How to Make the Most Out of Your Express Cookbook
Pinch of Nom: Express has finally arrived! We’re chomping at the bit to know which recipes you’ll try first – PLEASE share photos of your creations in our Gallery and in our Facebook group, or on Instagram (just be sure to tag us @pinchofnom so we don’t miss it!).
We know how tough it can be to make healthier choices when life gets busy. That’s why Express is all about making the food you love, in even less time! We’ve divided all 100 of our brand-new recipes between 2 easy-to-navigate ‘Quick Cook’ and ‘Quick Prep’ chapters, so you can find exactly what you’re looking for in a flash.
From slimming-friendly midweek dinners and fakeaways to indulgent-tasting sweet treats, there’s always something you can prepare in a jiffy or cook in minutes – whichever suits your schedule best!
To help you to make the most out of your shiny new cookbook, we’ve put together a few handy tips for getting started (if you’ve not got your copy yet, you can grab one here).
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Step 1: Join our Facebook group
It’s no exaggeration to say that we wouldn’t be Pinch of Nom without our Facebook group. Our AMAZING community of almost 1 million members is what keeps us doing what we do – it’s chock-full of incredible people sharing their stories, tips and inspiring anecdotes from their own slimming journey.
When you’re getting to grips with your brand-new cookbook, we can’t recommend taking a scroll through the group enough. From ideas of what to try first, to handy hints and tricks, you’re sure to feel instantly inspired.
We’re always having a good look through your photos and comments in the group – they make us smile a ridiculous amount! If you’ve ever got a question or need some advice about recipes, the community is always on-hand to help (and we’ll swing by as often if we can!).
Step 2: Stock up your store cupboard
It’s no secret by now (especially since we’re on our 6th hardback book!) that we like to keep our ingredient lists as cheap and cheerful as possible, and Pinch of Nom: Express is no exception. While you might need to pick up the odd ‘unusual’ ingredient here and there, we’ll always make sure it’s used in more than one recipe – so you get your money’s worth!
Take root ginger as a tasty example. This gorgeous, fresh ingredient adds a punch to a variety of Express dishes, including our Tamarind Chicken (on page 46) and Meatballs with Ginger and Spring Onion (on page 42).
If you can’t find fresh ginger, ground ginger works just as well; it has a more concentrated flavour, so you’ll only need a teaspoon for every tablespoon of fresh.
A store cupboard that’s brimming with multi-use herbs, spices, tins and dried staples will stand you in good stead for preparing the lower-calorie homemade spice rubs, marinades and sauces you’ll find throughout Express.
Our lean Green Veg Pasta (on page 40) is the definition of wholesome, fuss-free comfort food. The sauce alone will get you well on your way to 5-a-day, and you’ll only need a short list of staple ingredients, including your favourite type of pasta.
To make sure you’re never caught off guard, we’ve added an eye-catching spice level icon to any recipes where we’ve ramped up the heat. You’ll spot 2 chillies next to the Peri-Peri Pulled Chicken Wraps from our ‘Quick Prep’ chapter (it’s on page 137), putting them in our medium-hot range.
Julie from our Facebook group has already made them for her lunch and they look absolutely delicious!
Step 3: Shop for fresh ingredients
The recipes in Express won’t have you shopping for fancy, fresh ingredients that are time-consuming to prepare. With our ‘Quick Prep’ and ‘Quick Cook’ dishes at your fingertips, it’s easy-peasy to put together a meal plan that’s affordable, full of variety and minimises food waste.
The key is in finding new ways to bring everyday, staple ingredients to life. Mushrooms are a tasty example of a veg you can stretch across multiple recipes. Inexpensive, nutritious and filling, they’re a hearty substitute for meat in our fragrant Mushroom Keema recipe (on page 147).
We sent one of our lovely Nomfluencers, Kat, an early copy of the recipe to try. She said it was a breeze to make, and she loves that it makes the most of minimal ingredients – mostly potatoes, mushrooms, onions and household spices (you can watch her cooking it up on our Instagram page).
There’s no reason leftover mushrooms should go to waste! Turn to page 110 and rustle up a batch of our Crispy Garlic Mushrooms for another day.
Just like in so many of our website recipes, reduced-fat dairy products give the dishes in Express a touch of luxury, without piling on the calories.
We’ve combined reduced-fat cream cheese with cocoa powder and sweetener to make the beautiful, silky topping for our Chocolate Sponge Traybake (on page 214).
This delightfully light treat is just as heavenly to make as it is to eat – if you don’t believe us, take Charlie’s word for it in our Instagram reel!
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Step 4: Make the most of your kitchen kit
There are 14 recipes inside Express that provide optional cooking methods, including 10 that’ll give you an excuse to crack out your air fryer. If you’ve not got an air fryer at the moment, this COSORI Air Fryer with 11 Presets is a great choice.
With a 5.5 litre capacity, there’s plenty of room to evenly bake the crispy crushed Dorito tortilla chips (yes, you read that right!) our Zinger Tuna Fishcakes are wrapped in. Turn to page 230 to try them!
There are certain bits of kitchen equipment that we always recommend, like sharp knives, durable chopping boards and a decent potato masher. You’ll use all three to prepare our speedy, savoury, bacon and cheese filled Mashed Potato Balls (on page 112).
You’ll never find us cooking without our trusty measuring spoons. Getting muddled between a teaspoon and a tablespoon can make a surprising difference, especially if we’re talking about adding chilli flakes to a recipe!
Step 5: Get batch-cook ready
While Express is a collection of time-saving quick-to-cook and quick-to-prep recipes, you can’t beat the convenience of reaching into the fridge or freezer for ready-to-reheat leftovers.
The dishes that are suitable for batch cooking are all clearly marked out with our ‘Freeze Me’ symbol, so you’ll always be sure what is and isn’t safe to eat on another day.
As well as making some room in your freezer for your extra portions, you’ll need to stock up on freezer-safe containers. You can cut down on the washing-up in an instant with airtight glass containers; they go straight from the freezer into the oven!
There are plenty of tips in the book to help you check that you’re storing, freezing and reheating food safely, but it’s always good to take a look at NHS guidelines if you’re ever unsure.
Sophie from our Facebook group has made the Fragrant Chicken Curry from page 132 of our ‘Quick Prep’ chapter, and we can tell from the photo that she’s absolutely nailed our super-quick curry sauce!
By adding Malaysian curry paste, we’ve cut down on time without losing out on aromatic, comforting flavour. We’d recommend doubling up this recipe so that you’re left with a stash of spare portions that’ll last you a while, from cooking just the once!
We can’t wait to see which Express recipe you make first!
Don’t forget to take a photo of your first creation from our latest cookbook! As long as you tag us, we’ll definitely see it; we’re addicted to scrolling through all of your comments and posts in our Facebook group.
Visiting our Gallery is a great way to find out what everyone else is cooking from Express. You’ll want to sign up to a free website account to upload and share your photos (it’s really easy – we’ve got a step-by-step guide you can follow here).
If you haven’t ordered your copy of Express yet, there’s still time to grab one in time for Christmas. You might even want to pick up one of our Family Meal Planners to help you get organised. With space to plan your weekly meals, track your food and keep a note of what’s in the freezer, it has everything you need to make the most of the 100 new recipes from Express.