Book Reviews

Everyday Fresh – Meals in minutes

‘Everyday Fresh – Meals in minutes’ by the very talented Australian food editor and cook book writer Donna Hay is the sort of book we love. I appreciate recipes that don’t take hours of prep and cooking; better still that can be cooked in one pan or served in one bowl; and are also tasty, nutritious and healthy.

Almost Instant Dinners…

The recipes in the ‘Almost Instant Dinners’ section of the book really appeal.

I like it that Donna has taken one basic ingredient and used it in several other dishes – as she does with a special tomato sauce; cauliflower; a green minestrone soup; and how about the yummy pork and fennel meatballs?

… an interesting pizza base

I don’t really like cauliflower but Donna’s cauliflower recipes could well make me change my mind – she has various suggestions for the vegetable including grating it and using it to form a pizza base, her suggestions for the interesting and different toppings look good too.

Chapters cover: One Pan (the title says it all); Switch Up – based on variations of a family favourite ingredient; The Big Bowl – chiefly vegetables served in one bowl; Quick Fix – dishes for when you want the meal to be on the table in double quick time.

Luscious-looking Sweets

And then to Sweets – they look so good. One way or another I will find time to make some of the luscious sounding desserts – almond crisp with maple pears is my idea of heaven, as is the chocolate fudge cake; there are usually some bananas in the fruit bowl – they will be perfect for the caramelised banana upside down cake – or apples that can be turned into an ‘inside out apple crumble.

The illustrations in the book are terrific; but maybe I am a bit too old-fashioned to fully appreciate the book’s black pages, but to be fair the clear white type-face stands out well, and is of a good point size.

And a wow of a Glossary

And finally, but definitely not least, ‘Everyday Fresh Meals in minutes’ has the most amazing, comprehensive, Glossary I have ever come across.

It  is packed with useful information – global weights and measurements; temperatures; excellent notes on unusual ingredients; and a wonderfully clear index. I now know that kecap manis is a sweet soy sauce; I have learnt that pepitas are pumpkin seeds; and if I run out of balsamic vinegar, I can use vincotto as a substitute. An excellent Glossary thank you!

More information

Everyday Fresh – Meals in minutes. Donna Hay. Photography Con Poulos. Paperback. ISBN: 978-1-4607-5812-0. £20. Fourth Estate. Available online: