Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Natural - Parragon Book Buddy Review and Recipe

Being a Parragon Book Buddy means that I get to try and discover lots of new and exciting cookbooks. This month I am thrilled with the book that I am going to tell you about today. This book has become my new favourite book. That book is Natural - Wholesome Recipes for Pure Nourishment.

In our house we love books and I particularly love cookbooks. I really appreciate a good, quality book and Natural really is a pleasure to have. This book has been made with the highest quality materials and is a lovely book to hold, that a feeling that you simply cannot get online.

The first chapter of this book introduces you to "The Natural Way" of eating. This is a way of eating that we, as a family, are passionate about. The opening paragraph of this book sums our beliefs completely...

"Fresh, natural and simple ingredients play an important role in eating well and encourage a clean and health-giving approach to everyday eating. Incorporating more nutrient-dense foods and less processed ones into your diet will also help to boost, balance and benefit your overall health and happiness."

For a while now we have been trying to cut out as many processed foods from our diet as possible. The majority of our meals are all cooked from scratch, except from when I want the odd night off and we buy pre prepared food.

If you want to eat cleaner then Natural is a fantastic book for both people who want to start eating clean as well as families like us who do try to eat clean. It is full of ideas for breakfasts, energy fuelling lunches, snacks and sides, dressings, sauces and dips, a feast of vegetable based mains, power packed protein mains, sweet treats and healthy nectar's.

So when it came to giving you an example of one recipe, I struggled which one to choose. There are so many recipes that I have simply got to make. But I did select a recipe, and I chose the Slow Cooked Beef with Smashed Butter Beans.

I have chosen this recipe to show you that eating clean is not as some people imagine. It is not just about vegetables, seeds, lentils and superfoods. It is simply about cooking from scratch using fresh ingredients and creating a deliciously flavoursome meal. I have added a  few extra vegetables for added goodness as I find that my children like their vegetables in the sauce and I made a couple of changes to adapt it to our taste.

This is what I did...

Slow Cooked Beef with Mashed Butter Bean and Potatoes


Slow Cooked Beef

2tbsp olive oil
1.6kg beef brisket
2 red onions, quartered and sliced
3 carrots, quartered and chopped
6 baby parsnips, quartered and chopped
6 baby turnips, quartered and chopped
1 tin 400g x chopped tomatoes
800mls beef stock
2tsp Worcester sauce
Salt and pepper - optional

Smashed Butter Beans

750g potatoes, chopped with skins on
1 x 400g tinned butter beans, drained and rinsed


1 - In a large pan or oven top casserole dish brown off the meat and place on one side

2 - Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil (or a few good sprays of spray oil) in the pan and once heated add the onions and cook until starting too soften

3 - Add the carrots, parsnips and turnips to the pan and cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring often

4 - Add the chopped tomatoes, Worcester sauce and seasoning. Stir thoroughly

5 - Return the meat to the pan and pour over the stock

6 - Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan making sure that a little steam is able to escape

7 - Cook on a low heat for 4 hours to 4 hours and 30 minutes stirring every so often to stop the ingredients sticking to the base.

8 - For the potato and butter bean mash simply place the potatoes and beans in a pan of boiling water and leave to simmer for about 20 minutes or until soft enough to mash

9 - Drain and mash

Serve the beef with the potato and butter bean mash and add some green vegetables on the side.

As the meet has been slowly cooked for over 4 hours you will not need to slice the meat, it will be so tender that it will fall to pieces!

It is a truly scrumptious meal, that will keep your family asking for more!

Disclosure: I am  a Parragon Book Buddy and I receive books to review on my blog. No cash payment was received. All views and opinions are my own and 100% honest.


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