Play Hard

Variety is the spice of life: 4 x new cookbooks to up your home-cooking game

Written by High Life North
Published 12.01.2021

By Laura Kingston

In a recent survey on our Instagram, 74% of you said that you’re spending lockdown 3.0 trying new recipes.

We’ve collated our top new cookbooks to help provide you with a little home cooking inspo – with everything from stay-at-home curry nights to one-pan healthy meals, and something for our gluten-free gals too.


Dip in Brilliant by Dipna Anand – £20.00

An Indian recipe adventure with a contemporary twist. The latest book from Dipna Anand contains more than 50 recipes, including starters, sides, munchies, snacks, mains and desserts as well as secret recipes from Dipna’s restaurant, Brilliant.

If you’re like us and are looking for ways to differentiate your weekends from your weekdays, we really recommend taking the time to whip up some of these recipes, which are healthier than a takeaway and taste divine.

If you’re into Indian cooking, there are also really useful tips from Dipna for food preparation and a spice guide to ensure everything you cook tastes juuuust right.

Buy Now

Doctor’s Kitchen 3-2-1: 3 fruit and veg, 2 servings, 1 pan by Dr Rupi Aujla – £12.89

A new and easy way of making sure you get your 5-a-day. 3-2-1 really makes it easy to cook delicious healthy food. Every recipe is formulated to contain three portions of fruit and vegetables per person, serving 2 people and all made in one pan. It’s as simple as that.

The book covers everything from curries, stews and salads as well as traybakes and sweet treats which put happiness into healthy eating.

Buy Now

How to Make Anything Gluten Free: Over 100 Recipes for Everything from Home Comforts to Fakeaways, Cakes to Dessert, Brunch to Bread by Becky Excell – £14.65

We know we have a lot of readers who need to keep gluten out of their diets. And whilst it’s starting to get easier to eat gluten free, there’s still work to do.

Enter Becky Excell, who gave up her career in PR and Marketing to focus on a career in cooking – specifically, how to make anything gluten free. She said: “In the early years of being gluten-free, I’d naively try to replace wheat flour with gluten-free flour when following a recipe. Not surprisingly, I’d always end up wondering where it all went wrong and with a big mess to clear up. To truly get that happy ending, a gluten-free recipe needs to be its own unique story from start to finish.”

In this book, she’s painstakingly created recipes for hundreds of foods to ensure they taste just as they should, without the gluten.

Buy Now

James Martin’s Islands to Highlands: 80 Fantastic Recipes from Around the British Isles – £12.50

Anyone else spend most of a Saturday morning drooling over James Martin’s cooking whilst eating a bowl of Crunchy Nut cornflakes and wishing he was in your kitchen RN whipping up a storm? No? Maybe that’s just us then but regardless, this new book is top of our list for January foodie inspo.

Packed with recipes inspired by the British Isles, this book celebrates the unique food our island has to offer. He cooks and eats everywhere from Cornwall to Scilly, Jersey and Guernsey, Isle of Man to Shetland, the Peak District, Lake District and Yorkshire Moors, and from Wales to Skye. 

Finding the best ingredients, the country has to offer, he teaches us how to make Poached Turbot with a Creamy Herb Sauce, BBQ Pork Burgers, traditional Singing Hinnies in our very own Northumberland and more alternative British dishes like Hoisin Duck on the Isles of Scilly.

Buy Now

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