This is the first time I have taken the trouble to review a book. But I really have to talk about this one, as this is a weight-loss guide that I finally feel I could follow. I have found that all the books I have ever read on losing weight (so, so many over so many years!)and the weight-loss clubs I have joined (tried them all) have been insufferably pious and patronising in tone and the recipes have been less than appetising, to put it mildly. They just make me want to rebel against the kind of 'religion' they are preaching, instead of inspiring me to lose weight. But Dave and Si I can respect! The book is well-written, doesn't patronise and the whole approach is sensible, honest and down-to-earth. The recipes themselves are fabulous. Every one is delicious and you don't have to be some kind of expert cook to follow them. In fact, you don't have to be on a diet to try these recipes. They are so good and easy to follow that they are good enough to use even if you're having people over for dinner. Don't be put off by what might sometimes look like a very long list of ingredients, as you'll find most of them are herbs, spices etc.
This food just doesn't feel or taste like the traditional, punitive 'diet' fare. Like most people, I have a very busy lifestyle and I am a competent rather than a good cook, but I do like to cook from scratch, especially at weekends, and freeze portions to be heated up when I get home from work. There are loads of recipes that lend themselves to this, plus many others that can be prepared very quickly, even if you don't get home until quite late in the evening. My tip (apologies to chefs who may baulk at this, but it's something I've done for ages) is to finely dice a big batch of chillis and freeze them in a plastic container, as it is a fiddly job which I know from my own experience can sometimes put you off attempting a recipe, either because you don't have them to hand or you just can't be bothered preparing them - and quite a few of the recipes in this book call for them. They don't have to be defrosted as they will defrost in seconds once they hit the heat, but in any case they defrost in minutes if they're scraped out of the container with a fork onto a plate.
Dave and Si - you probably won't get to read my humble review, but I have to say that I buy and read dozens of books of all kinds every year, and this is definitely one of my best buys of 2012. I am really enjoying trying out the recipes. All I can say is - HURRY UP AND WRITE ANOTHER!!!!!