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  • Writer's pictureNZ Booklovers

River Cottage: Good Comfort by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

Like most modern cooks, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall has succumbed to the wheat- and dairy-free trend (see 2014’s Light & Easy), but thankfully he now seems to have moved on to a more moderate approach.

The premise of Good Comfort is to take classic comfort food (think macaroni cheese, roasts with all the trimmings, apple pie, bangers and mash) and give it a healthy makeover. So it’s out with the white flour, rice and pasta, and in with the brown, wholemeal versions of these comfort staples. (Hats off to Hugh for managing to make a light-looking Victoria sponge with wholemeal flour.)

Copious veg and pulses mitigate the odd dash of cream or knob of butter; fresh and dried fruits are used to sweeten the teatime treats and puds. Chapters canvas foods for all meals: Breakfast and Brunch; Soups; Pasta and Rice; Stews, Hotpots and Curries, and so on… and there’s a welcome nod to domestic realism with a whole chapter dedicated to Leftovers.

I got this book at 5pm on a weekday and flicked through it for dinner inspo: I landed on the luscious Chicken & Leek pie, which was gobbled up gratefully by my hungry troops. The following night a Cauli Curry with Spuds and Cashews hit the spot. It’s that kind of book: recipes with ingredients you’re already likely to have in the pantry - with the added bonus of knowing you’re improving your health. Forget about watching your waistline - you’ll have to mind your smug-factor.

Reviewer: Stacey Anyan



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