Luke Hines making a big impression here in Australia and overseas and it’s easy to see why. After first appearing on our reality TV show, My Kitchen Rules in 2013, he has gone from strength to strength in developing an internationally recognised brand that promotes clean living and healthy cooking. Being somewhat new to his work (no I have never followed My Kitchen Rules), I was eager to see what his new cookbook had in store. Here’s what I found:
Healthy Made Easy is a practical cookbook that remains true to its word in delivering healthy and easy recipes that can be made by all. It is a perfect companion style of cookbook, in that it can easily be picked up and used on a daily basis by those who genuinely seek to create a more healthy lifestyle and food regime. The recipes are gluten free, dairy free and refined sugar free (and overwhelmingly grain free), they are generally simple and easy to follow making it perfect for people of all skill levels.
What I LOVE #1
The book is filled to the brim with recipes that are genuinely easy to make. Luke fills us with confidence in preparing healthy foods by steering clear of daunting alternative ingredients, instead providing countless recipes where the ingredients are easy to access and easy to use. The recipes are clearly written and simple to follow with preparation and cooking times kept to a minimum. This book is the perfect way to fill our lives with healthy wholesome food without the fuss.
What I LOVE #2
Healthy Made Easy clearly reflects Luke’s personality and his back to basics approach to food and health. Throughout the book you will find one page snippets on various aspects of healthy living, from getting enough of your good fats, to fad diets, to the importance of gut health. These little snippets are a regular reminder of why we’re here and the positive impact these recipes will have on our mind and body.
What I LOVE #3
There is a decent sweets/dessert section! Hallelujah! If you’ve picked up a health food cookbook in the last ten years (or more) you will notice that there are often very few desserts on the menu. I personally own a number of health food cookbooks (written by some very well known and highly esteemed authors) where the dessert section is missing in action. It’s sad but true. Luke has heard our cries for more (even for chocolate!) and has given us a fantastic section on sweets and treats – and what’s more – they’re tasty!!!
What I LOVE #4
The introduction. Read it. It’s worth it. You will get to know Luke and his philosophy on food. My favourite part is where Luke encourages us to change the recipes as we see fit! Yes – improvise! This rather modern way of thinking not only points to the author’s humility, but also empowers the reader to create, explore and find confidence in their own cooking. I love it.
What Could be Better #1
Healthy Made Easy includes photos for nearly all recipes. Unfortunately, these do not always accompany the recipe but are multiple pages away. I personally find it helpful to be able to see the picture up front as it not only helps me to decide whether to make a meal, but it also helps me to know what I am working towards without being distracted by flicking through multiple pages. This is simply a personal preference, but I do believe that cooking is about using all of your senses (including sight!) to create the perfect dish.
Taste and Test – Recipe #1 – Broccoli Breakfast Bread with Paleo Cottage Cheese and Lemon (pg 65, picture pg 66)
I have spoken previously about my love for broccoli (find my Broccoli and Leek Soup here) so I couldn’t resist giving this a try. Not only was it particularly easy to make, but it was a hit with my toddler! I also added some pumpkin seeds to the top of the loaf before to change things up. Something to note is that the large number of eggs does give it a frittata-like consistency which becomes more obvious over coming days, however it was still a hit in our house! I’ve now made it 3 times so I suspect it has already become a regular!
Taste and Test – Recipe #2 – Bangkok Beef Cheeks (pgs 170-171)
I am a huge fan of casseroles and the picture on this page was so inviting that I couldn’t resist (again – note the power of photography!). Although the cooking time was longer than some of the other recipes in the book, it was well worth the effort, particularly when indulging on the tender and juicy beef. I also LOVED the addition of the Brauliflower rice in place of rice – a perfect combination.
Taste and Test – Recipe #3 – Macadamia and Coconut Cookie Dough Slice (pgs 242-243)
Another fast and easy recipe to make. The taste and consistency was quite nice although it should be noted that it is best served straight from the fridge or freezer as it becomes very soft at room temperature. I also loved the addition of the Raw Chocolate (page 210) and added it as an entire top layer to the slice giving it a nice chocolate hit!
To leave with: Luke Hines’ Healthy Made Easy is a handy cookbook that is worth the buy if you are looking for simple, healthy homemade meals without the fuss. The recipes are simple and easy to make from ingredients that are easy to access.
Australians can find the book at your local bookstore or online.
(Healthy Made Easy does not yet appear to be available outside of Australia)