I Quit Sugar: Simplicious

by Sarah Wilson

Rating: 2 out of 5.

I haven’t started my review of Ottolenghi Simple yet as so far I have tried four recipes and all of them have been excellent. There is a good chance that my review of Simple will be a 5★, but I want to try a couple more recipes to be sure.

I already know Simplicious isn’t a 5★ cookbook for me.

Firstly I made Sustainable Sweet Fish Curry and it was – nice. And nice only because I ignored the directions to put the finely chopped Keffir lime leaves in near the end. Even finely chopped the leaves are quite coarse.* The recipe also said fish sauce or lime juice. I chose fish sauce, but it definitely needed both. Using a mild red chili was my own bad decision though and for the first time I found a recipe for Red Cod (one of the few cheap fish left in NZ now) that wasn’t a pie that tasted good.

We are having the leftovers tonight & I will definitely be adding some zing. Edit: I improved the leftovers & created a far nicer dish. I added more turmeric root & lots of lime juice.

  • Sarah does freeze her keffir leaves where I have a tree. But frozen keffir leaves wouldn’t be much softer.

Sorry to be negative.

Well I was sorry!

Last night I tried Mum’s Steak & Kidney Stew With Herby Dumplings – a crockpot meal. The stew itself was delicious but fortunately I didn’t trust the amount of beef stock given & added extra. There was still barely enough sauce. (I did have to turn the meal to high though to cook the dumplings) I couldn’t see how they would cook at such a low heat.

The dumplings themselves were a disaster. I made following the recipe religiously. I ended up with a bowl of flour & fresh herbs. 1.5 tbsp butter & 1tbsp milk weren’t enough to mix this (which I thought when I read the recipe) so I added a little more butter & a lot more milk. My dumplings looked the same as the illustration but they tasted like balls of lead.

Either these recipes weren’t thoroughly proofread or they weren’t properly tested.

Here is the flour leftover from making approximately twelve inedible dumplings.

I am going to ring my daughter-in-law today. Hannah loves this book. I will try a recipe that Hannah has been successful with & see how that goes.

When I rang the girls, Hannah was busy but Chloe said she thought Hannah had made recipes mostly from the breakfast section. So I thought I would try the Bacon ‘n Eggs Porridge – & that was absolutely delicious. I chose the quinoa option & I used leftover Chicken Laksa as I didn’t have any chicken stock.

I spoke to Hannah a few days ago. She thought I was the wrong generation to enjoy this book! I guess that is telling me! 😀 She said millennials have a different attitude to cookbooks & are happy with approximate measures. Well, I’m happy to have approximate measures too. I’m a big fan of [author:Jamie Oliver|5801] & I’m old enough to remember [author:Graham Kerr|158900] with their a dash of this & (in Kerr’s case) a slurp of that. But certain kinds of cooking need exact measurements – generally anything that has flour. I don’t like waste – in particular from someone who is preaching against it. Her blurb on the front French flap of this book even says her cooking is

with ease and without waste

& I had a quick thumb through (there are very few cookbooks I read cover to cover) I love the presentation & the photos. I love the ideas for using up some ingredients (for example celery leaves)

But on pg 171 I spotted a Celery Soda. I love a good, refreshing celery drink. But at the start of the recipe it says;

I personally don’t use a juicer for a number of reasons (see page 34 for some of them) But if I did, I would make this. So fresh.

  • I couldn’t find a reason on page 34 for Sarah not to use a juicer. Someone who has read this book, help me out here.
  • Sarah hasn’t made this herself. I’m not even sure if she has tasted this herself!

I just don’t have confidence in this book & I own many, many recipe books where I can trust the recipes. This book is going on TradeMe (our Ebay) tonight.

Edit: I did make the Celery Soda & it was delicious and refreshing. I still sold the book on TradeMe though

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