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'The Secret Ingredient' - a secret no more!
The Secret Ingredient - Sally Bee
Member Name: AmINormal
The Secret Ingredient - Sally Bee
Advantages: Easy to follow, healthy recipes.
I love to cook whenever I can and with that comes a real addiction to cookery books. Most of my cookery books are by the usual suspects, Delia, Nigella, Rachel etc but I have to say one of my favourites is my Sally Bee book 'The Secret Ingredient'. She may not be as well known but for me I love her recipes and the story behind how she wrote this book.
Sally Bee is a mum of 3 who has had an extraordinary experience; the introduction of this book goes into lots of detail and really lays the foundation of why she wrote the cookbook. To summarise Sally was a healthy young woman with a young family who developed serious ill-health quiet rapidly. First a heart attack and then a condition so rare 'spontaneous coronary artery dissection' which is not normally diagnosed until after a person has died so really this lady's story is all the more inspiring. The book delves deeper into her quest to recover and in particular her need to be as healthy as possible to give herself the best chance to get back her strength and lead as normal as life as possible. Sally mentions in the book that it's her 'eating plan' and really it is just that. It's a plan she uses to stay healthy, its not about calories or fads, its more centred around healthy eating and seeing food as a fuel for our bodies, the better the type of fuel the better our bodies will work.
The recipes are very healthy as you would expect but not in a depriving way that you feel you've had to forgo tasty food for rabbit food so to speak. I've tried plenty of these recipes and I have to say I haven't been disappointed with any I've tried so far. Sally encourages less use of salt and fats but gives helpful ideas on how to keep flavour in your food. A tip I now use regularly is to replace salt with lemon juice, it gives food a lovely zingy flavour and by reducing your salt intake you know your doing better things for your body. My favourite recipe (which I could eat everyday) is her recipe for meatballs in spicy tomato and vegetable sauce on page 89. The meatballs have a wonderful flavour as they have allspice and cinnamon in them and I find that this slightly different flavour to the meatball makes them extra tasty whilst being healthy too.
The book is split into different sections including, Soups and Starters, Salads sides and Vegetarian, Chicken, Fish, Beef Pork & Lamb, Desserts and Drinks so as you can see there is plenty to choose from in the book. What I also love about the book is that there is lots of little tips dotted around it, for example one relates to exercise and the role it plays in a healthy lifestyle, another to portion sizes and making us more aware of the amount we eat. Its also really well illustrated and bright which I find encourages me to try more new recipes. Sally identifies each process in the recipe in an easy to follow number guide and displays clearly on each recipe how many people it is expected to feed. Another part of the book which I really like is that on each recipe it has the tag of either everyday or treat, so for me this makes being healthy even easier as I don't have to count calories as I know that a recipe with everyday is a healthy meal option.
My overall opinion is that this book is not only a great cookbook but a fascinating and eye-opening story as well. I was recommended this book by a friend who's mother was really loving the recipes in the book as she suffered with high blood pressure. Although I don't have any health problems as such I do struggle with my weight so I thought I'd give this healthy cookbook a go. I really enjoyed reading her story for the point of view that it made me more aware of the fact that you cannot take your health for granted and you need to be proactive in keeping yourself healthy. What I'm even more pleased about is that it includes lots of lovely recipes which are easy to follow and healthy too. It means I can try being healthier in my approach to food without having to drastically alter my food habits. I've been recommending this book to family and friends and have bought it for my mother too who also enjoys the recipes. The book has a RRP of £12.99 but is currently available on Amazon for £7.25 which I do think is good value. You may also be able to get a copy on loan from your local library I know my local library does stock it so you maybe able to pick it up there. I certainly recommend this to everyone. 5 stars from me!
The Secret Ingredient ISBN 978-0-00-734406-2 published by Harper Collins and written by Sally Bee.
Summary: Healthy eating made easy and the story behind why its so important.
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