Today is World Book Day and to celebrate we thought we’d shine a light on a selection of our favourite Cookery books, as chosen by some of the lovely team here.
Simple to Sensational – Jun Tanaka
“The ethos is simple, aimed at giving the home cook confidence to learn and develop up to good dinner party standard… in my experience, this is the ONE BIG THING that stops the everyday cook striving = CONFIDENCE.
One side of page is a simple every day Bistro type recipe i.e. chilled tomato & Pepper soup & then transform it to sensational… on the other side of the page is a Michelin star quality meal – Tomato & Pepper consommé with olive oil.”
Complete Cookery Course – Delia Smith
“The reason I like this book is because there is such a large range of recipes and they’re easy to follow and usually turn out ok! Sometimes people even have seconds.
I’ve cooked so many different things in the book ranging from Beef Bourguignon to Rich Chocolate Mousse. But my favourite so far is the Traditional Sherry Trifle and the Chicken Basque.”
The River Café Cook Book – Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers
“I like this book because of the simple but effective recipes – a real taste of Italy. It’s not too heavy on pasta recipes – more regional and specialised dishes using Italian ingredients. I love the pictures – the food is the star which is right up my strada. Nothing too fancy, just great tasty food.
I hear the restaurant is pretty fab too!”
1001 Foods: You must try before you Die – Frances Case
“This one is less of a cookery and more of a reference book. With a vast range of food from every corner of the globe it’s brilliant and explains how they’re all used and even what they taste like. Despite working for a food company there are lots of tastes that are new to us. And of course at unearthed, we’re all about foodie discoveries. When we were planning our 193 course meal (a course from every country n the world) this book was a really useful resource as it gave us the heads-up on some of the more unusual items on the list! Just like the Durian fruit – innocent-enough looking, but foul tasting! This book is a must for foodies everywhere.”
Let us know your favourite cookery books and why.
We’re keen to encourage people to discover new foods, places and also things they didn’t know about themselves. One such duo are ASD & Si (left), who took up a running challenge, but decided that doing a multi-terrain challenge wasn’t enough. Instead they upgraded themselves to an Ultramarathon. For those not in the know, that’s 2.3 marathons (62 miles, argh). So we’re sponsoring them to do this amazing, crazy challenge. Read more about them on their 100km to Brighton blog via Tumblr
In the meantime they’d heard we knew people that knew stuff about food, by that we mean the ins and outs of nutrition, Nutritional Therapists. With such a tough challenge on their hands they want to make sure that they are eating properly, fuelling their bodies whilst training and also leaving them enough energy to do their day jobs.
So in a series of three, we’re asking our specialists to answer some questions from the boys about nutrition and running. And to be honest, there’s some pretty interesting stuff here.
This month Jane Bains, from the Food Therapy Practice, is in the hot seat with lots of great advice….
Q. As we increase our training does it make a difference if we start eating more meals a day i.e. smaller portions more often?
Eating little and often is a very good idea and will help to meet your increasing training demands. By eating small regular meals and snacks, that include some protein, unrefined complex carbohydrates (basically, unprocessed grains such as brown rice instead of white rice and vegetables) and a little fat you’ll be helping to stabilise your blood sugar levels thereby ensuring a constant supply of energy over the course of the day.
- For example a small cooked chicken breast, a sliced avocado and grated beetroot or try a salmon fillet with a small portion of steamed broccoli and fist-sized portion of brown basmati rice.
- Whilst out and about a small tub of Greek yogurt with a small punnet of blueberries (approx. 150g) and a few almonds (approx. 30g) is a convenient option.
Q. When’s the best time to eat before a run and what should we have?
- If running in the morning, a breakfast of ‘simple’ carbohydrates and a small amount of protein, eaten 2 hours before running would be ideal. So scrambled eggs with some low GL (glycaemic load) fruit such as a banana or melon is a good option (eat the fruit first followed by the eggs).
- In the hour before a run, food should be avoided to prevent a sugar-insulin reaction during the early stages of the run. Water is best during this time.
- Ten minutes before the run a high GL snack can be eaten (if tolerated) e.g. sports gel.
Here’s the sciencey part about the breakfast choices – Simple carbohydrates that are low in fibre are quickly digested and absorbed to restock glycogen stores depleted overnight. Including a source of protein can also help to lower the glycaemic load (GL) of the carbohydrate eaten thereby prolonging the release of glucose into the bloodstream helping to provide a steady supply of energy during your run. Protein will also help to stimulate muscle synthesis post-run.
Q. What should we be eating as a recovery meal after runs?
- After cooling down and up to 45 minutes post-run it’s a good idea to consume a carbohydrate and protein-rich liquid meal that can be absorbed quickly whilst increasing hydration. A homemade smoothie is a good option (see recipe below).
- Post-run a ‘proper’ meal should be eaten. Oily fish such as salmon or mackerel, or chicken and turkey with lots of steamed non-starchy vegetables, such as greens (e.g. broccoli, cabbage, spring greens) with a small serving of unrefined complex carbohydrates (e.g. brown rice, quinoa, wholemeal pasta or sweet potato) is a good option.
Here’s the sciencey part – In the 45 minutes, post-run, muscle cells are very sensitive to insulin thereby promoting muscle glycogen repletion and muscle tissue repair. The protein-rich dinner can help to repair damaged muscle fibres and support detoxification via the liver; glycogen repletion also continues. The essential fatty acids in fish will also help to calm any inflammation in the muscles and joint tissue.
We also fancied just being nosy and asking Jane some general foodie questions too:
- What’s your guilty food pleasure? – That’s easy! It has to be Green & Black’s Milk Chocolate.
- What are the popular myths you just don’t believe when it comes to food and drink? – The misguided ‘eat low fat to lose fat’ myth is a bug-bare of mine. Low sugar, absolutely, but not low fat. Fat, especially essential fats such as omega 3 (think oily fish like salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring and pilchards), are a fundamental component of optimum health.
- We keep hearing runners talk about “real food”. What is it? - ‘Real food’ refers to whole food that can be consumed before, during and after exercise to help restock, replenish and repair. One example of a ‘real food’ is beetroot. It’s high in nitrates that can help increase oxygenation round the body. Beetroot juice would be good to drink in the days leading up to a race.
Last Friday we popped along to the The Times Destinations, holiday and travel show. As foodie explorers we love discovering new foods and places so this was the perfect combination for us.
Amongst the team we’ve got some holidays planned already this year; China and Norway, amongst others, so travel inspiration wasn’t uppermost in our minds. Instead we were keen to visit the Taste the World zone. Split into several areas they promised food from USA, Caribbean & Latin America, and Europe. In addition there was an Extreme Taste Zone.
After the culinary adventure we took last year, with our 193 course meal, we were more than up for re-visiting unusual flavours such as; Thai curry crickets, salt and vinegar grasshoppers and giant toasted leaf cutter ants.
We got there in time for the first tasting at 11am – the Swedish Lapland-sponsored smoked reindeer with cloudberry jam. The delicately smoked thin-sliced reindeer meat was delicious. It tasted a little bit gamey but the smoky taste was very moreish and combined with the sweet jam, the perfect partner.
After the reindeer we were keen to try more flavours. As there were simultaneous tastings across the different zones we had to quickly head over to the Europe taste zone. We caught the tail end of the Egyptian delicacies, by that we mean they were literally clearing away. A quick glance and swipe at what was being packed; crispy flatbreads with a beige sesame-type dip, which had the consistency of pureed baby food. Having been out for a while it was a bit lukewarm and not particularly appealing, so that was the end of that taste experience.
Next we travelled to America, in time for (as we hoped) the Sarsaparilla. Due to start at 12.15 we were there shortly afterwards and we were keen to try. This drink which was popular in the states in the 19th century was made with from a blend of birch oil and the dried root bark of the sassafras tree. Sadly, it was not to be as the bar was dry and although there was a still a talk going on we didn’t get to try it. Maybe next time!
Our final foray into was into South East Asia. We arrived to the taste zone desk with lots of people waiting around. Turns out they were just resting as they soon dispersed when the insects came out. We were hoping for a 193 flashback (we ate crickets). But these dry, papery (wingless) insects were really nothing to write home about. Coming in small paper cups, that you’d get tablets dispensed in hospital, there was not much Thai curry about them. Having eaten the real deal at the 193 course meal, we walked away feeling very underwhelmed. We were more amused at the group of school kids who were being dared, by the stand demonstrator, to try them – none of them were convinced!
By this point we decided to check out of the Destinations show. Aside from checking out the Taste Zone, our highlights were the Effin Fine Foods stand with their spices and rubs and also Yum Yum Tree FudgeThe Destination Show_070214. We really did sample EVERY single flavour and loved them all, with their crumbly (not chewy) fudge – especially the Turkish Delight.
So as to our thoughts in the show. The travel aspect was great and aspiring travellers would have had a suitcase full of advice and inspiration. As to the foodie side of things, there’s definitely potential for an improved Taste the World zone next year. Also more food stalls sampling and selling a wider range of international foods. This will surely be welcomed by travellers, British consumers and expats alike. Not only are we, as a nation, becoming more adventurous, often led by food trends, but if we’ve travelled somewhere and love the cuisine, then to buy at home would be great news!
So we’ll hope for even more next year.
But in the meantime, we’re off to pack for Norway.
It’s just a couple of days until the entries close on the categories for the Pink Lady® Food Photographer of the Year award. We’re really excited about a new category – ‘foodinfilm’ which we’re sponsoring. We love everything to do with food and secretly harbour dreams of being foodie film-makers. However until we can realise our dreams we’ll sponsor you to make some screen magic!
So just to whet your appetite here are the lovely people who will be judging your entries. For all of you aspiring film-makers this is a great opportunity to get your work seen by some prestigious industry experts.
Helen Kranstauber – lives sleeps, breathes and eats food and so judging our entries is going to be a breeze. She loves working with food and projects that contribute to knowledge about food and sustainability, but also raising awareness, perception and social change. For those dedicated film makers she also appreciated forms and creativity. She has been the Creative Director for the Amsterdam Film Festival for the last 3 years. Follow Helen on Twitter – http://twitter.com/hkranstauber
Toby Hoare – amongst other things – is the CEO of JWT –the world’s best-known marketing communications brand. In his role Toby works with a small team to oversee the strategy for the region – not an easy task given the changing economic climate in Europe! JWT has helped build numerous famous brands including OXO, Mr Kipling, Kit Kat, Hovis and Pataks. He is also Chairman of Geometry and Governor of Harrow. Follow Toby on Twitter – http://twitter.com/TobyHoare
Pat Llewellyn is a very busy lady. She’s a British television producer and current Managing Director of the television production company, Optomen. She is most well-known for creating celebrity chefs such as Jennifer Paterson and Clarissa Dickson Wright (Two Fat Ladies) and Jamie Oliver (The Naked Chef). More recently she has worked on Heston’s Feast and Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares – both award-winning programmes.
All the judges will be perusing your videos in early February, then getting together to choose the winner in late March. Shortly after that we’ll be publishing a taster show reel so that you can see who has been shortlisted for each of the three ‘foodinfilm’ categories.
We look forward to seeing what you send us. It’s not too late to enter your foodinfilm – the deadline is 31st January – so visit the Pink Lady® Food Photographer of the Year 2014 site for more details.
The New Year is now well underway and we thought we’d shake things up a bit and make some changes to our promotional 2 for £5 range, which we launched back in September. As from today you can see some new nibbles, but as with all shake-ups there were also some losers and we have removed a few items from the range.
New in are:
- Westphalian Smoked Ham – a delicious smoky German wafer thin ham
- French Rosette Salami – a wafer thin dry cured French pork sausage
- Italian Cured Meat selection – salami milano, salami naopli and prosciutto crudo; the perfect snacking platter
- Bavarian Mini Frankfurters – beechwood smoked just like our regular franks, but mini and in 2 packs of 6
- Pork and caramelised onion pâté – a coarse pork live pate with sweet caramelised onion
- Chicken and chorizo pâté – a smooth rich chicken liver pate with smoky chorizo
- Spanish Spinach Omelette – our classic omelette with added spinach, the perfect combination
We wave goodbye to:
- Guacamole – regular and picante
- Black bean houmous
- Chilli dogs
- Special Reserve Chorizo Iberico
- Broadbean houmous and quinoa dip (twin pack)
- Galician mussels in tomato sauce
For more details on the entire range and which Waitrose stores you’ll able to buy them in click here. And you can check out our website products section for more details – including and re-heating instructions and nutritional information.
NB. We only stock limited items of this promotional (2 for £5) range in Ocado. Please visit the unearthed® shop-in-shop on the Ocado site to see range