If you are a serious cook, you will find this recipe book too basic, and will probably know most of the recipes. If, however, you haven’t fully mastered the art of cooking, and are looking for accessible recipes which can help you improve both the quality and variety of your diet, but don’t have lots of time or want to put too much energy into it, this is a great resource for both men, and women.
Reviewed by Magdalena Ball
Great Food for Men
by Rosemary Stanton
Allen & Unwin, 8 March 2002
Are you a man in need of some nutritional therapy? Could you use a range of no nonsense, no frills recipes which are solid, sensible, easy, and above all, healthy and low fat? Rosemary Stanton is Australia’s nutritional guru. Her relaxed, smiling demeanour, and simple, but hearty recipes have graced Aussie television, magazines, and radio shows for several decades. She is also co-founder of the very successful GutBuster series of books, and exercise/diet plans, along with over 20 other books. Great Food for Men is a large format book broken up into sections of Breakfasts, Lunchtime sandwiches, Salads, Grains, Soups, Barbecues, Stir Fries, Main Dishes, Vegetables, Desserts, Baking, and Cooking to Impress. Each chapter contains large format recipes which healthy, easy, filling, and use readily available ingredients. The recipes all contain information about fat, calories, dietary fibre, and number of servings, along with nutritional tips. Treat yourself to a rockmelon soy smoothie for breakfast, or some innovative sandwiches for lunch like veggies with tikka curry paste and mango chutney on an Indian roti. There are suggestions for home made fast food (try freezing a batch of gourmet sandwiches), delicious and quick salads, pasta dishes like Prawn and orange pasta, and a range of simple marinades for that most masculine of all domain, the barbeque.
The Stir Fries are all super fast, averaging only 15 minutes each, and although most will be familiar to the experienced cook, for a weekend or very occasional (or rarely at all) cook, recipes like vegetable and peanut stir-fry, or stir fried lemon chicken with spinach will add delicious colour and flavour to a family or single meal. For main dishes there are spring rolls, baked and grilled meats, spicy fish dishes, curries, pizzas, and a range of accompaniments like potato and celery cake (“take leftovers to work the next day), honeyed ginger carrots, and greek-style beans. Desserts are also healthy, containing mostly fresh or dried fruits, and sauces or toppings made of oats and yogurt. The baked recipes are supremely easy, and delicious, including an apple cake made with sunflower seeds, cinnamon and dried apples, with no fat and very little sugar which has become a staple in our house, and sweet fruit brownes that are so healthy, your kids can eat them instead of breakfast. The Cooking to Impress chapter provides a range of potential combinations for dinner parties, including entrees, mains, and desserts.
Of course you don’t need to be an overweight man to get good use from this cookbook. I’m neither overweight nor male, and all the recipes I’ve tried have been successful. As a health conscious, and overworked mum (who refuses to endure takeaways), the recipes were perfect for daily cooking. You won’t find restaurant styled garnishes, fancy souffles, rich desserts with carefully constructed spun designs. Instead, the recipes are inexpensive to make, and rely on seasonal, fresh produce which you can buy from any supermarket, and fast preparation time. The book will particularly appeal to men because the recipes are not meant to be taken too seriously – you can readily substitute, you don’t have to weigh or measure anything too carefully, and they are all very full in flavour, colour and texture. If you are a serious cook, you will find this recipe book too basic, and will probably know most of the recipes. If, however, you haven’t fully mastered the art of cooking, and are looking for accessible recipes which can help you improve both the quality and variety of your diet, but don’t have lots of time or want to put too much energy into it, this is a great resource for both men, and women.