Five on Friday: my favourite cookbooks

Happy Friday! I don’t know about you but one of the things I like about the weekends is that I have more time for baking or to try some new exciting recipes. However, we have started the BBQ season rather early this year and have already enjoyed a couple of weekends dining al fresco.

Anyhow, today I’m bringing you my favourite cookbooks, those whose pages I flick through time and again in search for something new to jazz up my dinners. This post was inspired by this series of posts at The Bookworm Chronicles. So if you’re ever in need of some inspiration to freshen up your table, you can take a look at her blog. Or simply dive into one of the cookbooks below.


Ministry of Food, by Jamie Oliver.

This is definitely my go-to cookbook. I am not exaggerating when I say that I have cooked almost one-third of its recipes.

People often tend to think that Jamie’s cooking style is complicated but I can tell you it is not. At least not when you’re letting his Ministry of Food cookbook guide you. It is so uncomplicated that it even gives you directions to do something as simple as frying or boiling an egg. And yet, simple as it is, most of its recipes are delicious. I swear by JO’s Meatloaf. Or Broccoli and Pesto Pasta, if you prefer some veggie option.


One-Pound Meals, by Miguel Barclays.

Now, this new addition to my library has quickly become a close second favourite. I was suspicious at first because I bought it blindly at Amazon where it was heavily discounted. I was sceptical when I first glanced through it because most recipes seemed to have the same four or five ingredients over and over again. So how could there be so much variety when always using the same ingredients? But I gave it a chance, nonetheless, and let me tell you that I wasn’t disappointed at all. In a couple of months I have tried and repeated a handful of recipes and I loved them. Not only because they’re good but because they’re simple. The kind of food you can put on the table in less than half an hour. And that’s much appreciated when you have two hungry toddlers running around. One of my new favourites are Gnocchi with Mushrooms or its simple Caesar Salad.


Plenty, by Yotam Ottolenghi.

Now, this is the only cookbook in this list that I don’t own. But I borrowed it once from the library and loved it! IT has been on my wish list ever since. Unfortunately, I didn’t like its follow-up, More Plenty, that much because I found most recipes really complicated and using weird ingredients which are not so easy to find. I guess there’s a limit to simple fulfilling vegetarian meals. But really, Plenty was great and some of the tasty things I cooked from it were Aubergine Croquettes, Mushroom Lasagne or Aubergines with Buttermilk and Pomegranate.


Against All Grain: Delectable Paleo Recipes to Eat Well & Feel Great, by Danielle Walker.

I am not that much into paleo diet but if I had to recommend one paleo cookbook it would be this one (or maybe the next one, I’m not 100% sure about that).

Against All Grain was the first spin-out of the blog of the same name and it topped the New York Times’s Bestsellers lists. What I like about it is that is has many mouthwatering recipes that can be cooked by us mere mortals using normal ingredients. Like its Curry Chicken Salad or Toddler Approved Curry. Paleo baking, on the other hand is just not for me, because it usually uses not so common ingredients and I simply don’t have the need to cut out grains out of my life (thank God for our good health). Nevertheless, I have given its Zucchini and Banana Breads a go and they were good.


Eat, Drink Paleo Cookbook, by Irena Macri.

Another very dow-to-earth paleo cookbook. Much like with Against All Grains, what I like about this one is the simplicity of its recipes and the common ingredients it calls for. Furthermore, this one has really fresh recipes unlike what’s seen in most paleo blogs and sites out there. I think that the background of the blogger really shines through: Irena is Ukrainian but has long lived in Australia and is often wandering around Europe. And that unconventional mix really influences her cooking and sets her apart from most paleo cooks who simply try to reinvent American classics.

Some great recipes to try are her Cabbage Rainbow Salad, her Asparagus with Mushroom Dressing or her Chicken & Mushroom Stew.

I really hope you enjoy this post. And because this is a topic close to my heart (and tummy) I’d love to hear back from you. What are your favourite cookbooks? Any recommendation?

Thanks for your comments and happy Friday!


3 thoughts on “Five on Friday: my favourite cookbooks

  1. Irene, I loved this post and thank you for the shout out! 😀 It sounds like I definitely need to check out One-Pound Meals by Miguel Barclays – it sounds great and I am always ordering gnocchi and mushrooms, so that sounds like the recipe for me! As you probably know from reading my posts, I am a big fan of the Hairy Bikers’ (Si King & Dave Myers) Hairy Dieter cookbooks, but new cookbooks I am also really getting into are the Plant Based Cookbook by Trish Sebben-Krupka and Super Food Family Classics by Jamie Oliver. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So, so sorry for this very late answer. Life has been very busy around here lately!
      Yes, I saw your stack of the Hairy Bikers’ cookbooks and assumed you liked them 🙂 I have only tried one recipe by them, which I found at a Good Housekeeping magazine and I really liked it. It was a bean casserole and included a herby oil to dress it and the oil was amazing! I mixed the leftovers with mayo to make club sandwiches another day and it was a hit with my boyfriend. I should definitely try some more recipes by them!

      Liked by 1 person

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