I was really curious about Good + Simple by Jasmine Hemsley and Melissa Hemsley, especially after the rave reviews the Hemsley sisters garnered for their first offering The Art of Eating Well. They are fascinating to listen to - see also a great podcast interview on Radio Cherry Bombe - and clearly know their stuff when it comes to nutrition and healthful eating. Their tips and tricks are insightful and did inspire me to make some (small) changes in my diet like reducing sugar and caffeine.
Usually when I get a new cookbook I read it cover to cover flagging every recipe that sounds delicious until the pages are bristling with tabs - some annotated with upcoming occasions or seasons to jog my memory down the road. The snag came along when I began to look through the recipes and found that many of them required unusual or difficult to find ingredients even in New York City (maybe something lost in translation since this is a book out of the UK?), lengthy processes, or a combination of flavors that just weren't appealing to my palate. I put this book down without sticking a single post-it.
If you're a regular reader you know by the recipes I post that we eat fairly healthfully with an indulgence here and there, but we still consume dairy, gluten, etc. So, it probably says more about my commitment to an eating overhaul than about the quality of the content, but for me photographs are another huge part of diving in to a new author. Beautiful, appetizing images show me what the finished product should look like and motivate me to actually make the dish. Unfortunately, as an accompaniment to a fresh, modern take on cooking & eating these pictures felt dated and flat, even a little off putting.
Honestly, I wish I liked this book more. I love that these two sisters have established a successful business, and I would have been psyched if their book had inspired me to experiment with the way we eat. For people looking to address diet-related health issues I think this could be a great resource, and I'm not saying I'll never ever pull a recipe from this book - it's possible I'll find myself returning for some of the gut-health information - but unless I have a dinner guest with dietary restrictions it's not going to be my first stop.
I received a promotional copy of this book via Blogging for Books in exchange for this review. All opinions are my own.