My cookbook collection is a pretty accurate reflection of my day to day diet. You'll find Mary Berry classic dishes nestled next to an entire book dedicated to avocado. There are countless cake and bread books and Deliciously Ella tucked up against a book on chocolate. Essentially, it's all about balance and enjoying a virtuous salad just as much as a chunky slice of chocolate cake.
Experimenting in the kitchen is one of my favourite ways to fill free time, so I love picking up new recipe books to try out.
The latest addition is "Naturally Sassy", a healthy cookbook written by Saskia Greggson-Williams.
It's a fabulous selection of healthy, nutritious and naturally tasty dishes, covering everything from breakfast to dessert.
One of the most important criteria for me when choosing new recipes books is the type of ingredients required. If I'm not confident I'll be able to buy the majority of them in a big supermarket, I won't buy the book. Luckily Naturally Sassy requires easily sourced ingredients - something Saskia deliberately tried to achieve.
As a bonus, lots of the recipes use quite similar ingredients, so it's easy to stock up on the cupboard essentials and fresh produce, without necessarily having specific dishes in mind. While meal planning is great, sometimes it's nice to be a bit more spontaneous - so these recipes are perfect for being able to pick up the basics without needing to think too hard.
The recipes themselves are excellent. I'm not strictly vegetarian, but I get so much more use from veggie cookbooks - I find there are far more recipes that appeal to me. And in fact, every single recipe in this book appeals to me.
While testing some of the recipes out, I've also noticed that they are really accurate which is a massive bonus. The timings are spot on, the portion sizes ideal and my finished dishes even look remotely like the photos!
I really like the fact that there are lots of ways to vary the recipes - Saskia has included tips and "switch it up" ideas for many of them, so there's no chance of getting bored, eating the same things. I also love some of the "How to Make" sections that are about a type of dish rather than a single recipe. Overnight oats, balance bowls, smoothies - they each get a spread with mix and match components which are ideal for creating your own favourites.
I also agree with a lot of Saskia's attitudes to food and how healthy eating is something that can be very simple and should be easy to enjoy. There are a few bits I'm less convinced on the science about but they don't make any difference to whether or not I want to try the recipes. Every recipe is also meat, dairy and wheat free - not essential to me at all, but I either adapt recipes to use my preferred ingredients, or simply keep them "free-from" and enjoy the innovative use of a plant-based diet.
I've already had a try at a few of the recipes in the book (and been inspired by many, many more). The "Sunday Prep" lunches was an absolute lifesaver during my on-call week - I made up all the different salad components on the Monday evening and had enough to last right through to Sunday, Delicious, healthy lunches that took no more than an hour's work!
Then I gave the quinoa with orange-chilli kale and roasted butternut squash a go and was thrilled with the result. It tastes every bit as good as it looks.
So if you're looking for healthy eating inspiration, new lunch ideas or simply to expand your cookbook collection, I'd 100% recommend this book. I know I'll be dipping into it for ideas for a long time to come!
Have you tried out Naturally Sassy? What should the next book be for my collection?