lovely warm, tasty and stodgy so you will get pleasantly filled up and feel warm which is lovely.
Next recipe that should be on your make list is cheesy vegetable hotpot. This is a veggie dish but again I think you could adapt it and have some meat with it as then it would just be like having a bit of a roast dinner. This is an easy dish which is so tasty every time you make it. It is basically layers of sliced potato, cabbage, leeks and mushrooms which is topped off with some delicious cheese. You bake it and when you serve it up it is very saucy.
Again this is a stodgy dish which is perfect for winter. When it is cooked it is sort of like eating a tortilla type meal and it is so warm. All of the vegetables on their own would maybe be a bit bland but you do use camembert cheese in this one which has a strong taste so everything complements each other like most of the dishes in this book. Plus there is only 300 calories in this dish per serving so me and Dave serve this with some nice warm baguettes which are simply just yummy! This dish is yummy on its own but could also be used in smaller portions as a side dish.
The final dish that I will tell you about is actually a pudding and it is such a yummy and again wintery pudding to make. It is called cookie dough crumble and for a pudding it is so easy to make and only takes 20 minutes. You take a bag of mixed frozen fruit which is easy to get your hands onand you put it in a dish. Then you use a pot of cookie dough which you can buy and put it on top and then bake and serve with cream.
Now considering this is a very easy recipe to make it is so yummy! I like to add a bit of cinnamon to make it a bit more spicy which me and Dave loves but you can just leave it as it is as it is delicious and so fruity. The cookie dough serves as a pastry type crumble and the fruit does get very hot so be careful when it comes straight out of the oven. It is worth serving whilst warm though as that is when it is at its most delicious. Not that nutritionally nice but still it is a lovely pudding.
That is just a taster of some of the recipes you can get in this book and as you can probably tell they work a lot here on making sure that most of the dishes you can just throw stuff together which saves you a lot of time. There are some dishes that are a bit of a faff like the spicy pea curry as you have to do quite a bit of preparing but for the most of them they are very easy.
Other dishes I really like in the one-pot book are the fragrant chicken curry which is so tasty yet quite mild, paneer in herby tomato sauce which is very tasty and extremely easy to make but paneer cheese is a firm favourite of mine and its nice to try it in something different than a curry.
I do happen to think you will find quite a lot of recipes in this book that you do like. The best thing I like is because it is all one-pot so the recipes are very easy to follow. The other good thing is that you can really adapt everything to what you like. I tend to substitute meats for quorn and everything still tastes lovely and Dave tends to add spices all of the time. Considering we mess around with them so much, we have not had a disaster yet and we have tried about 40 of the recipes in this book and they have all been great.
In conclusion I will give this book 5 stars as I think it is fabulous and a very good edition of the good food 101 books. Buy this book if you actually want some recipes that are easy and not very messy and you will not be disappointed. You can buy this book for under £4 on Amazon which is a bargain in my eyes.
Thanks for reading.
I'm well known in my family for being a bad cook. It's something I've never been very good at and truth be known I've never liked doing. However there comes a time in everyone's life when cooking is essential to living, this was 18 years ago for me and after countless kitchen disasters I recently decided it was time to up my game and invest in some recipe books that boast simple meals that even I can achieve without losing interest half way through or messing up because there's some complicated element that I haven't thought through!
I browsed on Amazon for such a book and came across this Good Food 101 One-Pot Dishes recipe book. All the recipes in this book are just that, they require minimal attention and only the one pot to cook them in. It sounded perfect and at £2.00 it immediately went into my shopping basket.
Whilst waiting for this book to arrive I read a review about it written by Yackers1 and it sounded even more perfect so by the time it arrived a few days later I was chomping at the bit to see some of the recipes.
The book itself is small, less than A5 size so it's handy if you want to pop it in your bag and take it to the supermarket with you to remind you of ingredients. It also has a picture of every recipe which to me is important, I like to see what the finished product should look like and pictures make you actually want to try recipes because they often look delicious.
The recipes themselves are all very simple, there's soups at the start which is great for me because I love homemade soup, meat recipes which are not all ones I would use but some I would, chicken recipes most of which I will use and surprisingly for a general book plenty of vegetarian recipes. There are a few desserts in the back, not many, only 10 and as we rarely eat dessert I doubt I'll be using these.
There are a number of fish recipes, some of which I've used already and they're delicious as well as being very simple. I've tried a couple of the vegetarian recipes and intend to try them all in the future and the egg and chips prepared in the oven on the one tray or dish has inspired me to buy a potato chipping machine to make my own chips instead of buying oven chips so expect a review on that in the future!
My partner has been quite surprised and impressed at my new found cooking skills as most of the meals appear to have taken lots of effort and time and of course they haven't but I'm lapping up the praise!
The one minor gripe I have with this book is most of the recipes are high in fat, I'm aware this book isn't "low fat one-pot recipes" but some are ridiculously high per portion so I tweak the ingredients a bit on those and use low fat options instead of full fat or drain all the fat off before I add the rest of the ingredients. This obviously means I don't know the nutritional stats for the meals without spending alot of time working them out but it's worth cutting the fat levels down if like me you don't like too much fat in your diet.
But I love this book, there are loads of recipes in here I will use which is unusual for me. I normally find there are a handful of recipes I actually try in a book, lots I like the look of but are too long-winded and complicated for me to want to try them and lots I would never use. In this book there are some meat ones I won't try because we don't eat lamb or large amounts of pork and of course the dessert ones won't get used but all the rest will so it was a really good buy!
A slow cooker could easily be used to prepare these recipes if you are out all day but most can be made quickly just using a saucepan, baking dish or tray. None of the recipes are complicated and most give the advice of serving with bread or salad so you don't use a second dish but some have rice, pasta or potatoes already in them so you wouldn't need to. Most recipes are for 2 and 4 people but one section called "suppers for a crowd" has recipes that serve 8.
This book is invaluable to me and anyone who likes less washing up but tasty, easy meals should buy a copy. One of the best recipe books I've ever owned.
It's strange that when a son first moves out of home the mother's main concern is how he will manage to feed himself. Forget about paying the bills on time and keeping the place clean, as long as the son can keep his stomach full every thing will be OK.
When I first moved out of home my leaving gift was a slow cooker with the idea being I could set the timer as I left for work in the morning and when I returned home there would be a steaming meal ready to devour. A fantastic idea but in practice it was a different story and I soon left the slow cooker alone.
Whilst watching a cookery programme there was a recipe for a one-pot lamb dish and it prompted me to resurrect the slow cooker. One pot cooking is great as it is almost impossible to burn the food (unless it is left in the cooker for hours on end with no liquid), the food marinates in lovely herbs and spices whilst cooking, meat is always very tender and it is possible to make enough for more than one sitting. In addition it requires little attention (simply chuck everything in the cooker, turn it on and let the magic happen) and the amount of washing up is minimal.
There are loads of one-pot recipe books out there, all of which do more or less the same job. It was whilst browsing in a local Waterstones shop that I noticed a space saving (i.e. small) and attractive (i.e. colourful) one-pot recipe book that was published by the BBC Good Food Magazine, which is an organisation I had actually heard of and trusted. After a quick flick through this book I just had to have it.
101 One-pot Dishes is a handy sized recipe book (ISBN 0-563-52291-7) that was first published by the BBC's Good Food Magazine, in February 2006, that I highly recommend. The editor is Jeni Wright.
Many cookery books contain a section at the front that describes the origins of many of the recipes, specific details about ingredients contained in the recipes (such as where they come from, how they are grown, when to cultivate them etc.) and other back ground information. Whether this information is really useful in cooking the dish or not (after all most people just buy the ingredients and follow the recipe and the origin of the food doesn't affect the taste in any way) will depend on who you ask since everyone will have their own opinion. Personally, I find some of the background information interesting but not really that useful. 101 One-pot Dishes does not contain lavish background information. There is a short introduction, consisting of four small paragraphs, and then it is straight in to the useful stuff.
This book contains conversion tables to ensure you get the correct measures. Like many people in the UK I find that I use both metric and imperial measures (miles for distance and cm or metres in length for example) so I find this conversion table very, very useful. Why the UK cannot either adopt metric or imperial measures is beyond me and this 'mixing and matching' approach is so confusing.
There is a large variety of recipes in this book that includes soups (such as chorizo and chick pea, autumn vegetable and thai green vegetable), broths, casseroles (such as meatball), curries, bakes, fish dishes, rice dishes, pasta dishes and meat dishes (lamb, pork and chicken) amongst much more. A whole host of cuisines is covered from traditional English, Indian, Thai, Mediterranean, Greek, Mexican, Caribbean and Italian. I never knew that there were so many things that could be cooked in a one pot and there are a few surprises including oven egg and chips!
There are some vegetarian recipes but the majority of them contain meat or fish. Being a meat and fish eater, I find this suits me just fine, however there is limited choice for vegetarians and I would not recommend it if you are vegetarian. There are no vegan recipes in this book so if you follow this life style then this book would be of no use to you either.
There are some desert recipes, but the amount is limited and consists of 10 different recipes (such as steamed fruit pudding and tiramisu trifle). I have never been one for deserts so the limited choice does not bother me in the slightest, in fact I wouldn't mind if this book didn't have any deserts in it, but if you are the sort of person who likes deserts I can see how this book may not be suitable for you.
Every recipe gives the list and quantity of ingredients required (to serve four people so you have to scale up or down accordingly), the time it takes to prepare and cook the meal, and step-by-step instructions. The text, on the left hand pages, is clearly spaced out, easy to read and follow and uses easily understandable terms. There is no technical jargon here. On the right hand pages there is a photograph of the finished dish.
All finished products are photographed close up and the results are fantastic. The pictures are very clear and every detail can be seen. I have never managed to get my finished dishes looking like they do in the book, although this applies to all meals I have cooked, and I do suspect there is some airbrushing, but at the end of the day does it matter? In my opinion the pictures are there to add to the attractiveness of the book and encourage consumers to buy it. Pictures do not alter or affect the recipes in any way.
According to the back cover the recommended retail price for this book is £4.99. At the time of writing it can be bought new from Amazon for £2.00 or used for as little as £1.14. This is a bargain price for a book that will last ages (there are so many nice recipes to try) and whilst I would recommend shopping around to get it at the right price I think it offers great value for money even if you have to pay the full recommended retail price.
I am a one-pot meal convert and absolutely love them. They are so easy to prepare, easy to clean up afterwards and the results are always fantastic. Before I found this book I was struggling with recipes and had the same repertoire that was getting boring. This book introduced me to a whole new world of meals and I have even started to develop my own from the ideas in this book.
All recipes are clearly laid out, easy to follow and taste great. They may not look like the photograph of the finished article but as long as they taste good that is all that matters.