Published: 19/12/2015 06:46 - Updated: 19/12/2015 06:56

REVIEW: The New Easy: 135-plus clever solutions and flavour-packed recipes for weeknights and weekends


Donna Hay: The New Easy
Donna Hay: The New Easy

By Donna Hay


£18.99 (softback)

THE sub-heading of Hay’s latest collection gives a good idea of the market she’s targeting: “135-plus clever solutions and flavour-packed recipes for weeknights and weekends.”

Aimed at typically busy families with parents who juggle work and children, it cleverly differentiates between the weekdays and the weekends, on the assumption that the majority of us are working the Monday-Friday 9-5 and have a bit more time to get creative in the kitchen on Saturdays and Sundays.

While some celebrity cookbooks can sometimes leave you daunted – perhaps wondering what on earth one of the listed ingredients actually is – Hay can be congratulated for keeping it no-nonsense and simple. You’ll even find chips (French fries to some) in here, for heaven’s sake!

Hay has also devised a devilishly simple idea of re-styling certain dishes so as to transform leftovers from one night into starters for another. What’s not to like about that – particularly with the average British household chucking away more than £400 worth of food waste every year?

A typical re-style sees smoky pulled pork transformed into nachos or tacos. Or slow-cooked brisket being reinvented in a lasagne.

Pork and fennel sausage pasta, tarragon and lemon roasted chicken and beef noodle soup are amongst the mouth-watering looking dishes offered up here.

“It’s about making things faster, simpler and tastier,” insists Hay. She breaks it down into weeknights, weekends, sides and salads, baking and desserts. It would be a picky eater indeed who couldn’t find something they (a) liked the look of and (b) would feel reasonably confident in making.

The food pictures look great – a prerequisite of books like these, of course. More importantly, though look approachable. “I reckon I could do that!” you may find yourself thinking.

It could, indeed, quite easily form the basis of a complete family menu revamp. Now there’s a gift worth considering!

Hector Mackenzie


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