Yay! I finally have the energy to do this! Woohoo!
The Hairy Dieters: Eat For Life is the second of the Hairy Bikers’ brilliant diet recipe books. As with the first book, there’s an introductory section where the boys talk about food and their diets, and give some tips for starting and sticking to a diet.
Then come the recipes! The sequencing is similar to the first Hairy Dieters book, following a sort of ‘breakfast-lunch-supper’ pattern, with appropriate digressions for snacks, salads and so on. The section for side dishes appears after the dessert section, for some reason — this seems an odd organisational choice, but it’s a minor quibble overall. I think one of my favourite chapters is the ‘Fakeaways’ one, with recipes for low-calorie versions of popular takeaway dishes. I really liked the creamy prawn korma in particular; I intend to refer to that recipe for advice on the sauce when I do sausage korma in a few weeks’ time.
As with the previous book, the majority of the recipes have an attached full-colour photograph of the finished dish — all glorious, and all likely to get the stomach rumbling! One innovation on the format of the previous book is that each recipe has estimated timings for prep time and cooking time above the ingredients list, in addition to a calorie count per portion for each recipe. This is helpful, as it gives a better at-a-glance idea of how the making of any given dish is likely to fit into your schedule.
After the recipes comes a page listing ‘What You Get For 100 Calories’ in the categories ‘Wheat, Rice, Potatoes and Rye’, ‘Dairy’, ‘Alcohol’, ‘Oils and Dressings’, ‘Savoury Snacks’, ‘Meat and Fish’ and ‘Fruit and Nuts’. This is intended as a helpful guideline for deciding on what to have if you absolutely need to nibble something between meals. Some of the quantities can seem a little surprising — half an English breakfast muffin, for example, or one half-fat pork sausage — but there’s nothing really outlandish and the list does seem pretty sensible.
All in all, this book is just as good as the first one and is well worth looking at!
In the interests of full disclosure, I have to confess that I’ve not been dieting at all recently. Owing to a really nasty bout of winter crud (which — touch wood — seems to be tailing off at time of writing this post) and in the spirit of ‘feed a cold and starve a fever’, I’ve been on more of an ‘eat what I grab out of the fridge or cupboard’ routine, with instant noodles featuring quite prominently. There is a method to my madness, though, in that warm liquids are very soothing for the throat if you have a cold, and instant noodles happen to be a quick and yummy way of achieving this. Lemon and honey (lemon juice, honey and hot water mixed together) is another good throat-soother. If you don’t have and can’t easily get hold of lemons or lemon juice, a few drops of vinegar work just as well. If you don’t have honey, my preliminary research suggests that a few tablespoons of brown sugar makes for a reasonable substitute 🙂