Books for Cooks

WIN a Signed Copy of Sneh Roy’s Tasty Express Cookbook (CLOSED)

Welcome to Wholesome Cook’s Bookclub. This month I am feeling inspired by a whole new collection of cookbooks, including Sneh Roy’s Tasty Express – Simple Stylish and Delicious Dishes for People on the Go. And, I am giving away a signed copy – see how to enter below.

I wish I had at least 5 copies to giveaway because there were some great entries! However, there can only be one winner this time. Congratulations to Hayley!!! Thank   you so much to everyone who entered and to the wonderful Sneh for donating this copy for a giveaway. Postage courtesy of Wholesome Cook.

Tasty Express

About Sneh Roy and Tasty Express

You may know her as the creative force behind an award winning Sydney-based food and story blog, Cook Republic. You may know her as an avid prop collector, food stylist, talented photographer and a wordsmith worth of the Best Australian Blog of 2013 title. I like to think of Sneh as a fellow good food lover and a cook who likes to mix creativity with a good dose of tradition.

With the release of her debut cookbook, Tasty Express (Random House, $39.99), Sneh shares her thoughts about the book and the story of how it came to be.

Tell us a little about your book and inspiration behind the recipes you chose to include in the book?

I started my blog nearly 10 years ago. Four years later after having two kids, in an attempt to get fit and healthy, I started eating mindfully and sharing those healthier, nutrient rich and wholesome recipes on the blog. I lost a total of 21 kilos over two years and felt fabulous. Being a mum is hard work, trying to work along with looking after the nutritional needs of your family is even harder. I wanted to simplify that for myself and for others. So I started creating super quick, super easy  and super tasty recipes for a healthier lifestyle that would suit busy young people and families. This formed the basis of my cookbook “Tasty Express” where I explore nutritionally rich, honest and adventurous recipes that went from breakfast to lunchbox to dinner in minutes. Fresh real food you could take to work, school, college or share with family and friends over the weekend. Food as we eat now with a melting pot of flavours from all cultures.

The recipes in the book are mainly plant based (vegetarian), adventurous with fun twists, incredibly easy and super tasty. There are occasional naughty treats too. My most favourite recipe in the book is the cover recipe for raw Zucchini Noodles With Thai Pesto. I also love the Eggplant Lasagna Steaks (Yum!), Brown Rice Biryani Salad, Nut Crumble Rye Cake, Chickpea Pancakes With Bombay Potatoes,  Chocolate Fudge Cake (a light healthy gem of a chocolate cake, super fudgy, super moist too!) Supergreen Chutney (I am addicted to this green goodness and smear it on everything!) and Burnt Butter Caramel Slice (I dare you to stop at one!).

Are your boys (I’m talking about the little ones) adventurous eaters? How do you encourage them to try new things?

My 10 year old is very adventurous and my 6 year old is getting there. I found that by involving them in the process of food and not just cooking with them made them very inquisitive and inclined to think about the food they were putting in their mouths. Discussing wise food choices, talking about sustainability, respecting our food and the importance of growing small amounts of fresh produce at home were some of the things we started doing to get them more focused on the art of eating. I like to keep things simple. We often dig up potatoes and discuss what we could do with them while we are washing them. It is amazing what they will eat if they have been a part of the process of harvesting and preparing their own food. Masterchef Australia is a huge motivator too. They often want to try things they see on the show.

What have been some of your own favourite food discoveries since starting Cook Republic? New flavours, ingredients, spices?

Quinoa. It opened my eyes to a new way of eating. Sourdough starter. It taught me patience and discipline, something that comes in handy in the kitchen every single day. Black cardamom. It is beautiful and smoky and elevates curries to a new level. Coconut oil. It is truly liquid gold and I am amazed at what I can do with it.

eggplant_steak

Why I Love Tasty Express

Food is a sensory experience and since we can’t taste or smell it on paper, Sneh engages us to partake in the feast with her words and emotive imagery. Her food and recipes are fun and comforting. Many inspired by her Indian background but with a modern Australian twist. 

  • – The book features a handful of favourite recipes from the blog, and loads of new ones for you to try. Many are vegetarian, some are very indulgent. There’s a good mix of everything in there.
  • – Sneh’s effortless food styling style.
  • – Those amazing Thai-spiced Almonds and flavourful Chicken Curry.

Other books I’m reading this month

For Paleo-inpired recipes I can’t get enough of Healthy Everyday by Pete Evans and 20/20 Diet Cookbook by Yummy Lola Berry. I’ve also been busy bookmarking recipes in Lee Holmes’s Eat Yourself Beautiful, browsing Sue Shepherd’s Low FODMAP Recipes and just adore this oldie, but a goodie: Gwyneth Paltrow’s It’s All Good

Tasty Express

To WIN a signed copy of Tasty Express

I wish I had at least 5 copies to giveaway because there were some great entries! However, there can only be one winner this time. Congratulations to Hayley!!! Thank   you so much to everyone who entered and to the wonderful Sneh for donating this copy for a giveaway. Postage courtesy of Wholesome Cook.

1. Leave a comment below telling me: What do you look for in a cookbook?

2. Register your entry via Rafflecopter below. 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

  • Terms
  • Giveaway is open worldwide. Entries will be judged based on comments, however, additional entries can be earned for liking Wholesome Cook or Cook Republic on Facebook, or subscribing to Wholesome Cook via email and will be taken into account in case of a tie. All entries will be verified. Existing subscribers must provide their email address in the Subscribe option. Giveaway ends 11:59pm Sydney time on Friday 16 May. Winner will be announced on this post on Monday 19 May. 

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60 comments

Stephanie May 6, 2014 at 2:03 pm

Colour images, handy tips on the side, ingredients for a 2 person serving.

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Jayne @ Tenacious Tinkering May 6, 2014 at 2:10 pm

I look for clear and simple directions as well as guide pictures. I find that some cookbooks get really long winded with run-on sentences but not enough directions. Pictures are good too. Helps me to see if I’m on the right track.

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Justine Cox May 6, 2014 at 2:15 pm

Beautiful Photographs, variation on the recipes and substitutions to ingredients. Good to have all recipes and processes from scratch.

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Katie FInley May 6, 2014 at 2:17 pm

Easy to follow recipes with readily available ingredients.

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Rosemary May 6, 2014 at 2:18 pm

Eat-off-the-page photography, clear instructions, the story behind the recipe.

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Phoebe May 6, 2014 at 2:22 pm

Beautiful images, a good range of different recipes from easy everyday meals to more complicated special occasion dishes, well balanced recipes that call for fresh wholesome ingredients which are easily accessible by all.

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Gail May 6, 2014 at 2:29 pm

Realistic recipes with wholefood ingredients, not cheat ingredients – I want to cook!

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Lin May 6, 2014 at 2:31 pm

Pictures and easy step by step directions

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Danielle May 6, 2014 at 2:32 pm

I love being able to see the final product so I know where I’m headed!
I also like a book that I keep coming back to, both to cook from and to enjoy from a sensory perspective.

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Jennifer B. May 6, 2014 at 2:43 pm

I actually look first for a comprehensive index with recipes cross-indexed under ingredients as well.
Don’t expect me to remember “Best Ever Chicken Tagliatelle” under ‘B’ when I actually want ‘C’ for chicken!

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Clare May 6, 2014 at 2:55 pm

Images! With so many cookbooks on the market, the ones that stand out to me have elegant STYLED images. I don’t just want to see the dish, I want to see it on a pretty table.

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Shannon May 6, 2014 at 2:55 pm

I look for healthy simple recipes with good color photos.

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Jane M May 6, 2014 at 2:57 pm

My favourite baking book of all time is Pure Dessert by Alice Medrich. I look for inspiration in cookbooks- those that focus on flavor and texture and interesting ingredients- with a simplicity, I don’t like anything overproduced or too fussy. I love learning about completely new ingredients, which is one reason I think Australian cookery books are very cool. I bake gluten free so …the different flours have their own characters and affinities…..I like thoughtful cookbooks.

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Vid May 6, 2014 at 3:00 pm

I look for pictures with each recipe. We eat with our eyes! Books with no or little images don’t appeal to me at all

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karina l May 6, 2014 at 3:04 pm

Nice photos – it inspires me to actually want to cook that dish, and gives me an idea of what it should look like!

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Michelle Heenan May 6, 2014 at 3:17 pm

Recipes that are easy but look and taste so complex- great to make people thing I have been slaving away for hours.

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Jessica May 6, 2014 at 3:17 pm

I look for interesting recipes that I can and want to cook. I like recipes focusing on natural ingredients and their simplicity and bringing out the ingredients’ flavour instead of obscuring it. Beautiful photos are important to motivate me making the recipes too 😉

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Kate Lowe May 6, 2014 at 3:55 pm

Easy to read and follow recipes that are wholesome and tasty

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Ilonka Bruce May 6, 2014 at 3:55 pm

I love to see great photos of every recipe and a variety of foods that everyone can enjoy

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Merinda May 6, 2014 at 4:01 pm

I love beautiful photos and stories behind the dish, they provide the inspiration to give it a go! I also appreciate cooking/prep times, clear instructions and a mix of simple and more complex dishes.

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Georgia May 6, 2014 at 5:03 pm

Unique recipes that are simple, yet combine ingredients that no-one would have believed would have tasted good together! The cookbook needs to be presented beautifully – I love clean photos and crisp food styling!

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Lucinda May 6, 2014 at 6:21 pm

I look for a healthy, wholesome ethic and underlying principles.

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Catherine May 6, 2014 at 8:07 pm

I look for recipes that interest me and that use ingredients that l have or can easily obtain. There is nothing more frustrating that searching for unusual ingredients to use and then only using a little and leaving the rest in the cupboard to be found at the next pantry clean out.

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Katherine Arnold May 6, 2014 at 8:11 pm

Beautiful photography, clear instructions and ingredients I can actually get a hold of.

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Debby Houghton May 6, 2014 at 8:43 pm

clarity,concise, attractive, simplicity summed up in a smorgasboard of refined taste

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melanie o May 6, 2014 at 10:10 pm

lots of pictures and simple terms or fancy stuff explained

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Margaret McKay May 6, 2014 at 10:21 pm

I look for recipe books that give alternatives or options. Now that I’m cooking for only two, leftovers always seem to multiply. I can’t waste it, but sometimes lack the imagination to creat healthily! ( chicken thighs on day one, cut and on salad day two, in spinach and cream sauce day three….) easy for meats. My quinoa and wild rice is boring. Lentils and beans, as well. I need help with the spices!

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Jason May 6, 2014 at 10:28 pm

What I look for in a cookbook: A stimulating way to instigate the physical representation of excitement and pleasure where eating, food and taste are concerned. A unity of all these elements in one beautiful, information packed, easy to read book.

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Wendy Hatton May 6, 2014 at 10:33 pm

I like to be able to prepare small amounts (I live alone) and use ingredients that are easy to find. Clear pictures of the finished product and concise directions attract me too.

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Aerin May 6, 2014 at 10:59 pm

Honestly, I look for pictures! I love a cookbook with good photos and eye-catching design. Makes the book attractive and makes me excited about cooking!

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Robyn Phillips May 6, 2014 at 11:44 pm

I look for colour photos and wholesome ingredients that are easy to find.

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Rusty H May 6, 2014 at 11:52 pm

I look for recipes that call for ingredients I can obtain easily, detailed instructions and photos.

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Allison (Spontaneous Tomato) May 7, 2014 at 1:23 am

I look for approachable recipes that would teach me new techniques (that could be applied to other dishes, too), and beautiful photographs!

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Golda May 7, 2014 at 2:29 am

Tasty and healthy recipes, most of them based on ingredients everyone can find in his refrigerator even in the middle of the night…

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Heather May 7, 2014 at 3:54 am

Fresh, healthful ingredients, easy-to-follow instructions with images of the final product and tips from the author are a must.

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Samantha May 7, 2014 at 7:01 am

I love photos of the finished dish and healthy ingredients. Also it’s helpful with easy to get ingredients or at least a tip on where to get them.

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Louise May 7, 2014 at 5:06 pm

I look for healthy ingredients, suggested alternatives, handy tips and great photos so I know what in aspiring to 🙂

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Carla May 7, 2014 at 11:06 pm

I look for imaginative photography, a clear cooking method and interesting ingredients…all the things that Sneh provides on her blog and I am sure in her book as well.

Thanks.

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Maureen | Orgasmic Chef May 8, 2014 at 10:38 pm

First I look at the photo to see if I’d like that sitting in front of me and then I read the ingredients list to see if any of my favorites are there and finally I look at the method to see if the instructions are clear to follow.

Sneh is really talented.

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My Favourites List For May 2014 | Cook Republic May 9, 2014 at 2:48 pm

[…] forget to check out these two giveaways of my book Tasty Express on 84th&3rd (Australia) and Wholesome Cook (Worldwide). I also answered some fun questions here and […]

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Amanda@ChewTown May 9, 2014 at 8:36 pm

For me, I definitely look for gorgeous photography and undaunting recipes! Sneh’s book has this in spades.

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Sandra May 10, 2014 at 7:58 am

I look for ease of instructions and if the ingredients use are common enough that they are already in my kitchen. I’d rather not have to go out to purchase an ingredient that I would only ever use for that one recipe.

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Julie May 10, 2014 at 11:32 pm

Definitely the ingredients! I hate long lists of items

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Alex May 11, 2014 at 10:33 am

Detailed & accurate instructions (which I mostly ignore anyway!) as well as a good, brief description of the finished product. I’m not bothered at all by images – most of my favourite cookbooks are very light on them.

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Simona May 11, 2014 at 7:03 pm

Pictures and great ideas that give me inspiration.

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Mai Tran May 11, 2014 at 8:18 pm

In a cookbook, I look for recipes that utilize common ingredients that are easily found in any household’s kitchen. Those recipes with ingredients that are either expensive, rare or hardly used, are usually ignored and thus, only for fun reading.

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Devesh Raghuwanshi May 12, 2014 at 7:46 am

In a cookbook, I mostly look for recipes with step by step description on how to cook. Other thing I look is some useful tips and alternate ingrediants those are handy when some ingredients are not available.

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Sushma May 12, 2014 at 1:40 pm

I mostly look for two things easy-to-find ingredients and easy-to-follow instructions.

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Melissa Jones May 12, 2014 at 2:21 pm

I love cooking tips to assist me to complete the recipes successfully.

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Hayley May 14, 2014 at 4:56 pm

I love reading the backstory, something I can come back to time after time, I feel like I can connect with the chef and get to know their personality. I get excited when a gorgeous meal comes together from simple ingredients, as much as I enjoying scouring around for new foods too! Finally, I love the photography and the food styling, as much as I enjoy the aesthetics they serve as great guidance and encouragement.

I live in the UK and after recently discovering Cook Republic I immediately needed the book in my life!! I ordered a copy from a NZ website, only to be told a few days later the item is out of stock and will not be coming back for a while. Since then, Ive been trying to source the book but with no luck. The cook, experimenter and designer in me is crying out for a copy of Sneh’s book! Fingers crossed this is my lucky day!!

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Val C. May 14, 2014 at 7:26 pm

Something that is achievable, tasty and the ingredients do not have to be sourced from exotic and hard to find stores!

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Ursa May 15, 2014 at 2:09 am

First thing that gets my attention are beautiful photos. I usually try out a recipe based on how much I like the picture. I also like it when author of cookbook writes down some extra tips or tricks (which are usually totally obvious to professional cooks, but no so much to amateurs like myself) on how to prepare a dish.

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Kevin Kelly May 15, 2014 at 5:12 pm

If only I could cook like the food is done in the photos, but alas I cant

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Helen May 15, 2014 at 7:03 pm

I love beautiful photography and easy to follow instructions. Oh, and good quality paper! Makes it a pleasure to read.

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Clinton McQueen May 15, 2014 at 10:14 pm

A recipe that has a mixture of ingredients that instantly screams COOK ME!

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sonia c May 16, 2014 at 8:39 am

30% of recipes I can actually imagine doing….and the other 70% pure imagination for my fantasy kitchen

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Katrina Corbett May 16, 2014 at 10:10 am

A cook book that doesn’t have tiny writing and confusing terms. Recipe’s that are easy and simple to follow.

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Sally May 16, 2014 at 11:57 am

Whole food ingredients with simple flavours, easy instructions and vegetables as the main focus.
I adapt many recipes to what I have in the fridge and what I love. Pictures are always a beautiful bonus 🙂

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Natasha McDonald May 16, 2014 at 2:44 pm

Easy to follow recipes, fresh quick tasty family meals, money saving recipes, tips, tricks and added variations to the recipe as a side note

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Jenn May 16, 2014 at 3:24 pm

I like to see recipes that are creative and take a different/new approach to an “old” ingredient.

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