Cookbook Review: The Healthy Heart, by Charlene Evelyn Quinn

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I am a cookbook collector. I have spent many years collecting well-presented, well-thought out recipes in beautiful, easy to follow books. This book would not make my list.

It is presented as a recipe to a page but is disorganised, lacking logic and structure, and unfinished. The recipes are in random order, jumping from sweet to savoury and back again.  While the recipes are inherently healthy, as the name would suggest, the ingredients can be somewhat misleading. For example, one of the ingredients I came across was brown eggs. They are not healthier than white eggs – they just come from brown hens, but it is implied that they are healthier for their colour.

Chicken and Leek Pie

I started by making the chicken and leek pie. It looked appealing and the ingredients sounded delicious. While the end product was rather tasty, the recipe itself contained major flaws. If I had followed it to the letter, I would have been eating a hot filling and raw pastry as there were no instructions included on baking the pie. The ingredients were listed in the same random order as the recipes themselves and ran together making it difficult to figure out what was required. Experience was the only thing standing between me and disaster. Thankfully, having decided to bake the pie despite the recipe, it turned out to be rather delicious. I would definitely make the filling again.

Lemon Cupcake

My second foray was a lemon cupcake. The recipe called for coconut flour and lots of (brown) eggs. Never having used coconut flour and, frankly, being unaware of its existence until now, I had no understanding of how it worked in recipes. A bit of explanation as to why it was chosen would have helped the reader. My cupcakes, while edible, looked nothing like the picture in the book. They did not rise into the perky mounds shown and again, the recipe did not specify how many it made so I was at a loss as to how much mixture to place in each cupcake.

Many of the recipes in this book struggled with similar issues. There were no details regarding the serves, or any nutritional information. In fact, there was the potential for one ‘recipe’ to be harmful due to lack of specificity. The write up for infusing dried flowers into water didn’t list recommended flowers. Not all dried flowers are suitable for human consumption but there was no note to this effect.

Overall, there are some pleasant enough recipes in the book but the errors and omissions are far too substantial to make this a worthwhile purchase.

Reviewed by Judi Bemmer

Rating out of 10:  4

Distributed by: Austin Macauley and available through Amazon.com.au
Released: September 2017
RRP: $20.75 paperback, $5.94 ebook

40%
40%
Unfinished

Overall, there are some pleasant enough recipes in the book but the errors and omissions are far too substantial to make this a worthwhile purchase.

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