Two friends both recommended Derval O’Rourke’s cookbook “Food for the Fast Lane” around Christmas. I’d noticed it in shops a few weeks earlier but hadn’t really been drawn in, as I presumed it wouldn’t have been family friendly and would be all about the protein shakes. But with these sensible (in a good way) friends recommending it I was intrigued and I ordered it online, just to be sure.
Food for the Fast Lane is more than a cookbook, the book is interspersed with motivational quotes and stories. It opens with Derval explaining how she got in to healthier eating herself, it’s interesting to hear that despite being a professional athlete she hadn’t much interest in nutrition. Our girl came good though, she learned and then she did a cookery course too so she knows what she’s talking about here too.
Derval shares her shopping list (which includes full-fat milk and two types of cheese, yay) and explains why she eats the way she eats. She outlines the supplements she takes and why. And it’s not preachy, and it’s believable. But most importantly for a cookbook it looks, and sounds, delicious.
Derval, a previous world champion hurdler, comes across not as a condescending guru but as a likeable, normal person who has her failings too, but is doing her best nutrition wise. She confesses to not be a breakfast person, and we benefit from the confession with her breakfast on the run recipes including cookies and muffins. Can you see why I like this book?
Recipe wise the ingredients are fairly run of the mill for a household in 2015, coconut oil, quinoa and agave syrup being the more unusual ones. Some of the recipes require protein powder but it’s one ingredient I’ve never used, so I just avoided the recipes with it.
My four-year-old’s current favourite dinner is the Quick Coconut and Basil chicken which after I explained about the author of the book to him he calls “the fastest lady’s chicken dinner” ❤️ and he’s a fan of the Chocolate Chip Cookies too. The book keeps going missing from the shelf and I find that the boys have been going through it. That doesn’t happen often around here, and when it does it’s usually baking books that are gone. If that’s not a recommendation for a cookbook for a family I don’t know what is.
On the recipes, there’s a good mix, breakfasts, snacks, soups, salads and main meals ranging from curries and stews to fish and potatoes. I’ve tried the Baked Hake and Smashed Spuds for dinner (excellent), the Quick Choccie Chip Cookies are very popular here (we usually have make a double batch and my four-year-old is thrilled to be able to make them by himself). Our favourite so far is the Quick Coconut and Basil Chicken, I’ll share that recipe tomorrow. (It’s worth waiting for, and I haven’t typed it up yet).
I want to do some more of the baking recipes (Jamie Heaslip’s Brownies anyone?) but there’s other good stuff too, I’ve my sights set on the Roast Butternut and Quinoa Salad, my six-year-old is delighted to find Apple & Carrot Muffins in the breakfast section so is canvassing me to make them, oh and Power Pancakes too although they contain the protein powder so we’ll see.
There’s nothing too complicated about the recipes and they’re tasty too.
This cookbook really is a great addition to our collection, and I highly recommend it.
Here’s the good news- I bought my own copy but when I liked it so much I thought you would too so I contacted the publishers who agreed to give me a copy to give away to one lucky reader.
To win simply either
Like and comment on the post announcing this competition on my Facebook page.
(or do both to be entered twice)
The competition is open to residents of Ireland only
The winner will be announced on that day and must contact me by email or private message on the blog facebook page or Twitter providing their address within a week. Entries close at 7pm 1st April 2015. If the winner doesn’t claim their prize by contacting me within 7 days of the competition closing I’ll redraw the winner. The prize will be provided by publishers Gill and Macmillan who will send it to the winner.
I was not paid to do this review and bought my own copy of the book, but Gill and Macmillan will provide the prize. All opinions are my own.