I was lucky enough to be contacted personally by the author of this book and asked if I would like a copy to try out. Naturally I jumped at the chance to review it and have really enjoyed reading through the recipes. The reason Rachel de Thample wanted me to see her book is in the name of my blog ‘i love meal plans’, I do love meal planning, it makes life easier and Rachel’s book is based around four weeks of meal plans. The idea is similar to mine in that you cook a good roast and then use the meat from the roast during the week to make other meals. This is a great way to organise your weekly meal plan, it means you stretch your Sunday roast to make several meals, something that I regularly do here at my house.
Rachel’s idea is that we should eat less meat, but in return better quality meat, something I blogged about a while ago after reading Jamie Oliver’s ideas on eating better quality meat. You can read that blog post here. Eating better quality meat means it is more nutritious, better for the environment and animal welfare is placed high on the agenda. Rachel says “to keep up with..meat and dairy-heavy diets, animals are intensively reared…quite often these animals don’t see the light of day, and they are not fed the diet that nature intended…eating food from such animals cannot be good for our health. Rising obesity levels, increasing cases of cancer, heart disease and diabetes show that it’s not.” I agree 100% with Rachel, we need to care and consider where our food comes from and ‘Less Meat, More Veg’ by Rachel de Thample helps us to do just that, to eat better, more nutritious food.
The biggest impact this book has had on me is to consider how healthy my diet really is. I think I cook good healthy meals, but Rachel’s book reminds us of the importance of at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day. I try to include as much fruit and veg as possible in my cooking but Rachel de Thample has got me thinking more carefully about this. The introduction to her book provides an extensive table detailing the amounts of each fruit/veg needed to make up a one portion of your 5 a day. It really makes interesting reading; you need to eat 5 florets of broccoli, 2 kiwis, 7 cherry tomatoes, these are much larger amounts than I had been consuming. I’ve now started trying much harder to add greater amounts of vegetables into my cooking and to try to include a wider variety.
What I found most refreshing about Rachel’s book is that as a Texan woman married to an Englishman her cooking repertoire is different to mine. She presents an array of recipes, new ways to use up my Sunday roast that I hadn’t considered before. It is good to have some new ideas to add to my meal plans and as well as that ‘Less Meat, More Veg’ has added something new to my cookery book collection.
Look out next week for my blog entry on the recipe I cooked from ‘Less Meat, More Veg’ by Rachel de Thample – Mexican Cold Remedy (a delicious spicy chicken and lime soup).