Thursday 30 April 2015

April's Parragon Cookbook: 'Go on, it's healthy' *REVIEW* with Chicken Satay Skewers and Broad Bean Hummus *RECIPE*

Today I'm bringing you another fabulously healthy cookbook - full of super good for you recipes to make the simple salad scintillating, and the boring broad bean brilliant! 

'Go on, it's healthy' from Parragon Books' casual cooking range is a beautiful full-colour cookbook packed with recipes with reduced saturated fat, calories, and sugar, that are high in protein and fibre. The perfect balance! 

'Go on, it's healthy' priced at £3.99 on Amazon

The book is split into five chapters:

1. Rise & Shine - a lovely selection of 17 healthy breakfast ideas such as: a breakfast burrito, avocado/bacon/chilli frittata, mini coffee & pecan muffins and a lychee & pineapple pep up! Wow! There's some interesting breakfast ideas you won't forget in a hurry. 

2. Sides, Smalls & Sharers - 16 brilliant side dishes from rainbow nori rolls to salmon croquettes. An exciting chapter full of fun and perhaps different ingredients such as yam, quinoa, papaya, and fennel. 

3. Snack Attack - 17 awesome snacks to keep those hunger cravings at bay, and stop those sugar binges in their tracks! From smoky paprika roasted chickpeas, goats cheese truffles with honey, to wholemeal banana flatbread bites, fudge brownie quinoa cookies and rosemary, sea salt & sesame popcorn - snack-tactic! 

4. What's for dinner? - 16 decidedly different dinner ideas for the health-conscious from Chicken with pomegranate tabbouleh, turkey & barley stew, and steak with spicy greens to beef stew with kale & dumplings, and a rice & lentil curry. 

5. All Things Sweet - Of course, my favourite chapter, 17 good-for-you dessert ideas that won't have us spiralling into a processed sugar coma - hurrah! From Raspberry & watermelon sorbet, chocolate & avocado puddings, and chocolate & macadamia cupcakes, to clementine almond cake, and rhubarb & lemon drizzle squares - there's something for everybody's specific sweet preferences.

As usual, I put a few of the recipes through their paces. This month I decided to try some recipes that used ingredients I already had in the house - I wanted to throw together a summer-style dinner (as I write this I'm looking out the window at torrential rain! Grr!) so I chose to make Chicken Satay Skewers served with a large wholemeal pitta, homemade broad bean hummus (also from the book) with slices of raw pepper and cucumber. 

Chicken Satay Skewers *RECIPE*

(Serves 4)

For the skewers...

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts cut into 2cm cubes
4 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp cornflour
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2.5cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped

Peanut sauce...

2 tbsp vegetable oil (having tested the recipe I'd only use ½ tbsp oil)
½ onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
4 tbsp crunchy peanut butter
4-5 tbsp water
½ tsp chilli powder 


1. Put the chicken cubes in a shallow dish. Mix the soy sauce, cornflour, garlic and ginger together in a small bowl and pour over the chicken cubes. Cover and leave to marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. 

2. Meanwhile, soak 8 wooden skewers in cold water for at least 30 minutes (to stop them burning when grilled). Preheat the grill and thread the marinated chicken onto the 8 skewers evenly. Transfer the skewers to a grill pan and cook under the preheated grill for 3-4 minutes each side. To make sure the chicken is cooked through, cut into the middle to check there are no remaining traces of pink or red. 

3. Meanwhile, to make the sauce, heat the oil in a saucepan, add the onion and garlic and cook over a medium heat, stirring frequently, for 3-4 minutes, until softened.  Add the peanut butter, water and chilli powder and simmer for 2-3 minutes, until softened and thinned. Serve the skewers immediately with the warm sauce and some diced cucumber. 

Deliciously succulent soy/garlic/ginger marinated chicken skewers ... yum! 

A very oily peanut sauce - it tasted amazing - but next time I will reduce the oil used to fry the onion and only use half a tablespoon because the natural oil in the peanut butter made for an overly oily sauce!

To go with the skewers and sauce I made a big batch of broad bean hummus, warmed through some pitta bread and sliced up some fresh bell peppers and cucumber. 

Broad Bean Hummus *RECIPE*

(serves 4)


350g broad beans
2 tbsp olive oil 
1 tsp cumin seeds, crushed
3 spring onions, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
25g fresh mint, finely chopped
25g flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
juice of 1 lemon
60g greek style natural yoghurt
salt and pepper, to taste


1. Steam or boil your broad beans until they are cooked and tender. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the cumin, spring onions and garlic, and cook for 2 minutes , or until the onion has softened. 

2. Put the beans in a food processor, add the onion mixture, herbs, lemon juice and yoghurt, and season with a little salt and pepper. Process to a coarse puree, then spoon into a dish set on a large plate. Arrange crudites of your choice (I chose bell peppers and cucumber) on the plate, and serve with warm pitta breads and the chicken skewers. 

Glowing and glorious: broad bean hummus! 

I took a bite before I remembered to take a photo - haha! It was just that tasty! Warm pitta, grilled chicken pieces, peanut sauce and a layer of broad bean hummus...a really delicious summer dinner and it would make the perfect BBQ food too.


Chicken Skewers with Peanut Sauce per serving: 339 kcal
Broad Bean Hummus per serving: 163 kcal

Why not give it a try yourself, its fun, fast, easy, healthy and more importantly really tasty! 

Mrs B


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Disclaimer: I received this product from the publisher for free. However, they have not paid me for this review, and they do not exercise any editorial control over my review or anything else on this site.